Städtische Galerie VS: How much technical change can we make? – Villingen-Schwenningen and its surroundings

The world’s largest cuckoo clock by Olsen hangs on the facade of the Villingen-Schwenningen municipal gallery. When the QR code is scanned, a colorful world of cuckoo clocks opens up to the viewer. Photo: scrap

“Digital is better” – or is it? With this enigmatic, at times provocative, and at times ironic statement, the Städtische Galerie Villingen-Schwenningen pulls you to the edge of the Black Forest. It is worth a visit for several reasons.

Villingen-Schwenningen – 14 rooms, video works and artwork by four artists – both local and international – can be seen in the former Kienzle watch factory in the Schwenningen district. Or rather to hear, feel and experience.

Because the classic art gallery with paintings on the wall looks different. Instead, the Städtische Galerie takes the euphemism that Hamburg indie rock band Tocotronic brought to the point in 1995 with the album “Aber digital ist better” as a founding force for digital. It shows the positions of artists who deal with the question of where humans lie between technology and nature in sometimes unusual ways.

The cuckoo clock comes to life with augmented reality

Because: Digitality has long become a matter of nature, it has established itself in everyday life and will become a standard of ability in the future. The phrase “digital is better” should also describe an ironic ambiguity, because one is currently rarely aware of the differences that arise from digital and analog. A real meeting or a real meeting is completely different from a digital meeting. The real space is formed differently from the virtual space.

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The focus of “Digital is better” is undoubtedly the art project “The World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock (Digital)” by Black Forest artist Olsen. Housed in the history of the former Schwenningen watchmaking and domestic fair, it is installing the world’s largest cuckoo clock. This is digital and only brought to life on a smartphone or tablet through augmented reality. Once launched via the app, the viewer can digitally read the time and experience cuckoos from around the world – cuckoo videos from over 30 countries are shown on the watch surface every hour on the hour. This means that on the facade of the exhibition there is not only the largest cuckoo clock in the world, but also the most universal clock. By the way: an application has already been submitted to the Guinness Book of Records.

Joanna Mangold Researches States of Consciousness

With this work, artist Olsen, also represented with other contributions, not only transforms one of the Black Forest’s most famous traditions into a digital space, but also – with a twinkle in his eye – deals with technical and social changes.

The performance of “Flügelsenken” by Stuttgart artist Lilith Becker has a completely different effect: connected to a keyless grand piano suspended on a thin rope 50 meters above the so-called “Zwischenanriff Nord” for the Stuttgart construction site 21, she plays a piece about him saying goodbye – as a “poetic” criticism For an act of encroachment, which should equate to Stuttgart 21 with it.

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Visitors can travel for themselves into a world of experience between dream and reality through the virtual reality app by Bavarian artist Joanna Mangold. In her work “Can Throw Kaenga” she explores states of consciousness that have arisen in connection with sleep. In the first stage, you display a notebook that looks like a diary; In the second stage, 3D models, audio, text, graphics and video parts are combined to form a digital environment that can be explored using virtual reality glasses.

It is therefore important that you take your time in this exhibition and participate in what has been presented to you in 14 art projects and should be available. Better digital!? Every visitor should discover this for themselves in the end.

Information: On-site art projects experience


Digital is better exhibits art projects by artists Lilith Becker, Olsen, Darsha Hewitt, Liv Schwenk and Johanna Mangold.

The show can be seen until September 5th at the Municipal Gallery Villingen-Schwenningen, Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 35. Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday, 1pm-5pm, Thursdays with free admission until 8pm. Coordinator tours and a supporting program with concert are offered.

More information is available at and Instagram in @staedtische.galerie.vs

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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