HYBRID BOX extended

Following three years as a permanent location, the HYBRID Box will move from the Festspielhaus in 2024 and become the HYBRID Box extended. The HYBRID Box extended will temporarily open as a pop-up gallery in Dresden and beyond.

In Dresden, the HYBRID Box extended 2024 will be represented with the exhibition series “LUCID ECHOES” in Dresden’s city center. Curated by and in cooperation with PYLON, the exhibition series is part of the HYBRID Biennale 2024 (12.-27.10.2024) and presents international artistic positions that explore the limits of the tangible and the ambiguities of the future. For a total of three time periods, LUCID ECHOES brings together artworks that build bridges to hidden, sometimes metaphysical territories. In the synthesis of digital precision and a dazzling indeterminacy created there, the echo of individual and collective identities can be perceived.

At the same time, the HYBRID Box extended will also be making a stop in Rotterdam at the Goethe Institute’s Kunstfenster in March.

„LUCID ECHOES“ ist ein Projekt von PYLON. In Kooperation mit HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste, im Rahmen der HYBRID Biennale 2024. Gefördert von der Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen. Die Räumlichkeiten werden zur Verfügung gestellt von Wir Gestalten Dresden und der Kreativ.Raum.Börse.

14. – 28.03.2024 HYBRID BOX extended DRESDEN

In the video works by Ayoung Kim (“Delivery Dancer’s Sphere”, 2022) and Shu Lea Cheang (“UKI”, 2009 – 2023), reality and fiction, human and machine, present and future merge in a unique way. The video works invite viewers to immerse themselves in surreal futuristic worlds, discover parallels and quotations from the present and develop critical questions about biotechnology, digital corporeality, optimization and manipulation.

The works in the first exhibition of the LUCID ECHOES series paint a sometimes bleak picture of our possible future, unsettling their viewers. However, they also move their audience to question what it means to be human and to locate oneself as such in a world of increasingly growing data structures, in the now and in the future.

Where: Wilsdruffer Straße 16, 01067 Dresden
Opening hours: Thursday – Saturday 16:00 – 19:00

Ayoung Kim – Delivery Dancer's Sphere (2022)

Ernst Mo (an anagram of “monster”) is a delivery driver who works for a platform called “Delivery Dancer” in fictional Seoul. In this fiction, Seoul is a labyrinth of endlessly regenerating routes and the master algorithm called Dancemaster sends the dancers (workers of Delivery Dancer) on never-ending delivery trips.

“Delivery Dancer’s Sphere” is not only about the gig economy and platform work, which has become immensely popular in South Korea, especially during the pandemic, and even beyond, but also about dealing with the theory of possible worlds. According to this theory, one world exists alongside countless other worlds. According to the logic of countless worlds, it is possible for there to be two or more completely identical worlds, whereby individual members of one and the same world may or may not be completely identical. Delivery Dancer’s Sphere attempts to approach this mind game by dealing with topology, i.e. the arrangement of geometric structures in space, that labyrinth of world(s), the increased vigilance for the real, and the exaggerated urge to optimize body, time and space. At the same time, Delivery Dancer’s Sphere also contains references to a queer relationship with a counterpart from another possible world.

One-channel video
Duration: approx. 24 min.

Ayoung Kim reconstructs the complex narratives in her works based on her extensive research on history and contemporary issues, which include topics such as Korea’s modern and contemporary history, geopolitics, transportation and supranational movements. Her practice crosses genre boundaries and includes video, sound, performance, fiction and texts. She creates multidimensional, fluid narratives through approaches such as speculative storytelling and narrativity, world-building and myth-making. Her work has been shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions. 


