KÖNIG DIGITAL | 9.9.–30.11.2020

The international group show BETTER OFF ONLINE curated by Anika Meier in collaboration with Thomas Webb is presented by KÖNIG GALERIE. 

Enter Exhibition:

Please click here to access the Saleroom.

The WORLD WIDE WEBB by the British artist Thomas Webb is a virtual world the digital visitor enters through the browser on a smartphone. It is a multiplayer video game, a digital exhibition space and a world full of art and characters the visitor is invited to interact with. 

Webb built a virtual world for new media artists to share their thoughts on what technology is and could be. Net art is presented in its genuine medium, the digital realm, where video art is also easily accessible. During the lockdown, digital devices and new technologies were nearly all that was left for the art world to connect, share and experience. The digital boom was hit by a wave of criticism of technology. Artists have always worked with new technologies, and at the same time critically question them. Experiencing a global lockdown is an excuse for utopian escapism into a game environment as the only place left to experience and interact with art.

Stine Deja’s video FOREIGNER (2018) for example features an android singing “I wanna know what love is”, the 1984 hit from the homonymous 80s rock group, to himself in a vanity mirror.  Immersed in a clinical environment, the android appears as a newborn learning to experience emotion through a widely distributed and culturally ubiquitous musical touchstone. Drawing from algorithmic logic, the video satirises the ways in which machine learning recognizes patterns and repeats them regardless of what those patterns are while being a world away from actually identifying or knowing ‘what love is’. 

Using satire, speculation, and AI technology, E-Z KRYPTOBUILD by Alice Bucknell exaggerates our current condition through a ficitonalized real estate company offering elite individuals luxury escape pads for the end of times. 

For his installation UNLOCK LIFE Aram Bartholl retrieved a number of rental e-scooters and bikes from different canals of Berlin. In fierce competition global operating startups have swamped all major European cities with rental bikes and e-scooters in large numbers in the last couple of years. The careless attitude of the startup companies result in disapproval by most of the public and careless handling by the users. The colorful pop aesthetics of these rides attracts the urban youth, who often cannot afford to ride them. Destruction and loss are a calculated part of the business which is economically and ecologically unsustainable. Typically, these e-scooters and bikes get also thrown into the canals of the city.

NORTHSTAR by Tabor Robak is a procedurally generated simulation of an infinite walk through an ever-changing virtual landscape. Robak's original software runs on a custom built PC. The work adapts to the time of day as well as the latitude and longitude of where it is displayed so that the lighting conditions outside are reflected within the work's dynamic sky and weather system. The software is programmed to plant virtual seeds along the horizon that grow as the camera approaches them, and features 320 types of trees, bushes, rocks, flowers, grasses and dirt.

Artists: Koo Jeong A, Aram Bartholl, Alice Bucknell, Arvida Byström, Stine Deja, Keiken, Kesh, Jonas Lund, Rachel Maclean, Tabor Robak, Manuel Rossner, Nicole Ruggiero, Sebastian Schmieg, Thomas Webb