If you need brain food, some irritation and some art for inspiration – the House of World Cultures in Berlin is an excellent place to turn to. For years, their team has puzzled me with events and exhibitions around topics as diverse as the Whole Earth Catalogue, Ape Culture, Stupid Music or with their ongoing series 100 Years of Now.
For an exhibition around the ever-growing reality of having our behaviour and motion tracked by all kinds of devices, services and companies, HKW’s well connected fine art curator Anselm Franke teamed up with Tactical Technology Collective, a group of information activists, who consult NGOs and policital activists on the use of technology for their work. The show is titled “Nervous Systems. Quantified Life and the Social Question”.
I really liked the exhibition as it combines three very different approaches: it shows art works in the main part, it features several collections of historical and theoretical background pieces, and then there is the installation “The White Room”, in which Tactical Technology give an overview of their work and all themes revolving around data tracking in our daily life.
This combination of the three approaches seemed very inspiring to me because it felt like the exhibition opened up a very big area of how to think about this whole topic – how it has evolved since the 19th century, about what it means to observe and measure human behaviour and about the backlash this could have on us. I discussed this in a short exhibition review published yesterday in Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The show is open to the public until May 9, 2016. The accompanying book was published by HKW and Spector Books.