Director and script: Ayoung Kim
Produced by: Heejung Oh
Director assistance: Chae Yu
Project management: Junyoung Lee, Yoojin Jan
Production team: Hyejeong Kim, Sarah Kang, SJ Lee

Shu Lea Cheang – UKI (2009-2023)

The film “UKI” deals with institutional oppression, gender politics, social inequality and environmental pollution and proposes queer visions of the future – topics that Shu Lea Cheang has been researching for forty years. The film tells the story of Reiko – a decommissioned humanoid replicant – in the year 2060. The GENOM Corporation developed Reiko to collect orgasm data. Reiko was disposed of and dumped in the toxic wasteland of E-Trashville. With the help of other mutants, replicants and residents of E-Trashville, Reiko is rebuilt, rebooted and transformed. In a parallel timeline, customers drink coffee and discuss current events at a local restaurant in a city ravaged by a viral infection and social unrest. The GENOM Corporation and their ads are omnipresent, promising a solution and cure in exchange for access to their DNA and biodata. Meanwhile, they are collecting orgasm data to create new drugs to control the population. Will Reiko be able to stop GENOM’s devious plan?

One-channel Video
Duration: ca. 80 min

Shu Lea Cheang is an artist and filmmaker. Her cross-genre and cross-gender practice questions existing structures and the limits imposed on each individual by society, the environment, politics and the economy. Her project BRANDON (1998-1999) made her a pioneer of net art: it is the first online artwork to be commissioned and collected by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Cheang’s feature-length films FRESH KILL (1994), IKU (2000) and FLUIDø (2017) have collectively helped define a new genre of queer science fiction cinema. Since 2009, Cheang’s practice has been set in a fictional BioNet world after the collapse of the internet and deals with themes such as viral love, bio-hacking and queer and anti-colonial ideas.

UKI, a Sci-fi Viral Alt-Reality Cinema, Shu Lea Cheang 2023
Produced by: Shu Lea Cheang and Jürgen Brüning

Funded by John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg.

HYBRID BOX extended is also opening in Rotterdam. 

Where: Goethe-Institut Rotterdam, Westersingel 9, 3014 GM Rotterdam
Opening hours: Open continuously from 20:00 h

Julia Schmelzer – SWARM (2024)

Two-channel video

The video installation “SWARM” imagines the time after the end of the Anthropocene as a post-apocalyptic scenario: an era in which humans no longer rule, but information-processing machines and artificial intelligences dominate the planet and humans. SWARM follows the film Stratum from 2023, which is the prequel and audio-visual sketch to Schmelzer’s current series of works.

SWARM examines translation systems on the threshold of the post-Anthropocene. In the videos, sequences of AI-controlled robots encounter various movement analyses and simulations of swarm intelligence and scrutinize the adaptation and assimilation of intelligent technologies and organic systems from a kaleidoscopic perspective. This principle is now being transferred to AI systems in order to create intelligent swarms of robots or autonomous vehicles. Similar to a flock of birds trying to fend off an attack by a bird of prey through flight formations (murmuration), systems with artificial intelligence raise a number of questions about causality, manipulation and emergence. Like humans, AI systems learn through feedback and experience, including human interactions. It remains to be questioned who is ultimately the bird of prey in the symbiosis of man and machine.

Julia Schmelzer works as an artist and curator in Dresden. In video essays, time-based paintings and site-specific and immersive installations, her artistic work explores the depths of time and invisible structures. Society and its techno-liberal currents are just as much the subject of her fictional works as mythology and the visual language of popular culture.

Her works have been shown in various exhibitions in Germany, France, Italy and the Czech Republic, and she is the winner of the Robert Sterl Prize 2023. Schmelzer is co-founder and director of the international platform for media art PYLON and curator of the exhibition space HYBRID Box in Dresden.

Funded by the Goethe Institute
This project is supported by the Free State of Saxony as part of the “So geht sächsisch.” campaign.



Previous exhibitions

And darkness arrives early,
but who is there to witness.
The approaching shadows play,
a gentle dance of planets.

