The exhibition: a Swiss-Brazilian partnership

Discover an exhibition that combines science and art to highlight the urgent need for biodiversity preservation and climate action. This immersive installation contrasts the Amazon's natural beauty with the devastation from recent droughts and fires, using video art and environmental DNA sounds to spark critical dialogue.

Swissnex in Brazil, in collaboration with the Brazilian artist Sonia Guggisberg and the researcher Andrea Desiderato from the Swiss ETH BiodivX team (, presents  the exhibition “Amazônia Mapeada: Images and Sounds of Environmental DNA.” This innovative project merges science, culture, and art to highlight the urgent need for biodiversity preservation and climate change mitigation.

The exhibition is promoted by Swissnex in Brazil’s initiative to connect the research “Amazônia Mapeada” by artist Sonia Guggisberg with the work carried out by the group of scientists from the CLabs (DNA of Music) initiative, led by Andrea Desiderato, a member of ETH BiodivX. This exhibition is a proposal that combines science and art to highlight the urgent need for biodiversity preservation and climate action.

After an opening event only for a closed group of partners in academia, local partners, and the local innovation ecosystem, the exhibition will be open to the public for one month at Paiol da Cultura, INPA, Manaus.

The exhibition project aims to create scientific and poetic ways to increase visibility and foster discussion about the critical state of biodiversity and the impacts of climate change. It addresses the fragmentation of ecosystems due to social neglect, showcasing a reality where once-vibrant landscapes are now marked by cracks in dry soil and smoke replacing clean air. The rising frequency of natural disasters risks desensitizing us to these urgent issues, arguably the most pressing of our time.

Immersive Installation

The exhibition features an immersive installation of videos and sounds, contrasting the Amazon’s natural exuberance with the devastation caused by recent droughts and fires. This installation seeks to broaden understanding by integrating photographs, video art, and environmental DNA (eDNA) decoding. It critically examines the environmental crisis, emphasizing the urgent water crisis and its broader implications through the lenses of science and art.

The project aims to raise awareness and stimulate action by generating poetic forms highlighting the urgency of biodiversity preservation through science and art. The water crisis underscores the fragility of nature and humanity, reflecting on the conflict between human actions and natural systems. As eroded soil can absorb water again, cultural initiatives can awaken social consciousness and memory.

Sonia Guggisberg’s research emphasizes perception, illustrating how ecological regression extends into social life. Her interventions and video installations are micro-political actions aimed at reactivating values such as affection, belonging, and memory.

Research and Methodology

Sonia Guggisberg, in partnership with a team of local photographers, produced a video art documentary, utilizing multiple screens and mapping to intertwine various perspectives on the Amazon and human impact. Her approach will reinforce the power of non-linear documentaries, developing the installation through photographs, videography, and artistic intertexts.

The seven Amazonian artists were invited to collaborate on video material about droughts and fires in the Amazon in 2023. This set of materials brings together different perspectives from people who have experienced the problem on the ground, combining perspectives with the material Sonia has captured. The local artists who make up the group for the video installation are Raphael Alves, Tadeu Lima da Rocha e Silva, Michael Dantas, Orlando Junior, Cesar Nogueira, Val Ricardo, Tiago da Mota e Silva.

Andrea Desiderato created a sound work juxtaposing the Amazon’s natural exuberance with environmental DNA sounds derived from expedition traces. This work will map the DNA of traces and remains, such as skin, excrement, hair, and nails, of endangered species from the Amazon.

The exhibition will have an unspecific sound system to integrate the power of the sound layer in this installation. The sound was designed for the project with the idea of Microorganisms pulsating, i.e., eDNAs decoded into sounds, in contrast to the macro, the giant Amazon Rainforest, in multiple videos and sounds.

Save the Date

“Amazonia Mapeada: imagens and sounds of eDNA” aims to deepen our understanding of the Amazon’s environmental crisis. It leverages the power of art and science to foster a critical dialogue about biodiversity conservation and climate action. Stay tuned for more information soon!

Learn more about the ETH BiodivX group by clicking HERE.

Read more about Sonia and Andrea below: