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presse@artlaboratory-berlin.org
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Next Event

MIND THE FUNGI
WALK & TALK #1

1) Briesetal | 27 October, 2018
(Day Excursion)
2) Lab excursion, TU Berlin | 29 October, 2018 (Evening)

Free entry | Registration necessary: register@artlaboratory-berlin.org



Art Laboratory Berlin invites you to the first public event of Mind the Fungi, a two-year collaborative project between the Technische Universität Berlin and Art Laboratory Berlin. Artist Theresa Schubert will offer diverse perspectives on the forest and its cultural meaning including a performance. Furthermore, together with biotechnologists from the Institute of Biotechnology | TU Berlin she will guide us through forests of Berlin and Brandenburg in search of tree mushrooms and lichens. Samples taken will form part of a two-year research project combining cutting edge biological research, citizen science and artistic research.


Fatemeh Nejati, Carsten Pohl and Bertram Schmidt from TU Berlin will show participants how to collect samples of fungi and lichens and preserve them for further study and cultivation. At a follow-up lab at the Dept. of Applied and Molecular Microbiology | TU Berlin on 29 October, participants will be shown how to inoculate Petri dishes with samples for cultivation.

Berlin-based artist Theresa Schubert explores unconventional visions of nature, technology and the self. She studied media art at the Bauhaus-University, Weimar. She combines audiovisual and hybrid media with conceptual and immersive installations or site-specific interventions that may include living organisms. Thematically her works question the relation of humans to their environment and evolvement of matter and meaning beyond the anthropos.




In 2019 further workshops and labs will explore new modes of fungal biotechnology, which is currently undergoing a disruptive innovation process. Mushrooms, which are produced on the basis of renewable raw materials in the biotechnological process, will be converted, with far-reaching consequences, into packaging materials, building materials, and even leather. Together with biotechnologists from TU Berlin, citizen scientists, artists and designers, we invite you to take part in Mind the Fungi.

Mind the Fungi is a research project of Prof. Vera Meyer and Prof. Peter Neubauer of the Institute for Biotechnology, Technische Universität Berlin and Art Laboratory Berlin.



Press text as PDF

Current exhibition

Strange Encounters with Vegetal Others
Špela Petrič




Press preview: 21September 2018, 11am (Please contact: presse@artlaboratory-berlin.org)
Opening: 21 September 2018, 8PM

22 September - 18 November 2018
Fri- Sun, 2-6 pm

Workshop with the artist: 22 September 2018, 1-6 PM

Slovenian artist Špela Petrič approaches art production with a background in Hybrid Arts as well as a PhD in Biochemistry. These dual epistemological approaches inform her work with the Plant Kingdom as part of a multi-species collaboration exploring the ontologies, methodologies, ethics and practices of care involved in our relationship to the vegetal. Her first solo show in Berlin will give an insight into her multi-species endeavour.

The green kingdom, upon which we depend for our very survival, functions on a radically different biological basis from us: seemingly inert, literally vegetative and endowed with unexplored forms of intelligence. Yet science reveals an intricate world of mysterious chemical conversations, interspecies networks and non-centralised operations alien from our own existence. Through her work Petrič proposes novel modes of human-plant communication, intercognition and exchange.

Her series 'Confronting Vegetal Otherness' is a performative exploration of such an exchange. Skotopoiesis (meaning ‘shaped by darkness’) proposes a biosemiotic process for intercognition between the artist and a field of cress. In a durational performance the artist stands before the field, her shadow obstructing light, contributing to a paling and lengthening in the cress, while resulting in a minute shrinking of the artist. The durational aspect forces the artist to take part in a vegetative sense of time, forcing a post-anthropocentric approach towards the nonhuman.

Strange Encounters: Metaphysics, Algae and Carcinoma uses biotechnology to overcome our difference(s) from the plant kingdom. Taking a scientific view of being at the cellular level, as well as the cell as biotechnical labour force, Petrič arranges the in vitro encounter of two types of cells: Chlorella, a free living single-celled photosynthetic algae and a human cancer cell, carcinoma of the bladder. "I am performing biopolitics, selecting, orchestrating, monitoring, documenting, narrating” remarks Petrič. “The cancer and the algae negotiate the space I allow for them. Biopower penetrates the plant just as it does the human."

A further work, The Plant Sex Consultancy, produced along with Pei Ying Lin, Dimitris Stamatis and Jasmina Weiss, proposes design-based solutions to the sexual (or pollination) problems of six plants. Somewhere between medical devices and floral sex toys, the design solutions engage our imaginations, challenging our preconceptions of vegetal agency and sentience. They also refer to a possible future where a dearth of pollinating insects necessitates drastic technological interventions. A recent study showed that over the last 30 years insect populations in German nature reserves have plummeted by more than 75%.

-Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz (curators)

Workshop with Špela Petrič: Phytocracy in situ: Prototyping tools for the investigation of plant governance
22 September 2018, 1-6 PM


(registration necessary: register@artlaboratory-berlin.org )

In connection with the exhibition Strange Encounters with Vegetal Others

How did wheat manage to domesticate the human? From Pollan's perspective-bending "Botany of Desire" to the environmental humanities' "vegetal politics", the entanglements between plants and people are ubiquitous, mundane and often hiding in plain sight. As part of the inquiries into Vegetal Otherness, Špela Petrič set out to produce her own phytocracy-revealing onto-epistemological tools that are inspired by actual institutions/domains/cultural practices framing plant-people relations, but also playfully oblivious to their axioms and boundaries.

The open session invites participants to reflect on plant governance as governance of plants by joining in a fast and funny tool prototyping session to investigate the river Panke in the vicinity of Art Laboratory Berlin. The exercise connects to a wider questioning of artistic methodologies, mediations, narratives, with which we try to convey experiences with the vegetal that often escape words.

The workshop is based on Deep Phytocracy: Feral Songs, the work-in-progress Petri
č has been developing at Nida Art Colony, Lithuania and Osmoza, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


With the generous support of



     


Summer Programme 2018

BioSignals

25 August 2018

No registration, free entry


From Left: Juan Duarte, Photo: Andrew Gryf Paterson; Sarah Hermanutz & Nenad Popov, Live Decomposition, Photo courtesy of the artists; Laura Beloff, Photo: Andrew Gryf Paterson

BioSignals is a series of site-specific sound art, narrations and nature-based data streams by human and nonhuman cultural producers during Summer-Autumn 2018, culminating with a contribution to the next Pixelache Festival in Helsinki in Spring 2019. The artistic content of the project will focus on creative and actual interpretations of biosemiotics, energy as media and communication. Biosemiotics is an increasingly influential paradigm of thinking which brings together biology and communication, signs and signals of life in its myriad forms. In particular it offers conceptual tools to consider communications and environmental meaning-making from a non-human perspective, including plant and lichens, animal, bacterial, elemental interactors, via tactile, aural and signal-based biochemical means.

Featured artists will include Sarah Hermanutz and Nenad Popov who will perform their audiovisual work Live Decomposition as well as Pedro Soler and contributions by Andrew Gryf Paterson, Antye Greie-Ripatti, Juan Duarte, Krisjanis Rijnieks, Krista Dintere, Laura Beloff, Lilli Tölp and Mikko Lipiäinen.

14.00 BioSignals curators present BioSignals and results from previous meetings to the public.

15.00-17.00 Walk along the Panke river - ALB presents the project 'DIY Hack the Panke'.

17.00-19.00 BioSignals Seminar: Internet of Entities
In their work Forest Law Ursula Biemann and Paulo Tavares rendered an image of the Amazon rainforest as an entity connected to the global flow of information partly via a mesh of sensors built by human activity (scientists etc.). While it is clear that via this mesh the human species receives data that is relevant to its perspective, it is important to ask how does the forest itself sense the world via this new media? If we are going towards a paradigm in which non-human entities are treated as legal persons we need to also develop an understanding how to interact with these persons in a sophisticated dialogue that legal procedures among subjects necessitate. We need to develop and learn languages, semiotic structures and strategies that ensure mutual understandings between human and non-human. What is hybrid art´s role in this endeavour?

ca. 17.30 Remote connection with Pedro Soler (in Ecuador) - Reflections on the Forest Law project.

20.00 Performance: Live Decomposition by Sarah Hermanutz and Nenad Popov.

More information on BioSignals: https://www.pixelache.ac/projects/biosignals



Produced in cooperation with



The BioSignals process is supported by Nordisk Kultur Kontakt Culture and Art programme.






Presentation | Performance

NOW. A Kinetic Life
Bidisha Das and Thomas Heidtmann


Friday, 3 August 2018, 8PM
Performance, 9pm

Sat, 4 August 2018
Open: 2 – 6pm

Sun, 5 August, 2018

Open: 2 – 6pm
Artists Talk with Bidisha Das & Thomas Heidtmann, 3pm




NOW – A Kinetic Life is an interactive installation that spans a visual and acoustic connection between outer space and physical spaces that surround us. It is an orchestra of movement using elements from outer space, nature and human bodies as instrumentations. It is an expression of the ever-changing moment we are living in: NOW.The installation brings in sounds from all these spaces in real-time to a modular synthesizer, the heart of the proposed installation, that Das has created exclusively for the project. The synthesizer is accompanied by CubeSat-like objects that are part of Heidtmann’s "Place in Orbit" project, wearable gloves and plants with sensors.

