Encrypted networks, digital currencies, artificial intelligence, data harvesting, algorithmic biases, sentient machines—all are products of twenty-first-century data-based capitalism. As a result, the proliferation of information, and data’s nebulous modes of circulating and being processed, fundamentally shape our existence now. INFORMATION (Today) is a group show featuring contemporary artists seeking to unravel this phenomenon.
Intended as a loose response to the iconic INFORMATION show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, curated by Kynaston L. McShine in 1970, INFORMATION (Today) examines how contemporary artists deal with the relentless flow of information and data that inflects the present. MoMA’s exhibition was born from the late 1960s and early 1970s dawn of the “Information Age,” when advancements in new computing and communication technologies—and, with them, access to information—was suddenly on the rise. And, in the fifty years since, the ubiquity of access and connectivity has arguably lulled us into complacency with its flipside: ever more highly technologized forms of surveillance and the overexposure of our personal data. Exploring the myriad ways in which information signifies in our “post-truth” era, such a show seems more urgent than ever.
INFORMATION (Today) features a selection of international artists loosely culled from the two generations since 1970—which is to say, born after the original INFORMATION exhibition—for whom the processing and formalizing of data is among the central tenets of their work. The current exhibition presents a range of artistic positions, including recent work and new commissions in diverse media (from sculpture and painting, to video and performance, and from the undeniably material to the wholly immaterial), thus providing an overview of some of the most promising and challenging practices grappling with data, technology, and information today.
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.
Accompanying the exhibition, the INFORMATION (Today) Reader assembles various texts and text fragments selected by the exhibition’s participating artists. It gives access to their research and thinking and is available here and for free in the bookshop of Kunsthalle Basel.
Information (Today) at Kunsthalle Basel Revisits a 1970s Classic, OCULA (06/2021)
INFORMATION (Today), Artforum, (04/2021)
Verschlüsselte Vermögen und Margaret Thatchers Mumie in der Kunsthalle Basel, bz Basel (07/2021)
Simon Denny Is Selling an Intentionally Lackluster NFT to Benefit Institutions Crypto Collectors Typically Don’t Care About, Artnet (08/2021)
Information (today): Politik der Datenströme, artline (08/2021)
Pour votre info, Le Courrier (09/2021)
Future: (Is) Now What? A Citywide Roundup of Art Basel 2021, Flash Art (10/2021)