Serendipity, 2016

Residency: Institute for Polymer Engineering, Brugg, CH.
Exhibition:  Academy of Art and Design, Basel, CH.
with Nici Jost, Dawn Nilo, Maeva Rosset and Yota Tsotra

photos by Nici Jost

Seeking the ideal material of the future:


Our project focused on the fantastical yet somewhat hopeful search for the ideal material of the future. The idea was that through this goal we might serendipitously trip upon something even more meaningful.

As I would rather play with matches than work with high end products and the machines of science, I decided to search for a non material material (through the material). This led me to explore the scientific process as a method for changing consciousness.

I focussed on chemistry – the hard science of simple  experiments and the social alchemy of playfully inspired interviews with scientists.

My research developed into four artistic pieces which were exhibited and performed at the exhibition:

A geometric Armature

curatorial concept and design/ floor plan for a Serendipity lab

The Surface of One Dimension of Round 


The Ideal Material

Performance and Installation

 A Sensual Knowing

Installation and Performance


Images from the residency

Serendipity-17-72 dpi




A Geometric Armature, 2016

Serendip 11- 72dpiExhibition concept and design Sketch

The floor plan for the exhibition walls was designed to enhance the effect of a lab that supports serendipity. There was a white cube central lab exhibiting artistic research sketches. This was surrounded by four free standing walls. Finished works were placed in the corridors and supporting ideas from the piece Think Ideal Material were written on the outer surface .

The geometric form was repeated in white tape on the floor for the installation A Sensual Knowing


serendip 8-72dpi

serendip 9-72dpi

The inner core of the lab.

Exhibition view from the Southeast corner

serendip 6-72dpi


The Surface of One Dimension of Round, 2016


serendip 4-72dpi300cm x 350cm x 100cm
inflated rubber ball, styrofoam, leather clown nose,
treated copper plate, solid rubber ball


The Ideal Material, 2016

Wall text


During the residency, artist and engineer Yota Tsotra and I interviewed scientists from the Institutes for Polymer Engineering and Polymer Nanotechnology (of the School of Engineering at the University of Applied Arts and Sciences in Northwest Switzerland).

We wanted to get to know them on their terms and to see what made us the same and what made us different. I considered these interviews performances that we did together for the universe.

Together we imagined the properties and its functions of the ideal material of the future. We considered how it could help or change humanity and how it might be researched? What small or fantastic steps might be taken to this bring it about?

serendip 1A-72dpi

For the exhibition I wrote quotes from the interviews on the outer walls in order to create a map of ideas, processes and inspirations for the work of the lab.

Wall Text:
Es soll Gutes tun. – Idealerweise könnte man Gott spielen und die Prozesse würden zu einer Schöpfung im Moment. – Discovering such a material would mean to move across the personal edge that keeps one’s identity together. – It should be a self regulating system. – Ein Material ohne Prozess macht eher kein Sinn. -Wer sagt schon welche Welt real ist und welche nicht? – Der Stoff soll zumindest auf unserem Vorstellungvermögen basieren. – Carbon fiber nanotube unicorn silk. – Vielleicht braucht es ein Material das sich selbst reguliert, so dass es nicht von Programmierern missbraucht werden kann. – Wir müssen ständig das Unmögliche probieren, damit wir das Mögliche erreichen. – Wir wissen nichts über die Antimaterie. – In the end it would be something like an organic Lego that you can take apart and put together again in a new form with new functions. – Wir entwicklen uns immer weiter und entscheiden selbst in welche Richtung. Die Frage ist, ob es Sinn macht oder nicht. – Ich glaube an das Gute


The Sensual Knowing, 2016

Installation and Performance


When I asked scientists how we could research the ideal material of the future, one of them suggested that we mix human feelings with light in an experiment/ceremony that would require a special lab.


I created the lab and invited others to join me in the experiment (the scientist who suggested it came).

The performance began with sense awareness exercises and culminated in an experiment mixing luminal and prussiate of potash – a simple chemical reaction producing light.

I tried to mix not only emotions and light but also a conscious aesthetic experience. This was intended to make something very small and material (the chemicals and their reaction) have a very big effect within the non material space of the researcher’s imaginations.

serendip 2-72dpi

serendip 3-72dpiPerformance 30 min.


serendip 7-72dpiInstallation: ~ 800cm x 1400cm x 800 cm
light, slate table, steel frame, Erlenmyer flasks,
beaker, chemicals, geometric form in floor tape