Špela Petrič & Maja Smrekar: Circadian Drift (2012)




Photo: Simon Gmajner






Circadian rhythms (from Latin “circa dies” = approximately one day) are present in almost all living organisms and are a product of evolutional development as an adjustment to Earth’s revolution around its axis. They are driven by internal molecular clocks that are synchronised with the environment by external factors, most significantly, by sunlight. Circadian Drift is an interactive installation, which reflects the human’s circadian rhythm thus paraphrasing the lack of synchronicity between the natural and sovereign body in the dynamics of modern society. Six rats, a species that has similar mechanisms of managing circadian rhythms as humans, will be through sensors thelematically exposed to identical lighting conditions as the human volunteer through sensors. After a couple of days, the rhythms of both species will synchronize and the rats, which are not conditioned by our human culture, will serve as bioindicators of our natural rhythms of activity. The digitalisation of communication environment, lack of daylight and the subsequently fast change of the spatial perception are altering the sensibility of human organism. The phenomenon of fast living joined within the surveillance of daily activities, influences integration of human bodies in the key systems of production, which is an imperative dynamics of the survival of capitalism. By acting within these social structures, humans generate novel ecological niches and modify the selective pressures, which are slowly followed by our biological adjustments. The paradigm of molecular biopolitics in this project paraphrases the process of social mutation of an individual into a biomedical self through the ontology of life in co-dependence of health dynamics and productivity. The current dis-synchronicity between evolutionary new – high productivity oriented forms of action and circadian rhythms (which are our evolutionary adaptation to day and night) is a contributing factor to the increase in modern diseases, such as depression, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.



Presentation video












Software and hardware: Miha Tomšič

Architecture concept: Andrej Strehovec, Maja Smrekar, Špela Petrič

Architecture planning: Andrej Strehovec

Execution: Vempleks d.o.o.

Special thanks to: Stephan Bourdon, dr. Gregor Majdic, dr. Marko Zivin, Irena Furlan, dr. Urs Gaudenz, Simon

Gmajner, dr. Joško Račnik, Vetpromet d.o.o.

Technical support: Museum of Contemporary Art / Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana

Production: Kapelica Gallery – Zavod K6/4 http://www.kapelica.org/

Supported by: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubljana - Department for

Culture, SOU of Ljubljana

Project is presented as part of international initiative 'KiiCS - Knowledge Incubation in Innovation and

Creation for Science', 3-year european partnership supported by 7th Framework Programme by Directorat

General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission.