Sophie Erlund: Nature is an event that never stops
16.01. – 25.02.2023
On the occasion of her sixth solo exhibition with PSM, Sophie Erlund presents a body of work that examines the human condition in the digital age. Under the title Nature is an event that never stops, the exhibition introduces new sculptural works as well as a virtual reality (VR) film, marking a point of departure for the artist at which she expands her practice to include interactive digital design as a medium.
In her artist practice, Erlund has long explored a variety of themes and questions about the more-than-human, particularly our ongoing entanglement with artificial intelligence and its impact on our psychology. The exhibition title Nature is an event that never stops is drawn from a passage in Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life, in which the author reflects on the complex and interconnected system of fungi, suggesting a more comprehensive view of the natural world. This serves as a starting point going into the exhibition, which begins with a sculptural installation and is followed by an interactive VR film that can be experienced with head-mounted VR-display goggles.
The title piece of the exhibition, the VR film Nature is an event that never stops (2023), consists of six scenes that showcase different perspectives on the natural world, such as that of a microorganism or the largest ecosystem. Users are guided through the individual scenes by a narrator, who encourages them to engage with the work through their own navigational choices. The film thereby rejects the idea that nature is a collection of separated and isolated parts and highlights the consequences of the human-centric perspective instead. Developed in close dialogue with cognitive scientist Cordula Vesper, who is an associate professor of cognitive science and cognitive semiotics at Aarhus University, the film also caters to an experiment that investigates aspects of human decision making, cultural knowledge and color perception through interactive color matching scenarios.
The film was developed in collaboration with the Experimenting, Experiencing, Reflecting project (EER), which was founded in 2018 by artist Olafur Eliasson and anthropologist and cognitive scientist Prof. Andreas Roepstorff of Aarhus University, Denmark. EER is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation. EER is founded upon experimentation. The experiments examine perception, notions of togetherness, decision making, and the transmission of knowledge.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an EER lab in the gallery’s loggia to further engage visitors in the dialogical space between art and science. Throughout the course of the exhibition, the lab will host a series of workshops, interventions and panel discussions with artists and scientists from EER.
Press release | Pressemitteilung