the outline of paradise (installation) [2014]

muecken weimar vimeo from resoutionable on Vimeo.

In a sound-isolated box with controlled light conditions non-biting midges (chironomidae) are bred. Inside the box in an aquarium mosquito eggs and larvae swim in sand and water. They are ventilated and supplied with abundant artificial daylight. The choice of midges (Chironomus Riparius, a laboratory strain) allows for captive breeding.

Inside the aquarium a microphone records the sounds of flying midges.

A matrix of speakers are used to sonicate the mosquitoes with the sound of flapping wings, and so they can learn their behavior by the acoustically simulated presence of counterparts, and in turn control this.

By a computer programm the sounds are supervised by video recordings to allow the conditioning of the swarming behaviour of the midges.

This setting allows to find out how swarms develop and how they can be influenced. This installation follows “sustaibable luminosity” and explores the possibilities to train migdes and to  pass this behaviour to the next generations

For a performance I invited Christina Meissner  to improvise on the theme of the wingbeat sound. We could experience that the tracks of the midges were visibly influenced especially by dark plucking sounds.

  • "the outline of paradise" - view into the soundbox


Concept: Ursula Damm
Cello, Sounds: Christina Meissner
Programming: Sebastian Stang