2018–2020 Mandus Ridefelt (Sweden)
Mandus arrives at the DAI with multidisciplinary baggage: Creative Writing at Skurup Writing School, Bachelor’s degree in Biology/Molecular Biology, Bachelor’s degree in Theoretical Philosophy at Uppsala University, studies in Biotechnology at master’s level, and experience as a Research Assistant at theSwedish University of Agricultural Sciences. He has also published poetry in Swedish literary journals (such as Ordkonst and Fame Factory) and has been part of the team running the independent publisher and bookshop 'Anti', in Malmö.
All of these strands came to fruition in the multidisciplinary installation The Return of the Lab Mouse, which featured video animation, fictional text, performance, and a remote-controlled puppet-mouse moving in circles. In Mandus’ view, the ribosome of a mouse not only produces proteins, but makes anagrams too, words, and poems. It has been proven possible to write poetry in bacterial DNA (Christian Bök’s ‘Xenotexts’) – so, what does it mean for Mandus to situate this kind of experimental practice in the field of the visual arts? The Return of the Lab Mouse managed to attract the attention of a crowd beyond the usual art-goers (though it included them too). Does the work speak equally to different audiences? Can artistic research produce valuable insights in other disciplines? That is a pertinent question, which Mandus is in a privileged position to answer during his time at DAI.