Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau

The Artwort as a Living System. 1992–2022

Cover of the publication »Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau«, 2022, different plants cover the front, at the upper edge the title is written in capital letters
Type of publication
Exhibition catalog, Monograph
Author / Editor
Karin Ohlenschläger, Peter Weibel, Alfred Weidinger (Hg.)
Publishing house, place
The Leonardo book series, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA / London, England

Working at the intersection of natural science, technology, and art, Austrian-French artist duo Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau pioneered the “Art of Interface” – innovative technical interfaces that enable physical interaction between simulative visual 
worlds and the world of natural sensory organs. Early on, the pair used algorithms to represent not only forms of the living but also their evolution and growth. Edited by Karin Ohlenschläger, Peter Weibel, and Alfred Weidinger, this publication in the Leonardo book series of The MIT Press brings together key works of the artists since the early 1990s in pictures and text contextualized by renowned international authors: Reinhard Kannonier, Ryszard W. Kluszczyński, Birgit Mersmann, Tomoe Moriyama, Karin Ohlenschläger, Ingeborg Reichle, and Siegfried Zielinski.

In the artists’ installations, which are possible only through interactions with the viewer, devices designed by the artist couple produce novel virtual realities and immersive environments. Their works, which could be considered as classics of digital art, open up a new horizon in which artworks can function as living systems.  As Peter Weibel writes, their work is “more than a cabinet of curiosities, more than a terrarium, more than an aquarium; it shows mythical creatures, artificial creatures, [and] a so far unseen panorama of imagination and technical ingenuity.”

376 p.; ca. 450 Ill; 25,5 x 20 cm; Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-262-04815-6
Production / Corporation / Exhibition
ZKM | Center for Art and Media; OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH, Linz; iMAL, Art Center for digital cultures and technology, Brüssel

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH, Linz
iMAL, Art Center for digital cultures and technology, Brüssel


Project Management: Genoveva Rückert (OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH, Linz) and Jens Lutz (ZKM | Karlsruhe)
Design: Stephan Fiedler, Book + Editorial Design