"Jacobson's Fabulous Olfactometer". A sensorial prosthesis for extreme environments. Mixed media: leather, aluminium, bone, synthetic materials, arduino, sensors, electronic components, battery pack (2014). ©Susanna Hertrich

Jacobson’s Fabulous Olfactometer is a sensorial prosthesis that mimics mammalian ‘flehmen’ when air pollution levels are high. This project probes an accelerated human evolution driven by means of existing technologies with the goal to help us cope with extreme environments. Jacobson’s Fabulous Olfactometer creates a sensorial ability modelled after a sense organ called the “vomeronasal organ” or “Jacobson’s organ” (named after its discoverer Ludwig Jacobson). This secondary olfac- tory sense organ enables certain mammals to sense odourless chemicals. When the vomeronasal sense is triggered, the animal lifts up its upper lip to expose the organ. This behaviour is called ‘flehmen’. Jacobson’s Fabulous Olfactometer utilizes off-shelf-technology to fill this gap in human evolution and provide us with a new sense. The device is designed for human survival under extreme living conditions of polluted megacities. ©Susanna Hertrich

Jacobson’s Fabulous Olfactometer (detail). 2014 ©Susanna Hertrich

Jacobson’s Fabulous Olfactometer (detail). 2014 ©Susanna Hertrich

Jacobson’s Fabulous Olfactometer (detail). 2014 ©Susanna Hertrich

"Therapy Machines: Automated Anchoring Armour". AAA (2010) weds technology, the body and the mind. The psychological treatment is worn as physical armour on the body and the skin becomes an interface to mental well-being. This device holds a promise of continuous psychological intervention. Its exaggerated physical shape amplifies the notion of it as protective equipment. Or is it rather hinting to its wearer's vulnerability? TECHNOLOGY info: AAA is a tool for automated conditioning, as in "Anchoring", a technique explored in behavioural psychology. When a biosensor on the palm receives a signal of increased stress, the mechanism comes into a action: A linear actuator taps repeatedly on the forearm and thus triggers a positive memory that has been linked to the physical sensation through training. This function helps to deal with unsettling social situations and results into a feeling of calm. ©Susanna Hertrich

"Prostheses for Instincts". This investigation crosses the boundaries between artistic hypotheses and scientific experiment. This work builds upon a common theme in transhumanism that is the augmentation of our natural sensory experiences and thus widening the spectrum of things that we can perceive. In its various incarations, this work proposes scenarios of transhumanity, in which machines induce human emotions. ©Susanna Hertrich

"Prostheses for Instincts" (detail). Based on existing technologies and speculative scenarios, this project postulates the idea of the prosthetic device. An electronic extention of the human body induces haptic stimulation similar to natural instincts which enable people to »feel« abstract data. ©Susanna Hertrich

"Reality Checking Device". Reality Checking Device (2008) is an interactive machine which offers, on its mirrored surface, statistical information on the current trends of paranoid concern: plane crashes, terrorist attacks, gun crime, bird flu etc. The work presents a surface where (physical) reflexion, (psychical) reflection, and (statistical) projection converge: the outline of our self-image is one traced by unfounded fears. Emily Zimmerman 11/2010. ©Susanna Hertrich

"Reality Checking Device" (Graphic). A poetic information machine that confronts people with their own self and their personal anxieties. Common risk scenarios are represented by two conjunct circles. The circles grow from a centre line to the upper and lower parts of the mirror. The size of the upper circle indicates the degree of PUBLIC OUTRAGE, the size of the lower circle represents the level of ACTUAL THREAT within a risk scenario. ©Susanna Hertrich

"Manifesto for Holistic Complexity". Personal manifesto (2010). ©Susanna Hertrich

Susanna Hertrich