The three-channel video installation „Silent Echoes“ deals with the effects of the climate crisis. Poetic contributions by poets and activists, all of whom come from different islands in the Pacific Ocean, shed light on how the climate crisis is unfolding on these islands through the impact of (neo-)colonial practices in the past and present: Due to water contamination by military remnants from World War II, deforestation of native, forests and the planting of endless palm tree fields for the production of palm oil, the suppression of the indigenous people’s language and culture by the colonial settlers or the nuclear tests conducted on the atolls with any regard for the people living there. Digitally generated images show melted, sunken or eroded objects as silent echoes of a past in which the current course of history has not been halted.


Dorine van Meel is a Dutch artist who is internationally active in video and performance art. By combining digitally constructed image sequences, recorded sounds and the spoken word, she creates total works of art with their own aura that captivate visitors. „Silent Echoes“ is developed in collaboration with sound artist Sami El- Enany. The project includes contributions by artists, writers and climate activists Khairani Barokka, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, Selina Neirok Leem and Dorine van Meel. „Silent Echoes“ has received financial support from the Mondriaan Fonds.


HYBRID establishes a new international platform for the arts in the digital age and critical phases of global transformation processes, funded as part of the alliance of international production houses by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. As a modular gallery, HYBRID Box presents experimental and interdisciplinary art by local and international artists in cooperation with and curated by PYLON.

The exhibition Silent Echoes is presented by PYLON and is funded by the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen. This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament.

In the multimedia installation HIGH NOON (2021), a discarded engine part of the former US McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft creates an infinity and limitation of space and resources. On one side of the aircraft part, a video projection is shown in which image sequences of a launch of a US carrier rocket in 2021 on its way to the International Space Station (ISS), with objects and products of a contemporary throwaway society in interaction with a protagonist in space overalls, create an idiosyncratic collage of imagery. Out of a brush stemming from a former car wash a text written by the artist herself can be heard, which poses equally fragmentary questions about what remains on Earth as a technological legacy and what relics can already be expected in the universe before the expansion into space. The installation almost looks like two sides of a coin, but the front side of the object creates a seemingly infinite space through endlessly repeating lines of text.

For the installation in the HYBRID Box, a version of HIGH NOON adapted to the space will be shown. A discarded part of a Douglas DC-6 aircraft becomes the illusion of a text tunnel extending into the space. HIGH NOON (2023) thus conveys the impression of a further dimension of perception, an apparent entrance into another reality.


Catharina Szonn (*1987 in Großenhain) studied at the Offenbach University of Art and Design, the Iceland Academy of Arts Reykjavik and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her expansive installations poetically pose questions about the relationship between man and machine, progress and transience. The boundaries to philosophical themes, text and language are fluid in her mode of expression. Her works have been shown in various exhibitions, such as the Kunstverein Konstanz, the Frankfurter Kunstverein, the European Media Art Festival in Osnabrück, the Haus der Kunst in Munich and the Museum Goch.

The video diptych “After-image #2” is a poetic narrative, a fable about the history of seeing, a story of parallel time and space. Tania Gheerbrant immerses herself in the history of cinema and resurrects two historical male protagonists from the world of vision and the prehistory of cinema in her work: Jan Evangelista Purkyně (discoverer of eye-lighting) and Étienne- Gaspard Robert (inventor of phantasmagoria). The protagonists of the two videos are transformed into female or androgynous/genderless zombie figures, associated with or alienated from human and non-human species, gathering in their appearance all the symptomatic symbolism of the post-human and non-masculine gaze. 

With this diptych, where each video is dedicated to the history of one of these figures, Gheerbrant enters into the dialectic of the history of memory and offers a subjective vision that mixes with dreams and poetry. It is a reflection on the role of art in theoretical research, a position that oscillates between memory and history. Images reminiscent of 19th century romantic painting and virtual 3D views make the videos a “playful shield” that allows the protagonists to navigate through this semi-mortal still life and between different narrative threads to gain new stories. 