The experience is like having multiple ears aimed at different directions and in various locations at the same time. The real-time data from the spaces and the output result are unique each time it is performed: Natural sounds and sounds from the universe, all merging together – life, that is thriving everywhere and binding us together to live in the moment, NOW.

NOW. A Kinetic Life is made possible through the bangaloREsidency-Expanded programme by the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore in collaboration with Lacuna Lab e.V.


Thomas Heidtmann a Berlin-based media artist, studied at the Berlin University of the Arts. He is co-founder of Lacuna Lab e.V. as well as the founder of the Space Art Hackathon SPARTH and the Space Art Community SPARTHabitat. In his internationally presented works Heidtmann examines forms and expressions of exploration, collaboration, and communication. He is fascinated by space technologies, mirrors, and questions of visibility and observation.

Bidisha Das is an artist and explorer with an interest in Art and Science. Fascinated both in nature and technology, her medium of communication varies from sound to film, forest to the sky above, human beings to animal world and the like. Das graduated from Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore. Her work has explored sound-art practices at the Indian Sonic Research Organization, Bangalore and she has performed at the HKW in Berlin. She has also been a team participant at Caltech-NASA to initiate a manned asteroid mission and has spent months in Indian forests and Peruvian Amazon doing conservation works.

  



Workshop:

(Un)Real Ecologies - Microplastics

Kat Austen & Nana MacLean

7/8 July, 2018


Photos courtesy Kat Austen

Plastic has pervaded water, soil and our bodies. It is the new icon of our time. During the (Un)Real Ecologies: Microplastics workshop we will explore the presence of microplastics in the Panke River, near Art Laboratory Berlin. How do organisms and microorganisms exist with and construct with these human-made materials? We will interrogate the water samples, to discover a new understanding of the reality of the Panke's ecosystem, with plastic present and wholly a part of it - a microcosm that allows us to ask: "what is nature?"

Kat Austen is a succession of experiences and an assemblage of aspirations. She creates artworks that explore multiple knowledges, from music to embodied knowledge to DIY science, focusing on emotional connections between what we consider internal and external. Kat is Cultural Fellow in Art and Science at the University of Leeds, lectures on UCL's Arts and Sciences BASc, and is Artist in Residence in UCL's Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences. Previous residencies include NYU Shanghai Gallery and ArtOxygen. Kat was an inaugural member of the London Creative Network programme. She is based in Berlin.

Nana MacLean studied Biology at the UvA Amsterdam and has recently finished her Master studies in Molecular Biology at the University Potsdam. Besides her studies, she has been involved in projects that crossed borders between disciplinary styles and methods - embracing both speculative design and performative collaborations. As a PhD student, Nana is currently working on microbial communities in anthropogenic landscapes and plastic polluted grounds at the GFZ Helmholtz Center Potsdam. Her research focuses on Plastic as biological habitat, and furthermore explores future ecologies and areas of research that involve storytelling and other imaginative methodologies. Nana is based in Potsdam and Berlin.
(More information)


Part of the Shared Habitats Project, organised by Institutio Media and funded by Nordic Culture Point:


Book Release Party 6 July, 2018 7PM:



Half Life. Machines/ Organisms, Artistic Positions in the context of Climate Change and Extinction.

Käthe Wenzel/Manfred Blohm (eds.) Fabrico Verlag Hannover, 2018.

Machine-Organisms, organic machines: The dissolution of boundaries between bodies and technology is becoming part of everyday life with feeling prosthesis, neuro implants and neuroenhancement - posthumanism. Even the extinction of the species supposedly be solved by synthetic and mechanical Ersatz-species. What are the artistic perspectives on these developments? What kind of threats and promises are being negotiated here?

41 artistic positions from 15 countries provide critical and visionary views onto socio-emotional service machines - prxies and social crutches; Ersatz: Machine environments and artificial organisms; Utopia: Prosthesis, Utopian Instruments and substitute bodies; Connection: Mediator machines and trans-species communication; Autonomous and obsolete machines, past cultures of machines.


