Portrait on the Fly

an interactive installation

© 2015, Laurent MIGNONNEAU & Christa Sommerer

represented by:
DAM Galerie Berlin,
Galerie Charlot Paris
GPL contemporary Vienna

Portrait on the Fly - Interactive Concept

The interactive installation consists of a monitor that shows a swarm of a few thousand flies. When a person positions himself in front of the monitor, the insects builds up the contour of the person. They begin to arrange and rearange themselves continously, thereby creating a recognizable likeness of the individual..

Posing in front of the monitor attracts the flies. Within seconds they invade the face, but even the slightest movement of the head or of parts of the face drives them off. The portraits are thus in constant flux, they construct and deconstruct. Portrait on the Fly is a commentary on our love for making pictures of ourselves (Selfie-Culture), it has to do with change, transience and impermanence.

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Portrait on the Fly Exhibitions

2024 Creativity Unleashed: Humanization of AI & Robotics
April 12, 2024 – April 24, 2024
Curated by Maša Jazbec
Featuring Portrait on the Fly and Homo Insectus
Tehno Park Celje
- Celje, Slowenia

2024 MUSCA DEPICTA - There's a Fly on the Painting
April 6, 2024 – June 30, 2024
Curated by Sylvia Ferino and Elisa Rizzardi
Featuring "Portrait on the Fly"
Artists: More than 50 works including paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, and printed books, incl. Leon Battista Alberti, Giovanni del Biondo, Damien Hirst, Willem van Aelst, Isaak Soreau , Giovanna Garzoni, Ulisse Aldrovandi, Maria Sibylla Merian, Maurizio Bottoni, Yoko Ono, Sommerer & Mignonneau, Orazio Riminaldi, et al.
- Parma, Italy

2024 The Artwork as a Living System at the Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao (February 7th until  May 26th, 2024)
exhibition Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau
Curators: Karin Ohlenschläger
Featuring "Interactive Plant Growing", "A-Volve", "Phototropy", "Life Writer", "Mobile Feelings II", "Portrait on the Fly", "Haze Express", "Eau de Jardin", "People on the Fly", "Fly Plotter Portraits", "Digital Fly Portraits", "Scavengers", "The Value of Art", "Fly Objects", "Ar(t)chive", and "ToBee"
Co-production in collaboration with the ZKM, Karlsruhe (DE) and the OÖ Landes-Kultur, Linz (AT)
- Bilbao, Spain

2023 Lahore Digital Art Festival 2023 12th to 15th October 2023
Four Days Festival
Featuring our artworks: "Portrait on the Fly" and "To Bee" and "Scavengers"
Festival director and curator: Najam Ul Assar
- Lahore, Pakistan

2022 Centre Des Arts d'Enghien-les-Bains (23rd November - 2nd December 2022)
"Un imaginaire numérique avec Edmond Couchot
showing Portrait on the Fly (interactive), and Portrait on the Fly (Edmond Couchot) and Portrait on the Fly (Marie-Hélène Tramus) plotter drawings
- Enghien-les-Bains, France

4.) Riga Contemporary Art Center
RIXC Art Science Festival 2022
(August 25 – October 16, 2022)

featuring "Portrait on the Fly (interactive)"
- Riga, Latvia

2022 OK Zentrum Linz "The Artwork as a Living System"
Retrospective exhibition (2nd September 2022 - 26th Feb 2023)
Featuring "Interactive Plant Growing", "A-Volve", "Phototropy", "Life Writer", "Life Spacies II", "Mobile Feelings II", "Portrait on the Fly", "Haze Express", "Eau de Jardin", "People on the Fly", "Fly Plotter Portraits", "Digital Fly Portraits", "Scavengers", "The Value of Art", "Fly Objects", "Anthroposcope", "Antopolis", "Ar(t)chive", and "ToBee".

2022 ZKM Retrospective "The Artwork as a Living System"
Retrospective exhibition (Sat, 07.May.2022 – Sun, 31.July.2022)
The interactive installations in the exhibition tell the story of almost 30 years of artistic work by the Austrian-French artist duo Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau.
Based on an idea of Karin Ohlenschläger.
The exhibition is a co-production of ZKM | Karlsruhe, OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH, Linz and iMal, Brussels. The exhibition is accompanied by a scholarly publication in English edited by Karin Ohlenschläger, Peter Weibel and Alfred Weidinger in the Leonardo Book Series in collaboration with MIT Press.
Featuring "Interactive Plant Growing", "A-Volve", "Phototropy", "Life Writer", "Life Spacies II", "Mobile Feelings II", "Portrait on the Fly", "Haze Express", "Eau de Jardin", "People on the Fly", "Fly Plotter Portraits", "Digital Fly Portraits", "Scavengers", "The Value of Art", "Fly Objects", "Ar(t)chive", and "ToBee".
- Karlsruhe, Germany

