Statement by Signe Klejs
Covid 19 has dominated the agenda over the past year; equally within the cultural sector, sending artists and audiences onto digital platforms to create, present and experience art works. Encountering art online has underscored which works are in their proper element there and those which should be preferably viewed in an exhibition space. KP recognised this as an appropriate moment to examine digital art more closely; its potential and space of possibility.
This year’s KP open call states: ’Digital art offers an essential opportunity to reflect on perhaps the most significant paradigm shift of our time – from the analogue to the digital era – through art’. In light of this, KP will host the first selected open submission exhibition exclusively for digital art in Denmark: KP-Digital, which will be shown alongside KP 20.
With fresh negative Covid tests, the selection panel comprising myself, Jacob Tækker and Amalie Smith met in early February in a deserted Kunsthal Aarhus. Three artists working in digital practices and two members of KP’s board, who guided us through the stack of submissions processed over the space of two days.
KP-Digital received 176 works in all, from 54 submitters. All of these works were created to be presented on digital platforms and were, for the most part, produced using digital media.
Under a new approach, we, the selection panel, had access to the all of the works for three days prior to the meeting. The majority of the submitted works contained a temporal dimension and required a solitary viewing situation of their prospective audience. Therefore, we needed time to see, hear, experience and play the works in their full length beforehand.
At the Kunsthal we reviewed the works one by one, using a system of elimination where selected works continued to the next round – through three rounds in all. Those works that reached the third round constitute the exhibition.
As the jury we have looked at the strength of the artistic idea and the relevance of the content, as well as for an elaborated presentation that balances the sensual and the digital aspects, and whose compositional integrity would reach the audience.
The scope of submissions was broad, stretching from incarnated digital artists, where the approach, method and technology sprang from the digital universe, to artists with other techniques and experiences who had embraced digital formats.
This has resulted in a pronounced diversity in the selected works, which you will also experience in the exhibition.
The exhibition provides an insight into the breadth and potential in art that is presented virtually, and illustrates the importance of taking our contemporary digital lives under consideration – artistically.
We hope that in the future KP will continue to offer a platform for KP-Digital.
Signe Klejs, on behalf of the selection panel