Thomas Julier

The observation of animals in their habitat is done from different motives: as a leisurely pleasure for education and recreation or in the context of scientific research. These interests often contradict each other, shape the human gaze and thus influence the coexistence of humans and animals.

Following this line of thought, Thomas Julier installed wildlife cameras in a nearby biotope dominated by beavers. The once extinct rodent has created species-rich habitats since its reintroduction to Switzerland. The artist observes one of these habitats with cameras. They register movements, record them and store the recordings in the cloud. The images can be viewed via a corresponding QR code that Thomas Julier placed on an enamel sign in the garden. The sign is reminiscent of conventional signposts, place and street signs and functions as an entrance to the virtual world. Once scanned, visitors are taken to a login that gives them access to a database. There they can see snapshots of the wildlife as well as the activities of human visitors and can interact with the footage.

In Vault on a Cloud, Thomas Julier links a "real" space - the garden in Weiertal - with a virtual one - the data collection and its interface - and thus creates a hybrid space whose dimensions are marked by the simultaneous presence of humans and animals. In the course of the exhibition, the data collection grows into a volume whose plastic qualities he understands as sculpture. In this way, Thomas Julier invites us to revise familiar notions and to reflect on contemporary standards in the definition of those living spaces that we create together with other species.

Vault on a Cloud, 2023, enamel sign, interface, solar panel, wildlife camera with SIM card