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Zurich, 7 December 2022 – Placing its focus on megatrends which affect society at large, the initiative is designed to support the collaboration with forward-thinking artists and institutions committed to new forms of cultural production and in the vanguard of scientific research and technological developments. NEXT demonstrates how science, technology and the arts interact to create new perspectives and provides a reflection of the changing priorities in our society.

For the initiative’s first project, Julius Baer commissioned Refik Anadol –internationally renowned media artist, director and pioneer in the aesthetics of data and machine intelligence –with the creation of an immersive experience that will be unveiled over several locations and launch at next year’s Art Dubai.

The artist was appointed by a dedicated curatorial board, advised by the artistic director of the Serpentine Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Philipp Rickenbacher, CEO of Julius Baer, said: “The support of upcoming currents in art is an integral part of Julius Baer’s DNA, and the exploration of the trends that shape our future is inherent to our role as a wealth manager. Partnering with foresighted individuals like Refik Anadol and foresighted institutions like the Serpentine to amplify innovation and progress, mirrors our purpose of creating value beyond wealth.”

Refik Anadol, media artist, said: “I’m very honoured to be part of the inaugural Julius Baer NEXT initiative and delighted to work closely with Hans Ulrich Obrist. Having created works at the intersection of art, science, and technology for more than a decade, I’m excited that we are at a point in time when this crossroads is considered a new reality. It has always been our goal to use the latest technologies in ways that go beyond what they were originally intended for. We view machines as collaborators and push the boundaries of what is possible by utilising data in a poetic way.”

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine, and Bettina Korek, CEO, Serpentine, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Julius Baer to present this exciting project by Refik Anadol. His remarkable experiments with technology, public art, and Web3 follow the ethos of one of his great inspirations, the late architect and designer Zaha Hadid, who said, ‘there should be no end to experimentation.’ Anadol’s pioneering practice expresses how the future is invented with fragments from the past."

Notes to editors

The NEXT Curatorial Board is composed of:

  • Larissa Alghisi, Chief Communications Officer, Julius Baer
  • Laura Blagho, Art Strategist, Julius Baer
  • Barbara Staubli, Curator Art Collection, Julius Baer
  • Hans Ulrich Obrist, Curator & Artistic Director, Serpentine
  • Michelle Nicol, Curator, Neutral

About Serpentine

Championing new ideas in contemporary art since 1970, Serpentine has presented pioneering exhibitions for half a century from a wide range of emerging practitioners to the most internationally recognised artists of our time. Across two sites only five minutes apart, in London’s Kensington Gardens, Serpentine presents a year-round, free programme of exhibitions, architecture, education, live events and technological innovation, in the park and beyond. Proud to maintain free access for all visitors thanks to its unique location, Serpentine also reaches an exceptionally broad audience and maintains a deep connection with its local community.

About Refik Anadol

Refik Anadol (b. 1985, Istanbul, Turkey) is a media artist, director, and pioneer in the aesthetics of data and machine intelligence. His body of work locates creativity at the intersection of humans and machines. In taking the data that flows around us as the primary material and the neural network of a computerised mind as a collaborator, Anadol paints with a thinking brush, offering us radical visualisations of our digitised memories and expanding the possibilities of architecture, narrative, and the body in motion. Anadol’s site-specific AI data sculptures, live audio/visual performances, and immersive installations take many forms, while encouraging us to rethink our engagement with the physical world, its temporal and spatial dimensions, and the creative potential of machines.