With Agnes Meyer-Brandis, Alex May, Alexander Schellbach, Andras Böröcz, Anna Dumitriu, Christa Sommerer, Claudia Schmitz, Courtney Johnson, Emma Critchley, Giuliana Cunéaz, Guy Ben-Ary, Hannes Waldschütz, Ionat Zurr, Jeongmoon Choi, Ji Hyun Park, Jinyoung Lee, John Roach, Käthe Wenzel, Kerstin Ergenzinger, Laurent Mignonneau, Lisa Glauer, Lorenzo Oggiano, Lukas Truniger, Malte Bartsch, Marie-Eve Levasseur, Michael Schulze, Nicola L. Hein, Oron Catts, Pey-Ying Lin, PSJM, Robbin A. Silverberg, Robertina Šebjanic, Saša Spacal, Špela Petric, Susanna Hertrich, Susanna Schoenberg, Suzanne Anker, Tobias Grewenig, VALIE EXPORT, Verena Friedrich, Via Lewandowsky, 431art

...and essays by KätheWenzel/ Manfred Blohm, Regine Rapp/ Christian De Lutz, Lisa Glauer/ Helge Oder.





Last exhibition

Viscous Bodies

Sarah Hermanutz
Alanna Lynch

Opening: Friday, 23 March, 2018 / 8pm
24 March - 13 May, 2018
Fri - Sun, 2-6 pm and by appointment (closed Easter Weekend 30 March-1 April)

Artist Talk with both artists: 25 March 2018 / 3pm


Documentation photographs, from left Alanna Lynch, Concealed and Contained; Potentials; Sarah Hermanutz, Salamander Mourning Veil, Inside Bodies

The project follows an open framework in showing the ongoing artistic research of two emerging artists in the field of art & science. Taking all things fluid as a starting point, the work of Sarah Hermanutz and Alanna Lynch covers themes such as amphibians, bodily borders, boundaries, marginalisation, materialism, seepage, sensory and wetlands through performance, installations, multimedia and living artworks. In addition to object and action, this project also invites the public to become engaged with the matter in manifold ways.

Alanna Lynch works with living organisms, biological materials and performance, examining the politics of affect and questions of agency. She explores the aesthetics of disgust and fear, with a focus on embodied knowledge and non-conscious forces. In her project Potentials Lynch cultivated colonies of fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, through their whole lifecycle, making use of microscopic photography and performative display, confronting the visitor with containers of flies in a research-like setting. This evoked reactions ranging from curiosity to disgust. Her performances often explore bodies and identity as something complex and indefinable; both made up of ever more dividable parts of matter. For the performance Concealed and Contained she collected her own hair over many years and crocheted it into an ever-growing container which now covers her head and shoulders. In performance she stands naked, except for the self-made form of concealment which she then works upon: crocheting a continual work-in-progress.

Sarah Hermanutz researches the intersections of performance, technology, and ecology. Her sculptures, installations and performances are preoccupied with wetlands, amphibious creatures, gender and social cognition. Live Decomposition, an ongoing collaboration with sound artist Nenad Popov, was performed last year in Lisbon and Berlin. Video documents Hermanutz's hands as they work through an aquarium filled with mud, sand, living and dead wetland organisms, and other collected material. The artist has a keen interest in amphibians - both as organism and as metaphor. In Inside Bodies an axolotl in a jar becomes a point for human/nonhuman contact. Her work Salamander Mourning Veil, which includes drawings, photographs and performance, is an artist statement on both the mass extinction of amphibians and the degradation of wetlands, a melancholy act of caring and empathy in the spirit of Haraway's 'staying with the trouble'.

The exhibition project examines the aesthetics of viscosity. The two artists will also collaborate on an installation, which will form an interconnecting system of liquids, living materials, organisms and technology and encompass the common themes of their work.
(More information)

-Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz


Previous event

NONHUMAN AGENTS - in retrospect
Documentation | Publication | Party


23 February, 2018 from 7-11PM

Art Laboratory Berlin cordially invites you to revisit our 2017 programme Nonhuman Agents in Art, Culture and Theory. We will present photo, video and text documentation of our 2017 series of workshops, talks and exhibition, as well as the three-day conference in November 2017.




Previous exhibition:
Nonhuman Networks
Heather Barnett | Saša Spačal, Mirjan Švagelj & Anil Podgornik

Opening: 29 September, 2017 8PM
Press preview: 29 September 2017, 11AM (please register at: presse@artlaboratory-berlin.org)
Artist Talk with Heather Barnett and
Saša Spačal: 30 September 2017 3pm
Interdisciplinary Conference. Nonhuman Agents in Art, Culture and Theory: 24-26 November, 2017
Exhibition runs: 30 September - 26 November, 2017

Fri -Sun 2-6PM and by appointment

Left: Saša Spačal, Mirjan Švagelj and Anil Podgornik, Myconnect, Installation, 2014, Damjan Švarc / Kapelica gallery photo archive;
right Heather Barnett, The Physarum Experiments Study No. 022, Film still, 2016


Nonhuman Networks
presents an aesthetics of new forms of communication between human and nonhuman actors. How does the world's largest single celled creature function as a computer? Can we tap into the so-called 'Internet of trees'? Performative works act as enablers for the audience to engage in non-linguistic forms of awareness and contact with several deceptively simple life forms.

