Einen Riesigen Schwarm

Installation: 6-channel sound, digitally printed banners, video animations, wall painting, 2019

Einen Riesigen Schwarm (A Giant Swarm) is a 6-channel, quasi-narrative soundscape and immersive multimedia installation that traverses the inextricable intermingling of the digital and the physical and reflects on the biological, ecological, and psychological side-effects of our march toward questionable forecast technological utopias. The work is a kind of speculative science fiction envisioning new life forms that are adapting to live and thrive within a post-anthropocene environment shaped by pollution and anthropogenic climate change.

Einen Riesigen Schwarm is informed by extensive research into the emerging science around the proliferation of Medusozoa (jellyfish) in oceans as well as fictionalised speculations on adapting ecologies in the post-Anthropocene. It encompasses case studies recording swarms of jellyfish shutting down nuclear power plants by swimming en masse into coastal plumbing and instances of jellyfish becoming completely self-sustaining in contaminated waters, contemplations on the consequences of nano-technology realigning inter-species proportions, and explorations of the webbed networks of responsibilities that connect beings in interdependent ecosystems. Darkly optimistic about unexpectedly thriving non-human lifeforms, the work offers an imaginary journey into a parallel existence, looking at the issue of human waste - and the extent of the tangled connections between the biosphere, the technosphere, and human action - through the lens of non-human subjectivity.
Video trailer
Audio trailer



Acknowledgements
Narratives written and spoken by Gretta Louw with inspiration and quotes from: Victor Galaz, Lisa-ann Gerschwin, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Donna Haraway, Sabrina Imbler, Ursula Le Guin, Cixin Liu, John Muir, and Anna Tsing.
Sound arrangement by Gretta Louw with music by Chad Crouch, Dorian Luther, Podington Bear, and Szymon Pytel.
Installation photos by Gretta Louw and Katrin Petroschkat, with Barbara Herold.
Prizes
Visual Arts Prize from the Cultural Department of the City of Munich (2019). link
Exhibitions
Einen Riesigen Schwarm, solo exhibition, Digital Art Space (curated by Dr Karin Wimmer), Munich, Germany, 2019-2020. link