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Peter Regli

Under the name “Reality Hacking”, Peter Regli has been disseminating his temporary actions since 1996, from the Californian desert and the imposing buildings of New York, to Asia, to the roads of central Switzerland.

Through parasitic interventions, art performances and hybrid objects that often exist only momentarily (changes made to the colours of a banner, for instance, actions involving urban furniture, the addition of illuminated signs, broadcasting of sounds, etc.), Regli introduces slight anomalies into workings of daily life and tests our capacity to notice them. His incursions in public space are generally anonymous and appear unexpectedly, without any preliminary announcement or mediatisation, and outside of any clearly identifiable exhibition context.

His recurrent motifs include garden gnomes, snowmen, buddhas and cuckoo clocks – so many vernacular forms that are paradigmatic of certain cultural attitudes. His strategy involves the spreading and proliferation of an action that becomes collective and multicultural in the process, as when he had Vietnamese factories turn out marble snowmen and buddhas, which then travelled all the way to Europe to decorate Swiss landscapes. He thus generates a flow of socio-economic exchanges through the production of works of art.

Blithely shifting from medium to medium, and continent to continent, Peter Regli calls out to attentive observers who are able to detect his presence as a discreet hacker. Popping up and disappearing just as quickly at different points of the globe, he puts our abilities to perceive and understand to the test of his artistic phenomenology.