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Studies on Longing

Kerstin Ergenzinger



Studie zur Sehnsucht [Bremen], 2013, detalhe | detail

Foto | Photo © Daniel Siegel




Developed in collaboration with Thom Laepple, the first version of which is from 2007, Studies on longing/seeing [Évora] is a sculptural ensemble, with a reactive system connected to a geophone and a seismograph, which sense the location's seismic activity.


This data is recorded in real time and translated into the information source determining and producing simulations of associated movements in the installation, for ongoing change. Consequently, real data on the vibrations captured from the space are made visible through the movements of sculptures, whose shapes resemble mountains. The sensors that capture the seismic micro-impulses in the exposition hall and surroundings, including the ambient noise of the earth, transmit the data to the computer system that connects them to the pre-programmed movements. The system can sense the finest shifting, including the vibration of the floor caused by visitors’ weight and movements within the area.


The concept of longing, which the artist alludes to explicitly in the title of her work, is tied in with the human perception of nature and landscape as stable and unchangeable elements. Such nostalgic idea of the relationship between the human being and nature arises from the longing for stability. Through movement and continuous change in her work, Kerstin Ergenzinger addresses the topic of variability, of the merely apparent stability of the world we live in.


These kinetic sculptures, composed of elements which the artist calls longing-machines, may be regarded as pseudo-scientific simulations of the landscape. Its shapes and the inherent proportions arising from the mechanics are the result of extended graphical research on the mountainsides, conducted by Kerstin Ergenzinger during long hiking tours, and of a subsequent analysis of the natural proportions noted in the drawings and their formal and aesthetic translation into the installation.


Kerstin Ergenzinger  

Kerstin Ergenzinger studied Fine Arts at the Berlin University of Arts and the Chelsea College of Art and Design based in London, and Media Art at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.  Her artistic practice evolves around ongoing research into human sensory conditions in relation to our physical and conceptual surroundings.  Her work is regularly presented internationally in solo and group shows.  She has exhibited at the Kunsthalle Malmö, at the Den Frie Center for Contemporary Art in Copenhagen, the Kunststation St. Peter  in Cologne, and the Kunsthalle in Budapest, among others. In 2014, she starred in two solo shows at the BIAN Biennal for Digital Arts Montreal and has upcoming solo presentations at the Schering Stiftung in Berlin and the Kunstmuseum in Bonn. In 2013, she was awarded in Madrid the prestigious prize VIDA 15,0 (2013), for International Research in Art and Artificial life for her work Rotes Rauschen (Red Noise). This work was selected for the Award of the Saxon State Ministry For Higher Education.