My work moves in between installation and performance, and is most always audiovisual and spatial in nature. The nature and role of human perception, and individual and collective consciousness, all affected by technological advances are essential to my practice.

My approach is interdisciplinary, working in fine and public art, as well as sound and live arts. My artistic process is  informed by my early and continuing studies of architecture, by how our experience of space, inside or outside, is central to our being. Equally foundational to my practice I consider the concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk - the all encompassing (now equally digital) universal art form.

My work routine embraces ephemeral and experimental processes, both by choice and by necessity - the core of digital media being ephemeral and fluid.

I am interested less in experimenting per se but rather in the intellectual challenges of the unforeseeable, the unintended consequences of entering unfamiliar territory, and the risk of failure and crisis that are intrinsic part of it.

This early on led to questions about cognitive processes in the human brain, meaning the way in which we take in and digest the world and how we then establish an interpretation of the world we live in. The nature of this process is always colored by one’s cultural background, education, imagination, philosophy, general mood and one’s individual identity, or sense of belonging.  
Looking back on how dramatically the planet has changed in my lifetime, one of my more recent bodies of work reflects on changing concepts of nature and artifice from a post-utopian, post science-fiction orientation. The dynamic process of civilization (or, as the 20th-century German sociologist Norbert Elias called it, the “civilizing process”) has always been a major interest to me.

The need to analyze, to discover and to invent and build seems to be an essential part of being human. This impulse pairs with the equally human ability to update or abandon established ideas, as they evolve over time, becoming counter productive in a dynamic cultural environment. Building and tearing down always go together.

My thinking is counter the dogmatic and always skeptical about narrow ideas re what constitutes progress. I oppose the techno-utopian, particularly after a lifetime of practicing digital art. I believe in questioning institutional and cultural frameworks, beginning with the increasingly dominant role of digital technology.

As an artist, above all, I am invested in creating authentic and emotionally resonating experiences. I try to make art that is weird, enigmatic, and bewildering at first, but keeps an audience engaged long after encountering it.
That is the ideal to which I aspire.

Photo: Martin Steffen

© Kurt Hentschläger 2022