Meta Morf 2024:
[up]Loaded Bodies

17. April – 09. June 2024

  • Free entrance
Make the Clouds Cry Marie Luce Nadal Photo Courtesy of the artist

Marie-Luce Nadal “Make the Clouds Cry” (2015) Photo: Courtesy of the artist

"Meta.Morf 2024 – [up]Loaded Bodies" is the 8th edition of the Trondheim Biennale for Art and Technology. This year's festival is dedicated to exploring the technological body caught between virtual ecstasy and digital overconsumption, curated by Zane Cerpina and Espen Gangvik (TEKS).

Marie-Luce Nadal | Marlot Meyer | Špela Petrič | Werner van der Zwan & Charl Linssen

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The Trøndelag Centre for Contemporary Art and Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre – TEKS are pleased to invite you to the exhibition opening on Wednesday, April 17th at 6:00 PM. All the artists will be present.

In the exhibition "[up]Loaded Bodies," artists Charl Linssen and Werner van der Zwan, Marlot Meyer, Marie-Luce Nadal, and Špela Petrič present artworks that shed light on the relationship between humans and technology, its possibilities, and consequences.

Grand narratives of escapes into digital wonderlands hit us time and again. What does the journey beyond the screen promise us today? Is it a one-way ticket to a boundless experience inside the perfect avatar body? A utopian fantasy of an eternal party in cyberspace? What can we truly expect from this virtual tourism? Will it live up to its promises? How high are your digital expectations? And are you prepared to leave your physical confines at the departure hall, while your mind embarks on a spectacular voyage into virtual realms?

The “[up]Loaded Bodies” exhibitions of Meta.Morf 2024 present artists who explore the technological body caught between virtual ecstasy and digital obesity. Reflecting on the biennale theme, the featured artworks probe the complexities of identity, embodiment, and experience in the digital era, offering a wide range of perspectives – from hopeful to critical.

The exhibition at the Trøndelag Centre for Contemporary Art is one of four festival exhibitions. The other three are held at TEKS.studio (April 19 – July 28), Kjøpmannsgata Ung Kunst - K.U.K. (April 18 – August 18), and in Rotterdam at V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media (September 19 – October 13).
Meta.Morf 2024 – The eighth Trondheim Biennale for Art and Technology is a collaboration between TEKS – Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre and V2_, Lab for the Unstable Media (NL).
Make the Clouds Cry Marie Luce Nadal Photo Courtesy of the artist

Marie-Luce Nadal “Make the Clouds Cry” (2015)

Marie-Luce Nadal “Make the Clouds Cry” (2015) Photo: Courtesy of the artist

MARIE-LUCE NADAL (FR)

MAKING THE CLOUDS CRY [2015]

In Marie-Luce Nadal's work, "Making the Clouds Cry," the artist shoots with a crossbow towards the clouds in the sky. Inspired by the practice of cloud seeding, she literally makes the sky cry.

«Madeleine crossbow” is a sculpture and instrument crafted by Marie-Luce Nadal for her “Making the Clouds Cry” outdoor performance from 20215. Constructed with welded metal, electric components, and repurposed bra wire, this device houses handmade cartridges. When released into the sky, these cartridges beckon the clouds to share their emotions. The artist stands armed with the crossbow, shooting ammunition loaded with sulfur and dynamite into the clouds to evoke tears from the sky.

‘Cloud seeding’ is a practice introduced in the 1950s in southern France. It's a practice Nadal’s grandfather carried out to keep hail clouds away from damaging his crops and vineyards. “Making the Clouds Cry” is a poetic exploration of the human connection to nature. This creation reflects the artist’s profound intention to merge art with the world’s emotions.

Vie d ailleur by Marie Luce Nadal Photo courtesy of the artist webside

Marie-Luce Nadal "Making the Clouds Cry" (2022).

Photo: Courtesy of the artist

VIE D’AILLEUR [2022]

As we immerse ourselves in the digital cloud, Marie-Luce Nadal's installation "Vie d’ailleurs" show us a real cloud harvested from the sky in Cambodia.

