Spirit Systems of Soft Knowing 
at Amos Rex
Keiken, Spirit Systems of Soft Knowing ༊*·˚, 2023-2024. Photo: Niclas Warius / Amos Rex

Spirit Systems of Soft Knowing ༊*·˚ by the artist collective Keiken, explores the idea of extending empathetic connection and communication towards other species and other forms of existence. This tactile, spatial installation draws on the body’s energy currents and on material animism, a philosophy rooted in the idea that all creatures and things possess a soul. The experiences and bodily sensations of museum visitors become a continuation of and complement to this immersive work.

Visitors are invited to step into the glowing, curtained-off installation. Once inside the shell-like spiral space, visitors can lie down on one of the four beds, which together form a meditative reef. The organic shapes are mirrored in the cluster of cushions on the beds, inspired by naturally occurring seed pods. Gazing upwards into the cavernous ceiling, visitors encounter a vibrating, star-like energy source that casts its radiance onto the space.

Museum guides accompany visitors into the installation and assist throughout the experience. The wearable artwork – a silicone womb – is placed on each visitor and becomes an artificial extension of their physical body. The delicate vibration of the glowing blue womb against their abdomen, together with the sounds of life channelled into their ears through the headphones, open up a multitude of possible portals for the imagination.

Shimmering in the airflow, an umbilical cord-like link connects the space to the pulsating nebula above. The different elements of the work are tied together by a spatial underwater soundscape. The installation seeks to tune in to a non-verbal connection with different forms of existence, forms that may not even be attainable on a verbal or intellectual level.

Expanding the Senses

The collective sees the wombs as “tools of consciousness” that can be used to create an empathetic connection with the unknown. The background research for the piece is based on neuroscientist Paul Bach-y-Rita’s studies, which focuses on expanding the senses. Bach-y-Rita discovered that the neuroplasticity of our brain allows it to be rewired. Keiken investigate ways of using technology to create simulations of another consciousness, and how wearable technology can amplify holistic experiences.


Spirit Systems of Soft Knowing ༊*·˚ is site-specifically created as part of a thematic collection exhibition focusing on emotions. It inaugurates Amos Rex’s triennial series of commissioned works that make innovative use of and critically examine technology.

founded 2015

Spirit Systems of Soft Knowing ༊*·˚

silicone, haptic technology, LED lights, soundscape, fabric, wood, cushions, video mapping

Photo: Niclas Warius / Amos Rex


Keiken is based in Berlin and London and gets its name from the Japanese word for “experience”. Lived experience is at the heart of the collective’s synergistic working process. Three artists from different diasporic backgrounds, Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori and Isabel Ramos, founded the collective in 2015. Keiken are interested in the nature of consciousness and existence, fascinated by alternative visions of the future in the intersections between technology and the real world. The collective’s work centres on artworks and themes in which bodily experiences often expand beyond the boundaries of the real world to construct different speculative futures. Keiken works across film, gaming, installation, extended reality (XR), blockchain, and performance, while they also develop their own forms of technology.

Keiken are the first recipients of the CHANEL Next Prize awarded to them in 2022. They are currently working at the Somerset House residency in London. Their works have recently been exhibited at such art institutions as KANAL — Centre Pompidou, Brussels (BE); Helsinki Biennial (FI), HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin (DE), and C/O Berlin (DE); Wellcome Collection, London (UK); ARKO Art Center, Seoul (KR); Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf (DE); Onassis Foundation, Athens (GR); Photographers Gallery, London (UK) (2022); and the 2nd Thailand Biennale (TH).

Pro­duc­tion team

Creative direction and lead artists: Keiken
Production: Alexander Boyes
Interactive design: Edwin Dertien
Silicone womb fabrication design: Chris Fitzpatrick
Haptic womb soundscape & surround sound: Waveovspace
Spatial and installation design: Sebastian Kite
Projection visual design: George Jasper Stone
Studio management: Hekate Studios

Project management: Itha O’Neill
Curation: Terhi Tuomi
Construction and planning: Jussi Piironen
Lighting design: Marianne Lagus
AV design: Sohei Yasui
Public programmes: Alisa Närvänen, Laura Porola
Conservation: Mia Derichs
Coordination: Niclas von Bonsdorff, Tii Laakso