common ground by Cosmo Niklas Schüppel

Installation / Participatory event
18:00 – 22:00
TOP project space, Schillerpromenade 4, 12049 Berlin

As a participatory room installation common ground creates a space for inter-special connection – touching on topics of hierarchic, human-centred thinking, and wo*mankind’s relation to the unknown.

common ground invites visitors to experience reality consciously and in a shared space with the micro-algae Euglena Gracilis. Euglena Gracilis evolved at the overlaps of the animal and the plant kingdom – uniting in them many characteristics of non-human life on this planet.
Sound – being the most direct path into the human mind – is used to help guide the visitors into a trance-like meditative state. How the Euglena Gracilis cell experience these vibrations is left open and up to speculation.
The installation does not intend to create a communication between species, or to show scientific results. It instead aims to make the visitors aware of their own ways of experiencing reality. common ground is a space where beings of different principles of perception can experience their worlds in their own way – in a unified field.

By creating this space of connection the installation opens up questions about hierarchic thinking in the Anthropocene: the human centered world view puts mankind’s intelligence above any other. As well as it shines light on the topics of self-inquiry, self-realisation and other non-dualistic visions of the transformation of humanity.

The original intent during the working process was to create a space without hierarchies – a space where different beings can exist on the same level. Throughout the process this attempt showed the opposite result. The more a non-hierarchic state of being was tried to be induced, the more the preexisting hierarchies – physically and in the human mind – were made obvious. These omnipresent hierarchies, deeply rooted in both the human perspective and in nature, are not denied in the work. Nor are they tried to be disproven, disregarded, or strengthened. The work tries to instead show them and to open a discussion about them. Both in the context of everyday life and in the artistic process when working with other forms of beings.

The change needed in mankind’s relation to nature, in thought and in action, is more necessary than ever before. The question of humans relation to other beings that share our living-spaces, is deeply entwined with the future of human existence. It has been with us for our whole modern existence, but we have not found a way to coexist equally yet.

It is time find answers. Or – at least – it is time to start asking the right questions.

Cosmo Niklas Schüppel, born in Berlin, is studying at the Bauhaus-University Weimar in the Media Arts department. He is working at the crossroads of Radio-/Sound-Art, Bio-Art and Performance. His works follow a scientific and mediative perspective. This approach aims to build bridges between different principles of explaining reality – by tearing down the walls of culturally hardened believe patterns.
In his works he puts the observer into the middle of the pieces, aiming to open up paths of self- inquiry and reflection.

Special thanks go to Mindaugas Gapševičius – for guidance is the working process, Miriam de Hohenstein – for well needed help in the organization.

This Project is funded by Bauhaus-University Weimar Kreativfonds.