© Verena Friedrich – THE LONG NOW Photo: Victor. S. Brigola


Verena Friedrich

I do not suppose that there is any one in this room who has not occasionally blown a common soap-bubble, and while admiring the perfection of its form, and the marvelous brilliancy of its colours, wondered how it is that such a magnificent object can be so easily produced.
Sir Charles Vernon Boys (1890). Soap-Bubbles. Their colours and the forces which mold them

For Artefact 2017, the German artist Verena Friedrich presents a poetic installation titled THE LONG NOW. A machine creates a soap bubble in a controlled atmospheric chamber and keeps it there in suspension for as long as possible. When the bubble eventually bursts, the process starts all over again. As one of the classical vanitas symbols the soap bubble traditionally stands for the transience of the moment and the fragility of life. THE LONG NOW offers the visitor the opportunity to extensively observe that which is usually very short-lived.
With this experimental work, Friedrich finds herself on the fracture between technology and magic. From the sixteenth and seventeenth century onwards, soap bubbles and its rainbow colours were considered miracles or wonders of nature. These wonders have marked the starting point of a growing interest in science. With THE LONG NOW, Friedrich brings the wonders and miracles of life and magic into a scientific and technological setting.

Verena Friedrich (DE)
°1981, Hanau 

Verena Friedrich Verena Friedrich is multidisciplinary artist creating installations in which organic, electronic and sculptural media come into play. Theoretical research and practical hands-on experiments with very diverse materials, objects and functions are the starting points of her artistic work. In Friedrich's’ oeuvre art, science, magic and technology come together. Her projects have been exhibited internationally. She received the International Media Award for Science and Art from ZKM Karlsruhe 2005; a special mention in the VIDA 13.2 Art and Artificial Life Awards; an honorary mention in the Prix Ars Electronica 2015 and a jury mention in the Japan Media Arts Festival 2015. She was artist in residence i. a. at “SymbioticA – Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts” in Australia and at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing Cologne. Verena Friedrich studied at the University of Art and Design Offenbach, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. She lives and works in Cologne.

THE LONG NOW was realised within the framework of EMARE Move On at OBORO’s New Media Lab, Montréal, and a residency at Rustines|Lab, Perte de Signal, Montréal. With the support of the Culture 2013 Programme of the European Commission, the Goethe Institut, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and FACT Liverpool, UK.

21 FEB – 9 MAR 2017


opening hours expo

21 Feb: 19:30-23:00 (opening)
22 Feb – 9 Mar: 
We–Sa  14:00-22:00 
Su–Tu  14:00-19:00

Subscribe for our newsletter