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Five Channel Video/CG vivarium installation
Music by
Helga Pogatschar. DigiBeta. © 2000

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The Spider Project, inspired by the turn of the millenium, is a research project, a website, and an installation contemplating the basic forms of nature: creation and death, time, cycles, the elements, and the workings of the universe.

The Spider Project is a requiem for the 20th Century. The piece created a space for contemplating the passing century's scientific deeds, from the mastery of the atom to DDT to space travel, in preparation for "rebirth" into the 21st Century. The piece is based on the Tibetan buddhist belief that the last thought before dying will affect how one is reborn into the next life. The artist herself spent three years in her studio with 300 of her eight-legged collaborators as a single personal gesture of cooperating with Nature. The resulting large-scale, five-channel video installation and internet project confronted the 12,000 visitors to the exhibition with the unhindered presence of 50 palm-sized Nephila spiders who together daily wove the screen for the installation's video projection.

Concentrating on spirals and circles as the central visual motif, the images derive from the micro and macroscopes which epitomize our time: subatomic particle data from CERN's accelerator, astral images from satellite telescopes, the human body as seen through various medical imaging technologies, sonar, radar, cosmic ray detectors, and camera lenses pointed at nature from extraordinary perspectives. These are combined with the symbolic imagery representing life, death, and reincarnation from cultures around the world, the timeless images of the inner eye.

The Spider Project creates a spiritual place outside religion - a cross-over point between profane and sacred thought, western rationalism and eastern philosophy, the 20th and the 21st centuries.


Concept and Creation
Clea T. Waite

Music Written, Produced and Performed by
Helga Pogatschar


Der Stein der Weisen Exhibition
Forschungszentrum Jülich
Ex-Bundeshaus, Bonn, Germany (commissioned)

Concept for the Spider Project
Marler Video Installation Prize Exhibition
Marl, Germany

Press & Catalogs

Beßler, Gabriele. "Der Stein der Weisen". Ausstellung im Rahmen des "Wissenschaftssommers", Bundeshaus Bonn. Kunstforum International 123, February 2, 2001, page 370.

Various Press on The Spider Project, Köln/Bonn 2000.

Der Stein der Weisen

1. Marler Videoinstallationspreis

”Process Research: The Spider Project”, Lab: Jahrbuch 2000 für Künste und Apparate,

© Clea T. Waite 2000