ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe, Germany
03.06.2017 – 07.01.2018
The pieces presented in the exhibition address current social, technological and aesthetic debates, and reflect on how comprehensively the digital realm influences every area of our daily life, our perception and our production of knowledge. The mediums of digital, algorithmic imaging and communication systems have now transformed all aspects of our world. Current research in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) already shows us a glimpse of what fundamental changes technological progress will bring to our lives in the future. Through their installations, videos, performances and sculptures, the artists in this exhibition respond to this hybrid interfusing of the real and the digital and scrutinize how this situation influences our globally networked world.
»Hybrid Layers« thus explores the many aspects of what can be described as the »digital turn« or the »digital era«, which, since its emergence less than twenty years ago when the volume of digitally stored information surpassed that of analog information for the first time, has swiftly altered our thinking, actions and feelings. In the exhibition, the digital is the key, the a priori, to the disparate cultural and conceptual scenarios that are shown in the individual works. Dealing freely with the imagery of the Internet and recontextualizing and resemanticizing the narrative strands taken from it in non-hierarchical, often subjective arrangements, the exhibition evinces the embedding of artistic methods in digitally influenced patterns of perception. While media art was longtime focused on translating the analog world into the digital, artists today increasingly grapple with how the digital can be translated into the analog world through the use of synthetic materials or innovative printing processes. The various perspectives on the digital that can be taken from the 22 artists represented in the exhibition are thus informed by a fundamental interest in exploring the hybrid layers of digital and physical realities in their multifaceted characteristics in a way that is dispassionate, expectant and critical.