EL & Us

An Art of Molecule project by Michel Comte and NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering

Can Engineering Life (EL) lead us into a better future? This question takes centre stage in EL & Us, Michel Comte’s upcoming art installation and public art-science project in collaboration with NCCR MSE. The Swiss artist seeks to explore his vision of EL in the 21st century, its promise for contributing to social progress, and people’s hopes for it.

In EL & Us Michel Comte re-interprets EL technologies into a captivating new form of artistic expression. The installation includes 3D mappings derived from extensive data sets as well as imagery from molecular and cellular systems. The project will premiere in September 2022 in Rome as part of our 1st International Conference Ethics of Engineering Life (iccel.info). Following its premiere this installation will be shown at art exhibitions, museums, public places or auditoriums and schools.


November 2022:

EL and Us panel at Darwin's Circle in Vienna

DARWIN’S CIRCLE brings together global leaders from across all industries to talk about the digital future of business and society, while being inspired by the leading experts of the world’s most innovative companies. In the 2022 edition, we were invited to discuss our ArtSci multimedia project "EL and Us" together with Michel Comte in Vienna.
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February 2022:

In this four-part podcast series, Michel Comte and Ralf Stutzki talk about how our Art-Science project "Engineering Life and Us" came to be  and the ethical reflections that surfaced along the line.

January 2022:

EL and Us: art book out now!

The story about the compelling collaboration between Michel Comte and our NCCR MSE has just been published by STEIDL, one of the leading players amongst the global art publishing houses. This is huge step forward for our unique Art of Molecule ethics project! The premiere of the „main“ art piece - the video projection with images and sounds recorded by Michel Comte in our labs - is scheduled to take place this year.


December 2020

Project meeting in Comte’s atelier in Zurich. Discussing the technical requirements for the 3D mapping premiere of EL and Us in Rome (November 2022) as well as the accompanying STEIDL book to be published in Fall 2022.


October 2020:

After one year of research and recording in our NCCR labs Michel Comte has produced a first 60 sec. audiovisual trailer of our "EL and Us" multi-media project. Due to the pandemic we can only meet, watch and discuss via Zoom.


June 2020:

Meeting again at the EL and Us „headquarters": Kronenhalle in Zurich.


May 2020:

The Agora project of SNSF aiming at fostering dialogue between scientists and society has just announced the support of "EL and Us"!

Meeting with Comte in Zurich. Discussing the structure of "EL and Us" along with the book project to be published by STEIDL in 2020.


February 2020:

Collecting material in the NCCR MSE labs begins. Approximately 12 days of filming and taping in Basel are scheduled.


December 2019:

Visiting the Fussenegger, Müller and Ward labs in Basel, followed by a presentation of the “EL and Us” project at D-BSSE.


October 2019:

First meeting between NCCR MSE researchers and Michel Comte in Basel.


August - September 2019:

Various meetings and conceptual work on the overall project.


July 2019:

During Locarno Film Festival the idea of a cooperation between NCCR MSE and Michel Comte was born.