Sabine Scho & Andreas Töpfer

The Origin of Senses

The meaning that Darwin attributed to life on Earth was that no species can survive independently. The poetic intervention The Origin of Senses by Sabine Scho and Andreas Töpfer takes this notion as the starting point for investigating what it is like for different organisms to perceive themselves and the world around them through their senses.

There is no point in relying on common sense when exploring sensory perception in other species. The gateways for stimuli are as varied and yet often as similar as the species themselves. The way receptors are distributed and formed for light, temperature, balance, taste, smell, electrical voltage, as well as individual sensations such as position and movement in space, pain, and organ activity may differ from species to species, but ever more scientific studies are deducing the presence of such receptors in almost every living creature. Only recently, scientists discovered that threadworms have an inner antenna that allows them to orientate and coordinate their movements using the Earth’s magnetic field.

In the exhibition space, the poems by Sabine Scho and drawings by Andreas Töpfer enter into a dialogue with various exhibits. The magazine The Origin of Senses accompanying the intervention is available from the museum shop.

You can listen to the poems here!

We would like to thank Haus für Poesie (Literaturwerkstatt Berlin) for producing the audio guide (narrated by Sabine Scho and Ann Cotton). Based on the concept by Cord Riechelmann.

Corresponding events can be found here.

Sabine Scho &  Andreas Töpfer
© Matthias Holtmann und Andreas Töpfer