Saša Spačal, Mirjan Švagelj and Anil Podgornik combine art, biology and cybernetics to create a platform for inter species communication. In Myconnect the nervous system of a person and fungal mycelium are plugged into a biofeedback loop. By entering the capsule a person is equipped with a heartbeat sensor, headphones and vibrational motors that are placed on various parts of the body. The heartbeat of a person sets the system in motion. The signal travels through the mycelium where it is modulated in real-time. The modulated signal is transferred back to the human body via sound, light and tactile sensory impulses. The overwhelming stimuli that affect the nervous system cause an alteration of the heartbeat. A new loop begins and the circle is closed. A symbiosis of signals begins.

Myconnect is a symbiotic interspecies connector that questions the anthropocentric nature/human division. With its circuit of signals and impulses, generated and translated by biological and technological organisms, Myconnect performs an immersive experience of symbiotic interdependence. Through this experience the technological nature/human distinction can be seen as an arbitrary definition that serves particular biopolitical interests in human society.

The collective has chosen to work with fungi, one of the world's dominant life forms. Mycelium, the hidden, subterranean portion of mushrooms, can grow to huge proportions; one organism in North America may be the world's largest living being. Recent studies show a strong interconnectedness between fungi and forest trees, the so-called 'Internet of trees' which forms vast symbiotic networks. Myconnect is an artistic experiment on social, aesthetic and biological levels, exploring new possible forms of interspecies communication beyond human language.

Heather Barnett is an artist, researcher and educator working with natural phenomena and biological design, often in collaboration with scientists, artists, participants and organisms. Utilising living materials and imaging technologies, her practice explores how we observe, represent and understand the world around us. Projects include microbial portraiture, systems modelling, and an ongoing 'collaboration' with an intelligent slime mould, Physarum polycephalum, one of the world's largest single-celled organisms.

What makes Physarum polycephalum particularly interesting, is its skilful ability to learn and solve problems from its interactions with the environment. Scientists in Japan and the UK have been studying Physarum polycephalum's ability for spatial computation (whilst foraging for food in the most efficient way). These studies mark an interesting turn in cybernetics, which is already strong influenced by biology Here an organism is studied as both a technological artefact and agent.

Based on years of empirical research and art-science collaboration, Barnett engages the slime mould in a process of negotiated co-creation, resulting in animated films, prints and living sculptures. She has also developed a series of interactive public workshops investigating Physarum polycephalum as material, model and metaphor through collective experimentation - Swarm | Cell | City - takes place 23/24 September as part of the Nonhuman Agents series, devised in collaboration with the Berlin based collective plan b. This exhibition builds upon her unique combination of interdisciplinary research and participatory practice.
(more information)

Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz (Curators)


EVENTS

2-day-Workshop Swarm | Cell | City
With Heather Barnett and plan b (Sophia New & Daniel Belasco Rogers)
23 and 24 September, 2017
(More information)

Artist Talk with Heather Barnett and Saša Spacal: 30 September 2017 / 3pm

Interdisciplinary Conference Nonhuman Agents in Art, Culture and Theory
(
In cooperation with European Media Studies, University Potsdam)
24 - 26 November, 2017


Neoavantgarde published by Franziska on10.01.2018, Wissenschaftliche Kunst: BioArt bringt Menschen der Natur wieder näher

Ex Berliner published on November 2017, von Sarrita Hunn, Mushrooms, robots and bread


Imperica.com published on 07.02. 2018, Invasive nonhuman actors: In conversation with Saša Spacal and Heather Barnett

Labiotech.eu published on 16.12.2017 by Clara Rodríguez Fernández, Science and Art Join Forces to Challenge our Anthropocentric Worldviews

Klimaretter.info Das Magazin zur Klima-ind Energiewende published on 08.10.2017 by Daniela Schmidtke, BioArt: Intelligente Pilze

Art-in-Berlin published on 09.10.2017 by Dr. Barbara Börek, Menschliche und nichtmenschliche Akteure im Netzwerk, Nonhuman Networks - Art Laboratory Berlin,



With the generous support of:





Media partner:


Cooperation partner:




Previous events:

Interdisciplinary Conference
Nonhuman Agents in Art, Culture and Theory

24-26 November, 2017

Art Laboratory Berlin
Prinzenallee 58, 13359 Berlin-Wedding (Across the street from the Art Laboratory Berlin exhibition space)




As a theoretical addition to our ongoing series Nonhuman Agents (June - December 2017) Art Laboratory Berlin - along with our partners, The Institute for Arts and Media, University of Potsdam - will bring together international artists, scholars, and scientists from different disciplines to discuss artistic, philosophical, ethical and scientific approaches to nonhuman agency. Previous positions from our Nonhuman Subjectivities series (2016-17) will also be included.