“Vie d’Ailleurs” is an artwork that embodies the harvesting and manifestation of pure cloud essence. This essence is extracted by Marie-Luce Nadal, an artist passionate about capturing natural phenomena. This evolving sculpture contains a captive cloud in perpetual motion housed in a transparent glass container. At the bottom lie masses of soil forming a captive fragment of land - a microcosm - subject to the random will of air masses condensing into wisps of thin clouds, both elements harvested by Nadal in Cambodia in 2022.

Under the watchful eye of the overhanging machine, the cloud appears and disappears, following an orchestrated movement. The contained atmosphere oxidizes, forms clouds, or clears, influenced by its surroundings.

Nadal's cloud aquarium is part of her series "Eoloriums". The title is a neologism coined by the artist, combining the word 'Aeolus' (the name of the god who rules over the winds in Greek mythology) with the Latin suffix 'arium' (meaning place or container).

Like an archivist, Marie-Luce Nadal has captured something ephemeral to protect it from the passage of time. Preserved since then in a transparent glass tank, the cloud never stops evolving and transforming as it reacts to its environment.

Marie-Luce Nadal (b. 1984, France) is a Franco-Catalan artist and researcher who focuses on the impermanence of certain ephemeral and atmospheric materials: cloud, spray, smoke, steam, breath, dust. She is renowned for her performative mechanic works, a fusion of plastic singularity, scientific inquiry, and technical viability. Her intention is not merely to create art but to provide objects that the audience can actively engage with. Nadal’s work is haunted by the direct impact of climatic phenomena, leading to a captivating exploration of meteorology and art within her creative universe. Marie-Luce Nadal holds a PhD from SACRe Laboratory, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs and PSL Research University, Paris, France. Her work has been shown in a number of institutions, including the Palais de Tokyo (France), the Musée des Abattoirs de Toulouse (France), the ZKM (Germany), the Fondation Fiminco (France) and the Biennale de Lyon (France).
marielucenadal.com
@marieluce.nadal
MM2024 Uploaded Bodies TSSK 2024 Foto Juliane Schütz webside 020

Marlot Meyer “Hotspot”.

MARLOT MEYER (ZA/NL)

HOTSPOT [2023]

In “Hotspot” (2023), Marlot Meyer connects you to an interactive AI-based system. Enter the installation and upload your biosignals to the hotspot. “Hotspot” is a shared experience of uploading yourself in order to reconnect to yourself and each other inside a sentient, listening space. It is an experience of letting go of control in exchange for connection and communication. Connected to the "Hotspot," your body becomes a channel in a larger network of information exchange. No one speaks, but you have the feeling that you are all in contact with each other.

Connected to the "Hotspot," your body becomes a channel in a larger network of information exchange: Sensors pick up your heart rate, sweat response, activity in the brain's prefrontal cortex, and your eye movements. Your sensory reactions reflect how you feel and respond to the world around you.


Marlot Meyer (ZA/NL) is an interdisciplinary multimedia artist. She uses technology as a tool to infiltrate, examine, and reconstruct the embedded knowledge that lies within our bodies and the cultures, structures, and meanings we have created around them. In doing so, she breaks down barriers and binaries, and overcomes the problematic notions of separation between the self and other. Meyer's inspiration and energy stem from her analog experiences growing up in South Africa and the contrast between this and the mediated world we live and communicate in and through today. Her playful attitude towards technology acts as the driving force to understand and work with digital media, seeing it as a tool to illustrate the already existing, often unseen natural forces and connections around us. Meyer aims to create experiences that picture the body with boundaries extending outside and beyond the skin into a much vaster network of senses, signals, and sources, whereby a new definition of self, body, and space can be created and shared.
Marlot Meyer holds a degree in Interactive Media Design from The Royal Academy of Art in Den Haag, Netherlands, as well as a degree in Audio Visual Communication from Cape Town Creative Academy in Cape Town, South Africa.
marlotmeyer.com
@marlotmeyer
PL AI Špela Petrič Photo by Hana Josič presented at Kersnikova

Špela Petrič “PL AI”.

Photo: HanaJosič /Kersnikova

“PL’ AI”, the third work from Špela Petrič’s opus PLANT-MACHINE, embraces the notion of a play as an ontological condition of all living bodies, including plants. The act of playing, unlike games, which are limited by clear rules or goals, reflects the curiosity of existence and is therefore at the heart of (self)knowing.

