Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lecture & Performative Workshop Margherita Pevere | Anatomy of an inter-connected system

15 July, 2017, 2-6PM Starting point of this seminar is the artist’s research at the junction of visual arts, theoretical inquiry and investigation of biological processes. The seminarfocussed 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 aimed at engaging the audience in a performative discussion with a visual outcome.

The seminar was structured in two parts: a presentation and a participative performance. In the presentation, Pevere will introduced key concepts in the history of human relationship towards nature and how these have influenced society, religion and knowledge production. How did humans perceive nature in the Middle Ages? And in the Renaissance? How did this affect society and the arts? What are Anthropocentrism and the Anthropocene? Moving from this theoretical overview, Pevere critically presented her own artistic practice along with a selection of other artist’s works involving organic matter and technology. In the participative performance, the artist  engaged with the audience on the themes of anthropocentrism and relationships between human and non-human living beings. (More information)

All photos (c) Tim Deussen/ Studio Deussen

With the generous support of:

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Alanna Lynch | Gut feelings Performative Lecture & workshop

18 June, 2017, 2-6PM
As part of her ongoing research Alanna Lynch has been growing the micro-organisms 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.

Lynch presented her research in the form of a performative lecture and workshop, a format that reflects the interdisciplinarity of the content. She discussed theoretical issues including notions of subjectivity and agency while serving the kombucha drink to participants. In this way they became physically implicated in the work. The lecture  not only presented facts and ideas but made use of a strong affective dimension. The workshopexplored the aesthetic and sensory properties of the SCOBY in a hands-on session that was wet and messy. A strong focus in the performance was on the smell and the substance in relation to our bodies, both inside and out. At the end participants will got a sample to take home, where they can continue to grow it on their own, making the substance literally contagious.

 All photos (c) Tim Deussen/ Studio Deussen

With the generous support of:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Maja Smrekar awarded Golden Nica for 'K-9 Typologies'

Art Laboratory Berlin congratulates Maja Smrekar and her many collaborators (especially Byron and Ada)  for winning this year's Golden Nica for Hybrid Arts

Installation view K-9 Typologies from On Animals. Cognitions, Senses, Play in 2016

Parts of her K-9 Typologies series were included in last year's exhibition at Art Laboratory Berlin On Animals. Cognition, Senses, Play as part of our ongoing Nonhuman Subjectivities programme.


Additionally we would like to congratulate the other winners that include Honorable Mentions to Guy Ben-Ary and his team for cellF, which Art Laboratory Berlin recently worked on presenting at HKW in cooperation with CTM and HKW.

Alexandra Toland, Mapping the Grind Mill from [macro]biologies I. the biosphere in 2014

And special congratulations to Alexandra Toland, with whom we have worked on several project over the past few years, for an Honorable Mention for her work Dust Blooms: a research narrative in artistic ecology

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Art Laboratory Berlin Awarded Prize

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.

More information:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Upcoming Programme 2017: Nonhuman Agents in Arts & Culture

Nonhuman Agents takes into account recent philosophical approaches which question anthropocentrism. These discourses emphasize the 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
26 & 27 August, 2017

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

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

This 2-day workhop 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.

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

Saša Spačal, Mirjan Švagelj und Anil Podgornik, Myconnect, Installation, 2014

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.

With the generous support of:

and the Slovenian Cultural Center in Berlin