Andreas Greiner: Multitudes
Import Projects, Berlin, 21 March - 18 April, 2015
Curated with Anja Henckel

Multitudes is an audiovisual installation in two movements that straddles the fields of biology, digitality and sculpture.

Incorporating the monocellular algae Dinoflagella Pyrocystis Fusformis and a self-playing grand piano, physical stimulus from the latter serves to trigger a bioluminescent response from multitudes of microscopic organisms in the first movement. The mathematical basis of this musical composition – a collaboration between the artist and composer Tyler Friedman – is based on the growth curve of the algae’s replication cycle. Beginning with total darkness and silence, music and light patterns exponentially increase in complexity, intensity and frequency, until they reach maximum possible variations. Following this peak, the process ends with the complete extinction of sound and illumination, just as the algae’s capacity for natural light emission has been exhausted by overstimulation.

The first movement of Multitudes is a living sculpture, whose ‘performance’ engages the economic parameters of life and death as they relate to energy. The algae’s replication cycle, its capacity for action and ultimate exhaustion, is both visualised and physically engaged by the musical score of the automaton piano. Eventually, it is destroyed by this representation.

Multitudes’ second movement involves the addition of another piano, activated by a live performance by internationally renowned organist Hampus Lindwall. Further replicating the exponential growth cycle of the algae, this performance incorporates a doubling of active elements – algae, score and stimulus. Playing with biological ebb and flow, emergence and disappearance, both movements amounts to a requiem for biological life cycles, limited resources and mass extinction.

In summer of 2015 the artistic parameters of Multitudes will, once again, grow – into a major installation and performance work that will premiere at the Cycle Art and Music Festival, Iceland. This project will also be curated by Anja Henckel and Nadim Samman.

Andreas Greiner has exhibited at institutions including Kunstverein Arnsberg, Transmediale, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (NAK) and the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin. Further exhibitions with the collective Das Numen (Julian Charrière, Markus Hoffmann, Andreas Greiner and Felix Kiessling) have taken place at Schinkel Pavillon, Haus am Luetzowplatz, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Deutsches Architekturzentrum (DAZ).