The conference will start with a reflection on post-anthropocentrism by redefining intelligence (human, animal and plant intelligence), agency and sentience. An in-depth consideration will include the role of fungi: mycelium, the Internet of trees and yeasts. Microbial agency will be explored via the phenomenon of quorum sensing and biofilms, proposing a micro-subjectivity. There will be contributions on the microbiome and holobiome, taking into consideration the human as nonhuman. We want to open up a discussion to endosymbiosis and sympoiesis, reflecting symbiotic relationships, horizontal gene transfer and the role of Lynn Margulis in 21st century Biology and Science and Technology Studies. Finally, the conference will discuss nonhuman perspectives under threat and proposes an ethology for the techno-scientific era.
(More information - First video documentation now online!)
Abstracts and biografies as .pdf

Arthist.net published by Naomie Gramlich on 23.01.2018, Nonhuman Agents in Art, Culture and Theory

Medium.com published by Matinska Monstruito on 19.1.2018, Mary Maggic: el post-cyberfeminismo aderezado con una pizca de estrogeno casero

Taz published on 1.1.2018 by Manfred Ronzheimer , Kunst und Wissenschaft: Ein Blick auf nichtmenschliche Akteure

Labiotech.eu published on 16.12.2017 by Clara Rodríguez Fernández, Science and Art Join Forces to Challenge our Anthropocentric Worldviews

Berliner Gazette published on 14.12.2017 by Olga Timurgalieva, Menschen unter sich? Wie Bio-Art-KünstlerInnen die Grenze zwischen Natur und kultur verschieben


Nonhuman Agents in Arts & Culture

Nonhuman Agents takes into account recent philosophical approaches which question anthropocentrism. These discourses emphasise non-human perspectives through object-oriented ontology (Harman and Meillasoux); discuss nonhuman / human encounters (Haraway); postulate a posthumanism (Braidotti); and examine various posthuman performative strategies such as intra-acting (Barad). A new 'de-centring' lets us draw our attention to a reality that can no longer be described in purely anthropocentric parameters.



Workshops & Lectures
Through workshops and lectures, four international artists, living in Berlin, invite the public to think about the non-human by means of selected artistic, performative and scientific methods. Mushrooms, mosses, lichens and bacterial processes, as well as Berlin wetlands, play a central role.

Alanna Lynch | Gut feelings
18 June, 2017

Margherita Pevere | Anatomy of an inter-connected system
15 July, 2017

Theresa Schubert | The forestal psyche
25 & 26 August, 2017

Sarah Hermanutz | ill-at-ease seep
28 October 2017

Presentation of Nonhuman Agents
14 September, 2017, 7-11 PM
15-17 September, 2017, 1-4PM
Results from the first three workshops as well as our upcoming Autumn programme will be presented at Art Laboratory Berlin during the Berlin Art Week (in cooperation with the Berlin Network of Independent Project Spaces and Initiatives and the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe)

2-day-Workshop
Heather Barnett + plan b (Sophia New & Daniel Belasco Rogers) | Swarm | Cell | City
23 & 24 September, 2017

This 2-day workshop is a participatory experiment on art, performance and biology that precedes the exhibition Nonhuman Networks. The project invites the participants to view the city of Berlin by the nonhuman perspectives of the intelligent single-cell organism Physarum polycephalum and GPS tracking.

Exhibition
Nonhuman Networks
Heather Barnett
| Saša Spačal with Mirjan Švagelj & Anil Podgornik
Opening: 29 September, 2017 8PM | Exhibition runs: 30 September - 26 November, 2017

The exhibition presents an aesthetics of new forms of communication between human and non-human actors. How does the world's largest single celled creature function as a computer? Can we tap into the so-called 'Internet of trees'? Performative works act as enablers for the audience to engage in non-linguistic forms of awareness and contact with several deceptively simple life forms.


Interdisciplinary Conference
Nonhuman Agents in Art, Culture and Theory

24-26 November, 2017

Finally, an interdisciplinary conference will bring together international artists, scholars, and natural scientists from different disciplines to discuss artistic, philosophical, ethical and scientific approaches to nonhuman agents. The previous positions from the Nonhuman Subjectivities series will also be taken into account.

