MORE THAN REAL.
ART IN THE DIGITAL AGE.
The 2018 Summit was curated by acclaimed Swedish museum director Daniel Birnbaum of the Moderna Museet Stockholm. Emerging technologies and their impact on art, culture, economy and environment were key topics in the discussions, and the innovative possibilities for art were explored during the Summit.
Daniel Birnbaum on his choice for the 2018 Summit theme: “Technology will change art in the most fundamental way. As Walter Benjamin said, it is art's task to create a demand which can be fully satisfied only later. I believe that some artists can be said to anticipate the digital possibilities that are being developed with such speed today. For instance, was Salvador Dalí already thinking in terms of virtual reality?”
The 2018 Verbier Art Summit partnered with several cultural institutions. Further to an introduction by Verbier Art en Mouvement, the Summit collaborated with the Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève, which presented a digital programme at the Verbier Cinema. In addition, the EPFL + ECAL Lab demonstrated a VR prototype, the Verbier 3-D Foundation organized an art walk in the snow, and the Verbier Festival added a musical element relating to the digital theme.
Olafur Eliasson shared how he employs natural elements and technical devices to transform museums and public areas into immersive environments. He will also discuss the recent VR work he created with developer and digital colourist Dado Valentic. Artist Anicka Yi examined concepts of "the biopolitics of the senses": how physical perception is shaped by assumptions related to gender, race, and class. The artist Ed Atkins discussed the use of cutting edge digital technologies to address the virtuality of our world, and its effect on our lives. Furthermore, the Swiss artist Pamela Rosenkranz explained how her work engages with the reality of materials beyond our subjectivity. Acclaimed writer and artist Douglas Coupland looked at how technology impacts our way of thinking and perceiving.
The Summit was happy to host MoMA curator Michelle Kuo who spoke on Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.). Professor of Cognitive science and Neurorobotics Paul Verschure, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, discussed a unified theory of mind, brain and body, which will be used to develop new cognitive technologies for robots. The influential German art curator and museum director Susanne Pfeffer discussed the exhibitions she curated at Kassel’s Fridericianum which address the virtual rise of the internet as a shift in our physical reality. Curator and art critic Karen Archey explored how art can be redefined for the age of the internet.
This book is the outcome of the 2018 Verbier Art Summit, organized in cooperation with Daniel Birnbaum. By sharing the content of the Summit through this publication the global dialogue continues.