HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel) is dedicated to digital culture and the new art forms of the information age. As a special guest of the LISTE Art Fair, HeK presents a site-specific installation by the French artist group RYBN.ORG, together with a new work by the emerging Swiss artist Lauren Huret.
Founded in 1999, the artistic group RYBN.ORG frequently appropriates the instruments of information technology, distorting their original function while giving them a new lifeform in the context of art. They have created obscure algorithms for the stock exchange, based on esoteric codes or upon the logic derived from ancient gods. They also examined the extent to which money laundering permeates institutions around the globe, a practice that has not spared the art world and its market. The underground space of the former Warteck brewery building serves as the headquarters for their ongoing research, as well as a place to display some of their innovative codes and blueprints.
Lauren Huret tackles the growing presence of digital media in our daily life and how these are constantly changing our behaviour and our perception of the world around us. She employs simple applications that are nowadays commonplace, thanks to the widespread use of smartphones and social websites. An example is her personal use of the ‘face swap’ tool, frequently used in the popular snapchat platform. Huret’s curious use of these social apps creates unexpected, almost surreal works, that seem to depict mystic and uncanny occurrences in our surroundings.
RYBN.ORG and Lauren Huret invite us to think about technology as a tool that reveals the hidden connections and the various layers of meaning that underpin reality. At the same time, they suggest that these very tools could also be used to conceal certain aspects of the world from our understanding by means of mystification and distortion.