Tizian Derme & Daniela Mitterberger

Artist

Tizian Derme (AT)
Daniela Mitterberger (AT)
Vienna and Zürich based media artists and architects Daniela Mitterberger and Tiziano Derme are the co-founders and directors of MAEID / Büro für Architektur und Trasmediale Kunst, an interdisciplinary design  studio created to critically locating new technologies within novel human-animal-machine entanglements. Their work strives to establish particular relationships with otherness, and new dynamics of exchange between listeners and receivers. Daniela Mitterberger currently is a PhD fellow and researcher at ETH Zurich investigating the relationships between human intuition and robotics. Tiziano Derme is an Assistant Professor and PhD-Fellow at the University of Innsbruck focusing on multimedia composites and material performativity.
The Eye of the Other (2019)
  • © MAEID - Daniela Mitterberger & Tiziano Derme
  • © MAEID - Daniela Mitterberger & Tiziano Derme
  • © MAEID - Daniela Mitterberger & Tiziano Derme
  • © MAEID - Daniela Mitterberger & Tiziano Derme
  • © MAEID - Daniela Mitterberger & Tiziano Derme

Interspecies communication human-bats

The eye of the Other explores non-verbal communication between humans and bats, through the study and the translation of the bat’s sensorial systems. While humans distinguish fruit from foliage visually, via their ability to discriminate red and green acquired throughout biological evolution, bats do not rely on the primacy of the visual sense. Nectar feeding bats find flowers by sorting the environment using visual and sonar information. They can recognize the geometry of a single flower by generating so-called ‘echo-fingerprints’. The eye of the other translates these fingerprints into audible frequencies and visual, sensual patterns comprehensible to human senses. This multimodal piece derives from the artist’s desire to transcend the limitation of our living experience exploring the deeper meaning of mutualistic relationships and interspecies communication between human and animals; the animals gaze in juxtaposition to the human gaze.

Bats are a crucial part of our native wildlife, indicators of biodiversity, important pollinators; some plants even depend partly or wholly on bats to pollinate their flowers. While these plants rely on bats to pollinate their flowers, bats also rely on the fruit and flowers of these plants to survive. Tiziano Derme and Daniela Mitterberger are fascinated by the way a nectar bat processes and filters relevant information from the environment to make sense of its perception. It has to find hundreds of tiny flowers each night in a highly cluttered rainforest sorting out visual, olfactory and sonar information.

The Eye of the Other explores bio-inspired design not through the creation of objects but rather as an alteration of an environment to stimulate biological processes and behaviors in a desired way. The work translates the nectar bats’ perceptual world into perceptual patterns a human can understand – from echolocation to our senses such as hearing, seeing and touching.