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home  /  works  /  bacteria  /  multi-being

multi-being

2018 || sonja bäumel in collaboration with Manuel Selg
comission

 

The human body is a tiny part in a living, pulsating, ever-expanding multi-beings entanglement. A growing two-dimensional microbial surface, laying like a skin over an abstract, three-dimensional and trans-border landscape. Bodies expand, liquefy, overgrow, get under the skin and unite. The once liquid material fuses them together, allowing interspaces and exchange, while bringing bodies in direct contact. When we touch a surface our skin picks up many new microbes and leaves others behind. Being in the world as an individual really means being a multi-being community in a vital process of permanent exchange. Bodies constantly mingle and adapt to our surroundings. They become landscapes, biotopes and nutrient supply. The shown bodies’ microbial landscape together with the unreal scale contributes to questioning the boundaries, relations and co-habitats existing between different bodies and at the same time intend to expand our ethical perspective. Donna Haraway has emphasized the ethical point that co-habitation is not without risk. It is not a romantic or sentimental notion of being together, it is about ourselves taking risks, about finding the courage to open up to differences; to that what is other; that, which is not the same as us. To allow for insecurity, for confusion and not-knowing as the foundation of our actions in the world. The object is to make ourselves vulnerable in our explorations of our material relations with what is inherently alien to us and yet so near.[1]

 

[1] Fifty Percent Human, Exhibition brochure, Living in the big mesh by Alice Smits, Page 42, Oct, 2016