Cooperation partners: European Media Studies, University Potsdam

More on Nonhuman Agents


With the generous support of






         

Media partner:


Cooperation partner:




Sarah Hermanutz | ill-at-ease seep
28 October 2017, 19 Uhr


Photos: Sarah Hermanutz

In her lecture the artist Sarah Hermanutz will discuss the relationship between humans and wetlands, which is the focus in her long-term artistic research. Wetlands are one of the most biologically diverse and important ecosystems for life on earth, but within the past century mankind has destroyed over 50% of them. The artist will explore our historical and contemporary relationship with these environments, including the tropes and prejudices that have marginalised them and justified their continued draining and destruction. Engagement with the uncomfortable sensory and aesthetic experience of wetlands is proposed as essential to reintegrating humans within these ecological communities.

The western world associates wetlands with disease and decay, both physical and moral. Examples from art, literature, and popular culture show fear and horror of these liminal zones, and link them with corporeal "otherness" that is also mapped onto queerness, disability, alien/foreignness, and the 'monstrous-feminine'. These unruly bodies are suppressed and repressed both physically and culturally, for the sake of troubling and purist notions of cleanliness, health, stability, and optimised economically productive systems. Large-scale drainage projects have been considered great feats of human engineering, converting marginal 'wastelands' into clearly defined zones of water and land, useful for anthropocentric agricultural and urban utilization.

The audience will be asked to reconsider the urban ecology of Berlin, as a city built on top of river floodplains and former wetlands. The sights, sounds, textures, tastes and smells of this ecology have been formally exiled to the margins of Berlin, but they continue to seep through. This lecture is an invitation to materially and sensorially engage with wetlands, and their potential to unsettle our defensive boundaries between water/land, self/other, living/nonliving, and human/nonhuman.

(More information)



2-day-Workshop
Heather Barnett + plan b (Sophia New & Daniel Belasco Rogers) | Swarm | Cell | City
23 & 24 September, 2017 | 1-5PM



This 2-day workshop is a participatory experiment on art, performance and biology that precedes the exhibition Nonhuman Networks. The project invites the participants to view the city of Berlin by the nonhuman perspectives of the intelligent single-cell organism, the slime mould, Physarum polycephalum and GPS tracking.

The aim of Swarm | Cell | City is to create the conditions for critical and creative learning to take place, without trying to control the outcomes. The origins of the creative exploration will derive from self-organising principles in natural phenomena, for example using stigmergic processes. Using the historical and contemporary topography of Berlin as inspiration, we propose a series of experiments and activities, which explore collective communication, cooperation and urban navigation at different scales.
(More information)


labiotech.eu published on 16.09.2017 by Clara Rodríguez Fernández, How Does it Feel Like to be a Slime Mold in Berlin?

Kunstforum International, published in October 2017, Aktionen & Projekte: Berlin: Nonhuman Agents


Award for Art Laboratory Berlin

We are very pleased to announce that Art Laboratory Berlin has for the second time been awarded the "Prize for Berlin Project Spaces and Initiatives". We thank this year’s jury and the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe for this great honour.

We consider the award as a validation of our hard work over the last years with exhibitions, seminars, workshops and conferences on current topics in art & science. We are especially thankful to the artists we have worked with, as well as our colleagues and supporters, with whom we were and will be able to realise our projects.

Award ceremony 15 September 2017 from 5.30PM (More information)

Art-in-Berlin published on 20.05.2017, by Carola Hartlieb, Preise zur Auszeichnung künstlerischer Projekt-räume und -initiativen 2017 vergeben

Presentation of Nonhuman Agents


14 September, 2017, 7-11 PM
15-17 September, 2017, 1-4PM

Results from the first three workshops of the Nonhuman Agents series, as well as our upcoming Autumn programme will be presented at Art Laboratory Berlin during the Berlin Art Week (in cooperation with the Berlin Network of Independent Project Spaces and Initiatives and the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe)


gasag.de published on07.09.2017 by Thomas Koehler und Andreas Greiner, 10 Tipps für die Berlin Art Week 2017. Von Kunstexperten empfohlen: 10 Highlights der Berlin Art Week 2017

With the generous support of:


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Berlin Network of Independent Project Spaces and Initiatives



Theresa Schubert | The forestal psyche



Friday 25 August, 2017, 7-9PM (Lecture)
Saturday 26 August, 2017, 10AM-6PM (Workshop in Brandenburg)

The lecture and workshop are based on the artist's long-term artistic research project on living organisms as an artistic material and medium. For this project, Schubert dedicates herself to the potential of slime moulds, mosses and lichens from the forests around Berlin. Slime moulds are the largest known single-celled organisms and live from decaying matter on the forest floor. Certain mosses and lichens are natural remedies as well as indicators of good air quality. Apart from a scientific approach, forests have always been places of myths, legends and fantasies. How can you combine imagination and biotechnology in an artistic project? Can one "demystify" hard science by interpreting it creatively?
(More information)

