Object of Interest 700 e, an architectonic sculpture by Joel Kuennen


Event details

Date 03.02.2023 26.02.2023
Hour 11:0018:00
Speaker Joel Kuennen, artists in residence at EPFL 2022
Category Exhibitions
Event Language French, English
Object of Interest 700 e presents us an opportunity to interrogate the role exoplanets play in the cultural imaginary. Although the first confirmed detection of a planet existing outside our solar system came only in 1992, exoplanets have quickly emerged as neocolonialist objects of interest.
  • OPENING in the presence of the artist:
    Thursday, February 2, 6pm
    February 3 to 26, 2023, Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm

Spheroids, the research project at the origin of Object of Interest 700 e, takes the thread of Joel Kuennen’s practice of land interventions, bringing together the artist’s material interests while expanding in the conceptual field of extraterrestrial “hyperobjects,” to use the term coined by philosopher Timothy Morton. Through unorthodox laboratory experiments conducted at the EPFL Crystal Growth Facility, Kuennen experimented with the growth of single crystals from natural olivine to test a non-pure form, a process that defies the protocols of scientific laboratories. 

Hybrid materialism and material intelligence emerge in Object of Interest 700 e. Consolidating as an architectonic sculpture, it consists of a porcelain sphere enveloped in a biofilm made from the symbiotic bacteria and fungi found in our digestive systems, a magnetic levitation array, and silicon carbide ceramic stilts on a base of stoneware glazed with rare earth elements and olivine.

In its technologically augmented materiality and its reference to a symbology both sacred and profane, the work manifests, concretizes, and makes tangible an ancient yet futuristic theoretical imprint, adding another layer of techno-scientific, material, and theoretical implications to Kuennen's practice.

> Spheroids, the research project by Joel Kuennen

> Joel Kuennen website

Also to be seen at EPFL Pavilions, Pavilion A:
> Mouthless Part III (Panorama), a video installation by Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė