(edited by) Dominik Landwehr, Migros-Kulturprozent – Medienkunst in der Schweiz, Pioniere, Bastler, Provokateure – Media Arts in Switzerland, Pioneers, Tinkerers, Provocateurs


Christoph Merian Verlag, ISBN-13: 978-3856168674, German, English, 108 pages, 2018, USA

There’s an unsolved dilemma among art historians: is there a sense in looking for connections among artists living in the same country, and especially using the same kind of media? Historically these artists were probably sharing more than just the same territory: a whole cultural, social and political ecosystem. But after universal globalisation these assumptions have been deeply questioned. This agile book looks like a catalogue, but can be tentatively defined as a crash course in Swiss media art since the nineties. Swiss artists have played a pivotal role in this scene, through supportive institutions, galleries and foundations, often expressing radical positions and provocative interventions. In particular, thanks to PlugIn centre first, the Shift Festival after and now the H3K institution, there has been a distinct attention to net art, facilitating the production of artworks and exhibitions. It would be easy to compile a short list of who/what is excluded from the projects and artists included here, but this book is clearly not meant to be an omni-comprehensive encyclopaedic effort. On the contrary, there are essential works (”MacGhillie”, “Etoy tank“, ”Hektor“, ”Random Darknet Shopper”, ”Can you hear me?” just to name a few) briefly introduced and put in a single composed scenario, which is conceptually and geographically consistent.