Like it or not, we are surrounded. There is no escape from the incessant flow of information that drives this 21st-century, data-based capitalism. Encrypted networks, digital currencies, artificial intelligence, data harvesting, algorithmic biases, sentient machines: these are just some of its effects. The proliferation of information, and data’s nebulous modes of circulating now fundamentally shape our existence.
INFORMATION (Today) is a group exhibition conceived as a loose response to the iconic INFORMATION show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), curated by Kynaston L. McShine in 1970. MoMA’s exhibition emerged out of the context of dramatic advancements in communication technologies at the end of the 1960s, a period already then being heralded as the “Information Age.” 50 years on, INFORMATION (Today) features new and recent work by 16 artists from around the globe, all born since the tumultuous information explosion that originally prompted the works in the 1970 MoMA show. The artists in this current exhibition work in a variety of media and represent a wide range of artistic positions, and whether they explore communication technologies, surveillance, data systems, or financial speculation, information arguably condenses to become the quasi-medium of their work.
Yet INFORMATION (Today) also deliberately refuses to fit the image one might most immediately conjure of a show addressing this topic, either a dry and objective, fact-based assembly of black and white documents or buzzing with high tech computer-controlled gadgets or featuring what has been called Post-Internet Art. Playful, colorful, materially complex, research-laden, speculative, immersive: INFORMATION (Today) lays out an apparently contradictory array of material and immaterial artworks that wrestle with our fundamental reliance on information in vastly different ways.