Tania Gheerbrant is a visual artist who graduated from the Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2017. In her work, she questions the way images and texts are constructed and permeate us through language, social relations and technology. Philosophy, psychoanalysis, cinema or society and its techno-liberal currents are both the scenaristic material and the background themes of the fictions at the heart of her work. These are constantly characterized by a movement oscillating between construction and deconstruction. The fascinating and ambivalent spaces she creates in her artistic work can thus be seen as poetic spaces of social and political negotiation.

Gheerbrant is a laureate of the residency program at the Cité Internationale des Arts (2020-2021), the Prix des Amis des Beaux-Arts (2021) and a participant in the Orange Rouge program (2021 season). She is also a co-founder and active member of the artist-run space in.plano on Île-Saint-Denis. She has presented her work in a solo exhibition at the Cité internationale des Arts in Paris, a duo exhibition at the Czech Cultural Center and in various group exhibitions in France and abroad: Palais des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Galerie Jeune Création in Fiminco, La Panacée MoCo in Montpellier, The Other Art Fair in Turin and the Salon de Montrouge, to name but a few.

„The Irresistible Powers of Silent Talking“ (2021) is a multi-media installation investigating automated deception recognition systems and their use in border surveillance. It is based on the iBorderCtrl algorithm which was developed to scan the facial micro-expressions of migrants entering the EU. After a person has first been interviewed by the virtual avatar, iBorderCtrl determines the level of their veracity using an undisclosed set of criteria. Essentially, it makes decisions based on algorithmic assumptions about truth or deceit.

In „The Irresistible Powers of Silent Talking“, this system is recreated and put under duress itself. In the installation, a re-modelled iBorderCtrl avatar is rendered voiceless and is placed within a speculative digital environment. The algorithmically generated multi-channel sound responds to the micro-expressions of the avatar. It maps supposed verity deviations with responsive changes in sound frequency and amplitude.


Andrius Arutiunian (b.1991) is an Armenian-Lithuanian artist and composer based in Paris and The Hague. Arutiunian works with hybrid forms of music through sound installations, film, sculpture and performances. Alternate modes of political and musical organization, sonic dissent, and playful investigation of esoteric and vernacular histories form Arutiunian’s most recent works. Through aural cosmologies, use of non-western tunings and musical systems, as well as extensive studies of resonance and speculative instruments, the artist works with sound as a world-ordering method. The imperialist histories of what we consider as “being in tune” is a recurring theme in Arutiunian’s works.

Solo shows include the 59th Venice Biennale, Pavilion of Armenia, Gharīb (Venice, 2022); Diaphonics at Centrala (Birmingham, 2023), and Incantations at CTM/silent green (Berlin, 2021). Other group shows and performances include Le Fresnoy (Tourcoing), Stroom (The Hague), Survival Kit 13 (Riga), documenta 14 Parliament of Bodies (Kassel), FACT (Liverpool), Rewire Festival (The Hague), and Contemporary Art Centre (Vilnius), as well as residencies at Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, EMARE/EMAP Liverpool, Amant Siena, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Gateshead, and ZKM | Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe. Trained as a composer, Arutiunian studied music composition and sonology at the Royal Conservatory The Hague.


The installation has first been commissioned by the FACT Liverpool, EMARE/EMAP, it was also made with the support of Hertz Lab and ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, The Creative Industries Fund NL, and Stroom Den Haag.

The four-channel video installation foregrounds characters that normally take a back seat in video games: NPCs (“non-playable characters”) are non-playable characters that populate hyperreal worlds to create the appearance of normality. Normally, these digital extras do not play a major role in the story of the game in question. In Hardly Working, however, a washerwoman, a stablehand, a street sweeper, and a handyman from the computer game “Red Dead Redemption 2” become the main characters. With ethnographic precision, the four films observe their daily work: a rhythm of endless loops that makes them work daily and tirelessly.

