Desiree Förster “Being Interspecies: Negotiation Processes of Subjectivity and the Event Beyond Representation” (extract)
(…) Artists like Susanna Hertrich see the body as an instrument of sensual perception. (…) Artists like Susanna Hertrich see the body as an instrument of sensual perception. She examines how machines enhance human emotions or can arouse non-human instincts. In her work Jacobson’s Fabulous Olfactometer (JFO) (2014), she uses invented prosthetics to investigate the extent to which phenomena like the Flehmen response, employed by some mammals to detect and analyze scents by curling their upper lip, can be integrated into the human machine in order to examine such information as the level of air pollution. These artists and designers, who through their confrontation with living processes could perhaps be regarded as new artistic generation, are operating against a background of social, geological, and global crises before which our established categories, great truths, and harmonizing narratives are laid bare as inadequate in the light of the complexity of today’s technological, societal, and planetary changes. With the loss of humankind’s counterpart in the form of nature, technology, and animal, the artists mentioned pose the question of the location of the human subject in these altered contexts.