Recently, I hatched quail eggs in a machine that automatically turns the eggs every two hours at exactly 38.3° and 50% humidity. This machine always plays the same melody when turning so that the chicks can identify with the sound and imitate or learn the whistle or beep. In the course of hatching, I have sometimes found myself suddenly whistling this tune.
Or to give another example, I‘m interested in the moment when I walk out the front door and let my dog decide whether we go left or right.
My installative artworks capture exactly this moment or the interface between human, animal and the environment, which surrounds them. Despite the seriousness with which I pursue these themes, it is important to me never to lose the humor. It is a game with an expectation that is not fulfilled. Within the works, the personal touch stands out, more precisely personal stories. One could almost speak of biographical content, of mini-biographies at second glance. And as life often is, it takes an unexpected course. Minimal interventions may have great effects. It is also important to make courageous decisions and weigh all eventualities in the knowledge that things can change at any time. A detail, something tiny can fill such a space.
To me, especially inventions for people that aim at simplifing their lives with animals are interesting. Consequently, the question of habitats arises and how we can still keep these livable for animals, especially for those we have domesticated. How do we manage not to neglect their needs? Or more broadly asked, how do we manage to take responsability for non-human existences– especially things we have created for understanding ourselves and other beings. How do we negotiate our positions in this complex network of duties we call society?
My practice attempts to investigate broader conditions and conditionings by looking closely at cross-personal-relationships.
Artist Statement Val Minnig, 2021-2023