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: https://www.berlin.de/sen/kultur/en/funding/funding-programmes/visual-arts/artikel.230096.en.php

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

Monday, May 01, 2017

Artist Talk with Guy Ben-Ary
May 5, 2017, 8PM
Entry 5€/3€

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.

In his talk Guy Ben-Ary will present some of the methodologies and theories that underpin his artistic practice by using as examples, four of his major projects completed over the last decade:
MEART, The Silent Barrage, In-Potentia, and CellF (see below). He will discuss issues related to terminology, ethics and robotic embodiment as an artistic strategy and his artistic attempt to match bio-engineered neural networks to artistic, robotic bodies.

, a neural synthesizer, in performance 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

Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin
12.5.2017 - CONCERTS
19:00 CELLF in performance with Schneider TM
20:00 FORCE FIELD by Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand
21:00 LUMIÈRE III by Robert Henke
Tickets 22/18€ reduced

13.5.2017 – TALKS & CONCERTS
15:00–18:00 LECTURES & DISCUSSION with Guy Ben-Ary. Nathan Thompson, Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand, Robert Henke. Moderated by Christian de Lutz (Art Laboratory Berlin)
18:00 CELLF in performance with Stíne Janvin
Free entrance

A project of the HKW and CTM Festival in cooperation with Art Laboratory Berlin

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Film of 'mycophone_unison' from Saša Spača, Mirjan Švagelj and Anil Podgornik

Mycophone_unison from Saša Spačal on Vimeo.

Mycophone_unison formed part of our first exhibition from the Nonhuman Subjectivities series: The Other Selves. On the Phenomenon of the Microbiome. Created by Saša Spačal together with Mirjan Švagelj and Anil Podgornik who explore here the contrast between the oneness of the human body as biological entity and the multiplicity of the human microbiome. In Mycophone_unison the artist-scientist-designer collective has developed a sound map of intra-action between their microbiomes and the recipient. By leaving a fingerprint the viewer sends a signal to the map that processes it through the central 'celestial plate' to the microbiomes. The polymodal sonification stresses the multiplicities of the makers.

The three petri dishes on the 'celestial plate' are cultured with samples from the work's three creators. These cultures, in their multiplicity and complexity, defy any monolithic or unitary definition of being. But in their ever-changing resistance to an electrical current, these cultures microbiomes create, together, a unison of tone with the participatory aid of visitors.

The film is a KIBLA Multimedia Centre Production, produced by Lidija P. Awais with video footage by Miha Erman and edited by Valerie Wolf Gang.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Video Documentation of Under-Mine

This wonderful video (by Keren Cherry) shows our last exhibition Under-Mine by Alinta Krauth, part of our ongoing series Nonhuman Subjectivities.

Video link- https://vimeo.com/216387628

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Alinta Krauth: Under-Mine until April 2, 2017

The exhibition project investigates the problematics and possibilities of communicating nonhuman perception through the interface of artistic practice and new technologies. By means of interactive and non-interactive video that use generative and time-based techniques the Australian artist Alinta Krauth considers potential narratives of animals under threat from climate change.

Australian artist Alinta Krauth 's new project Under-Mine (2017) was specially developed for Art Laboratory Berlin. She has used video, generative art, data visualisation and an intensive study into the science of animal perception and cognition to propose narrative paths towards a meeting point of the human and nonhuman. Taking into account that each species' way of sensing the world is unique, and often beyond the ken of human experience, Krauth makes use of a diverse technological toolbox to navigate and translate nonhuman perceptions.

The video installation Under-Mine on the right wall invites the viewers to reflect on four creatures and their attempt to survive a species die-off - the microbat, the rock lizard, the woodlouse and the wild horse. This narrative is set out as a timeline: from acceptable climate levels to catastrophic. The viewer navigates the world as the creature undergoing sensory change. The higher the level goes, the more the world becomes confusing, faster or slower, more abstracted. The artist created these computer animations by means of data generated video and sound, hand drawn animation, and digital interactive elements, introducing abstract visual and aural perception as language, interaction with an immersive environment, and a sense-oriented, rather than linear narrative. 

The four computer animations on the left wall aesthetically reflect the issues of climate change for each of the four chosen species and their particular types of perception: specifically chosen are echo-locating micro-bats; rock lizards who use chemoreception to identify territories and suitable mates; woodlice, who use their ability to sense humidity as a decision marker for movement and location - this hygroreception is not the only sense they use to control movement, thigmokinesis and phototaxis also play roles; and proprioception in the case of the Kaimanawa wild horse of New Zealand.

For the computer animations Alinta Krauth used a mixture of frame-by-frame animation, time-based code-generated animation, and digital drawing. Due to their computer-generated nature, the original interactive versions will never play the same way twice. They are a conversation between the artist who creates the imagery and sets the parameters, and the computer, which executes those parameters. Accompanying sound is also created by the artist, using a mixture of field recordings, data-generated sound, and postmodern notation techniques for composition.

The project makes use of a tradition of interactive and game related electronic art, which connects the human body to storytelling, but proposes using this to explore the possibilities of inter-species empathy. Through interaction the audience wavers between being a character, a creator, and a viewer. While the artist is well aware that narrative is itself a very human construct, and that any attempt to experience animal perception is bound to be inherently anthropocentric, Under-Mine seeks to push at the boundaries between the human and animal, and dislodge us from our usual subject-object relation to the nonhuman.
-Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz (curators)