2023 theme: CONVERSION

2023 THEME

The Biennale for Craft & Design 2023 converting…

We are all embedded as beings in a significant conversion. Society’s migration into the digital realm is perpetually growing. Here, the utopian dreams are as many as the hidden, sometimes even unsuspected problems. Within artistic development, the dialogue between the properties of the physical and the digital has established itself as a central field. Time is ripe to reflect on what happens in the transition from the physical to the digital. Are the once clear divisions between our physical and digital worlds dissolving? How do we remain idealistically open but still reflectively critical of the many technological manifestations?

The Biennale for Craft & Design 2023 presents 36 projects that have both tradition and renewal at their core. This year’s show investigates the theme conversion and is organised as a hybrid experience through a material exhibition, a meta exhibition, and a web-based catalog. All practices have a substantial implementation of the digital in either the work process, the spaces they inhabit, or the areas they investigate and question. They touch upon ideas of form, scale and movement, comprehensions of perception and illusion, politics of spaces and bodies, as well as the many languages of man and machine.

Critical, reflected craft and design nurture an informed conversation about the digital. While the exhibition suggests a space for prospects it also poses a criticism of several technologies as well as the internet. Perhaps as a reminder to proceed consciously into the boundless digital space yet never cease to engage with new forms of creating, learning, and sharing.

We are the digital, the digital is us…

Anne Thomasen, Curator.


The digital is often perceived as an other, the opposite to our real world, something artificial and even threatening. This fear of the machine and the digital progress has been risen alongside our technological development. Overcoming uncertainty toward the unknown often involves information, exposure, and a willingness to challenge preconceived notions. To encourage curiosity, and maybe even empathy, I engaged in a dialogue with an artificial intelligence (GPT-3) to ask a digital entity some big questions about our current situations and what lies in the future.  

Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) is an advanced language model that changed the AI world when it was released in 2020. This AI is drawing on 570 GB of humanity’s written knowledge from some of the earliest writings of mankind to today’s contemporary perspectives on our world. All answers from the GPT-3 remains unedited.

I’m curious to hear your perspective on what happens in the conversion from the physical to digital?

The conversion from physical to digital involves the transformation of tangible, real-world objects or information into a digital format that can be stored, processed, and accessed electronically. Overall, the conversion from physical to digital is driven by the benefits of improved accessibility, searchability, portability, and preservation of information and assets in a digital format. This process enables organizations and individuals to leverage technology for more efficient and effective management of their resources and data.

I understand that efficiency and effectiveness is important but is everything in life about optimization?

While efficiency and effectiveness are certainly important concepts in various aspects of life and can lead to significant improvements in many areas, not everything in life is solely about optimization. Life is a multifaceted and complex experience, and there are many factors and values that come into play beyond optimization. While optimization has its place in various aspects of life and can lead to improved outcomes, it is just one factor among many that influence decision-making and life choices. Life encompasses a wide range of experiences, values, and considerations that go beyond strict optimization, and the pursuit of happiness, meaning, and fulfillment often involves balancing various priorities and making choices that align with one's unique values and circumstances.

It seems like our once clear divisions between our physical and digital worlds are dissolving?

Yes, the once clear divisions between our physical and digital worlds are indeed dissolving. This ongoing process, often referred to as "digital convergence" or "the blurring of the physical and digital realms," is driven by advances in technology, changes in how we interact with digital systems, and shifts in societal and economic dynamics. While the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds are indeed dissolving, it's important to note that this convergence brings both opportunities and challenges. Privacy concerns, cybersecurity risks, and questions about digital ethics become increasingly important as the two realms intertwine. As technology continues to advance, society will need to navigate the evolving relationship between the physical and digital dimensions of our lives.

How can we then remain idealistically open but also reflectively critical of technological manifestations?

Balancing idealistic openness with reflective criticality toward technological manifestations is a complex but essential task in our modern world. Balancing idealism with critical reflection in the realm of technology requires ongoing effort and self-awareness. It's a dynamic process that involves adapting to the evolving landscape of technology and its societal impact. By staying informed, engaging in thoughtful discussions, and advocating for ethical tech practices, you can contribute to a more responsible and inclusive technological future.

How will the dialog between the artistic individual and the digital evolve even further?

The dialog between artistic individuals and the digital realm has been evolving significantly over the years, driven by technological advancements and changing artistic perspectives. The dialog between artistic individuals and the digital realm is a dynamic and evolving conversation. It is shaped by technological advancements, cultural shifts, and the creative vision of artists. As technology continues to advance, artists will find new ways to engage with the digital medium, challenge conventions, and explore the intersection of art and technology in innovative and thought-provoking ways.

If we were to look into the crystal ball what then lies in the future of the intersection of art and technology?

While predicting the future with certainty is impossible, we can speculate on potential developments in the intersection of art and technology based on current trends and emerging technologies. The future of this intersection will be shaped by creative minds, technological breakthroughs, and the ever-evolving needs and desires of society.

GPT-3 and Anne Thomasen


This year's expert jury includes curator Anne Thomasen, Julius Værnes Iversen, owner of TABLEAU, ceramist Hilda Piazzolla from the gallery Peach Corner, and curator and writer Charlotte Jul.

TABLEAU is responsible for the exhibition design, while Anne Thomasen and digital artist Jonas Kasper Jensen have been in ongoing dialogue with the exhibitors about the development and presentation of the works.

The jury writes: "In 2023, the exhibition will have an experimental character, where the presented projects explore the possibilities of digitization in the working process or curiously and critically point towards an increasingly digital future. Visitors will be able to inform themselves about developments in algorithms, artificial intelligence, and NFTs through divergent projects that often both use and convey new technology in an interesting way."

Experience the Biennale 2023 in multiple dimensions. Use your mobile phone to scan the QR codes next to each artwork, which will lead you to the many layers of the exhibition.

TABLEAU’s exhibition design offers a sleek, contemporary backdrop for the 36 featured projects while subtly nodding to the omnipresence of the World Wide Web in our lives. Drawing inspiration from the late ‘90s digitalization aesthetics, the exhibition labels imitate the screen of a smartphone. Podiums made from repurposed discarded objects and old shipping crates are wrapped in white plastic to evoke a warehouse aesthetic, symbolizing the shipping culture of a globalized world where anything can be purchased with a click.


Simultaneously with the physical exhibition, visitors can experience the works in a digital metaverse.

Jonas Kasper Jensen, who developed the metaverse, explains the conversion from the physical to the digital: "There are many nuances and great diversity in this year's Biennale works, and we have taken into account the diversity of transformation in the digital space. This means that we have experimented and ventured into unknown paths to create the best possible conditions for each work in the digital realm. It also means that some works may appear differently than in the physical exhibition. The meanings of the works may be shifted, and entirely new artistic perspectives may emerge. Therefore, the meta-universe should be understood as an experiment existing in an as-yet unexplored dimension.”


Anne Thomasen (Curator)

TABLEAU (exhibition design)

Jonas Kasper Jensen (Digital Curator)

The Biennale for Craft & Design is organized by Danish Crafts & Design Association


Julius Værnes Iversen

Jonas Kasper Jensen

Charlotte Jul

Hilda Piazzolla

Anne Thomasen