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  • Writer's picturePatrycja Wojciechowska

Felix Lenz. The Air we Breathe

Updated: Jan 24


Felix Lenz, Political Atmosphere, 2020, side view, photo: Felix Lenz


The conversation between Felix Lenz and myself originates in the idea to approach his practice through lenses of Duchampian Infrathin, the category which lies at the roots of this project. 

When I first thought about inviting Felix to take part in this project , I was considering how different his practice would look in this context. On the surface research-driven, ordered and explicitly articulate the practice is defined by bold edges sharpened by the scientific paradigm. But to me his work is beautifully fluid, haunted by apparitions, echoes and residues of different interwoven presences - heroes, villains and collaborators, organic and artificial, human and beyond, living and nonliving.

At closer look, an intricately layered image emerges, punctuated by immeasurable spaces of “in-between”, gaps where hard edges prove to be not as hard and impossible to question as we like to think of them. The practice is at its core of liminal nature where sharp edges of objects become blurred, frazzled, boundaries separating things become increasingly porous and collaborators expand beyond human and in fact, beyond living.


The most often quoted example of Infrathin is the warmth on a recently vacated chair seat. That warmth, that frequently unnoticed consequence of presence, of physical connection is at the core of things. Moments and marks of interaction, of fleeting contact deemed inconsequential. Similarly miniscule inter-relations, chances and consequences bind what is at the core of Lenz’s practice. Practice where work through data and its interpretation places it simultaneously as subject of the very process. What is questioned-investigated becomes a question-subject of investigation itself.

What if that arbitrary language of numbers is challenged by chance, by endless variations of irrational?

This element of putting in question the absolute certainty of science is something that I see a lot in the way Lenz performs and presents his investigations, with his methodology including elements, accepted and embraced, of flexibility, liminality and chance. 


The focal points of the interview are : 

liminality, way of working, bio-machine(?),  human and beyond, cloud, skies and the weather

 

Felix Lenz, Angela Neubauer, Eszter Zwickl, The Cleanroom Paradox, 2021, phone dissolved in acid, photo: Felix Lenz

Felix Lenz, Angela Neubauer, Eszter Zwickl, The Cleanroom Paradox, 2021, film still,

photo: Felix Lenz


PATRYCJA WOJCIECHOWSKA:

It is so good to have you here Felix. Thank you for agreeing to speak with me. I am really excited for this conversation. As I mentioned, I want to try to contextualise your practice in the category of Infrathin, a category I have been interested in primarily due to its intangibility, its undefinable nature. One can deliver its definition only through examples. Anyone who hears the examples of Infrathin, immediately, intuitively knows what they refer to. Yet, the said definition remains elusive. 

I recall reading how Duchamp was once asked who he was. He responded simply saying: ‘je sui respirateur’-’ I'm a breather’.  Personally I see it as  an act of self-identification happening through change, which originates in a body. To me this change is creative. These two notions, of the infrathin and the breather-respirateur, are connected. The idea that one creates in the framework of continuous body transformation, in the daily act of breathing, is fascinating. I feel what Duchamp proposes in this instance, is to work through the immeasurable ruled by chance and to ironically question the certainty of numbers and dominance of the scientific paradigm.


FELIX LENZ:

Most of the time there are several factors that affect the way I formulate the thesis or the shape of the hypothesis explored in my work. Additionally, I often sense a huge disconnection – especially in atmospheric and climate sciences – between how things are studied, understood and contextualised, how they are received by the wider public and finally, the way in which the knowledge is applied. I feel that my task is to build a bridge over this conceptual, associative gap, not only through translative, but also through transformative processes. It’s not science communication. Rather, it’s an attempt to unpick and to disentangle the way we look at things. 

I'm interested in questioning the very infrastructures and modes of seeing, thinking and computing the world. This interest frequently centres on a lot of modes and different contexts of extractivism. On the one hand of course,  there is the literal extractivism through which we treat other lives, entities, resources, and materials as if we owned them. On the other hand, I try to question the modes of knowledge extraction which occur before the actual physical extraction takes place, carried out through anthropocentric, colonial means of rationalisation.

