CGI - Animation - Motion Design - Sound - Video - 3D Druck - Projection Mapping - Installation Art - Interaction - Audiovisuelle Gestaltung - Creative Coding - Procedural Design -

LICHEN, 2024

quadrophonic, motion sensory sound installation, video projection, 9.00 x 4.90 m, HD video loop 47:49 min, 5 square screens, 22 inch, 3D scan, HD video loops 1:40 min, 1 square screen, 33 inch, 3D scan, HD video loop 3:20 min, Print, macro photography, 1.06 x 4.90 m

In order to recognize the world, it is important to choose the intensity, perspective and form from which you want to view it first. Lichens create worlds in which an organism unfolds into an ecosystem and an ecosystem feeds an organism. For they switch back and forth between their self, the whole, and the collection of its parts. Where does an organism begin and where does it end? The material of this artistic research includes sound, photo and video material as well as digital scans of lichens to decipher their transformative behavior in relation to form and time. Are there other layers and processes that move on a scale that is invisible to our eyes; that take place on time scales that our senses cannot grasp? Based on the fascination of otherness, this work focuses on the art of perception in order to grasp the unexpected realities of these organisms. The result is an immersive, audiovisual and motion-sensory installation as an experience of nature, space and time.

On several field studies, into the Finnish forests, lichens were visited, explored, drawn, measured, determined and mapped several times over a longer period of time. During the intensive process of my approach to the organism of the lichen, as well as to its temporal and spatial localization, investigative macro photo and video material as well as high-resolution 3D photogrametry scans of various lichen species were created. The moving image material was slowed down and edited into a repetitive video that is projected in full format into the exhibition space. The result is an encompassing portal in real space through which the viewer finds themselves as part of the lichen ecosystem.
With the help of highly sensitive microphones, hydrophones and geophones as well as a portable recording device, I archived electromagnetic impulses of the lichen in the ground and the atmospheric noise of its surroundings in the field. The collected sounds were analyzed in the laboratory and sequenced into individual sequences. A single recording feeds aquadrophonic sound installation that mixes with the environmental sounds of the exhibition area. At its center, a real funnel lichen is positioned on an illuminated pedestal. As people move closer to the installation, the sound track changes into an undefined noise. The closer the distance to the lichen, the more intense the audible change. The movement-sensory change suggests an interaction between humans and lichens and raises the question of the possibilities of communication and relationships between human and non-human organisms.

Sonja Mense
@sonjamense (Instagram)

Master‘s thesis at the
Bielefeld University
of Applied Sciences
Communication Design

supervising professors
Prof. Herwig Scherabon
Prof. Dr. phil. Kirsten Wagner

Patrick Pollmeier