digital and 16 mm video footage

Rotterdam, 2022 - ...

In 1962, John B. Calhoun – a researcher who had worked in the field of behavioural science – tested the effects of carefully constructed, perfect living conditions, where No Predators Were Present, on mice population in the facilities of the American  National Institute of Mental Health.  Eleven years later he published a paper outlining the results of his curiosity, in which scientific method and language were interwoven with anxious projections of the societal collapse of his era.

In 2022, Agata A. Sznurkowska – an emerging artist based in Rotterdam – encountered Calhoun’s aforementioned Death Squared: The Explosive Growth and Demise of a Mice Population, becoming perplexed by the collage of writing styles in his report. Later, she conducted a series of interviews with participants from fine art, economics, and STEM backgrounds in their early twenties to thirties, asking them to reflect on topics such as identity, expectations of the future, financial awareness, and agency in social transformation. These recorded conversations serve as a voiceover for a video where computer-generated mice inhabit the analogue environment, in order to draw parallels between human social comfortability and the non-human existence of scientific “objects”.