Following Hannah Arendt’s description of the “animal laborans” – as opposed to the acting subject – the NPCs as individuals are an exaggeration, as their work merely manifests their status. NPCs perform so-called “surrogate actions” that provide no further social benefit. Rather, their actions are performed and enforced for the sake of appearances, thus maintaining a social order. NPCs are digital Sisyphus machines that have no perspective of breaking out of their action loops. In the moments when the algorithm of their existence shows inconsistencies, the NPCs break out of the logic of that total normality and show their own defectiveness, thus appearing touchingly human.

About the artists

Total Refusal, a collective of artists, researchers and filmmakers Susannna Flock, Adrian Haim, Jona Kleinlein, Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner and Michael Stumpf, intervenes as a pseudo-Marxist media guerrilla in current video games and publishes texts about games and politics. The open collective critiques existing games practices and opens a new perspective on the genre with tools of appropriation and repurposing of game resources.

Since its inception in 2018, the collective’s work has won numerous awards and been presented at more than 130 international film and video festivals and numerous exhibitions, including Berlinale, BFI London, Doc Fortnight at MoMA, NY, HEK Basel, Ars Electronica, and Venice Biennale 2021.

View Website


Text, direction and concept: Susanna Flock, Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner, Michael Stumpf
Music: Adrian Haim
Narration: Jacob Banigan and Lorenz Kabas
Lead Editing: Robin Klengel, Additional Editing: Susanna Flock, Leonhard Müllner
Camera: Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner
Modding: RCPisAwesome
Cast: A_F_M_Asbtownfolk_02 as “The Street Sweeper”, A_F_M_SDSlums_02 as “The Laundress”, A_M_M_NBXDockworkers_01 as “The Carpenter”, A_M_M_VALLaborer_01 as “The Stablehand”.

The work was realized as part of the European Media Art Platforms Residency Program at Werkleitz with support from the Creative Europe Culture Program of the European Union and in co-production with Kunsthaus Graz. Co-financed by Land Steiermark and the Kunstraum Steiermark Stipend. 

The installation “Dual” is an artistic interpretation of infinite quantities in mathematics. Media artist Robin Woern translates the fact that an infinite set of numbers spans between zero and one into a differentiated aesthetic form. Two cylinders open up a visible space in between. The idea that an infinity can lie in this limited in-between, however, remains abstract.

The installation is completed by electronic sounds of the Dresden artist Jacob Korn (Uncanny Valley). Minimalist composition and the simplicity of the sculpture mirror each other, creating a spherical, artificial-looking environment.

Duration of the installation: 06.07. — 04.09., open daily 15:00 — 21:00 h

About the artist

Robin Woern (*1993 in Böblingen) is a media artist and designer. He studied communication design at the HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd and visual communication at the UdK Berlin. He currently lives and works in Berlin and is also a master student of Prof. Carsten Nicolai at the HfBK Dresden. In his work he deals with the visualization of data, noise and (non-)human interactions.


Jacob Korn – Dual I [13:04] Stereo File, 2023
Jacob Korn – Dual VI [04:18] Stereo File, 2023

Georgianna Manafa, Luisa Roth, Thomas Schmelzer, Ralf T., Niklas Thran

The exhibition is presented by PYLON and is sponsored by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony. This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget passed by the Saxon state parliament.

HYBRID Box presents „Sunken Cities“, an immersive video installation by Lithuanian artist and filmmaker Emilija Škarnulytė. In a deserted landscape appears the mythological figure of the siren, who „stands for the magic and mystery of quantum mechanics“ (Roger Penrose) and acts as a mediator between nature and technology.

The mermaid gives the impression of having returned from the future to explore sunken cities and technological ruins. The video work creates a retro-futuristic view of our planet, a perspective from a time when humans are already extinct and nature has taken over – or as Škarnulytė puts it, „the ruins of human activity seen from a distant future“.

In a combination of documentary and fiction, Škarnulytė reflects on the invisible relationships between the physical world and our social imagination. In this way, it directs the viewer‘s attention to the immediate present and the imminent ecological challenges as well as the question of the future of our species.

