Artist: Stéphanie Baechler
Venue: Rinomina, Paris
Exhibition Title:Science Fiction/Sensory Collator
Date: October, 11-31, 2018
We lavish 2,500 touches on our smartphone a day. We have haptic
discussions with them, uttered in strokes long and short, taps and
shakes and data packet activations. After a certain point, we
become indivisible: our thumbs glide over glass designed to
minimise friction. We are human and phone, phone and cellular
network, radio waves and bodies.
In her 2018 show, Science friction / sensory collator, Swiss
sculptor Stéphanie Baechler presents us with a collection of
screens and their users, in metal, ceramic and textile. There are
flat, sequinned disks with the whole world on them. Embroidered
charging cables hanging limply. A collator with the fleshy, grey
folds of the human brain. Ceramic numbers pile up, and printed
images of cortical homunculi stare at at you from across the room.
They are actors engaging one another in an uneasy network, each
reshaping the other to its needs.
Transposing these electrical and biological objects into
unfamiliar media is a way for Baechler to keep record of a
material world in a state of flux, decay and obsolescence. The
embroidered cables, made in 2008 and 2018, reflect a decade’s
worth of device changes. Placed next to her open-format sensory
collators, they suggest something sinister about the impermanent
nature of the human mind.
As the boundary between us and our devices blurs, Baechler argues,
it becomes difficult to articulate the precise ways in which we
are neuro-physiologically being restructured by technology. The
repetitive structure of the sensory collators are permeated only
by the occasional wrinkle of human thought. They have become
antennae – but whose? Man and machine have domesticated one
It is increasingly difficult to imagine ourselves separately to
our devices, and our cyborg relationship is obscuring how
technology impacts our lives. To an extent, it has become our
lives. What could be done, in this context, to promote sensory
richness in our lives – a life of more than sapphire glass? You
are invited to touch every object you can in this exhibition. Rub
your hands up and down something. They offer nothing more than an
un-connected haptic experience.
Text by Aidan Connolly, 2018
Born in 1983, Meyriez, Switzerland, lives and works in Amsterdam.
Baechler is an applied artist with focus on textile and fashion. Trained
at HSLU Lucerne University of Applied Arts with a Fashion Masters degree
from the ArtEZ Arnhem Nethrlands. She worked as a Textile Developer /
Design Assistant for Hussein Chalayan in London and was the head of print
design for renown textile company Jakob Schlaepfer. Baechler‘s work
investigates fashion‘s formal and structural vocabulary, its production
process and its complex relationship to the body, the self and society.
Baechler attended several artists-in-residency programs in institutions
such as EKWC – European Ceramic Work Centre, NL in 2012, 2015 and 2016, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris in 2016 and at
CERCCO Centre for Experimentation and Realisation in Contemporary
Ceramics (HEAD–Geneva) in 2015. She gives lectures and teaches at the
Gerrit Rietveld Academie. She is awarded several times with the Federal
Swiss Design Award. Her works are in public and private collections,
such as HEAD-Genève & Museum für Gestaltung Zurich.
Photo credit: Paul Nicoué
Courtesy: the artist and Rinomina.
23, rue du Petit-Musc,