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Beny wagner
Coal Mine in the Canary
Experimental doc. | mp4 | color | 18'34'' | Germany / United Kingdom | 2020
An essay film told through the body, 'Coal Mine in the Canary' explores the work of John Scott Haldane, the late 19th century physiologist whose experiments with respiration in atmospheric extremes led him to put canaries in coal mines as early indicators of air toxicity. The film explores this historical technique as a form of environmental control, one that would ultimately shape the possibilities of exchange between organisms and their surroundings, determined as a series of regulated variables. In the canary, Haldane developed a new paradigm: to modify an organism is a form of environmental control because there is no border at which the organism begins and the environment ends.
Beny Wagner is an artist, filmmaker, researcher and writer. Working in moving image, text, installation and lectures, he constructs non-linear narratives situated within the ever shifting threshold of the human body. ? He has presented his work in festivals, exhibitions and conferences internationally including: Berlinale, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Eye Film Museum, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Media Art Biennale WRO, 5th and 6th Moscow Biennale for Young Art, Moscow International Experimental Film Festival, Plato Ostrava, Künstlerhaus Bremen, Kunsthalle Amsterdam, Sonic Acts, Impakt Festival, Berlin Atonal, Venice Biennale, White Columns among many others. His work has been featured in Artforum, Spike Magazine Quarterly, Frieze Magazine, Kaleidoscope Press, Flash Art and Die Zeit. His writing has been published in Valiz and Sonic Acts Press among others.