Designing Truth

Casco presents the new production: DESIGNING TRUTH with guest of Hinrich Sachs: Dr. Ansgar Philippsen, structural biologist 

14 May 2005–12 June 2005 / Casco HQ

A film by Hinrich Sachs. DVD, 30 min. original version in English 
International premiere at Casco, Saturday 14 May 2005, 6-8 pm 
On view from 15 May–12 June, Tue-Sun, 2-6 pm 

In the film Designing Truth – a colorful and surprising portrait of the Swiss molecular structural biologist and software designer Ansgar Philippsen – Hinrich Sachs examines the creation and interpretation of scientific images in structural biology as well as its impact on general knowledge about the body and nature. 

Ansgar Philippsen himself shows and explains how images are gained from biological material so infinitesimal that the question arises how to visualize it. He further focuses on how these scientific digital images relate to reality, now they are increasingly claiming to be true. Designing Truth intertwines such big questions with a personal focus on Ansgar Philippsen, thus introducing the individual behind the scientist, revealing him as a contemporary not without wit. 

The film Designing Truth is part of a series of “portraits” that Sachs realized since 1998 in different presentation formats (installation, audio piece, printed matter). While all portrayed individuals are professionally involved with the creation of images, but none of them as an artist, the series proposes an investigation of the role and power of pictures in the width of contemporary society. In depth conversations between the artist and his subject at the heart of this form of portraiture furthermore blur the line of authorship. With projects like this Sachs examines how biography, memory and culture are constructed. 

Ansgar Philippsen (1972), structural biologist and computer programmer – currently working at Basel University’s Biozentrum – is an authority in the field of bio-molecular visualization. Since 1998 he has been developing the DINO software (www.dino3d.org) that generates realistic 3D images of molecules, invisible to the human eye, in a real time mode. 

Hinrich Sachs (1962) is an artist living in Basel (Switzerland), working internationally and currently engaged as advising researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht (Netherlands).


Designing Truth is commissioned by Casco and co-produced with the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht.

Realized with the financial support of: The City Council of Utrecht, Mondriaan Foundation, Jan van Eyck Academy, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen.

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