I have an ambivalent attitude towards working with science in the context of the artistic process. I often take a path parallel to scientific research, but sometimes this relationship becomes vertical through the process of unpicking. 

We frequently forget that science is not an absolute state. It's a continuum. We refer to facts as absolute and non dynamic in their nature nowadays. We like to quantify and categorise everything. We express ourselves and our world through data. This tendency leads to a very narrow, very limited image of the world. It does not account for the cracks and spaces in-between things. I believe that my task is the exploration of the spectrum set in-between these binary states. Maybe this is the connection of my work to the liminal or the Infrathin. 


PW:

I feel that there is an internal conflict within science tightly bound to this desire to categorise and classify everything. But just as you said, science is not static. The need to put everything within a firm grid, doesn't leave space for the cracks in-between, for what is immeasurable. The idea that we can define each and all,  and assign a value to everything, is of course bound to the faulty conviction of  assumed superiority of Man above all the other beings.


You also said how  we live by the data these days. The imperative of constant access to information is almost overwhelming. It's as if one is not allowed to ‘not to access’ information. Not necessarily not knowing. That's not the same. 

There is just too much data nowadays. It's simply too vast  to analyse. If one lives in a situation like this, then equally every choice made is, in a way, a selection made by the principle of chance. You, on the other hand, apply a different thinking in terms of inquiry and how we look at things. 


I wanted to ask you about that occasional verticality with the scientific investigation you mentioned.  and the importance of chance, the immeasurable in this context.


FL:

To respond to your question concerning scientific investigation and art: I've recently been to a panel discussion on art and science. One of the panel members was a climate scientist studying clouds. She understood her work as slowly increasing the certainty over how our atmosphere works and operates. I very much wonder if that can be a sustainable or even achievable goal. When it comes to climate models, I wouldn't necessarily agree, but I also come from a different field. 

I believe we should invest our resources in learning how to deal with uncertainty, rather than attempting to ‘reduce’ or ‘solve’ it. In fact a lot of the methodologies researchers apply to study various phenomena, do themselves mess with the very assemblages they are meant to measure. Sometimes the act of knowledge extraction inflicts even greater uncertainty. In atmospheric sciences, for example, the sensors are sometimes the polluters. Aircrafts, for instance. Without planes and their measuring instruments we wouldn't have as precise models and data, but on the other hand they themselves are of course partially responsible for a changing and more uncertain atmosphere and climate. 

As Karen Barad delineates, every measurement is a ‘cut’ between what is included and excluded from what is being considered. Nothing is inherently separate from anything else. Hence every observation is a bidirectional ‘intra-action’ rather than a unilateral extraction of information. I believe this is why we won’t be able to solve our problems by means of measurement and computation alone.


But let’s get back to what I wanted to share in connection to the notion of chance. When it comes to climate change we oftentimes don't know when and where the consequences of our actions might next come into effect. The term hyper-object can be useful in describing the immense distributions in time and space related to climate change. So again, there is a huge disconnection between our actions and the consequences they cause. It is also important to consider factors or concepts like ‘slow violence’, which describe developments that are often latent for several decades or generations before reaching a certain tipping point. Oftentimes we can only comprehend the full scale and temporal extent when experiencing the tipping point. While these processes are non-linear and chaotic in their nature, it is important not to conflate them with ‘chance‘ as they are of course subject to clear structural imbalances arising from colonialism. The effects of climate change are always unproportionally distributed, affecting the Global South more than the countries causing the majority of the pollution. In my work I sometimes try to bridge the gap between action and consequence, so we can learn to take responsibility for our actions again, no matter how latent, non-linear or complex their consequences might be.


