Sunday, May 29, 2016

Artists Talk: Maja Smrekar and Rachel Mayeri

In context of the ongoing show On Animals. Cognition. Senses. Play the artists Rachel Mayeri and Maja Smrekar gave a public presentation into their artistic research. 


Maja Smrekar's performance I Hunt Nature and Culture Hunts Me, created during a research residency, investigates the phylogenetics of the wolf, the wolf-dog-human relationship and animal ethics. In her work Ecce Canis she explores the metabolic pathway processes that trigger emotional motifs which bind humans and dogs and let them successfully coexist together. The installation contains serotonin from both the artist and her Scottish border collie Byron, which has been transformed by chemical protocols into an odour - the chemical essence of their human-canine relationship.
The films of Rachel Mayeri are the result of years of collaboration with primatologists. In her series Primate Cinema, Mayeri has made films for (and about) chimpanzees and other primates. In Apes as Family we watch a drama based on a tale of both chimpanzee social customs and domestication. While, as humans, we find the plot emotionally compelling, we also become caught up with watching the reactions of a chimpanzee audience watching the same film on a large TV.

 
More information: http://artlaboratory-berlin.org/html/eng-exh-archive.htm 


Maja Smrekar (left)



Rachel Mayeri



 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Opening: On Animals. Cognition. Senses. Play


The exhibition On Animals. Cognition, Senses, Play investigates two groups of animals that are closest to us. Primates, our nearest 'relatives', have a complex cognitive proximity to humans, but also differ radically in certain areas. While dogs, with whom we have made a symbiotic contract., have evolved alongside us over the last 30,000 years. The works in this exhibition share Donna Haraway's concept of "cooperative actions": overcoming conventional dichotomies of nature/culture, human/animal or subject/object is all about joint action. The artists, Maja Smrekar and Rachel Mayeri, make use of certain narrative strategies and the phenomenon of immersion, to approach the perspective of a nonhuman counterpart. The works of both artists place the instinct and the senses of the nonhuman at the centre of artistic research, while aiming to translate the nonhuman cognitive ability by means of the performance, film and art/science collaboration.


Background details of Maja Smrekar's installation Ecce Canis, 2014


Curators' introduction. Background Rachel Mayeri, Baboons as Friends, 2007


Maja Smrekar, I Hunt Nature, Culture Hunts Me, 2014

Rachel Mayer, Apes as Family, 2011




Thursday, May 26, 2016

Nonhuman Subjectivities: On Animals. Cognition, Senses, Play

Opening: 27 May, 2016, 8PM
Artists talk: 29 May, 2016, 3PM

Exhibition runs: 28 May– 17 July, 2016, Fri-Sun 2-6PM and by appointment. (24 June open until 9PM)


The exhibition On Animals. Cognition, Senses, Play investigates two groups of animals that are closest to us. Primates, our nearest 'relatives', have a complex cognitive proximity to humans, but also differ radically in certain areas. While dogs, with whom we have made a symbiotic contract., have evolved alongside us over the last 30,000 years. The works in this exhibition share Donna Haraway's concept of "cooperative actions": overcoming conventional dichotomies of nature/culture, human/animal or subject/object is all about joint action. The artists, Maja Smrekar and Rachel Mayeri, make use of certain narrative strategies and the phenomenon of immersion, to approach the perspective of a nonhuman counterpart. The works of both artists place the instinct and the senses of the nonhuman at the centre of artistic research, while aiming to translate the nonhuman cognitive ability by means of the performance, film and art/science collaboration.

Maja Smrekar's performance I Hunt Nature and Culture Hunts Me, created during a research residency, investigates the phylogenetics of the wolf, the wolf-dog-human relationship and animal ethics. The implied risk and intimacy of Smrekar's performance with hybrid wolfdogs is contrasted by the reading of cultural texts from Joseph Beuys, Oleg Kulik and Smrekar. A documentary film also explores the complex evolutionary story of the canine.
In her work Ecce Canis she explores the metabolic pathway processes that trigger emotional motifs which bind humans and dogs and let them successfully coexist together. The installation contains serotonin from both the artist and her Scottish border collie Byron, which has been transformed by chemical protocols into an odour - the chemical essence of their human-canine relationship.

