Developed in collaboration with Thom Laepple, Studie zur Sehnsucht (Studies on Longing/Seeing) is a sculptural ensemble, with a reactive system connected to a geophone and a seismograph, which sense the location’s seismic activity.
These data are recorded in real time and translated into an information source determining and producing simulations of associated movements on the installation, for ongoing change. Consequently, real data on the vibrations captured from space are made visible through the movements of the sculptures, which resemble mountains. The sensors that capture the seismic micro-impulses in the exhibition hall and surroundings, including the ambient noise of the Earth, transmit the data to the computer system that connects them to pre-programmed movements. The system can sense even the finest shifts, 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 a nostalgic idea of the relationship between the human being and nature arises from a 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 that 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 graphic research into mountainsides conducted by Kerstin Ergenzinger during long hiking tours, and of a subsequent analysis of the natural proportions noted in drawings and their formal and aesthetic translation into the installation.