HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste) is dedicated to digital culture and the new art forms of the information age. It is a place for creative and critical discourse on the aesthetic, socio-political and economic impact of media technologies. HeK shows contemporary art that explores and configures new technologies; it promotes an aesthetic practice that uses information technology as a medium, makes it vividly accessible and actively intervenes in its processes. HeK thereby addresses the pressing issues of twenty-first-century culture and makes an active contribution to their future evolution. As an interdisciplinary venue, the institution engages with all aspects of the current arts scene and thereby crosses traditional genre boundaries between the visual arts, music, theater, dance, performance and design. Its insights into art production at the intersection of the arts, the media and technology draw a broad public. In a diverse program comprised of exhibitions, mini-festival formats, performances, concerts and educational opportunities, HeK picks up on current social issues and the challenges posed by increasingly ubiquitous digitization. Besides its continuous events and exhibitions programs, HeK is working to establish its methodology for the collection and conservation of digital art. HeK in this regard plays a unique and pioneering role in Switzerland. Given its close collaboration with artists, researchers, and the relevant initiatives and institutions at home and abroad, HeK serves as a vibrant hub for people involved in electronic art and digital culture: a media art competence center that is based in Switzerland, but hardwired to global discourse.
HeK ranks among the young pioneers on the Dreispitz site, a former customs depot and freight handling facility. It moved to its current venue at Freilager-Platz 9 in October 2014. The official inauguration of the specially converted new venue took place on 21 November 2014. HeK in its present form ensued from a decision reached way back in 2009, namely to promote electronic and media arts by bundling the activities of [plug.in] – Forum for New Media and Shift – Festival of Electronic Arts. The Shift Festival took place annually from 2007 – 2011.