Duration of the installation: 16.06. – 02.07., one hour before and after the events in the Festspielhaus.


About the artist

Škarnulytė received a Bachelor’s degree from Brera Academy of Art in Milan and has a Master’s degree from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art.

She is the winner of the Future Generation Art Prize 2019 and represented Lithuania at the XXII Triennale di Milano. In 2018, she was part of the Baltic Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. In addition to solo exhibitions at Tate Modern (2021), Kunsthaus Pasquart (2021), Den Frie (2021), National Gallery of Art in Vilnius (2021), CAC (2015), and Künstlerhaus Bethanien (2017), she participated in group exhibitions at Ballroom Marfa, Seoul Museum of Art, Kadist Foundation, and the first Riga Biennale. In 2022, Škarnulytė participated in the group exhibition Penumbra, organized by Fondazione In Between Art Film on the occasion of the 59th Venice Biennale. Her numerous awards include the Kino der Kunst Project Award, Munich (2017), the Spare Bank Foundation DNB Artist Award (2017), and the Lithuanian National Art Award for Young Artists (2016)), and she has currently been nominated for the Ars Fennica Art Award 2023. Her films are in the collections of the IFA, the Kadist Foundation, and the Centre Pompidou, and have been shown at the Serpentine Gallery (UK), the Centre Pompidou (France), and the Museum of Modern Art (New York), as well as at numerous film festivals, including Rotterdam, Busan, and Oberhausen. She recently completed residencies at Art Explora and Cite des Art, which followed another significant residency at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture. She is co-founder and currently co-director of Polar Film Lab, a collective for analog film practice in Tromsø, Norway, and a member of the artist duo New Mineral Collective, recently commissioned by the inaugural Toronto Biennial with a new body of work.



The exhibition is presented by PYLON and is sponsored by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony. This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget passed by the Saxon state parliament.

In her work, video artist Eli Cortiñas uses found material from films, YouTube videos, advertisements, animations, and image archives, which she multiplies, rhythmizes, and re-scores. In the visually powerful video essay Walls Have Feelings (2019), she explores concepts of labor and value creation, among others. Cortiñas creates a dystopian image of our present that links historical, political, and aesthetic aspects. In doing so, the artist questions architecture as a manifestation and instrument of political power, as well as the role of supposedly innocent objects and interiors in their function as silent witnesses, preservers, and amplifiers of power.

Duration of the installation: 12.05. – 11.06., one hour before and after the events in the Festspielhaus.


“opera – a future game” is an interactive, digital music theater video game essay in a game engine, based on the opera “opera opera! revenants&revolutions” directed by Michael zur Mühlen, with music by Ole Hübner and texts by Thomas Köck.  

The narrative starting situation could hardly be more topical: Far in the future and after a severe catastrophe, a choir with partial amnesia finds itself in conversation with itself and a cyborg. Hauntings, individual as well as collective memories of real and longed-for events rise from their cloudy memories. Suddenly they find themselves in the desolate cultural landscape of an abandoned and decaying opera stage, and the choir thinks it finally knows who it is: a rebellious choir in the middle of a Grand Opéra that is said to have sparked a revolution and the founding of Belgium in 1830. Where to put these historical turning points and utopian longings in the face of a present that thinks of the future only as catastrophe?

For the opening of the experimental video game installation on 24.03.23 in the HYBRID Box, the first game of the experimental video game installation will be played live in the large hall in front of and with the audience as a scenic gaming performance together with the author Thomas Köck. 

Duration of the installation: 24.03. – 07.05., one hour before and after the events in the Festspielhaus.

HYBRID establishes a new international platform for the arts in the digital age and critical phases of global transformation processes, funded within the framework of the Alliance of International Production Houses by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Federal Government for Culture and the Media.

HYBRID Box is a project in cooperation with HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts and PYLON curated by PYLON with the support of GRAFT Architects.

Technical direction: Tobias Blasberg

Production management: Michael Lotz



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