Nature happens.

Evolution: interactive self-creation of marvellous un-intelligent design

The starting point of the project is my fascination in the face of the diversity and complexity of living nature. Title and subtitle refer to the emergence and evolution of life as an ongoing act of self-creation which is denied by the movements of Creationism and Intelligent Design. The manifestations of life are clearly superior to the layout of any designer be s/he ever so genious. Indeed, the interplay of the contributing mechanisms, intrinsic system properties, and preconditions that lead to the mergence and evolvement of life is so stunningly effective and complex that it still bears so many a mystery.
Nevertheless scientists do not shy away from approaching the subject. In many fields they have already revealed absolutely extraordinary facts (e.g. regarding the structure and functionality of the cell, ontogeny, gene translation and regulation, among others) without lessening the magic inherent to nature. They rather reveal a deeper layer on which we can see a different, not less astounding face of life. The development of these structures and processes is based on overarching principles that exhibit their own charm and are subject to current research.
The idea of this project is to audiovisually interpret selected methods and findings from the field of biosciences to convey my own fascination for the subject and to inspire a dialogue between audiences with different backgrounds.

In 2014 and 2015, two work series addressing insights from the life sciences at different levels have been created:


> Nature's Nature

Exhibition view Nature happens. at the German Maritime Museum, Bremerhaven, 2015:

ZELLULAR (in the back right), Nature's Nature (projection) and The Colourful World of Life Sciences (slide viewers in the foreground)


BioLogical Complexity?

On the nature of the increase of complexity in biological systems and its artistic implementation

Based on scientific insights about the dynamics of complex biological systems − an extremely active, fruitful and fascinating interdisciplinary research field, that is still little recognised in the non-scientific community − and previous artistic work, I want to compile a more general understanding of the very nature of the evolvement of biological systems towards an ever increasing complexity: is the complexity we observe merely a coincidence or rather a phenomenon that bears some sort of logic, that is coherence? A second research phase shall be dedicated to the development of an artistic vocabulary that interprets and translates the gained insights and follows the guidelines of scientific theories − as reduced as possible as detailed as necessary − and will thus constitute a sort of meta-representation of the original complex phenomena of living nature under consideration, such as the formation of the cell, the evolution of mortal multi-cell organisms from potentially immortal single-cell organisms and the development of altruism and a conscious mind.

Project-related scientific contacts include:
Institute of Cell Biology, Histology and Embryology, Medical University, Graz, AT
Institute of Molecular Biochemistry, Technical University, Graz, AT
The Nymphalidae Systematics Group, University of Turku, FI
Prof. Ernst Peter Fischer, Author, Science Journalist and Science Historian, University of Heidelberg, DE
Dr. Bank Beszteri, Polar Biological Oceanography Group, Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, DE
Prof. Jari Saramäki, Institute for Computational Complex Systems Research, BECS, Aalto University, Espoo, FI

Kindly supported by:
RONDO Program, Federal State of Styria, AT
Saari Residence Program, Kone Foundation, FI
Diatom Study Center, Alfred Wegener Institute, DE