© 2020, Laurent MIGNONNEAU & Christa SOMMERER


A large scale interactive media façade for public space
© 2020, Laurent Mignonneau and Christa Sommerer

In the interactive media façade project "ANTopolis" virtual ants invade the city. They look for human activities, crawl towards any man-made shape, follow humans, vehicles and any moving or still object in the city. All these artefacts become their resource. Passerby can also actively participate in "ANTopolis" and created their own ant portraits projected on a gigantic screen. It suffices to just place oneself in front of a camera. The artificial ants will start to organize themselves, creating complex shapes and trails and fascinating human portraits.
In our world and in "ANTopolis" a minuscule insect or a virus has the power to profoundly impact human activities. We are reminded that we are all just part of one large fragile ecosystem.

During the COVID-19 crisis many of us were reminded about the fragility of our ecosystem. A tiny virus was able to bring human activity almost to a hault. The global lock down caused the stand still of big parts of the industries and economies. While we humans were confined to our homes, nature outside however partly recover. The air in heavily industrialized regions became cleaner, the sky bluer, insects, birds and wild life returned to the cities. Human caused pollution was significantly reduced.

Many people also suddenly realized the importance of nature for our physical and mental health; short walks in parks or nearby urban forests became essential for keeping sane in times of lock down and quarantine.

The interactive media facade "ANTopolis" wants to remind us of the interconnection between humans and nature. The COVID-19 crisis has revealed that we are not the crown of creation, that we are not an immune and independent entity and that we cannot keep exploiting natural resources in this unlimited manner. The Anthropocene must come to an end and we humans need to reevaluate our position and responsibilities towards nature.

Text in German
my images

ANTopolis Exhibitions

2021 Museum Quartier Vienna
Featuring "ANTopolis" Media Facade Artwork
When: November 4th until December 6th 2021every day from 5pm to 7pm
Projection mapping of walking Ants onto the outdoor Leopold Museum's Facade
Interactive self portrait with our ANTopolis Arwork onto the facade
Projection of Ants motifs on a larger circular outdoor ceiling tent
- Vienna, Austria

2020 ARS Electronica Festival 2020
Exhibition: The Wilde State featuring "ANTopolis"
Curated by: Manuela Naveau
Interactive screenings: 7pm-11pm, 9-12 Sept 2020, Linz main square
University of Art and Design Linz
- Linz, Austria