The films of Rachel Mayeri are the result of years of collaboration with primatologists. In her series Primate Cinema, Mayeri has made films for (and about) chimpanzees and other primates. In Apes as Family we watch a drama based on a tale of both chimpanzee social customs and domestication. While, as humans, we find the plot emotionally compelling, we also become caught up with watching the reactions of a chimpanzee audience watching the same film on a large TV. Indeed the film is both an example of 'Primate Cinema', that is a film made for nonhuman primates, and the complexities of cross-species understanding. Mayeri's film Baboons as Friends juxtaposes footage of baboons with a film noir reenactment by human actors, who translate a tale of lust, jealousy and deceit from the animal to the human.
Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz (curators)

More information: http://artlaboratory-berlin.org/html/eng-exh-archive.htm

Monday, May 23, 2016

There be Dragons: Talk and Q&A with Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger At SPEKTRUM | art science community

Talk 'There be Dragons: human impact on the environmentally sensitive Galapagos and Lord Howe Islands' by bio-artist Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger

at
SPEKTRUM | art science community
Bürknerstraße 12 12047 Berlin

Moderated by Christian de Lutz (Art Laboratory Berlin)


Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger

Christian de Lutz (left) and Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger





Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger with Lieke Ploeger from Spektrum

"In the Age of the Anthropocene, this talk will explore how humans impact on our world both by their presence and indirectly by their lifestyle. This is a science-art investigation of tourism and its effects on closed eco systems, specifically the Galapagos and Lord Howe Islands (both World Heritage Listed). Through my art investigations I work to bring awareness to the public in order to create a more relevant understanding of the issues surrounding human impact on the environment and its long term effects.

Through the interaction between the worlds of art and science I explore evolution in the Anthropocene, a harbinger for the future of our human interaction on this earth. Increasing tourism instigated by economic change and the media’s current focus on the apparently pristine, remote and untouched landscapes, creates expectations of the natural environment. With the Islands of Galapagos and Lord Howe acting as microcosms for our biosphere, this dialogue will explore the uncertainties that surround population growth, extinction and the dissemination of toxic materials into the environment.

My research and resulting artworks explore, through photography, video, microscopy, sound and installation, connections on how utopia becomes a dystopia, we trapped in our desires for a unique experience; how modernisation and the need for the tourist dollar become can become weapons for a bleak future for the Galapagos and Lord Howe Islands."
-Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger


Event organised in cooperation with Art Laboratory Berlin

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Finissage with talk by Felix Navarrete

At the closing of the exhibition Nonhuman Subjectivities:The Other Selves. On the Phenomenon of the Microbiome Felix Navarrete (MA Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University, London) gave a talk on the nonhuman, bioart and an "immunological ethics" in reference to the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza:

"Bioart makes salient the problematization of the relation between readily recognizable "human" elements and the non-human constitutive operations that traverse them. Included in this exploration lies the crucial, open question of if and how we can construct an ethics commensurable to the reformulations of agency, identity, collectivity, and even of freedom, that such works of art force via their inhuman vantage points. We turn to the 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza's thoroughly materialist and naturalist conceptual framework as a resource to sketch out an immunological ethics that can more adequately think through the ethical subjectivity of 3rd person reflexive pronouns." (Felix Navarrete)







Sunday, April 24, 2016

Art & Science Talk with Annette Moter and Tarsh Bates on Saturday 23 April, 2016

In conjunction with the exhibition The Other Selves. On the Phenomenon of the Microbiome Art Laboratory Berlin hosted a talk with artist Tarsh Bates and PD. Dr. Annette Moter from the Deutsches Herzentrum Berlin.

Tarsh Bates is completing her PhD at the internationally renowned SymbioticA project at the University of Western Australia in Perth. Her work in the exhibition, Surface Dynamics of Adhesion, explores the manifold relationships between Candida and humans. She prepared the artwork for the exhibition at the Biofilm Centre laboratory at the Charité Campus in Berlin-Steglitz.

PD. Dr. Annette Moter is a clinical microbiologist and the head of the Biofilm Center of the Deutsches Herzentrum Berlin, Germany. Research in Dr. Moter’s laboratory is focused on revealing molecular and structural insights into microbial communities in complex medical samples ranging from biofilms in the oral cavity, on heart valves, to wounds and device-associated infections.



PD Dr. Annette Moter (left) Tarsh Bates (right)





Tarsh Bates, Surface dynamics of adhesion, 2015-6

Tarsh Bates, Surface dynamics of adhesion, 2015-6 (detail)


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Berlin Science Hack day Stammtisch at Art Laboratory Berlin

Berlin Science Hack Day has their monthly meeting at Art Laboratory Berlin, where they have a tour of the ongoing exhibition The Other Selves. On the Phenomenon of the Microbiome. After a tour by the curators and Tarsh Bates, one of the artists, they sample some very special bread. Afterwards presentation at 'Relais de Savanne' next door at Prinzenallee 33.