Verena Friedrich: THE LONG NOW

Wellcome Library, Londres, œuvre de Blaise Alexandre Desgoffe d'après Maximilien Honoré François Rapine, 1883

Verena Friedrich is an artist that works through installations, videos and biological art. She studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and at the University of Art and Design Offenbach in Germany.

Her residency project, THE LONG NOW, explores the chemical and physical properties of the soap bubble, within a contemporary point of view. Her residency is taking part at RUSTINES|LAB from the 5th of May to the 5th of June, in collaboration with the Oboro centre in Montreal.

Being one of the classical vanitas symbols, soap bubbles are often used as visual metaphors for the transient nature of life. A soap bubble usually exist only for a few seconds until the fragile equilibrium cannot be maintained any more and the bubble eventually bursts. Similar to a soap bubble, life exists only for a relatively short period of time, before it pops out of existence. THE LONG NOW explores the soap bubble from a contemporary perspective, based on its chemical and physical properties and in reference to current developments in science and technology.

The objective for THE LONG NOW is to develop a machine that will prolong the lifetime of a soap bubble. The machinery will generate a bubble, send it into a controlled atmosphere chamber and keep it in suspension for as long as possible. In parallel, the chemical composition of the bubble will be altered in order to improve its durability. The installation will be realized in the form of an experimental setup, in which the technologically enhanced bubble permanently oscillates between ephemerality and stabilization.

Verena Friedrich is an artist working in various disciplines such as installation, video, sound and biological practice. She holds degrees from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and the University of Art and Design Offenbach, both in Germany. Besides creating installations in which organic and electronic media come into play she is interested in the direct interaction with scientists and engineers and the hands-on work in the bioscientific laboratory.
Her projects have been presented internationally in the context of media art festivals, exhibitions and conferences and have for example been granted the International Media Award for Science and Art from ZKM Karlsruhe and a special mention in the VIDA Art and Artificial Life International Awards. Verena is currently based in Cologne, where she is Artist in Residence at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing.

Text: Verena Friedrich
Image: Wellcome Library, Londres, artwork from Blaise Alexandre Desgoffe based on Maximilien Honoré François Rapine, 1883.

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