“PL’ AI” is a process lasting several months in which plants grown from seed and an AI-robot whose perceptual world is limited to them, interact with each other. The play beyond the human time scale promises a glimpse of artificial intelligence as formed by the plant and, conversely, a morphology of the plant imprinted by the interventions of the robot.

In her work, Špela Petrič thus brings seemingly two unlikely bodies, a plant and an AI, into their encounter conditioned by a play. However, historically, a plant and a machine are not very much disattached from each other. Philosophers since Aristoteles, would refuse a plant to posses any agency or soul due to its seeming immovability, therefore allowing to perceive a plant as just a mechanic body. Rather than trying to dismantle and negate this systematic oppression and hierarchisation of bodies, Petrič, however, embraces a plant-machine companionship, their affinity and shared history of imaginings. Through play, we become witnessing the transformation of their constrains, opening up the possibility of their existence otherwise. We encounter the opening up of another temporeality, neither those of a plant, nor those of a machine alone, but both, already mutated by their needs and desires, and by our own implications into the expression of a possibility of their joy.

“PL’ AI” is an expression of bodies in their shared struggles and desire to thrive, regardless of how risky and precarious the conditions are. Through “PL’ AI” what is a plant, what is a machine, what is a human, what is a nonhuman blurs and overlaps – we become bodies laughing, embracing the joy of a play while becoming otherwise. The question is, how far can we transform each other in the act of play’s mutations? Are we ready to embrace the risk of change, to become with the plant-machine that PL’AI proposes?

About the artist: Špela Petrič is a Slovenian new media artist with a background in the natural sciences. Her artistic practice combines biomedia practices and performativity to enact strange relations between bodies that reveal the underpinnings of our (bio)technological societies and propose alternatives. Petrič has received several awards, such as the White Aphroid for outstanding artistic achievement (Slovenia), the Bioart and Design Award (Netherlands), and an Award of Distinction at Prix Ars Electronica (Austria).

Up Loaded Bodies TSSK 2024 Foto Amalie Marie Selvik webside 028

Werner van der Zwan & Charl Linssen “Unconventional Self”.

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a chair? Now is your chance to find out! By combining their expertise in telepresence and furniture robots, the artists Werner van der Zwan and Charl Linssen tried to answer this question in this exploratory experience. By animating found objects with electronics, it is now possible to see and move through the world as a chair.

“Unconventional Self” is a project developed by Werner van der Zwan and Charl Linssen. Telepresence robotics allow a person to embody a remote robotic avatar. The person observes the environment from the robot’s perspective, which can move around under remote control. The remotely operated body mediates the relationship with the world. If the experience is sufficiently compelling, a perspective shift occurs, where the person controlling the robot feels like the robot body is their body, and they are perceiving and acting in the world from the robot’s point-of-view: they feel "embodied" in the sculpture.

In Werner van der Zwan and Charl Linssen’s version of the telepresence robot, one embodies a folding chair. Participants develop a sense of this new body, discovering new possibilities, vulnerabilities, and desires. Like the beetle in Kafka’s Metamorphosis, the human characters slowly start to become their new bodies and will experience being part of the same private world as the inhuman characters around them.

This project was co-produced by V2_ Lab for Unstable Media.

Werner van der Zwan is a Dutch artist and filmmaker living and working in Rotterdam. His artistic practice consists of creating experiences in which the basic relationship between subject and object or nature and technology are questioned. Werner’s goal is to give the other, non-human, non-living things a last breath expressing the object’s distinct character, bridging the inner worlds of things and humans. He does this by morphing things into actors, shaping them into personalities with windshield washer motors.

Charl Linssen is a postgraduate student in computational neuroscience. He is particularly interested in computer simulation of dynamical processes, which unfold over time. The brain is such a dynamical system, and is moreover involved in a continuous feedback with its environment, mediated by the body through perception and action. In his spare time, Charl uses electronics and robotics to build objects that exhibit a similar kind of responsiveness to their environment. These objects have a quality of “animatedness”, or being endowed with a spirit, in the sense that they are not just objects like any other, but come to life once the circuit is powered on.

Meta.Morf is supported by Arts Council Norway, Trondheim Municipality, and Trøndelag County Council.

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