Pascal Glissmann

Media Designer, Visual Artist & Scholar

15.08.2018   - 31.10.2018

Pascal Glissmann is a media designer, artist, scholar and educator based in New York. His research-driven practice explores the increasingly osmotic membrane between the natural and the artificial. It poses the question that, looking at artifacts, do we apply the same methodologies of observation we use for natural objects?

His research project “electronic-life-forms” — developed in collaboration with Martina Hoefflin — inhabits the intersection of art, science, and technology to explore the fascination for artificial life and its principles through site-specific installations. The swarms of sculptural subjects that populate public spaces are not based on high-tech data-driven computational systems. Instead, they combine basic electronic concepts with methods of handcraft to seamlessly merge with natural habitats. Observers decide at what point the artificial starts and if that distinction is needed at all.

Glissmann received a Bachelor of Communication Design from the University of Applied Sciences Duesseldorf and an MFA from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. He has exhibited his work in group shows at various international venues including Ars Electronica, Miró Foundation Mallorca, Kiasma Helsinki, Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, and the New Media Art Festival Japan. He is currently Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design New York, School of Art, Media, and Technology. Glissmann is also co-founder and co-director of the Observational Practices Lab Parsons and The Phaistos Project.

“Urban Fernweh” — the urge to live in metropolitan areas of diverse cultures — made me leave Germany in 2007. I spent the last twelve years in Hong Kong, Beirut, and New York to practice and teach design & media arts. Throughout my journey, I have been fascinated by urban complexity and puzzled by its daily mechanics. As a designer, I was initially intrigued by visual systems that purposefully offer orientation or randomly document the processes of urbanity and human interactions. However, observing urban societies in the diverse settings of Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America, I became more interested in the questions of how we create resilient communities. How do we initiate dialogues to better understand our diverse ways of seeing, reading and understanding our shared urban habitats and their everyday artifacts. This becomes even more important when we empower artificial agents to make decisions regarding our political and social systems. Who is training these algorithms with what kind of data? As a response, and to investigate the diverse ways we are looking at the same thing, I co-founded the Observational Practices Lab at Parsons School of Design, New York, in 2016 with my colleague Selena Kimball.

Pascal Glissmann, Artist’s Statement


During his Artist In Residency at SomoS Art House, August-October 2018, Glissmann will launch his new research project Speculative MineralogySpeculative Mineralogy proposes visualizations of speculative hybrid artifacts aggregating minerals and anthropogenic substances.

Apart from developing his creative research, Glissmann will moderate two Peer to Peer Project Feedback Sessions, and hold an artist’s talk for the Scope Sessions media art salon, October 11, both taking place at SomoS.

Pascal Glissmann homepage