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2012 || dunbar’s number


The Dunbar’s Number collective has taken a name that refers to the highest number of human beings able to sustain permanent social relationships. It consists of the studios of Sonja Bäumel, mischer’traxler, Konstantin Schmölzer and the curator and art historian Judith Radlegger.

Dunbar’s Number realised a collective workshop that was inspired by the title of the exhibition „Mutations“ and dealt with photosynthesis as a process that is creating reality. Photosynthesis – that creative power in nature that is converting low-energy substances into energy-rich substances – was given as a buzzword to the participants. The starting point for the attendants was to bring along four identical materials or products that could be associated with photosynthesis. The material, respectively the initial object, was handed over to the next participant, declined, changed and brought into a new condition. Finally everybody was involved in the creating process of each product, which in turn questioned authorship and made it somehow obsolete. 
In course of the metamorphosis of the initial product the archaic parchment see more >> deformed into packaging, the solar-powered garden light mutated into a light switch, the honeycomb structure became a model of a ceramic plaster stool and the wooden sugar molecule disintegrated after unsuccessful experimental setups. The process and the common creative act was the focus of the workshop and became the breeding ground for future projects and ideas. Moreover, the workshop led Dunbar’s Number to its beginning – the joint and interdisciplinary discourse.

The exhibition “Mutations” is the first joint presentation of the collective and functions as a prototype embodying the aim of Dunbar’s Number: that of strengthening interdisciplinary communication and demonstrating the interaction between culture and the academic disciplines – the humanities and the arts, engineering, economics and industry, law and the natural sciences. Mutation is understood in the natural sciences as permanent change in genetic material. For the participating designers the notion of mutation is to be understood as self-reflection. Therefore this topic will be processed under consideration as the modification of existing structures, definitions and schemas. Mutation as a snapshot of visualization is the subject and content of the exhibition.


The exhibtion Mutationen was kindly supported by