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Swiss private bank Julius Baer has announced Next, an initiative aimed at exploring megatrends across arts, science, and technology.

The initiative is designed to support collaboration with forward-thinking artists and institutions committed to new forms of cultural production.

In addition, NEXT shows how science, technology, and the arts interact to create different viewpoints and provide a mirror to the changing priorities in society.

Its first project involved commissioning Refik Anadol, an artist involved in the aesthetics of data and machine intelligence, to create an immersive experience. The experience will be unveiled over several locations and also launch at next year’s Art Dubai.

Philipp Rickenbacher, CEO of Julius Baer, said: “The support of upcoming currents in art is an integral part of Julius Baer’s DNA, and the exploration of the trends that shape our future is inherent to our role as a wealth manager. Partnering with foresighted individuals like Refik Anadol and foresighted institutions like the Serpentine to amplify innovation and progress, mirrors our purpose of creating value beyond wealth.”

Anadol, media artist, added: “I’m very honoured to be part of the inaugural Julius Baer NEXT initiative and delighted to work closely with Hans Ulrich Obrist. Having created works at the intersection of art, science, and technology for more than a decade, I’m excited that we are at a point in time when this crossroads is considered a new reality. It has always been our goal to use the latest technologies in ways that go beyond what they were originally intended for. We view machines as collaborators and push the boundaries of what is possible by utilising data in a poetic way.”

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Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine, and Bettina Korek, CEO, Serpentine, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Julius Baer to present this exciting project by Refik Anadol. His remarkable experiments with technology, public art, and Web3 follow the ethos of one of his great inspirations, the late architect and designer Zaha Hadid, who said, ‘there should be no end to experimentation.’ Anadol’s pioneering practice expresses how the future is invented with fragments from the past.”

The NEXT Curatorial Board from Julius Baer in charge of finding the next megatrends is composed of:

  • Larissa Alghisi, Chief Communications Officer, Julius Baer
  • Laura Blagho, Art Strategist, Julius Baer
  • Barbara Staubli, Curator Art Collection, Julius Baer
  • Hans Ulrich Obrist, Curator & Artistic Director, Serpentine
  • Michelle Nicol, Curator, Neutral