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Concept — bionic angel

The work series "bionic angel" takes as its starting point the future transformation and technological control of human evolution.

Rapid development in the field of so-called "g-r-i-n-techno-logies" (genetics, robotics, information and nano-techno- logies) are changing our bodies, minds, memories, and identities, but also impact on our progeny.

These technologies all converge with the aim of enhancing human performance. Prenatal genetic determination enables children to be built to plan. Clone bodies become depositories for ersatz organs whilst manipulation of atomic structure creates new bodies which far outstrip the old ones in terms of robustness, elasticity and durability. The new bodies are adapted to the needs of the highspeed data highway. These developments based on genetic algorithms and neuronal networks mean that biological evolution can now be controlled; they open up the way to a new and superior form of existence for the human being.

Such acts of transgression were already implicit in the idealised body images of greek mythology which the italian renaissance adopted as the perfect expression of radical transformation in terms of the understanding of body, mind and science – secular man became an utopian promise.

Referring to such idealised body worlds from antiquity and the renaissance, the work series "bionic angel" takes up themes of "metamorphosis" from classical greek mythology as treated by the roman poet Ovid. Scenarios of creatures in the throes of transformation articulate the inevitability of genetic self-creation in the future of human history. The moment of metamorphosis itself serves as the key metaphor for the technology-driven transformation of the human body in its future post human and possibly immortal existence.

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laokoon

Format: 178 x 198 cm / 71 x 79 in (framed), edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, diasec, sculptured wooden frame

The rapid pace of technological miniaturisation is leading to increasing amounts of technology being embedded in the human body. The human body itself is becoming an interface adapted to the speed of data networks. And this, in turn, leads to the direct networking of bodies with one another. This work refers to the ancient Greek myth of Laocoön. If we look back at the cultural history of the human body – which was always a cultural vision – we see that practically everything now in the realm of the technologically feasible has already been imagined in ancient Greek mythology. In a scenario of creatures in the throes of transformation, "laokoon" expresses the inevitability of technological self-creation in the future of human history. The moment of transformation becomes a key metaphor for the technological transformation of the human body in its future post-human and possibly even immortal existence.

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prometheus

Format 1: 150 x 150 cm / 59 x 59 in, edition of 6
Format 2: 75 x 75 cm / 29 x 29 in, edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec

Today's intelligent robotics enable the repair of damaged biological bodies by using telematically controlled machines. The picture shows a surgical operation robot at Berlin's Charité hospital. In future intelligent machines will not only be able to repair injured bodies but shall also take over certain parts of the creation process. The title refers to the mythological background of the story of Prometheus.

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danaë

Format: 148 x 198 cm / 59 x 79 in (framed), edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, diasec, sculptured wooden frame

This work exemplifies the future transformation of matter on the molecular level through nanotechnology. So-called nanofoglets enable the continuous transformation of physical appearance. Even reproduction of a biological body endowed with an artificial intelligence is conceivable. The work refers to the ancient Greek myth of Danaë and the Shower of Golden Rain, and is an interpretation of the famous painting by Titian.

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spare room

Format: 150 x 200 cm / 59 x 79 in, edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec

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bionic angel

Format 1: 150 x 150 cm / 59 x 59 in, edition of 6
Format 2: 75 x 75 cm / 29 x 29 in, edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec

This work deals with the body as interface, visualisation of the insides of the body and interconnectivity between various individuals. The remodelling of the body that will take place in the future will lead to a lifting of the separation between the inner and outer body. New forms of communication and interconnectivity will emerge. The work "bionic angel" shows the portrait of a young woman connected to a visualisation of the nerve fibres of her own brain. The brain of the young woman was first scanned in a laboratory using DIT technology, and then the measurement data of the neuronal tracts was computed and visualised. “bionic angel” connects the outward appearance of a person with their inner neuronal identity.

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the sublime brain [of sherin and michael]

Format: 180 x 300 cm / 71 x 118 in, edition of 3
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec

Showing connectivity between two neuronal brain structures, the work "the sublime brain [of sherin and michael]” visualises the possibility of future brain-to-brain communication. A special scanning technology captured the nerve tracts of two brains. Specially developed computer software was then used to transform the digital measurement data of the scan into a three dimensional model and coalesce it in a unique communication structure.

