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explore the universe with me Convention’s art installations

Don’t get us wrong, confessional art is a beautiful thing. Two decades later, we’re still haunted by Tracey Emin’s unmade bed! But our favorite art explores the Great Unknown: space, creatures, the world around us and the universe beyond that. This is the overarching theme which unites three very different installations which you’ll be able to see exclusively at me Convention and which, we’d wager, aren’t like any art you’ve seen before.

elvin flamingo’s art installation

Polish artist Elvin Flamingo’s Symbiosity of Creation brings together different ant cultures in glass incubators, test tubes and pipes. Created in 2012, he wanted to “…create a ‘film,’ about which no viewer, upon exiting the ‘cinema,’ could say, ‘That was a great film but life goes on. It was just a film.’” Arguably, the challenge Elvin set himself has been fulfilled by this project, which he estimates will last for around 20 years.


The piece should challenge a viewer’s conceptions of humans as “the single, most important beings.” Like many insects, ants make sounds by rubbing two or more parts of their body together. Sensitive contact microphones give the project a surreal aspect, amplifying these sounds. The project allows visitors to experience the emotional spectrum of the ants: you’ll be able to hear their sounds of joy (for example, when they’re fed rose petals) as well as their noises of anxiety.

Philharmonia Orchestra London, Google daydream and NASA

NackaStrandsmassan - level II

Because you no longer need a rocket to explore outer space. The Raindance Award-winning VR film was commissioned by Google Daydream in partnership with NASA and directed by Jessica Brillhart to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Voyager spacecraft, which was launched in September 1977. In 2012, it became the first human-made object to leave our solar system, and it is still traveling today. Mounted to the spacecraft is a gold-plated phonograph record, featuring images, recorded greetings, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, London playing the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. This eight-minute experience cuts together scenes from interstellar space, imagining where Voyager 1 is traveling now, with footage of principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Philharmonia in the same work.

inside tumucumaque

How does it feel to fly as a harpy through the densely overgrown treetops of the rainforest? Or experience the world as an arrow poison frog? The interactive virtual reality installation Inside Tumucumaque allows visitors to see the Amazon rainforest through the eyes of its inhabitants and to explore the Brazilian nature reserve’s unique ecosystem. With the help of ultraviolet color spectrum, super slow-motion visuals, visualizations of echo sounding locations, infrared night vision and spatial 3D sound, you can experience how these animals see the world in a way that’s translated into human terms. Rest assured: this is the closest it gets to experiencing the universe in a primal, animal way.

So if you love art that challenges you and changes your perception of the world around you forever, register now.

Disclaimer: The views of me Convention speakers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of either Mercedes-Benz and/or SXSW.