PW:

You said something very poignant- the moment one begins to observe the phenomenon is the moment one steps out of the situation. This makes me think about claims how human beings removed themselves mentally and emotionally from the natural world, and how they created the concept of nature as something separate from humans; how we convinced ourselves we could organise and rule it and do whatever we wanted to it, while standing comfortably outside of what's happening with no consequences. 

What an illusion.


FL: 

Yes indeed. We have always been inside the petri dish that we believed to be glancing at from a safe distance. We thought that those two spaces were separate, but of course, nothing is further from the truth. Only now we are slowly starting to realise the effect of our strategies of measurement and intrusion as they feedback to us through our environment and the atmosphere. The computational modelling of clouds affects the clouds themselves and in turn introduces even more entropy. There is no certainty. Nothing is absolute.


PW:

Another problem is the inability to accept that perhaps uncertainty is not a bad thing. That being in-between, liminal and immeasurable, subjected to change and positioned within the crack we spoke of, is not necessarily something that should be seen as a problem.


FL:

I agree. Perhaps we need new metaphors, new ways of coping with uncertain states. And to me, that's one of the most pressing challenges. We always begin by trying to put things in black and white, zero and one, but the world just doesn't work like that.


Felix Lenz, Angela Neubauer, Eszter Zwickl, The Cleanroom Paradox, 2021, installation view, Digital Art Festival Zurich 2021, photo: Felix Lenz

Last image: Felix Lenz, Angela Neubauer, Eszter Zwickl, The Cleanroom Paradox, 2021, installation view, Biennale Warszawa 2022, photo: Felix Lenz


PW:

Your projects involve multiple collaborators, human and beyond. I wanted to discuss the notion of collaboration as a part of your process.


FL:

I very much like working in groups and clusters of people. It adds multiple perspectives and lenses of filtration to the process. The various forms of exchange are why I value it so much: to speak, to inter- and intra-act with each other and not necessarily only with humans. Sometimes it is other entities, materials or landscapes. Intrinsic knowledge and databases can be found in soil, stones or many other seemingly inanimate entities. 

In many instances, I attempt to tackle macro- and microscopic at the same time, something that can be quite difficult. Looking at a large range of scales is interesting; especially as within them different modes of collaboration might too be encountered. There are also questions of how to incorporate non-human entities or other ways of perceiving, of seeing our world. 


In the project, ‘Restitution of a Glacier’, an installation I presented together with ​​Ula Reutina, Sophie Falkeis and Carmen Farr during the London Design Biennale in 2018, we explored the concept of legal personhood granted to non-human entities, a legally binding concept that has been applied in several countries already. 

What we did had a more speculative character. We put together a ‘Declaration of Rights for Natural Entities’, a speculative legal framework, issued by a future government, where endangered entities are entitled to certain rights, including the right to bring proceedings in front of court.

We selected the case of a glacier, as it was the most prominent, perhaps the most visible entity suffering from our impact on the environment. Through this legal framework, represented by its guardians, the entity can claim restitution through civil forces in the form of physical rebuilding. This Sisyphean, hypothetical task is expected to last for several generations, as an attempt to re-establish the injured entity’s dignity. 

The work aims to invert our assumed perspective of humans as the centre of our ecosystem, making us rethink our interdependence with non-human entities on the planet.


PW:

It is a tricky ground to incorporate non-human entities into an anthropocentric framework. It may not necessarily be the best solution to humanise them, so to speak, at least from my point of view. At the same time, I think it may be the most immediate option for now. To help to translate non-human needs for the people who find it challenging to see things from the other point of view. 


FL:

It's definitely a dilemma. 


PW: 

This brings us to the question of sentience. What is a sentient being and how do we apply this definition in order to give something or someone rights and agency?


FL:

There is another analogy I would like to share in connection with the notion of collaboration. I was thinking of the late New York based artist Mark Lombardi. Throughout his whole practice he paid special attention to open access materials and information. He read the indexes of hundreds of books and created index cards with listings of people and corporations, which he then cross-referenced with where those names and locations appeared in other literature. What he ended up with was a vast network of relations. Interestingly it's a similar approach to how patterns are extracted from data by neural networks nowadays, but Lombardi’s work has a more human and personal perspective. He followed logical, structural rules built within his system, but he defined his own process. 

