Merging anthropology with art

We are very happy to announce a rather unusual synthesis between Curiosity Shop and the visionary artist couple Lundahl & Seitl. The aim of the collaboration is to approach social and elusive phenomena such as empathy and trust from both a social-scientific and artistic perspective. The main vehicle for this exploration will be Lundahl & Seitl’s ground breaking artistic research project Unknown Cloud. Erika will follow this interactive work of art, and together with the artists work out methods to explore if and how the project can affect the ability to trust and increase the empathy of the participants. It is also interesting to investigate generally what kinds of social och psychological impact the project could have (both short and long term).

1. How can a transdisciplinary project (combining digital technology, social media, storytelling, choreography and sound) induce a sense of commonality and empathy through transformative multi-sensory experiences?

2. In what ways can trust be invited and established through these given methods to enable an immersive, participatory experience in a public space?

This project directly involves the public in an investigation of the interplay between physical space and online space, traditional and social media. The methodology combines audio-manipulated imagination, choreographed movement, threedimensional radio-astronomy sound which incorporates playful, audio-narrated instructions, in order to simulate a kinesthetic experience of the unperceivable, for example; geological time, surrounding moving celestial bodies, the rotation of the earth and the overview effect. The aim is to create a nomadic artwork in the form of a ‘digital cloud’ that travels across the globe as a weather phenomenon, preceded by a ‘rumour’ deployed through creative use of social, broadcast and published media. Travelling across cities, deserts, villages, islands – anyone close to it can enter the cloud at the moment of local sunset.

In collaboration with co-researchers we will investigate the way audience behave collectively and individually; specifically how qualities of trust and the imagined – yet felt – evocation of outer space can induce an experience of the overview effect on earth, and if this can enhance empathy levels.

By investigating what forms of participation, and the types of social presence that facilitate for these psychological states to occur, we observe the longterm effect of visitors repeatedly entering the cloud – as well as visitors having a ‘one off’ encounter with the cloud and what resonance that have on a longterm. The study is conducted by capturing changes in empathy and trust using different types of trust indicators, by observing visitors behaviour, through interviews and questionnaires as well as by collecting big data from the project APP Nagoon3.

The project involves research group as well as the universities and centers they are linked to, in a number of ways. We will establish the project in Sweden to then take it out into Europe and eventually the world. Getting participants with cultural differences is essential. All researchers will disseminate the project through keynotes in different contexts.


Lundahl & Seitl’s transdisciplinary collaborations investigate space, time and perception in increasingly large-scale installations, always in proximity to the history of a specific medium and its institution; museums, galleries, theatres and found spaces, on projects spanning architecture, cognitive neurology, classical music theatre and experience design. Their work has been widely shown, including presentations at Tate Britain, Whitechapel Gallery, Battersea Arts Centre, Royal Academy of Arts, S.M.A.K., Weld and Magasin 3.

Here you can find an interview with this dynamic and truly lovely couple!

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