Melanie Windl: Augmented Scopes

What is our individual space for action in a seemingly more complex world? In our everyday life we are confronted with digital and analog life-hacks to alter the realities we live in. This reality is often presented as modern man’s fine balance between liberation on the one hand and apocalypse on the other. But what if technology had the potential to create a more symbiotic relationship between humankind and nature through an empowering of the individual?

The large scale biomorphic installation Augmented Scopes embodies results of our geological time where all living things in the sea are affected by immense changes. The chemist Paul Crutzen´s notion of the anthropocene illuminates the extent of man-made alterations of the environment. In this perspective humankind is perceived as a force of nature in ourselves and our endeavours seem to have the same evolutionary consequences as the meteorites that hit this planet 66 million years ago and eradicated the dinosaurs. However, there is no dystopia we meet in Melanie Windl´s scenario at Babel, but rather a deterministic optimism where our new technological assets have the potential to help us think of nature and people as part of shared ecosystems.

Melanie Windl’s project is based on the technologies of augmented reality. The physical installation can be seen through a mobile device that will alter our perception of the real world environment inside the gallery space – thus letting us perceive other possible realities.

Melanie Windl (b. Germany) works in the transdisciplinary field of new media art and sculpture. She often works with multi-sensory large scale installations which show a strong fascination for the inherent poetic quality of nature and technology. Through a mixing multi-channel sound-compositions, light, video and interactivity with textured three-dimensional shapes, she renders immersive environments. Windl studied Media Arts at the Saarland University of the Arts (HBKsaar) (2005-2012), followed by a postgraduate course in sound art composition at the University of Music (HfM) Mainz (2015). Her work have received continuous recognition with scholarships, prizes and artist residencies: amongst other a state capital scholarship of Saarbrücken (2011) and stipends by the Künstlerdorf Schöppingen Foundation (2013- 2017). She recently exhibited at the Regionale 2016 NRW in Germany, the Tokyo Experimental Festival in Japan, at Madlab 0 in Matsudo, Japan, Titanik Gallery in 2015, Finland and the Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio in Japan. Since 2017. Windl is Head of department of Fine Art and Visual Media at the Center for the Arts of Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB), Germany.

Curator: Margrete Abelsen