Digital Etching

At the Kunstmuseum Basel, a film and an interactive table open the exhibition "The Acid Lab"



In the Kupferstichkabinett (Department of Prints and Drawings), the Kunstmuseum Basel is staging an exhibition dealing with the very different visual effects created by the use of acid. For "The Acid Lab", highlights of etching art were selected from the holdings of the Basel Kupferstichkabinett: from the earliest line etchings of the 16th century to shimmering surface effects of Impressionism and etched abstraction.


An animated film provides the atmospheric introduction. The projection shows excerpts of three pictures that illustrate the range of different techniques - from etching to aquatint to drypoint. Long zooms lead the viewer from the overview of the works down to the macro perspective, where the smallest material distortions emerge monumentally. What appears in the long shot as a complex, masterfully arranged composition reveals itself up close as a field full of ups and downs, incredibly precise formal variations as well as indistinctness.

Interactive Table

In the second room, visitors can try out the etching technique for themselves: At a digital "etching table", visitors can experiment in an acid laboratory. The necessary utensils - plates, acids, varnishes, needles - are available virtually. Numerous effects can be tried out and combined. The virtually drawn plate is treated, coated with paint and finally virtually "printed". The work created in this way can then be taken away and shared via QR code.


iart's projects are often characterised by an innovative combination of digital and analogue, virtual colours and haptic qualities. This is not the case with "The Acid Lab". However, the project shows how current digital extensions can be used to make the narrative of an exhibition tangible and playfully understandable.

  • Opening


  • Location


  • Client

    Kunstmuseum Basel

  • Partner


  • Services

    2D/3D DesignSystem DevelopmentSoftware DevelopmentSystem IntegrationProcess ManagementCoordinationAudiovisual DevelopmentInteraction DevelopmentInteraction DesignAudiovisual Production

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