OTHER
MINDS

BERLIN
23 SEP—20 OCT

Jenna Sutela

FI

Milky Ways (2022)

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4K video, sound ● Duration: 6’58’’ ● A collaboration between Jenna Sutela Studio and Primer ● Co-commissioned by Schering Stiftung and Screen City Biennial ● In collaboration with Haus der Kunst (Munich) ● Location: Schering Stiftung (Unter den Linden 32-34, 10117 Berlin) ● Image credits: Jenna Sutela, Milky Ways (2022). Video still. Courtesy the artist.

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In a way, we are all interconnected aquatic environments, reservoirs of what could be called the “hypersea.” As geologists Mark and Dianna McMenamin have posited, terrestrial organisms are bonded by the fact that their bodily fluids commingle and this connection forms a sea through which other organisms and nutrients can move.

Artist Jenna Sutela's scientific and poetic audiovisual exploration Milky Ways (2022) takes the viewer on a journey through an artificial gut (a so-called Simulator of Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem, or SHIME) that has been fed with human milk. The work meditates on recent studies around sugars within the milk (Human Milk Oligosaccharides) that interact with gut bacteria and exhibit psychobiotic potential.

According to Sutela, our symbiotic microbial culture not only expands the limits of our consciousness, but also makes us interplanetary. In Milky Ways, the changing landscape of the breast-gut-brain axis is dotted with many layers, from streams of cell-cultured milk to a galaxy of stars. Throughout the work, the history of biomimetics unfolds in flowforms and as a song that tunes into the environment.

Jenna Sutela

FI

Holobiont (2018)

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HD video, sound ● Duration: 10'27'' ● Location: Archenhold Observatory, Museum of Celestial Science ● Image credits: Jenna Sutela, Holobiont (2018). Video still. Courtesy the artist.

READING TIP: Click everywhere to invert colours

Holobiont considers the idea of embodied cognition on a planetary scale, zooming in from the macrocosm of outer space to the microcosm of the human gut lining. It documents planetary protection rituals at the European Space Agency and explores extremophilic bacteria in fermented foods as possible distributors of life between different stellar systems. Bacillus subtilis, the nattō bacterium, plays a leading role. The term “holobiont” stands for an entity made of many species, all inseparably linked in their ecology and evolution.

The film has been supported by Kone Foundation and expanded on a performance conceived for the Serpentine Marathon 2017.

Jenna Sutela

Jenna Sutela is a Finnish artist currently based in Berlin. Her audiovisual work, sculptures, and performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, often in relation to technology. She is known for experiments with microbes and artificial neural networks. Sutela’s work has been exhibited at a number of international venues including Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Serpentine Galleries, London, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Shanghai Biennale, and Liverpool Biennial. She was a Visiting Artist at The MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) in 2019-21.

Artworks

Anna EhrensteinProject type

Eli CortiñasProject type

Grace NdirituProject type

Jacob KirkegaardProject type

Jenna SutelaProject type

Lundahl & SeitlProject type

MetahavenProject type

Espen Sommer EideProject type

Patricia DomínguezProject type

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