In an age of rapid technological change and high-speed technology, the question of how to preserve digital heritage becomes increasingly important. The HeK has dedicated itself to finding answers, and maintains its own collection along those lines, together with its usual exhibitions and events. This collection focuses not only on digital works but also includes installation- and software-based as well as site-specific projects.
In an age of rapid technological change and high-speed technology, the question of how to preserve digital heritage becomes increasingly important. The HeK has dedicated itself to this key issue, in addition to its usual exhibitions and events. As a place for scientific debate and the bundling of skills, HeK works with national and international partners to meet the challenges of preserving digital art.
The initial foray into this realm, conducted as part of the tri-national research project Digitale Medienkunst am Oberrhein (Digital Media Art in the Upper Rhine) – Conservation – Restoration – Preservation (2010-2012), yielded a comprehensive publication on the preservation of digital art, to which the HeK contributed a case study and texts.
This research project enabled the HeK to launch its collection of works on permanent loan, with funding from the Federal Office of Culture, the Kunstkredit Basel-Stadt, kulturelles.bl and the Department of Culture of the Canton of Basel County. Gifts from the Christoph Merian Foundation helped form the basis of the collection, which is to be expanded in the long term and will include a central archive for artistic production. Key to the collection is the comprehensive documentation of works and the outlining of individual solutions for their preservation. To that end, the institution seeks exchange with national and international colleagues as well as with scientific and research institutions.
The collection focuses not only on digital works; it also includes installation- and software-based works as well as site-specific projects for the Dreispitz area and all of Basel, all of which were – or will be – created as part of exhibition projects at the HeK. The focus of the collection is not on technical formats but on substantive issues that create socially relevant references; deal with access to spheres of information; reflect and form networked systems; and demonstrate a new aesthetic practice or enable new kinds of perceptual experiences.
The following artists are represented in the collection as of now: Adam Cruces, Ursula Damm, Denis Handschin & Michel Winterberg, Esther Hunziker, Christina Kubisch, JODI, Marc Lee, Alexis O’Hara, Ubermorgen, Aline Veillat, Christoph Wachter & Matthias Jud, Aline Zeltner.
THE WEB PRESENCE OF OUR COLLECTION IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION AT THE MOMENT.