2. cannibals lovers both neither
Produced in collaboration with sound designer Benjamin Yates
Im Grünen Bereich, Berlin, 2020 & Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, 2021
This artistic research project, culminating in an installation and short film, explores the mythology and non-verbal communication of tardigrades. These microscopic creatures have survived five mass extinctions, volcanoes, ice — even outer space. What could we learn from them as we begin to face climate collapse? How can we communicate with such an otherworldly creature? Here humans and tardigrades collide through a generative, ever-changing sound and video installation.
Through visual-to-audio mapping, the wriggling choreography of tardigrades (as seen through a microscope) is translated into an immersive soundscape. Likewise, the movement of human bodies in the exhibition space is also be mapped into sound: played together this becomes a multispecies symphony. The work will also feature video microscopy of the artist’s own tardigrade cultures and an original poem adapted from Ovid’s Metamorphosis. The work is a live experiment into what has been called “mimetic communication” by theorist Anna Gibbs. Non-verbal communication exists through contagion effects, in which messages are currents that pass through and affect bodies and matter. In cannibals lovers both neither, technology acts as mediator — enabling affective translation of moving bodies into sound, which are then translated back into (human) bodies.