Plain language/
Discovery questions


On this page you can learn more about the exhibition.

Below you will find questions to think about in the exhibition.


Who are we?


KW Institute for Contemporary Art is a place in Berlin where artists, institutions, and people come together to share ideas, discuss social and political issues, and experience art. We have exhibition halls, apartments, offices, event spaces, and a café, and work with partners around the world.



About the exhibition
Poetics of Encryption


We all need digital technology in our everyday lives. Digital technology is things like: Computers, smartphones, apps on phones searching the internet. But most of us don’t understand how technology works.
Even if you know a little bit about technology it is still really difficult to understand.
Sometimes, companies do not want people to know how their products work.
If we don’t understand how technology affects us, how can we understand
what is going on in our life.


Technology can have a big effect on how we think and feel about ourselves, other people, governments and politics. When we think about technology we also need to think about:


  • How do you feel when you think about how technology works?
  • Who finds it harder to use technology? Who is left out?
  • What are the secrets in technology and how do we work them out?


This exhibition at KW is called Poetics of Encryption. It is based on a book called
Poetics of Encryption. Art and Technocene. Nadim Samman wrote the book and is the
curator of this exhibition.


This group exhibition looks at how technology can make us act, think and feel.
The exhibition has lots of black sites, black boxes and black holes. The black
sites, boxes and holes show the secret places in technology. The things we don’t
understand. We look at how technology can affect what we see and do.


The exhibition has works by over 40 artists from all over the world.
The names of the artists are: Nora Al-Badri, Morehshin Allahyari*, American Artist*, Emmanuel Van der Auwera, Gillian Brett, Émilie Brout & Maxime Marion, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Julian Charrière, Joshua Citarella, Clusterduck, Juan Covelli, Kate Crawford, Sterling Crispin, Simon Denny, enorê, Roger Hiorns, Tilman Hornig, Rindon Johnson, Vladan Joler, Daniel Keller, Andrea Khôra, Jonna Kina, Oliver Laric, Eva & Franco Mattes, Jürgen Mayer H., Most Dismal Swamp, NEW MODELS, Carsten Nicolai, Simone C Niquille, Trevor Paglen, Matthias Planitzer, Jon Rafman, Rachel Rossin, Sebastian Schmieg, Charles Stankievech, Troika, UBERMORGEN, Nico Vascellari, Zheng Mahler, among others.

3 pieces of work for this exhibition can only be seen online. You can find these works on:


<p>Trevor Paglen, <em>Because Physcial Wounds Heal…</em>, 2023. Courtesy des Künstlers, Altman Siegel, San Francisco und Pace Gallery © der Künstler</p>

Trevor Paglen, Because Physcial Wounds Heal…, 2023. Courtesy des Künstlers, Altman Siegel, San Francisco und Pace Gallery © der Künstler



Fragen zum Entdecken


Diese Fragen kannst du als Anregung nutzen, um dich mit den Werken in der Ausstellung zu beschäftigen.


  1. Was ist für Dich an digitalen Technologien mysteriös? Was würdest Du gerne besser verstehen?

  3. Inwieweit können digitale Medien einschließen oder ausgrenzen?

  5. Schließe Deine Augen. Wie stellst Du Dir den Alltag von Menschen in der digitalen Welt im Jahr 2100 vor? 


Viel Spaß!



*The artists, whose names are crossed-out, have chosen to strike against German State-funded institutions and therefore withdraw their participation from the exhibition.