With the generous support of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe


Lecture & Performative Workshop

Margherita Pevere | Anatomy of an inter-connected system

15 July 2017, 2-6PM


Growing cellulose (bacterial culture in liquid medium), Margherita Pevere, 2016. Photo: Margherita Pevere


Starting point of this seminar is the artist’s research at the junction of visual arts, theoretical inquiry and investigation of biological processes. The seminar will focus on the discourses regarding human-nature relationship in the frame of today’s environmental crisis and how artistic practices involving living organisms and technology can innovatively contribute to the debate. How can artists problematise the complex interconnection between humans and the biosphere in a hyper-technological era? With what kind of aesthetic and ethical implications? The project aims at engaging the audience in a performative discussion with a visual outcome.
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Labiotech.eu pulished on 08.07.2017 by Clara Rodríguez Fernández, Memories Encoded in DNA and Biological Reliques

With the generous support of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe


Performative Lecture & Workshop

Alanna Lynch | Gut feelings

18 June, 2017, 2-6PM (in English)


Photograph to the left: Matthias Reichelt/ Photograph to the right: Florian Denzin

As part of her ongoing research Alanna Lynch has been growing the microorganisms that produce kombucha tea. Through the process of fermentation this symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBY) produces a cellulose material that is slimy and smells strongly while wet and can be dried and used as a textile. However, Lynch's interest in working with this life form goes beyond the material properties. Throughout this research Lynch has been actively consuming the microorganisms by drinking the tea. Given that about half of the cells in the human body are bacterial cells and acknowledging the microbiome-gut-brain axis whereby bacteria in the gut have been shown to effect the mind, how people think, feel and even behave, bacteria can be seen as radical in the potential it has to challenge categories such as subject/object, mind/body and human/non-human.
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Labiotech.eu pulished on 24.06.2017 by Clara Rodríguez Fernández, The Kombucha Craze Steps into Art and the Science of the Microbiome

With the generous support of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe







Artist Talk with Guy Ben-Ary
May 5, 2017, 8PM


Guy Ben-Ary
is an artist and a researcher at Symbiotica (University of Western Australia, Perth) an artistic laboratory dedicated to the research, learning and hands-on engagement with the life sciences. Recognised internationally as a major artist and innovator working across science and media arts, Guy specialises in biotechnological artwork, which aims to enrich our understanding of what it means to be alive. Guy's work focuses on tissue engineering, microscopy and biological imaging. His research explores a number of fundamental themes that underpin the intersection of art and science; namely life and death, cybernetics, and artificial life. Much of Ben-Ary's work is inspired by science and nature. His artworks utilise motion and growth and biological data to investigate technological aspects of today's culture and the re-use of biological materials and technologies.
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CellF, a neural synthesizer, will perform with Schneider TM (12 May) and Stine Janvin (13 May) as part of Technosphärenklänge #3 at HKW
12-13 May, 2017

The third edition of the Technosphärenklänge series, produced by the HKW in collaboration with CTM Festival, will present musical projects operating at the border of art and science. Three projects – the world’s first neural synthesizer that performs with human musicians; water droplets levitated and shaped by sound waves; and the interconnection of spatial sound and high-energy lasers – make current notions of materiality tangible and fundamentally re-think the relationship between nature, technology and human consciousness. All three projects require intensive research and constant collaboration between the artists, natural scientists and technologists. The following day, lectures and talks hosted together with Art Laboratory Berlin will explain the research and science behind the performances, and discuss the works’ social implications.
(More information)

A Projekt of HKW and CTM Festival in cooperation with Art Laboratory Berlin
Special thanks to the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine


MDC Insights (Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine) published on 30.05.2017 by Martin Ballaschk, The Well-Tempered Neuron

cdm, published on8.05.2017 by Peter Kim, This cybernetic synth contains a brain grown from the inventor's cells




Previous exhibitions and events: (click here)


Publications!

[macro]biologies & [micro]biologies. Art and the Biological Sublime in the 21st Century. Ed. by Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz, Berlin 2015.
More information
Press release as .pdf

Online Publication:
We are proud to share with you our online-publication of the international interdisciplinary 2-day SYNAESTHESIA-Conference, held by Art Laboratory Berlin in the summer 2013:
Synaesthesia. Discussing a Phenomenon in the Arts, Humanities and (Neuro-)Science



 



Information about Art Laboratory Berlin:
Art Laboratory Berlin (as.PDF)

 


If you have any questions or wish material about the exhibition, please contact
presse@artlaboratory-berlin.org

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