In the end, he drew these beautiful, huge mind-maps of interrelations. I think that working or processing and transforming these sorts of open access materials may as well be understood as a form of collaboration with existing archives of knowledge.



Felix Lenz, Political Atmosphere, 2020, installation view, Where Is My Friends Home, Hyundai Motor Studio Busan 2023, photo: Felix Lenz

Felix Lenz, Political Atmosphere, 2020, installation view, ReiseBüro – The ism in Tourism, Quartier am Hafen, Cologne 2023, photo: Felix Lenz

FelWix Lenz, Political Atmosphere, 2020, installation view, ReiseBüro – The ism in Tourism, Quartier am Hafen, Cologne 2023, photo: Martin Plüddemann


PW: 

This leads to a concept I find very interesting, a bio-machine. I see bio-machine as more of a form of hybridisation resulting from the Anthropocene and our activities, rather than something that is purposely designed and built.


In ‘The Clean Room Paradox’, the project that you've shown at the Warsaw Biennale in 2022 things continue to happen and change. The transformation happens within the residues and traces of different presences encountered and researched in the project. Human dust, toxic materials, disease in the protagonist's lungs. All of this is a source of change that essentially creates a form I call bio-machine, a merger of human, other substances and beings. 

It's a little bit like the plastic in our blood these days. It didn't happen purposely. It's a byproduct of the Anthropocene, but in a way it changed us completely. I think ‘The Cleanroom Paradox’ touched on how we see the ever-present dominance of binary model. Put in proximity are sterility and dust, organic and technological, biological and artificial. But in truth they are not the opposites in the work and process described happening within it, is neither. They sort of mingle and they move into that crack that we've spoken of and become something new, somewhere else. 

A place, a state in-between.


FL:

I think that's very interesting. And the notion of residues that you touched upon goes really well with these ideas. I was also thinking of bioaccumulation. For instance, when we conducted research for the ‘The Cleanroom Paradox’ we studied the history of Silicon Valley and its colonial beginnings. For example, after the US West Coast was colonised, and the land was exploited through unsustainable forms of agriculture, gold was discovered. Since quicksilver was used as an accelerator in the gold extraction process in Santa Clara County, it polluted  groundwater and rivers and was hence carried all the way to the San Francisco Bay area. As toxic residues enter the marine life they in turn become another layer of residue, this time in the food chain. In the San Francisco Bay area still now, people suffer from the consequences of these toxic residues. Affected are mainly people of lower income groups or minorities. These residues feed back to us in a socially unjust manner. And I think that's the real issue. 


PW:

I have this preoccupation with bodies altered by the Anthropocene and with landscapes haunted by past lives affected by it and future extinctions it caused. I see mercury poisoning, we just discussed, a form of haunting. Those presences still inhabit the landscapes in point. In a sense, that makes it both a residue and a bio-machine. In the case of San Francisco Bay the introduction of quicksilver becomes a hybrid of nature and of our presence, which can be considered an artifice. We can see how it expands across entanglements and scales like the micro- and macroscale you spoke of.


FL:

With our work, ‘The Cleanroom Paradox’, we wanted to dismantle the deceptively pristine image of the high-tech industry; what has been happening there for quite some time now is pretty dramatic. At first, the industry was perceived as very pristine and clean, since there weren't huge smokestacks or clouds of dirty air hanging above production sites. But the issue in Silicon Valley was that the smokestacks were, figuratively speaking, buried underground. Toxic substances and chemicals would enter the soil and pollute waterways and groundwaters.

And again, it has been mainly people of low income neighbourhoods that were affected. In our work we tried to take on a more holistic approach for all the things that go into computation and its associated technological infrastructures. 

