Being a Unicellular Organism

Project research

Cosmo Niklas Schüppel


A dance to invisible fields

This is a continuation of the concept from “invisible fields...”

The set-up for “invisible fields”could also be put under a different concept. The topic of electromagnetic fields and their effect on humans and nature would stay, but because the E. Gracilis is forced to dance, literally, to the sound of technology, the hierarchic relationship between mankind, nature and technology is put more into the focus. If here, for example a dancer would accompany the euglena, then the work would close a circle: Electromagnetic fields impact organic matter. Human and plant/animal the same. A human (the performer, or observer interacting with the installation) would force euglena and the dancer (human and nature) to dance to the sound of technology.

This would underline the fact that we are doing this damage to us and nature ourselves. We are to be blamed for the use of technology, it is our responsibility to be more aware of our actions.

This concept would also work as an installation, performance and as a video. Although here the interactive part might be even more crucial. Manifested as a video this idea gets more and more abstract and I’m not sure if this would help the transmission of the message that I'm trying to convey. The medium's of interactive installation and performance could also be integrated into each other. There could be a performer, but visitors could still be welcomed to accompany them. Play on their own devices, or give them to the performer, so that they can play them. This would highlight even more that it is us, me you and everyone, who is partaking in the action to damage and control nature.

The ethical question

A big issue that I still have with this work is, that E. Gracilis is still used to be the object in the work. In my opinion my use of Euglena could be justified with the topic that the work is talking about, because better awareness about the dangers of technology would help nature as a whole. Still, it is the controlling of the being that fundamentally rebells against the way I try to live my life. Here I find interesting though, that these questions that arise in me while doing this work, could also arise in the observer. This work would not talk about this question directly, but it would open the question of our relationship to other beings. It would function as a “non-example”, as a, in a way, controversial action, raising the question: “can there be a justification for our actions against nature?”