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Julian Charrière in Poetics of Encryption

Though we rely on digital tools for many things, we rarely understand how they work. Moreover, due to the proprietary nature of much corporate tech, even the most curious among us cannot gain deeper insight. Today, we are forced to come to terms with our relative lack of power in the face of inscrutable systems. What symptoms of this personal and political drama register in the cultural field? What moods, symbols, or narrative frames capture the aesthetics and politics of exclusion, occlusion, secrecy, and speculation concerning technology’s inside? This extensive group exhibition at KW builds upon the recent book by Nadim Samman titled Poetics of Encryption: Art and the Technocene. It surveys an imaginative landscape marked by Black Sites, Black Boxes, and Black Holes—terms that indicate how technical systems capture users, how they work in stealth, and how they distort cultural space-time. These themes form the basis three chapters that play out across all gallery floors at KW. Spanning analogue and digital media, Poetics of Encryption features both historic and newly commissioned work by more than 40 international artists.