We dissolved several smartphones in acid – reverse engineered their manufacturing process so to say. That's how we ended up with this black gooey mass we used for screen-printing. It was still acidic and toxic, but we believe its aesthetic better resembles the actual context in which our high-tech products are manufactured. Over time it will disintegrate the very paper we used for printing. Similarly to the semiconductor factories’ workers’ bodies being affected by the same chemicals over a period of several years. 

The issue here is the temporal time span. The affected workers do not present symptoms straight away as these kinds of health issues barely ever manifest immediately. It requires a long term exposure to toxic substances, radiation and chemical fumes present at the production sites to cause this level of health deterioration. But legally you have to prove that your health has been affected directly by the working environment of the industry. And that's something that is extremely hard to do. 

Again, we are back at the topic of uncertainty. With cancer it can never be proven with absolute certainty where it comes from. It's barely possible, in many cases, to show cause and effect contingency. Of course the industry takes advantage of that and very much tries to cover up their history in order to sustain their pristine image. 


PW:

The necessity of providing a proof of the disease being an advantage of a capitalist entity is for sure a troubling aspect of this situation, but another is an issue of visibility. The image of pristine clarity and cleanness, a transparent, pure image we tend to associate with high-tech industry, is part of manipulation with our subconscious need for assurance of safe and antiseptic purity. You mentioned certainty in a context of proving that an environmentally toxic workplace can cause disease. I'm thinking about the certainty that imagery used by Silicon Valley offers, this picture of technological development where nothing that is harmful can possibly get in.


FL:

There is a huge, paradoxical part about the image of semiconductor manufacturing sites. They are, as you said, extraordinarily clean. There are no particles of dust or even dandruff in the air, as they could potentially harm the products. Even the light is controlled. The airflow is controlled. Everything. But the production sites are kept clean for the products, not for the workers. The workers are still exposed to toxic fumes or other substances. They have to wear overalls to protect the products, but not to protect their own bodies. Especially outside of Europe, after the whole industry has moved to Southeast Asia, occupational and toxic hazards at semiconductor production sites are a huge issue.

When we talked to Jin, a former Samsung factory worker, she said that the workers were put under a lot of pressure. They didn't have a seven day work week. They had an eight day week. They had completely different structures than other people that worked standard jobs. They were continuously controlled and observed in order to meet their protocols and to be efficient at all times. So even when toxic spillage occurred they wouldn't have the time to follow all the security procedures as they would be algorithmically monitored and penalised for not completing their tasks in time. The whole work environment, not just the architectural components of the production sites, also the social components and the whole atmosphere were very toxic. 


Felix Lenz, Sophie Falkeis, Ula Reutina, Carmen Farr, Restitution of A Glacier, 2018, installation view, London Design Biennale 2018, photo: Felix Lenz

Felix Lenz, Sophie Falkeis, Ula Reutina, Carmen Farr, Restitution of A Glacier, 2018, installation scaffolding, photo: Felix Lenz


PW:

Across your whole practice and especially in “The Cleanroom  Paradox”  you instigate change by introducing a series of residues and exposing them to transformation based on passage of time. You took this sterile, or at least presented as a sterile environment and by dissolving mobile phones and making this goo, this horrible goo, the hidden residue of toxicity gained a visible and tactile presence. The presence of the workers, of human bodies in this very pristine environment introduced a series of changes and gave visibility of layers of residues. 


I wanted you to talk about making things more tangible, the element of tactility in your works (while still being immeasurable) in your practice. 


FL:

In ‘The Cleanroom Paradox’ we could achieve a different readability of the material as soon as it transformed into this granular gooey mass. It unveiled a different aesthetic. This toxic mix of components, elements and resources cracked the industry’s surface open, allowing us to look into an in-between space. 


PW:

The residue emerges as a tangible presence. I think that's what it is. 


You've mentioned working with clouds. In your earlier project “Political Atmosphere” you explored instances of looking at weather as a political agent or something that can be used for political gain. Something that again, is at its core so changeable, so fluid. 