2022 Kunsthalle Prague KINETISMUS: 100 Years of Electricity in Art (22 February 2022)
Featuring Portrait on the Fly ©2015, Laurent Mignonneau & Christa Sommerer
Curated by Peter Weibel, Christelle Havranek and Lívia Nolasco-Rózsás
With works by: Yaacov Agam, Refik Anadol, Lubomír Beneš, Michael Bielický, Christian Boltanski, Vladimir Bona?i?, László Zsolt Bordos, Jonathan Borofsky, Martha Boto, Random International, Robert Breer, Angela Bulloch, Pol Bury, Mary Ellen Bute, Nino Calos, Jim Campbell, Tony Conrad, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Gabriele Devecchi, Milan Dobeš, Karel Dodal, Irena Dodalová, Marcel Duchamp, Viking Eggeling, Olafur Eliasson Cerith Wyn Evans, Naum Gabo, Shilpa Gupta, Milan Guštar, Brion Gysin, Angelika Huber, Ryoji Ikeda, Francisco Infante-Arana, Žilvinas Kempinas, William Kentridge, György Kepes, Krištof Kintera Gyula Kosice, Piotr Kowalski, Brigitte Kowanz, Ted Kraynik, Christina Kubisch, Vollrad Kutscher, Bertrand Lavier, Carolin Liebl, Len Lye, Heinz Mack, Frank Joseph Malina, Adéla Matasová Christian Megert, Laurent Mignonneau, Haroon Mirza, László Moholy-Nagy, François Morellet, Mihovil Pansini, Julio le Parc, Paul J. Sharits, Jeffrey Shaw, Karl Sims, Christa Sommerer, Takis teamLab, Franciszka Themerson, Stefan Themerson, Jean Tinguely, Wen-Ying Tsai, Steina Vašulka, Woody Vašulka, Otakar Vávra, Xavier Veilhan, Katerina Vincourová, Peter Vogel, Peter Weibel
- Praha, Czech Republic

2022 Esch Visitor Center "Hacking Identity" (27 Feb 2022 until 15 May 2022)
In collaboration with the ZKM Media Museum Karlsruhe
Curators: Anett Holzheid & Peter Weibel
our work Portrait on the Fly ©2015, Laurent Mignonneau and Christa Sommerer
- Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxenbourg

2020 Kunstmuseum Celle
Parallel Worlds: Art, Science & Fiction
Featuring: "Portrait on the Fly"
- Celle, Germany

2019 Promenaden Galerien Linz
April 2019 -
Public space exhibition
Organized by Ars Electronica
Featuring "Portrait on the Fly"
- Linz, Austria

2019 New York Live Arts Center
Live Ideas Festival
May 8 - 12, 2019
Curator: Janet Wong
- New York, USA

2019 Wood Street Gallery
Curator: Murray Horne
Apr. 26 - June 16, 2019
- Pittsburgh, USA

2019 Solo Show at BEALL Art Center
Feb. 8, 2019 - May 2019
Curator: David Familian
We show: Fly Simulator, Neuro Mirror, Portrait in the Fly, Interactive Plant Growing, Noise and Smoke, Fly Portraits (of Jeffrey Shaw, Peter Weibel, Christiane Paul, Lynn Hershman, Erkki Huhtamo, David Familian, Roy Ascott and ChristaLaurent Self Portrait)
- Irvine, CA, USA

2018 City University of Hong Kong
Exhibition "Animals"
Featuring A-Volve and Portrait on the Fly
Curated by Jeffrey Shaw and Paul Lam
- Hong Kong, China

2018 Speculum Artium Festival "Decades"
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the festival
Featuring "Portrait on the Fly", "Interactive Plant Growing"
and our Speculum Artium Festival's commissioned VR artwork "Fly Simulator"
Curated by Maša Jazbec
- Trbovlje, Slovenia

2018 Point Cultural Hub / Gallery
Featuring "Portrait on the Fly" (April 12th to 18th)
- Bucharest, Romania

2018 Centre Pompidou
Fête du code créatif (March 3rd and 4th )
Featuring "Portrait on the Fly" and "Coleoptera"
- Paris, France

2018 Galerie du Grand Palais
Exhibition: Artists and Robots (April 5th to July 9th )
Featuring "Portrait on the Fly"
- Paris, France

