The exhibition project investigates the problematics and possibilities of communicating nonhuman perception through the interface of artistic practice and new technologies. By means of interactive and non-interactive video that use generative and time-based techniques the Australian artist Alinta Krauth considers potential narratives of animals under threat from climate change.
Alinta Krauth’s new project Under-Mine (2017), especially developed for Art Laboratory Berlin, uses video, generative art, data visualisation and an intensive study into the science of animal perception and cognition to propose narrative paths towards a meeting point of the human and nonhuman. Taking into account that each species’ way of sensing the world is unique, and often beyond the ken of human experience, Krauth makes use of a diverse technological toolbox to navigate and translate nonhuman perceptions.
By means of data generated video and sound, hand drawn animation, and digital interactive elements, Krauth creates four ‘narratives’ – bat, wild horse, woodlouse, and rock lizard – that follow a similar plot line: the attempt to survive a species die-off. The artist introduces abstract visual and aural perception as language, interaction with an immersive environment, and a sense-oriented, rather than linear narrative. In her own words she discerns that “one way to tell a narrative of, or for, a nonhuman animal is to consider the senses that are stronger in other species than in humans, for example echolocation, magnetoreception, hygroreception, chemoreception, and possibly proprioception.”
The project makes use of a tradition of interactive and game related electronic art, which connects the human body to storytelling, but proposes using this to explore the possibilities of inter-species empathy. Through interaction the audience wavers between being a character, a creator, and a viewer. While the artist is well aware that narrative is itself a very human construct, and that any attempt to experience animal perception is bound to be inherently anthropocentric, Under-Mine seeks to push at the boundaries between the human and animal, and dislodge us from our usual subject-object relation to the nonhuman.