Michael Bachhofer - Me and the Morpho

“Because I had already taken so many high-resolution and detailed images of butterflies, I wanted to find out how such a butterfly could see me, so I built the ButterflyEyeCam out of 35,000 straws instead of a lens, which recreates a compound eye and captures the vision of a butterfly in a naive but beautiful way. The first result was the picture “Me”, but I also had a camera, which I exhibited several times as an interactive analog installation,” says Bachhofer about his work.


The photo (Me) shows a low-resolution image taken with a specially designed camera without a lens, which can be used both as a camera and as an interactive installation. The photo was printed on Kodak Duratrans for backlit presentation. The magnification is 1:1 due to the size of the camera. The picture shows the artist himself from a butterfly's perspective. To do this, he assembled the Butterfly Eye Cam from 35,000 straws. The result was the picture “Me” to be seen on the leftmost part of the picture on this page left. The other works exhibited are a diasec of a detail of a morpho (on the ground), The same species an the wall behind. The original Butterfly in this photo presented in a light box and the ButterflyEyeCam with its drinking straws.

Michael Bachhofer has a background in Biology and Arts and is currently working on his dissertation, developing a high-resolution 3D scanner for insects. He has realized several art & science projects in interdisciplinary teams. He exhibited nationally and internationally at some of the bigger museums of Vienna like the Künstlerhaus, the Natural History Museum, the MAK, as well as at art festivals like the Klanglicht in Graz (AT), the Ostrale in Dresden (GER) and the Nordart in Büddelsdorf (GER). He received the annual scholarship in fine arts by the State of Carinthia in 2018, as well as several project grants from different institutions over the years. Besides, Michael has been an invited artist at the Joint Research Center of the European Commission in 2018.