Work manifests through flux, something that is somewhere between being tangible, experiential and immaterial. That is what a cloud essentially is, a vapour that looks solid, as if it is possible to touch. At the same time, it has very concrete effects on the world. And it is political now, and it is social and it is economic. I find it absolutely fascinating.

 

FL:

It's also a very mystical figure, a cloud. It has cultural and metaphorical values attached to it. It's symbolically really loaded, but at the same time, we again very much try to put it in a box and exploit it as a physical asset or to extract information about it by processing it, and ironically, processing it in the cloud.  

The installation ‘Political Atmosphere’ is based on my investigation into the work of the British meteorologist and peace-researcher, Lewis Fry Richardson.

He was one of the first men to compute weather by numerical means. And as it was before the time of computers, he did it all manually with the use of differential equations. First, he drew a grid over Central Europe and assigned a square for each section of the atmosphere. He then computed the differences and inter-relations between the grid’s sections using differential equations. 

What happens nowadays in the process of analysis of contemporary climate science and models, is basically the same thing. Just now, the grids and numbers get smaller and smaller. 


After completing the first weather prediction by numerical means, he experienced the tragedies of the First World War. He imagined that if it was possible to compute something as complex as atmospheric turbulence, then it might as well be possible to predict something as intricate as political turbulence and war. To achieve this he gathered data of various conflicts and tried to apply similar mathematical mechanisms to compute emerging correlations. Of course, he didn't end up with a working formula. It's impossible to compute something as complex as human conflicts. 

What I tried to do in my work was to contextualise his research; to put it in the context of the Anthropocene where connections between climatic and geopolitical phenomena become increasingly apparent. I attempted to trace the invisible connections between flight turbulence, climate change and war.

I was particularly interested in a specific index, the Richardson Number. It is something that is still used in climate science today to compute the likelihood of a specific type of turbulence – clear-air turbulence.

Clear-air turbulence is defined as sudden severe turbulence that occurs in cloudless regions, particularly affecting aircrafts. It is amplified by increasing carbon dioxide levels, in part emitted by the aircrafts themselves. And while aircrafts are dependent on precise weather predictions to avoid such dangerous types of turbulence, increasing CO2 levels also further decrease the ability to detect, model and foresee them. Furthermore, phenomena like clear-air turbulence are intricately connected with larger phenomena like the jet stream, which in turn affects extreme weather events, such as intense droughts, worldwide. 


PW:

I find very interesting that we have computing called cloud computing. Again, the name which is  a reference to something very difficult to define as tactile and yet having in reality such a solid presence.


FL:

The cloud is a failed metaphor. It is everything but a cloud. It is constituted of technological, physical infrastructures. It is also the reason why I have decided to make my website solar-powered and self-hosted. I wanted this relation to be a bit more tangible. Server racks that constitute the cloud use an enormous amount of energy and resources in order to be maintained. Every time we access something digital, it has a very physical counterpart. In a lot of my works and research investigating these physical counterparts takes on an important role.


PW:

And it is also political.


Felix Lenz, Angela Neubauer, Eszter Zwickl, The Cleanroom Paradox, 2021, film still

photo: Felix Lenz

Felix Lenz, Angela Neubauer, Eszter Zwickl, The Cleanroom Paradox, 2021, phone dissolved in acid, photo: Felix Lenz


PW:

I really want to ask if you would consider non-human as Infrathin?


FL:

It's a difficult question. There is an associative gap between how we think  about the non-human and the way the non-human is becoming through modes of computational thinking and seeing. There's a very thin middle ground between these two notions. It connects to what I said in the beginning. Every act of observation and measurement, feeds back to or has a concrete physical impact on something. 


Of course, talking about the non-human, we are part of the same system or assemblage. We are intricately entangled with the non-human. However, our senses and ways of sense-making got very much dependent on our technological infrastructures and tools. Thinking is not merely a neurological act anymore, but it's equally, or even more so, a computational act nowadays. I think this technocratic development unfortunately has profound consequences for the non-human world.


