The Mirror Head moves a living Amoeba. ENTANGLED RELATIONS—ANIMATED BODIES
In her most recent work, Sonja Bäumel aims to stimulate the cultural imagination by exploring the vital relationships and interconnections between human bodies and microorganisms. This performed and multisensory installation seeks to alter our perception of the human body’s boundaries and invites visitors to embody the human in a more-than-human world.
The Mirror Head by Dynamic Projection Institute is used as part of the creative process to project a real amoeba that overlays the installation and travels in the environment accompanied by sound transmitting the bubbling vitals of the microbial world.
Sonja Bäumel is an Austrian artist who works at the intersection of art, science, and technology. She is known for her multidisciplinary projects and artistic research which explores ‘the living’, the evolving perception of what bodies are made of. Her works often involve textiles, live bacteria and aims to challenge our understanding of the human body and its boundaries. Her installations have been exhibited internationally in museums, galleries and public spaces.
The installation ENTANGLED RELATIONS—ANIMATED BODIES, which is currently being shown in the MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, was the official Austrian contribution to the 23rd Triennale di Milano International Exhibition 2022. Bäumel wanted to take other risks and thereby challenge herself by using as yet unused materials and techniques to create a mysterious and imaginary world and to conceptually oppose the seeming contradiction of life.
“We decided for the Triennale project to unsettle representations of static bodies by celebrating the ephemeral and the animated body through performance in a stage setting and by using the Mirror Head by Dynamic Projection Institute to create a lively movement and transformation in the installation. At the same time, we aimed to illuminate the collapse of static epidermic and trans-species boundaries, as an invitation to start exploring what it means to be multitudes,“ says Sonja Bäumel.
Magnified 40,000 times, a larger-than-life sculpture of an amoeba expands in multiple directions, linking piece by piece with the transparent fragments of a human figure riddled with microbial inclusions. The movement of the projection is pre-programmed and synchronized to perfectly fit the visual, the aural and tactile experience.
In combination as an overlay of the physical sculptures, a projection of a living amoeba by artist Wim van Egmond, moves slowly from one side of the room to the other by using the Mirror Head.
“From a practical point of view, the Mirror Head allowed us in the exhibition room to use a single projector, as traditionally you would need several projectors to cover such a wide projection area,” says Sonja Bäumel.
The installation can be visited in the MAK – Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna until the 30th of April 2023. On Saturday April 29 at 4 pm, Doris Uhlich will celebrate the ephemeral and the animated body through a performance followed by conversation ENTANGLED BODIES at 4.30 pm with the Artist.
1x Panasonic PT-RCQ10
1x Mirror Head MH11
1x DPCC – Dynamic Projection Control Center
2x Ultrasonic – Acouspade Classic