Sphagnum Time is an audio visual installation by Sissel Marie Tonn (DK/NL) for Fermenting Data. It talks about three bog bodies who, unlike Grauballe Man, were never found by the peat diggers of the 20th century. Sacrificed to the bog thousands of years ago, they have obtained a new form of subjectivity beyond the human, one that spans across the ecological circumstances they became part of: acidic water, sphagnum mosses, trapped methane gas, and the bacterial ecosystems maintaining the bog. In the installation the bog bodies act as guides for a sub-surface undergoing change. They communicate with us an understanding of time and change that seems beyond our reach, one that requires listening to and observing the subjectivities and rhythms that span beyond the lived experiences of humans. Sphagnum Time references the name for a genus of approximately 380 accepted species of mosses, which are commonly known as peat mosses.
Working with photogrammetry scans of Gauballe Man, which support the process of converting photographs into 3D digital models, Sissel Marie Tonn invites us to meditate on time and changing environments as the three bog bodies murmur and chant the seasonal rhythms of life and post-life cycles entangled within sphagnum ecosystems.