Give and Take present a multi-media installation that uses an immersive and responsive environment to create sensitivity for metabolic processes and vegetal life.

Whit regards to climate change the urgency to acknowledge our complicity with the ecological crisis seem inevitable. However, due to perceptual limitations this endeavour seems impossible. Designed in an abstract and evocative manner, the first part of the installation invites the viewer to experience the CO2 cycle reduced to the interaction between the human breather and the plant’s photosynthesis. In a second part, we zoom out from this isolated experience into its chaotic entanglements and display how localised behaviour of molecules leads to specific connections, events and disappearances.

The experience that leads the observer from micro to macro scales of vital processes, extends the sensible experience towards metabolic relations with the surroundings. The immersive environment induces a perceptional link with thermal, climatic, meteorological processes that are enacted in partial response to the engaging individual.

The installation is developed by Desiree Foerster, Sarah Hermanutz, Andreas Rau, and Michaela Büsse in the context of a micro residency within the research project Thinking Toys for Commoning.

Desiree Foerster is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Arts and Media, University of Potsdam, Germany and a visiting scholar at the Department for Cinema and Media Studies, University Chicago. Her research interests revolve around the study of embodied aesthetics in order to incorporate additional sensory modalities into spatial experience. With process philosophy and mediaesthetics, she explores the mediation of liminal experiences that place the human subject outside of any conscious reference to the world.

Sarah Hermanutz is a Canadian artist based in Berlin and Weimar, Germany. Her artistic research explores the disorientations and intensities of contemporary media environments, through projects combining dance, animation, VR, site-specific installation, and live performance. Topics of interest include social cognition, neurodiversity, embodiment, gender and ecology. Her work frequently involves amphibians and wetlands.

Andreas Rau is a part-time interaction designer, part-time creative coder and part-time jazz pianist based between Berlin and Oslo. He creates interactive artefacts that explore the relationship between people and their environments across different spatial and temporal scales. His work is informed by the ideas of calm design and often incorporates playful interactions, organic movement patterns, overlapping rhythms, and Arduinos.

Michaela Büsse is an artistic researcher interested in speculative and experimental design practices, new materialism and philosophies of technology and ecology. Her practice is situated, speculative, collaborative and research-led ranging from text to film and installations to workshops. Currently, Michaela is a PhD candidate at the Critical Media Lab in Basel and a Junior Researcher in the SNSF-funded project “Thinking Toys for Commoning” (2018-2021).

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