Two new projects coming soon: We continue, they warn | Studium Generale graphic design

Sigrid Bannenberg

Picking Clouds

The rise in the usage of cloud seeding technology might change our future cloudscapes and the way we relate to the sky. What was once untouchable, the land of gods, now becomes yet another system that is controlled by men. With the project Picking Clouds, I want to inspire a personal connection to (artificial) clouds. The audience brings this installation to life by pumping air into a plastic bottle, after the bottle is picked from the air a dense white cloud appears. For a brief moment, the man-made-cloud exists in the bottle before it slowly fades away. The sealed bottle is taken home, instructions ask the audience to continue taking care of the bottle, and the liquefied cloud that is still in it as a metaphor of the urge to continue taking care of weather.

Materials and construction

The structure is made from wood, aluminum pipes, plastic tube, rubber stoppers and bicycle pups. The bottles are PET-bottles that can be recycled, and the liquid is an alcohol for medical use. This mechanism, based on air pressure and condensation, was inspired by a classroom science experiment. Throughout my research, I also experimented with digital collages and foaming paper.

Nature Flying Bye

In collaboration with Ysabel Rumkorf, I was invited to create a project about Europe for the international exposition EuroFabrique, in the Grand Palais Ephemere in Paris. With just a few days to create and transport this project, we decided to make a call to reunite nature within Europe's borders. Europe’s nature is one of the most fragmented in the world, separated by highways, cities and other infrastructure. During this long duration performance, the spectator is invited to help with the act of keeping nature together, by motion of sweeping, while it is being blown away by machines.

Materials and construction

The performance was on show for two days, both performances lasted nine hours uninterrupted. The project consists of three ventilators, 140 sheets of paper hand-cut into organic shapes, and two broomsticks. Alongside the performance there was a zine with a supporting poem.

Where the tulips go

Within our capitalistic systems, we often see precarity as a state that must be avoided, a weakness. Within nature, I believe that precarity is the state that makes space for evolution and growth. Where the tulips go, explores the fairness that exists in painful situations. These three photos were part of a broader research into this topic, I used a camera to capture the stillness in destructive movements. I placed the tulip into situations where it wouldn't survive due to interaction with our daily tools: a car, a washing machine, a bicycle. These staged interactions alienated the tulip and created moments of aesthetics while the tulip was being destroyed.

Materials and construction

The work consists of digital photographs, the objects used were found in my own house and the pink tulips were fresh tulips from Dutch harvest.

Coded flowering

Cybernetic plants sprout from a symbiosis between nature and science, a duet between plant and machine. With this project, I explored the future of cyborg botany and questioned if plants will be offered the right to consent to these interventions. With the installation, a speculative future is created in which the audience has multiple interactions with cyborg plants; from a plant that seems to follow the audience around like a pet, to a rose that ignites a light and a Venus flytrap that is controlled by a human arm. Fiction and facts are blended in this work. As part of the research I interviewed Eleni Stavrinidou, who’s lab discovered a way to grow a conducting wire in a rose.

Materials and construction

The installation consists of multiple elements including a video which shows the fictional making of cyborg roses and the controlling of a Venus flytrap with an Arduino. The pedestals were made from chicken wire and wood and were surrounded by a border of soil. The lights were made from aluminum pips, acrylic pipes, LEDs, other electronics and ping-pong balls. A dome made of magnifying glasses served as a presentation device for a sliced open rose. Around a hundred white roses, treated with black food coloring, were used over multiple exposition days.

Under your head

Our thoughts influence our physical lives more than we might realize. Thoughts can be slow and thick like mud or swirling like a typhoon, it can be extremely difficult to navigate through these labyrinths. With this project, I investigated what it means to get lost in your own head. I wanted to make this invisible experience visible and tangible by creating a maze that only fits your head. Maneuvering your head through the installation will force your body to bend and bow awkwardly in order to follow your head. In the maze, the walls of paper make a loud noise when someone is moving through them.

Materials and construction

The installation was made from cotton fabric, paper and orange lighting. This project was made and presented during a lockdown, therefore it took place in a bedroom. The installation was the size of a king-sized bed, ideally the maze would be bigger and fill a full exposition space.