Fragmented Moon - Demian Conrad

sitem-insel presents Demian Conrad's Fragmented Moon, a site-specific art installation, which will be open to the public from October 4th - 25th, 2021 (16.00 - 18.30).

Through this work, the artist focuses on the perception and movement of light and its relationship to the surrounding space. The natural and artificial spaces in which we live are mediated by an intangible but ever present element that is essential to life: light. Our relationship with this element and the different phenomena that result from it are at the centre of Demian Conrad's work. He studies light as such, i.e. for its physical and optical aspects, but also for its influence on life on earth. Light is fundamental to humans from a chemical and physiological point of view. A lack of exposure to light can lead to numerous problems in the human body, from dysfunction due to a lack of vitamin D, which is synthesized by the body thanks to light, to psychological disorders caused by a lack of melanin in the organism. This theme was the starting point for Conrad's reflections on the relationship between humans and the elements of nature that are vital to them.

Fragmented moon is a site-specific installation, conceived and produced in relation to space, and is part of a series of works by the artist focussing on this subject. This in situ installation introduces a new symbolism into the architectural and technological structure of sitem-insel: a fragmented, minimalistic and geometric circle of light, a false moon. The light of Fragmented moon crosses the interior space of the horizontal skyscraper of sitem-insel. It is a luminous intrusion into the artificial and aseptic environment and is a transposition of the cyclical appearance of the moon in the celestial vault, which has always accompanied humanity. This luminous stimulus evokes the deep connection between the celestial bodies and the human species.


Since time immemorial, the observation and perception of celestial bodies have made us ask questions and inspired myths. Fragmented Moon triggers in the observer the need to answer these fundamental questions about the relationship between humanity and nature: how much importance do we attach to this magnificent celestial body that lives in symbiosis with our earth? To what extent are we still aware of its presence? Do we perceive and are we sensitive to the changes of natural light that penetrate our artificial environments and our daily spaces? How aware are we of the climate outside our living spaces?

Today, very few of us spend time observing the moon, perhaps it is too commonplace. What used to be a common and frequent activity has become rare today. People who live in big cities no longer have the opportunity to admire the night sky and the moon as they used to, because they are obscured by light pollution. We also live in an age where, thanks to technology, we can simulate situations and artificially recreate environments. Think of the experiences created by VR that can transport our consciousness to unknown and distant places and take us to other universes. Our digital lives constantly expose us to interact with recreated spaces and atmospheres. Our daily actions and relationships are now mediated by cell phone and computer screens, transforming our relationship with physical reality and our natural environment, impacting our lives on a psychological, social, and even philosophical level. We live in spaces filled with artificial light.

For a month, the light of Fragmented moon will will accompany the visitors of the sitem-insel. Its form will initially be subtle and intangible during the day, gaining strength with twilight and nightfall to offer the public a form of contemplation of the recovered moon. This artificial moon is inspired by the work, Simulacres et Simulation, by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard. The representation of the moon fragmenting, is lost in the reflection of the different windows of the building. It will thus open a dialogue between the building and its public, who will be able to observe the work from several view points and in various light conditions. The brightness of the moonlight will appear at night, and will become impalpable again when dawn arrives.

This new moon, luminous and silent, will accompany the spectator on an intimate and sublime journey, amplifying its awareness of the space and time of natural phenomena. The dreamlike nature of a journey that resembles a fantastic and poetic escape brings the spectator to an experience reminiscent of the shadow theatre that amazes our eyes as if we were still children in front of a changing nature.


Demian Conrad

Designer and visual artist
Born in Locarno, Switzerland 1974
Lives and works in Biel


Demian Conrad is an international artist and exhibitor of contemporary design.

He currently lives and works in Biel. He is the founder and creative director of the graphic design studio Automatico Studio, a member of the prestigious Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) and a professor at HEAD-Geneva (Haute école d'art et design, Geneva). He grew up among great names in Swiss design and art such as Bruno Monguzzi and Reto Rigassi. Conrad's aesthetic combines a familiarity with architecture, nature and technology, blending genres such as printmaking, sculpture and installation. Conrad's artwork questions our relationship to nature through the filter of technology. His artistic practice is dedicated to the search for poetry in nature and its elements, such as water, light, snow and the relationship of these with human intervention, applying a phenomenological approach that drives him to seek a renewed harmony between man and nature, mediated by time. Conard's work has been selected for a number of group and solo exhibitions in Switzerland, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Portugal and the UK.