by Desiree Kabis
Its body slim, sleek, black, cold, so small it could fit on an A4 page. Pressing its eye to the ground, it was feeling the surface with its small hands and feet — steadily, slowly, smoothly, rolling — feeling, sensing, reading.
Electric Animal narrates the process of encountering an unknown being in its natural habitat, taking it outside, and recording the experience of nature through a different kind of eye. Following the question “How does a scanner perceive its surroundings?”, Desiree Kabis uncovers shifted images, distortions, elongated, shortened and oddly deformed objects, bodies, textures, leaves and rocks. In a story told from two different perspectives, Desiree befriends the alien mechanical being, exploring the machine’s first contact with organic material.
Desiree’s installation and book focus on the handscanner, a simple tool that can easily be carried around. Learning and exploring the phenomena that occur when scanning things with organic and uneven surfaces in natural light. Double corner projections reflect the animalʼs way of seeing: its slit-like eye gradually builds an image, line by line; the scanner narrates their encounters.
The installation video was realised together with Tanja Meißner (Animation) and Kira Adams (Sound Design).
Stretching Life / Finite Heights zooms in and out to challenge the existing borders of humanhood. Where do we end? What do we relate to, what do we depend on? Does empathy always only go hand in hand with pathetic fallacy? Where is the end to the flying fire we are currently riding on? These pressing questions are not only dealt with in artistic works, but also leave their imprints on the way, in which products and books are conceptualized.
In a scenic reading, Desiree Kabis describes her encounter with the Electric Animal, accompanied by images of the machine's first contact with organic material.