Špela Petrič (SI) Solar displacement

Installation, 2013

We live in an insatiable society that subdues its members to its technological apparatus, which never sleeps. Transcontinental corporations, the world stock market and increasingly mobile careers may be examples of structures of production that override the chronobiologies of its human agents, but in reality few escape the subtle pressures of “living life to the fullest” or achieving social success. Where lies the border of this culturally imposed skewing of the human biological rhythm, beyond which the primordial zoe revolts against its bios and begins to devour itself? Which social installations sustain the population on the edge of its circadian tolerance?

The project Solar displacement is an agora for deliberation between the acceptance of a culturally suboptimal body and the potential of human agents to emancipate themselves from their biology using alcohol, pharmaceuticals, natural remedies, or phototherapy. A custom application developed for the mobile phone keeps track of the luminosity of the participant’s surroundings and mirrors the light conditions in the environment of laboratory rats. The rats respond to the artificial light by displacing their rhythm of activity as well as with self-medication. The synchronization of the participants with their bioindicators thus allows them to observe their physiological bodies as if they were dissociated, autonomous entities and are simultaneously urged to take responsibility for the wellbeing of the rats as well as their own.

Špela Petrič (SI)

Dr. Špela Petrič (1980), BSc, MA, lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her artistic practice combines natural sciences, new media and performance. She is interested in all aspects of anthropocentrism; the reconstruction and reappropriation of scientific methodology in the context of cultural phenomena; living systems in connection with inanimate systems manifesting life-like properties; and terrabiology, an ontological view of the evolution and terraformative process on Earth. While working towards an egalitarian and critical discourse between the professional and public spheres, she tries to envision artistic experiments that produce questions relevant to anthropology, psychology, and philosophy. She extends her artistic research with art/sci workshops devoted to informing and sensitizing the interested public, particularly the younger generations. She is a member of Hackteria.