Questions to HeK: What’s that got to do with electronic art?

HeK answers questions from visitors to the exhibition Sound Embodied

“Some of the works in the exhibition could also be exhibited in a “normal” art museum – what do they have to do with electronic art? For example, the horn as part of the work Sweat Sweat Streams or the black sand in Anja Braun’s art piece.”

An interesting and thoughtful question, which we believe is very important. It is correct that many works in the exhibition are created by artists that also exhibit in more traditional art museums. However, all the works in the exhibition Sound Embodied have a relation to sound and electronic or digital media.

This is also true for the two works mentioned in the question. The horn in the installation Sweat Sweat Streams by Gabriele Rendina Cattani, for instance, is part of a sound installation created by the artist with the help of sampling and music software and has a symbolic significance in relation to the sound and the videos on display within the composition. It refers to modern times alchemic rituals and our relation to nature.

Gabriele Rendina Cattani, Sweat Sweat Streams, 2018, Exhibition Sound Embodied, 2018/2019, Photo: Franz Wamhof

The work created with black sand and a magnet by Anja Braun composes an interesting pattern that exemplifies a sound wave in space. Together with Wendelin Schmidt-Ott, the artist has also created the work Satelliten, which uses an audio resonator to transmit recorded sound through the walls of the exhibition. When we discussed the presentation of Satelliten together with the artist, we decided to include the work with the back sand and the magnet as an appropriate addition to the exhibition.

Anja Braun, Untitled, 2018, Exhibition Sound Embodied, 2018/2019, Photo: Franz Wamhof

I would also like to add that at HeK we understand electronic and media art in a broader sense. Visitors will regularly find works of artists using new media and digital technologies in our exhibitions, however, we also want to emphasise works that reflect on these media in a critical, constructive and poetic way and not simply use them as a tool. For this reason, we sometimes present works that are not necessarily created using electronic or digital media but discuss these media nonetheless. In the future visitors will continue to see many works of electronic and digital art at HeK: our upcoming exhibition Entangled Realities, for example, will showcase a large number of artists working with the latest developments in artificial intelligence.

Boris Magrini, curator