Encrypted networks, digital currencies, artificial intelligence, data harvesting, algorithmic biases, and sentient machines: all effects of twenty-first-century data-based capitalism. The proliferation of information, and data’s nebulous modes of circulating and being processed, fundamentally shape daily life now. INFORMATION (Today) is a group show featuring contemporary artists seeking to unravel this phenomenon. It is a loose response to the iconic 1970 INFORMATION exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and also to two other less widely known but pathbreaking shows staged at Kunsthalle Basel, Information and Das offene Museum – die Stadt, from 1969 and 1970, respectively. All of these exhibitions emerged from dramatic advancements in communications technologies being witnessed at the turn of the 1970s—an era already then being heralded as the Information Age. For artists, like everyone, access to information was gaining a particular urgency. Now, fifty years later, our presumed completeness of access and connectivity belies a vicious flip side that includes ever more invasive and technologized forms of surveillance along with the collection and sale of our personal data. And again, artists are responding. INFORMATION (Today) features more than a dozen artists from around the globe, all born since the tumultuous information explosion that prompted those 1969–70 shows. They work in various media and represent a wide range of artistic positions, but all forefront the processing and formalizing of data, treating this almost as a medium in its own right. Recent work and new commissions will spread across the five downstairs galleries of Kunsthalle Basel.
With Lawrence Abu Hamdan, American Artist, Alejandro Cesarco, Simon Denny, Marguerite Humeau, Zhana Ivanova, Tobias Kaspar, Gabriel Kuri, Liu Chuang, Ima-Abasi Okon, Laura Owens, Trevor Paglen, Sondra Perry, Cameron Rowland, Sung Tieu, and Nora Turato, curated by Elena Filipovic.
INFORMATION (Today), Artforum, (04/2021)