2018 Arsenal Contemporary Art Museum
The 4th edition of BIAN takes place from June 29 to August 05 2018
Sommerer and Mignonneau show 4 printed portraits and the interactive version of "Portrait on the Fly"
- Montreal, Canada

2017 Untitled Art International Fair San Francisco
January 13,14,15, 2017
Featuring: "Portrait on the Fly"
Represented by: Gallery Anita Beckers
- San Francisco, USA

2017 "Iconomania" Maif Social Club Paris
from 13th January 2017 to 31st March 2017
Featuring "Portrait on the Fly"
Represented by: Galerie Charlot
- Paris, France

2017 Print Screen Festival 2017
Digital Arts and Culture Festival (21. until 24. June 2017)
Mediateque Holon, Golda Meir 6
featuring "Portrait on the Fly"
- Tel Aviv (Holon), Israel

2017 The View Contemporary Art Space
summer exhibition (24.06.2017 until Sept. 2017)
featuring "Portrait on the Fly"
- Salenstein, Switzerland

2017 Zaragoza City of Knowledge Foundation
Etopia Center for Art & Technology (opening 21st September 2017)
Exhibition featuring: "Portrait on the Fly"
- Zaragoza, Spain

2017 Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music
Exhibition featuring "Portrait on the Fly" (9th September - 24th September 2017)
Curator: Atsuhito Sekiguchi
- Nagoya, Japan

2017 MAK Vienna
Exhibition: Aesthetics of change (15th December 2017 - 15th April 2018)
150 Years of the University of Applied Art Vienna
Curators: Peter Weibel, Gerald Bast, Elisabeth Schmuttermeir, Patrick Werkner
featuring "Portrait on the Fly"
-Vienna, Austria

2016 Design Biennial Wenzhou
Hao Museum
"Crossover&Linking" International New Media Design Exhibition
- Wenzhou, China

2016 Digital Now - Tekniska Museet Stockholm
(26 October 2016 - 31 January 2017)
Curated by Min-Jung Jonsson
Featuring "Portrait on the Fly" interactive
and photographic works
- Stockholm, Sweden

2016 Art Central Hong Kong
Galerie Anita Beckers
23rd - 26th March 2016
Featuring : "Portrait on the Fly - Interactive"
- Hong Kong, China

2016 PLUNC 2016 New Media and Digital Art Festival
(29. Sept - 2. Oct. 2016)
With works by:
Artica CC, Thomas Grogan, anaa colectivo, Antonio Quiroga Waldthaler, Laurent Mignonneau & Christa Sommerer, Nuno Correia, Monica Vlad, Tiago Rorke e Maurício Martins, Ben Grosser, Emilio Vavarella and Fito Segrera
- Lisbon, Portugal

2016 CODE_n festival
(20-22 Sept 2016)
ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medien)
- Karlsruhe, Germany

2016 Tsinghua University Art Museum
"Dialogue with Leonardo da Vinci / The 4th Art & Science International Exhibition"
(September 11, 2016 - December 9, 2016 | December 20, 2016 - March 19, 2017)
Curated by: Yang Dongjiang
With works by: Leonardo Da Vinci, Feng Yuan, Sommerer & Mignonneau, Studio, Festo AG & Co.Kg,
Organized by: Art and Science Research Center of Tsinghua University, Art Museum of Tsinghua University, Academy of Fine Arts of Tsinghua University
- Beijing, China

2016 HeK House of Electronic Arts, Basel
Night of the Museums
20 January - 6 March 2016
Featuring "Portrait on the Fly" (interactive version)
- Basel, Switzerland

2015 B3 Biennial of the Moving Image 2015
7.-11. October 2015
Museum of Applied Arts Frankfurt
- Frankfurt, Germany

2015 Parallel Art Fair
23.-27. September 2015
represented by Galerie Peithner-Lichtenfels, Vienna
- Vienna, Austria

2015 Art Bahrain
13.-16. October 2015
represented by Galerie Peithner-Lichtenfels, Vienna
- Manama, Bahrain

2015 Wiener Wunderkammer
5.-11. November 2015
Technical University
- Vienna, Austria

2015 Globale - Infosphere at ZKM Karlsruhe
4th Sept-31. January
featuring "Portrait on the Fly" (interactive version )
Curator: Peter Weibel
- Karlsruhe, Germany

2015 Ars Electronica 2015
4.-7. September 2015
at Ars Electronica Center
featuring "Portrait on the Fly" (interactive version and 12 plotter drawings)
Curator: Gerfried Stocker
- Linz, Austria

2015 ISEA International Symposium of Electronic Arts
14th.-18th. August 2015

Vancouver Art Gallery
featuring "Portrait on the Fly" in FUSE festival
- Vancouver, Canada