ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie

GLOBALE: Reset Modernity!

16 Apr - 21 Aug 2016

Pierre Huyghe, »Nymphéas Transplant (14-18)«, 2014, and David Maisel, »The Lake Project«, 2001-2015, at the exhibition »Reset Modernity!«, 2016 at the ZKM / © ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Photo: Harald Völkl
16 April – 21 August 2016

Bruno Latour (Curator)Martin Guinard-Terrin (Curator)Donato Ricci (Curator)Christophe Leclercq (Curator)

What do you do when you are disoriented, when the compass of your phone goes haywire? You reset it.The procedure depends on the situation and device, but you always have to stay calm and carefully follow instructions if you want the compass to capture signals again.

In this exhibition, we offer you to do something similar: resetting a few of the instruments that allow you to register some of the confusing signals sent by the epoch. Except what we are trying to recalibrate is not as simple as a compass, but this most obscure principle of projection to map out the world, namely Modernity.

Modernity was a way to differentiate past and future, North and South, progress and regress, radical and conservative. However, at a time of deep ecological mutation, such a compass is running in wild circles without offering much bearing anymore. This is why it is time for a reset. Let’s pause for a while, follow a procedure and search for different sensors that could allow us to recalibrate our detectors, our instruments, to feel anew where we are and where we might wish to go.

The layout of the exhibition itself offers a set of disorienting/reorienting procedures. No guarantee, of course: this is an experiment, a thought experiment, a Gedankenausstellung.

»In uncertain times of globalisation and deep ecological crises, this curious, unconventional exhibition suggested a 'resetting' of the modernistic project; thus it inspired us to redefine our way of thinking about the world and, also, to redesign our relationship with art.«

– Joana Hadjithomas and Kalil Joreige, artists, speaking about the Reset Modernity! exhibition at the ZKM, in: Artforum International, December 2016


Lisa Bergmann & Alina Schmuch · Jean-Joseph Baléchou· Hicham Berrada · Bureau d’Études · Kees Boeke · Emma Charles · Tacita Dean · Albrecht Dürer · Charles & Ray Eames · Folder (Marco Ferrari, Elisa Pasqual) & Alessandro Busi, Aaron Gillett, Pietro Leoni, Delfino Sisto Legnani, Alessandro Mason, Angelo Semeraro, Livia Shamir · Jean-Michel Frodon & Agnès Devictor · Peter Galison, Robb Moss & Students · Fabien Giraud · Sylvain Gouraud · Pierre Huyghe · Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation · Pauline Julier · Armin Linke · Adam Lowe · David Maisel · John Martin · Anne-Sophie Milon & Jan Zalasiewicz · Lorenza Mondada, Nicolle Bussien, Sara Keel, Hanna Svensson & Nynke van Schepen · Ahmet Ögüt · Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor · Elke Evelin Reinhuber · Sophie Ristelhueber · Philippe Squarzoni · Simon Starling · Thomas Struth · Sarah Sze · Thomas Thwaites · The Unknown Field Division (Liam Young and Kate Davies) · Benoît Verjat & Donato Ricci · Jeff Wall

Design Research & concept development

Critical Media Lab, Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures, Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel:
Jamie Allen, Claudia Mareis, Moritz Greiner-Petter, Paolo Patelli, Johannes Bruder, Flavia Caviezel, Carola Giannone, Deborah Tchoudjinoff

The book accompanying the exhibition, »Reset Modernity!«, was published by MIT Press.

"Nevertheless, whether it’s idiosyncratic or highbrow art or scientific models, you come out of this exhibition – which is intellectually demanding yet still accessibly constructed – almost a bit dazed in rumination. High time to press ‘reset’." – Noemi Smolik, »Frieze«, June 1, 2016.

The research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC Grant ‘IDEAS’ 2010 n° 269567.

Tags: Hicham Berrada, Tacita Dean, Ray Eames, Fabien Giraud, Pierre Huyghe, Andrés Jaque, Armin Linke, David Maisel, Ahmet Ögüt, Véréna Paravel, Charles Ray, Sophie Ristelhueber, Simon Starling, Thomas Struth, Sarah Sze, Jeff Wall