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Jellyfish populate Basel fountains, a white figure walks on a giant sculpture in the market square, mushrooms dance in the Münzgasse: what sounds like a dream is the new and interactive ARTour through the city of Basel. The augmented reality (AR) exhibition is a journey between the digital and the real world, bringing art to life in new and innovative ways.

For the 125th anniversary, Roche conceived and implemented the ARTour in close cooperation with Basel Tourism, HEK (House of Electronic Arts) and the City of Basel. Ten national and international artists, including Melodie Mousset, Studer/van den Berg and Tamiko Thiel, have created digital artworks on the theme of "Celebrate Life" especially for the tour. The artworks open up new, interactive ways for viewers to explore art and the city of Basel.

With a 90-minute walk through Basel's center, the ARTour can be taken at any time. Without a fixed starting or ending point, the site-specific artworks can also be discovered in any order, for example at Mittlere Brücke, Marktplatz, Messe or Petersplatz.

Augmented reality offers artists completely new possibilities to play with their interventions in urban space. In this way, art can take place anywhere.
Sabine HimmelsbachCurator ARTour & Director of HEK (House of Electronic Arts)

Watch Sabine Himmelsbach, the curator of ARTour shows you around!

The artworks on the tour are not visible to the naked eye, but are only brought to life by a smartphone. This requires the free ARTour app, which will be available in all app stores from May 2022. Through an interactive map, the app shows the respective locations of the artworks and provides further information about the artworks, the artists, museums in the vicinity and the tour in general.

In about a year, Roche will present the ARTour to the city of Basel as a gift. With this interactive art format, Basel joins the list of cities such as London, Berlin or Tel Aviv, where such digital art exhibitions have already inspired a large audience.

About Roche

Founded in 1896 in Basel, Switzerland, as one of the first industrial manufacturers of branded pharmaceuticals, Roche has grown to become the world's largest biotechnology company and the global leader in in vitro diagnostics. The company strives for scientific excellence to discover and develop medicines and diagnostics that improve and save the lives of people around the world. We are a pioneer in the field of personalised medicine and aim to advance the way healthcare is delivered to achieve even greater benefits. To ensure that every person receives the best possible treatment, we work with many partners, combining our strengths in diagnostics and pharmaceuticals with insights from real-world clinical data.

Just like innovation in research and development, innovative contemporary art is also a matter close to the company's heart. In 1996, on the occasion of the company's 100th anniversary, Roche donated the Tinguely Museum to the city of Basel. Innovation, quality and sustainability are as central to the museum as they are to Roche. The museum is an expression of Roche's long-standing commitment to contemporary music and art. 25 years later, on the occasion of Roche's 125th anniversary, the ARTour now brings the parallels between innovation in art and innovation in science to life and creatively connects Roche with its home city of Basel.