PW:

Like the smallest difference that it's impossible to define, but possible to be felt. 


Finally, I would like to briefly discuss the notion of liminality, a subject which,  in a way, has been a starting point of this entire conversation.

You've mentioned being out of stasis. Liminality is not only about being positioned in-between. It is about change. Not necessarily perceivable change, but even the potential of it.


FL:

Precisely. For me, the liminal somehow connects to how we deal with uncertainty. On the other hand, it is very much connected to fluctuating states. 

For instance, I'm thinking of cartography. A map is usually presented as something static, but in fact, it's a collage made of data put together from several time zones, dates and locations by applying different tools and methodologies: satellite imagery, drone imagery, ground shots, infrared- and other multispectral imagery. These composites are then colour corrected, merged and ultimately presented as something static and universally applicable. We have to acknowledge that our landscapes and territories are in a constant process of change and that the ways we capture and represent them shall be fluid and manifold as well.


PW:

This made me think about how things are interwoven. 

Did you hear about the term describing distance measurement called ‘Sinik’? It is Inuit concept involving understanding of relation to distance, environment and space. As far as I know, mostly Greenland communities use it. It means ‘sleep’. You measure the distance in ‘sleeps’, in how many rests it takes you to get somewhere depending on the conditions of the weather, time of the year, if you find animals that you hunt on the way, migrations, all of it. It is a perfect example of a different approach to one’s surroundings.


FL:

Oh, that's beautiful.


PW:

It changes the meaning of travel and distance from something that for us Westerners, means going barely from point A to B, always the same, to a fluid, changeable, receptive and sensitive relationship. It presents an attitude towards landscape where people accept to see themselves as part of it. They don't observe outside of it, from above. Instead, they are on the same level. They live it. Entangled.


FL:

It incorporates so much more. It even incorporates the health of the ecosystem you travel through, because you need to sustain yourself.


PW:

I find this concept enormously beautifulI, but also more sustainable. It keeps you alive through the understanding of your environment as you being the very part of it. 


I think this is actually a really nice way of finishing this conversation. It has really been a great pleasure, Felix. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this. 


FL:

Same for me. I think the whole exercise of seeing parts of my work through the lens of the Infrathin and liminal was super inspiring for me. I haven't seen it through those lenses before and I think it's beautiful.


Felix Lenz, Political Atmosphere, 2020, side view, photo: Felix Lenz


FELIX LENZ


Felix Lenz is a research-led artist, designer, and filmmaker based in Vienna.

His analytic investigations in geopolitical, ecological, and technological matters translate into meticulous installations, films, and strategies. By carefully untying the complexities of an increasingly uncertain world, his works unpick the way we look at things.


Lenz's video works and installations have been exhibited at various international museums, festivals and biennials including the Beijing Art and Technology Biennale, Ars Electronica Festival, Digital Art Festival Zurich, European Forum Alpbach, Biennale Warszawa, the Istanbul Design Biennale, the Vienna Biennale and the London Design Biennale and are part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Applied Arts Vienna. His works were awarded an honourable mention from the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, were nominated for the STARTS prize and received an honorary mention at Prix Ars Electronica. Lenz’ works have been profiled in the New York Times and various other journals.


Besides his independent practice he worked at the renowned design studios »Formafantasma« in Amsterdam and »Studio Folder« in Milan. He also worked as guest-researcher and -lecturer at Humboldt University's Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity« in Berlin and has been invited to hold guest-lectures and workshops at the Royal College of Art London, the Design Academy Eindhoven and the University of Applied Arts Vienna. More can be found his solar-powered website under www.felixlenz.at.


Felix Lenz, Angela Neubauer, Eszter Zwickl, The Cleanroom Paradox, 2021, installation view, Digital Art Festival Zurich 2021, photo: Felix Lenz

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