House of Electronic Arts
HEK (House of Electronic Arts) in Basel is dedicated to digital culture and the new art forms of the Information Age. Since 2011, the institution has been central to the creative and critical discourse on the aesthetic, socio-political and economic effects of media technologies. As a platform for contemporary art that explores and employs new technologies, HEK promotes aesthetic practices related to information technologies. This not only enables a better comprehension of the changing world we live in, but also serves to actively engage with these processes and confront pressing questions of 21st century culture, while actively contributing to their mediation.
As an interdisciplinary museum, HEK is a turntable for current artistic events in the visual arts, music, theatre, dance, performance and design, offering the public insights into art production at the interface of art, media and technologies. The institution’s diverse programme of exhibitions, performances, concerts, smaller festival formats, educational and online activities address current social issues and questions.
Besides this abundance of events and exhibitions, HEK is concerned with the methodology of collecting digital art Tand is distinguished by its unique collection, which focuses on “born-digital” art, i.e. art created and located in the digital medium, often lacking any physical manifestation. The focus is on software and net-based works that rarely find their way into public collections, as their preservation requires innovative strategies and a network of experts – from conservators to programmers.
With these tasks the museum takes on a unique position and pioneering role in Switzerland. HEK initiates and values close collaboration with artists, researchers and institutions from Switzerland and abroad in its efforts to map, document and promote current trends in media art. In recent years, HEK has established itself as a centre of competence for media art in Switzerland through its agency in global discourse.
The HEK is the Swiss centre of excellence for the exploration of art, technology and media. In an explicitly interdisciplinary crossover approach, the HEK places emphasis on reacting dynamically and flexibly to current affairs and making themes accessible to both an expert audience and the general public. With its varied programme and numerous international and national project partners, the house presents itself as a lively hub for the examination of electronic art and digital culture.
The House of Electronic Arts Foundation launched its activities on 1 January 2011 with the aim of enabling the establishment of the eponymous institution and therefore create a venue for the mediation, promotion and documentation of electronic arts on regional, national and international levels.
The foundation presidency is currently held by Annette Schönholzer, independent consultant and owner of connect the dots GmbH. Further members of the Foundation Board are Eva Herzog, Councillor of the Council of States for the Canton of Basel-Stadt; Regula Steinemann, lawyer at Furer&Partner, Basel; Robert Sumner, Associate Director of Disney Research Zurich and Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich; Claudio Beccarelli, Head of the Department of Culture of the Christoph Merian Foundation; Bernard Vischer, lawyer and partner at Schellenberg Wittmer, Geneva; Thomas Wenk-Werthemann, tax expert and partner at Hoffmann & Partner AG in Basel.
The newly appointed advisory board is composed of persons from the arts and culture sector, as well as from the technology, media, research/science and economic sectors. The board will advise museum management on fundamental professional and practice-oriented questions, planning and content-related orientation, and will support the profile and objectives of the museum.
The members of the advisory board are: Georg Bak, Curator and consultant; Bruno Bolfo, Collector and co-founder of ICA Milano; DooEun Choi, Art Director, Hyundai Motor Company; Haro Cumbusyan, Entrepreneur and collector, founding director of collectorspace; Sarah Kenderdine, Director of the EPFL Pavilions and Head of the Laboratory for Experimental Museology; Ariane Koek, Independent Strategic Consultant, Creative Producer, Curator and author; Anika Meier, Curator and author; Sandra Nedvetskaia, Partner at Thora Contemporary; Abir Oreibi, Colelctor, investor and CEO, Lift Global; Joanna Philipps, Head of the Restoration Centre Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf; Christopher Salter, Professor for Immersive Arts and Director of the Immersive Arts Space at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK); Christian Simm, Head International Relations Office, University of Zürich; Valentin Spiess, Founder and Chairman iart ag; Joachim von Heimburg, Innovation Architect
The honorary advisory board is elected by the Foundation Board of the HEK to serve for a period of four years and meets at least once a year.
A PDF version can be requested via email.
The museum management comprises Sabine Himmelsbach as Director, Barbara Gerber as Head of Organisation and Finance, and Boris Magrini as Head of Programme. The HEK team are happy to answer any questions you may have.
The House of Electronic Arts Foundation is generously supported by:
The conversion and refurbishment of the new HEK venue was funded primarily by the Christoph Merian Foundation, with additional funding from the Ernst Göhner Foundation. The Canton of Basel-Landschaft generously funded the new venue’s infrastructure:
HEK's education and outreach programme is supported by
The annual Pax Art Awards and the related exhibitions are supported by the Art Foundation Pax:
The HEK sincerely thanks all its patrons and sponsors for their generous funding and likewise all the institutions and companies that facilitated exhibitions and events by donating equipment or other forms of support.
If you want to support us, please find here information about sponsorship possibilities: