There are many other life-electricity associations that come to mind, they are more tenuous but they are there, mostly fiction or anecdotal. When they clone an animal, they first take an egg cell and remove the original genes and substitute the DNA from the animal they want to clone. They then have to zap the cell with electricity which starts the first division. Michelangelo depicting the Creation of Adam had God giving Adam the spark of life. In Frankenstein, the monster is brought to life with a spark from captured lightning. Our own nervous system uses an electrochemical signaling system, like an incessant ‘electric storm.’
The modern world is dominated by electricity with an endless profusion of it’s technological applications. In medicine, and particularly in fields more or less connected to neurosciences – electricity is even more pervasive. Most of the electric apparatus we developed and knowledge that we acquired over the years is thanks to the study of the electric fish. From this perspective EOD02 can be contextualised as a media archeology work of art.
EOD02 is a new media installation based on special species of fish that perceive their environment and communicate with each other by emitting electric signals in water, either in pulses or waves. The project explores the communication mechanisms of electrical fish, including JAR (the means by which a fish avoids attempts by other fish to jam its frequency) and thus investigates communication and non-communication between individual fish as well as between fish and people. The installation is based on four mirrored fish tanks on a pedestal with an integrated audio system. In each tank, antennas allow capturing the fish signals, which are directly linked to four speakers transforming these signals into sound. What the viewer hears is the fish electro-communication and sensing apparatus. Furthermore, underneath each aquarium a LED light is placed pulsing according to the intensity, rhythm, of the emitted signals of the practically blind fish. In this manner the electrical impulses of the fish become tangible, visible and audible.
◊ EOD02 is developed in collaboration with Lab[au].
◊ EOD02 is in the permanent collection of the ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany, Europe.