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olimpia

Format: 228 x 178 cm / 90 x 70 in, edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec

If one day it should prove possible to use measuring technology to gauge and store all neuronal connections in their totality, it would be conceivable to transfer the identity and personality of one body to another. Consequently, transfer to a digital entity would equally be possible. This technology has been named brain upload. “olimpia” is based on the ancient Greek myth of Pygmalion.

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telematic dreaming

Format 1: 150 x 150 cm / 59 x 59 in, edition of 6
Format 2: 75 x 75 cm / 29 x 29 in, edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec

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figura serpentina

Format: 248 x 148 cm / 99 x 60 in (framed), edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, diasec, sculptured wooden frame

“figura serpentina” exemplifies the fascination of self-creation. In future genetics will enable multiple artificial replications of our own bodies. Identical copies raise fundamental questions about identity and mortality. The work is an interpretation of the “Rape of the Sabine Women” by the sculpture Giovanni da Bologna.

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figura serpentina II

Format: 248 x 148 cm / 99 x 60 in (framed), edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, diasec, sculptured wooden frame

“figura serpentina II” exemplifies the fascination of self-creation. In future genetics will enable multiple artificial replications of our own bodies. Identical copies raise fundamental questions about identity and mortality. The work is an interpretation of the “Rape of the Sabine Women” by the sculpture Giovanni da Bologna.

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hermaphrodite

Format: 208 x 208 cm / 82 x 82 in (framed), edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, diasec, sculptured wooden frame

Developments in prenatal genetics could one day extend the female/male duality we have known thus far through mixed-sex hybrid forms. The mingling of female and male elements in one body has generally been seen as an "error of Nature". In future hybrid bodies could become desirable bodies, genetically planned and technically constructed. The work is based on the ancient Greek myth of the hermaphrodite.

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me2-sal-em

Format 1: 150 x 150 cm / 59 x 59 in, edition of 6
Format 2: 75 x 75 cm / 29 x 29 in, edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec

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aging box 95+

Format: 200 x 140 cm / 79 x 55 in (framed), edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec

The work “aging box 95+” deals with future developments in the field of prenatal genetic modification of the human genome. It shows a refrigeration unit in the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology at the University of Kiel which is investigating the genes of people aged over 95 in a long-term research project. The research aims to gain new knowledge about the way the genetic structure of these people is constructed, and eventually to develop new medicines which prolong life. Yet prenatal interventions in the human genome would also be conceivable with a view to prolonging people's lifespan from the very outset.

After the complex process of DNA gene sequencing, this is immersed in alcohol for archiving, filled in plastic tubes and laid in cartons the size of a shoe box. These are then stored in huge underground refrigerator units. One of these was specially opened for a short time for the work “aging box 95+” to reveal a frozen archive replete with memories, life experiences and future possibilities.

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cryostat hssv 6-7

Format: 200 x 150 cm / 79 x 59 in (framed), edition of 6
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec

Immortality is an age-old dream of humankind. Storage of the dead organism in cyrogenic tanks is predicated on the hope of reanimation at some future point of time. This would be realised by the subsequent extraction of the neural system and its implantation in clone bodies or other binary entities. Each of the three tanks in the picture is filled and hosts six bodies stored and conserved at minus 198 degrees Celsius. The picture touches on the themes of storage, conservation, metamorphosis and the mystery of immortality.

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the singularity

HD video 16:9, single channel, stereo, 5.12 min.

The key concept behind the video work "the singularity" is the future transformation and technological control of human evolution. The furious pace of development in the field of “g-r-i-n” technologies (genetics, robotics, information and nano-technology) is changing our bodies, our minds, our memories, our identities and even our posterity. Technologies converge with the aim of improving human performance. Prenatal genetic determination means that children can be made to order while cloned bodies serve as repositories of ersatz organs, and new types of body engineered by manipulation of the atomic structure of matter will be far more robust, flexible and long-lived than the old ones. These new bodies will be designed to live at the speed of data networks. Such new developments will allow us to control human evolution through genetic algorithms and neuronal networks and will elevate the human being to a new and far superior form of existence. The eagle embodies Zeus, the divine privilege of creation. The machine represents technological control of creation. The moment of transformation is the key metaphor for the technological transformation of the human body in its future post-human and possibly even immortal existence.

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