by Siobhan Leddy + Benjamin Yates
18–21th of January, 14:00–19:00h
Opening 17th of January, 18:30–21:30h
This is a story about immortal creatures. They live on moons and meteors, until their phone alarm wakes them for work. They are cannibals or lovers or both or neither
A new exhibition by Siobhan Leddy and Benjamin Yates explores the mythology and non-verbal communication of tardigrades. These microscopic creatures have survived five mass extinctions, volcanoes, ice — even outer space. At Im Grünen Bereich, humans and tardigrades collide through a generative, ever-changing sound and video installation. cannibals lovers both neither asks how humans can communicate with nonhuman life, beyond species lines. What can we learn from these ancient creatures, well adapted to survive an oncoming climate crisis?
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 will also be mapped into sound: played together this becomes a multispecies symphony. The work will also feature video microscopy and an original tardigrade mythology, 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 this work, technology acts as mediator — enabling affective translation of moving bodies into sound, which are then translated back into (human) bodies.
With special thanks to microbiologist Thomas Fromm.