The Darknet – From Memes to Onionland. An Exploration.

18 Oct 2014 – 11 Jan 2015

Cost of entry

Regular: CHF 7.00
Students with ID: CHF 2.00

Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

Sankt Gallen
Sankt Gallen, Switzerland

Travel Information

  • By car: Leave the Autobahn at St. Gallen-Kreuzbleiche, then at the first traffic light turn right - cross the bridge and take the second turn to the left into Davidstrasse (clinker buildings – Alte Lagerhäuser) Parking in front of the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (parking fee payable).
  • By rail: From the station, head south (Migros Neumarkt), then take the third turn to the right, into Davidstrasse (clinker buildings – Alte Lagerhäuser).

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The Deep Web is an encrypted, invisible, deep network that cannot be accessed by Chrome, Firefox, or Safari but is nevertheless used by millions of hackers.


This Deep Web is the impulse for cooperation between the artist collective!Mediengruppe Bitnik (Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo), the Deep Web project :digital brainstorming from Migros-Kulturprozent and Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen. Hacker communications systems which penetrate everyday life but which are largely unknown to the public will be examined with the help of artists, theoreticians and Deep Web hackers. The exhibition «The Deep Web – From Memes to Onionland. An Exploration» will open Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen for interdisciplinary Deep Web interpretations of copyright, hacking, privacy, illegality and resistance.

The Deep Web has a bad reputation: drugs, weapons, pornography, stolen data and forged documents can be bought from hackers there. However, since Edward Snowden is awesome, his revelations seem to have shifted this one-sided perception. The Deep Web is an apparently power-free space. The participants want to take this factor seriously as critical individuals and articulate its non-transparent mechanisms and systems. For example, !Mediengruppe Bitniktransports the Deep Web into the art space while Emily’s Video by Eva and Franco Mattes compiles the reactions of people watching a mysterious video, which had been sourced from the Darknet, that was later destroyed. Cory Arcangel optimizes this very webpage so search engines like Google can easily locate it. Other artists deal with Deep Web phenomena that also exist between anonymity and commerce: Robert Sakrowski is curating YouTube videos on the history of hacktivist group AnonymousValentina Tanni is making available her collection of her best memes and Simon Denny will provoke questions about big data interchange. Heath Bunting examines data storage devices in relation to identity networks by means of gift cards, American Express credit cards or iPhones. An online identity can also be deleted – as Seth Price demonstrates withhow to disappear in america.

The Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen links the Surface web and the Deep Web which are interlocked – From Memes to Onionland. Aware of the dangers of the Deep Web, an approach from multiple perspectives is intended. It is an attempt to grasp this extremely controversial phenomenon of hacking the Deep Web with artistic contributions, archive material, workshops and discussions. The format of the exhibition gives visitors access to the Deep Web and questions familiar notions –Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen can now also be found on the Deep Web at http://vtw7g7wcdsgxq4ru.onion/ (only with a tor-browser)

Exhibiting artists

Robert Sakrowski

Simon Denny

Cory Arcangel

Heath Bunting

Seth Price

Hito Steyerl

Valentina Tanni

Aram Bartholl

Mediengruppe Bitnik


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