Sensorium of Animals. Electroreception in Experimental and Historical Media and Design Research

Sensorium of Animals is a collaborative research project that is inspired by the sensorial ecology and biology of elephant-nosed fish. The fishes sensory abilities operate as a vehicle, which allows intertwining the world of animals and its non-human sensorium with seemingly immaterial non-human worlds of signal-based information technologies.

This research project explores the possibilities of technology mediated systems to alter the human sensory apparatus from artistic-experimental and media historical angles. One part of this research focuses on possibilities of expanding the human sensory system beyond its biological limits, taking inspiration from sensorial abilities found in certain animals (such as the elephant nose fish). Artistic-experimental systems in the field of wearable technology will be tried out, researched and made available. Another strand is fictional world-designing: What would a world look like, where we could due to our natural evolution feel our invisible electromagnetic infrastructure and their signals and processes as sensible pulses, rhythms and ticklings?

The other part of this research is concerned with the historically informed study of cybernetic man-machine-structures in media history, along a history of knowledge of sensory physiology of non-human organisms that have continuously provided repercussion into the cultural history of media. This project is situated at the intersection of biology, media technology, experimental media practice and media aesthetics, design research and media history.

SNSF-Project No. 159849

Duration:  2016–2019

Research publication: 2021/2022

Intl. exhibitions: ongoing

Team: Shintaro Miyazaki, Susanna Hertrich

The project is situated at the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures, Academy of Art & Design FHNW, Basel (CH):


Nominated for SWISS DESIGN AWARDS 2023