PHOTOS: ISTVAN VIRAG (C) PUNKT Ø / MOMENTUM 9
Sonja Bäumel (AT)
Being encounter (2017)
We are slowly realizing that our body is an ecosystem full of biodiversity, where complex societies of microbes live in and on our bodies. Sonja Bäumel’s installation for Momentum 9, made in collaboration with Jason Cook, explores – and invites you, the visitor to explore – this new condition by quite directly asking how we can get in touch with our co-habitants and what it means for our self-recognition, for our concepts of autonomy, and for the borders of our self. Is it possible to sense a language by which we can encounter non-verbal microorganisms through touch? The critique of human exceptionalism is at the core of her work and its investigations of the curious relationship between humans and microbes. Based on lab research, current scientific theories and discoveries of the influence microbes have on the human body – and mind – she stages encounters with these alien organisms living inside us to explore possible futures of further co-existence as a fundamental part of our lives.