Under-Mine, 2017

Under-Mine was a solo exhibition of five new digital video works and one new interactive work using a custom-built control system that premiered at Art Laboratory Berlin between February 25th and late April, 2017, in conjunction with CTM Festival and Transmediale Festival Vorspiel.

This exhibition was the culmination of my research into how certain animals are having their senses morphed by climate change. I ended up focusing on examples that I found most interesting, where habitat destruction was not the major factor, but rising temperatures themselves were the key factor: the bat and echolocation, the horse and proprioception, the lizard and chemoreception, and the woodlouse and hygroreception. With some minor emphasis also placed on creatures whose senses and perceptions are altered by climate change due to habitat destruction in particular – the turtle and magnetoreception, the frog and auditory perception, the fish and olfactory senses. In each case, I used extensive scientific research and predictive modelling by others from which I created a series of animations that told the stories, and potential futures, of each of these creatures. As part of the exhibition, a research book of approx 200 pages was put together by me that allowed visitors to delve into the scientific research behind these artworks.


A remixed one video version of this work, called ‘The Nonhuman Subject’ also showed at Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, USA, from May 5th to June 17th 2017.


Essay from the curators Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz:

“This exhibition project investigates the problematics and possibilities of communicating nonhuman perception through the interface of artistic practice and new technologies. By means of interactive and non-interactive video that use generative and time-based techniques the Australian artist Alinta Krauth considers potential narratives of animals under threat from climate change.

Alinta Krauth’s new project Under-Mine (2017), especially developed for Art Laboratory Berlin, uses video, generative art, data visualisation and an intensive study into the science of animal perception and cognition to propose narrative paths towards a meeting point of the human and nonhuman. Taking into account that each species’ way of sensing the world is unique, and often beyond the ken of human experience, Krauth makes use of a diverse technological toolbox to navigate and translate nonhuman perceptions.

By means of data generated video and sound, hand drawn animation, and digital interactive elements, Krauth creates four ‘narratives’ – bat, wild horse, woodlouse, and rock lizard – that follow a similar plot line: the attempt to survive a species die-off. The artist introduces abstract visual and aural perception as language, interaction with an immersive environment, and a sense-oriented, rather than linear narrative. In her own words she discerns that “one way to tell a narrative of, or for, a nonhuman animal is to consider the senses that are stronger in other species than in humans, for example echolocation, magnetoreception, hygroreception, chemoreception, and possibly proprioception.”

The project makes use of a tradition of interactive and game related electronic art, which connects the human body to storytelling, but proposes using this to explore the possibilities of inter-species empathy. Through interaction the audience wavers between being a character, a creator, and a viewer. While the artist is well aware that narrative is itself a very human construct, and that any attempt to experience animal perception is bound to be inherently anthropocentric, Under-Mine seeks to push at the boundaries between the human and animal, and dislodge us from our usual subject-object relation to the nonhuman.”