Einen Riesigen Schwarm

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

A Giant Swarm, single channel video, 2020

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
Essay by Anabel Roque Rodriguez
(in German, with English translation)

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 in Munich by Gretta Louw and Katrin Petroschkat, with Barbara Herold.
Installation photos at Wro Art Center by Jerzy Wypych.
Installation photos at Rudolf-Scharp-Galerie | Wilhelm-Hack-Museum by Nikola Neven Haubner.
Visual Arts Prize from the Cultural Department of the City of Munich (2019). link
Einen Riesigen Schwarm, solo exhibition, Digital Art Space (curated by Dr Karin Wimmer), Munich, Germany, 2019-2020. link
Wro Biennale, REVERSO, online screening program, curated by Cezary Wicher, 2021. link
Wro Biennale, ABALIETAS, Wro Art Centre, curated by Piotr Krajewski, 2021. link
New Now Festival, ZECHE, Zollverein Essen, virtual exhibition, 2021. link
Denken wie ein Oktopus, oder: Tentakulaeres Begreifen, Rudolf-Scharpf-Galerie des Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, curated by Julia Katharina Thiemann, 2021-2022. link
Hope on the Edge, Yvonne Hohner Contemporary, curated by Anabel Roque Rodriguez, 2022. link