Saturday, January 25, 2020

Borderless Bacteria / Colonialist Cash - Ken Rinaldo Opening tonight

Opens 25 January 2020 at 7PM

Exhibition runs: 26 January- 1 March 2020, Fri - Sun 2-6PM 

Here is a sneak preview:

Borderless Bacteria / Colonialist Cash discusses important current aspects of biopolitics. By visualising microbiome landscapes of banknotes, the project invites us to reflect about the interconnectedness of ecological and economic exchanges.

Much recent attention has been given to the human microbiome, the microbes which live on and within our bodies. These communities also exist on most surfaces around us. When we touch objects, we exchange bacteria, fungi and viruses, leaving some microbiota behind. It is no surprise that one of the objects we touch most – money – is not only a medium of economic but also microbial exchange. According to a study conducted by the NYU Center for Genomics & Systems Biology, 3000 types of bacteria were identified on dollar bills from just one Manhattan bank.

Ken Rinaldo, an established artist in the field of Bio and Postmedia art, develops hybrid human-nonhuman ecologies. Borderless Bacteria / Colonialist Cash explores the hidden microbiome of money within a critical framework that also sheds light on exchange and power. Do Chinese Yuan and American Dollars share bacterial and fungal communities?

This micro-performative project is intriguingly simple in its setup: Various bills of international currency are displayed in square Petri dishes on enriched agar. Time plays a crucial role, as a microbial landscape grows and realises itself over the course of several weeks.

On an aesthetic level, the iconography of the currency literally loses face as microbial growth undermines the representational aspect of the banknotes. The official character of money is subverted. As its microbial nature comes to light, it appears far less representative: a fine network of mycelia covers the head of George Washington on a $1 note; on a 10 CHF note, Le Corbusier is no longer recognisable due to bacterial growth.

Wishing to lessen his carbon footprint, artist Ken Rinaldo expressed the wish that the work be made without his travelling. This work was first made in 2017 during a residency at Cultivamos Cultura, Portugal. Some of the works in the exhibition were created with students from the Gustav-Freytag-Schule in Berlin-Reinickendorf as part of a collaboration between the school, ALB and the DIY Hack the Panke collective*.

Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz (curators)

Part of the Vorspiel programme in partnership with the CTM and transmediale. 

Special Thanks to the Berlin Senate Office for Culture and Europe and  
*Berliner Projektfonds Kulturelle Bildung

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Invisible Forces- Exhibition Opening and Artist Talk

Erich Berger    Mari Keto    Martin Howse

19 October- 8 December 2019, Fri - Sun 2-6 PM
Opening 18 October 2019, 8PM
Artist Talk 19 October 2019, 5PM

Local Area Network (LAN). Workshop with Martin Howse: 13 Oct and 10 Nov 2019 

Our planet is not only made up of earth and rocks, but also of a number of invisible forces that influence and shape the form and viability of life. Radiation is not just a by-product of the atomic age, but something that exists in the background of almost every environment. In this exhibition, the work of Erich Berger and Mari Keto is presented along with a workshop and forensic exhibition by Martin Howse to open a dialogue between contemporary culture and deep (geological) time and psycho-geophysics.

 Erich Berger and Mari Keto's works examine the questions of toxic and radioactive waste in our world today. Inheritance is a precious family heirloom and consists of jewellery, which are radioactive and therefore rendered practically and symbolically unwearable. Together with an electromechanical device to determine the remaining radioactivity, the jewellery is stored in a concrete container which is build to endure over a vast amount of time. With these items the story goes that each time the jewellery is handed over from one generation to the next, the ritual of measurement determines if the jewellery can finally be brought in use and fulfill its promise of wealth and identity or if it has to be stored away until the next generation.

Open Care proposes a speculative future where individual families take responsibility for radioactive waste. The piece includes an electroscope for measuring radioactivity, an electrostatic charger and a storage disc for a small amount of nuclear waste, to be passed down form generation to generation. By rendering the huge timescale of radioactive decay into more meaningful units of lifetimes these work open the question of collective care and responsibility from a fresh perspective.

Martin's Howse's workshop and forensic exhibition, Local Area Network (LAN), is a transdisciplinary, speculative investigation of local fields and particles, energetic exchanges, towards the hacking and re-routing of circulations and networks at all stacked levels of local geological, environmental and technological "Umwelten".

LAN intervenes within the co-existent realms of algorithmic entities, of the structures and infrastructures of computation, and communication with the non-human entities of the earth (mycelium and microbes).

With the generous support of:


Monday, October 14, 2019

Local Area Network (LAN). Workshop with Martin Howse

13 Oct and 10 Nov 2019, 11AM-6PM

Local Area Network (LAN) open workshop is a collective, speculative investigation of local fields/particles, and energetic exchanges, towards the hacking and re-routing of energy flows and networks at all stacked levels of local geological, environmental and technological "Umwelten", forking into a forensic exhibition at Art Laboratory Berlin.

LAN works in the field - at sites along the Panke - and in the lab, punctuating an ongoing exhibition of changing processes and prototypes, examining the interface of data ecologies and the non-human through mapping, measuring and intervening within local and specific energetic transformations, entropic gradients and boundings of matters, materials and cultures.

LAN examines and identifies sites of execution, the places where energetic transformations intersect with human infrastructure and agents of abstraction and logic; intervening within the co-existent realms of algorithmic entities, of the structures and infrastructures of computation, communication with the non-human entities of the earth (mycelium, microbes).

For example, specific devices, developed in the course of collective workshops will examine relations of computation and decay, perhaps logging the growth of lichen and other parasitic fungi/forms on human infrastructures or examining branchy dew formations of radioactive particles. Workshops and devices will equally examine relations of the decay of particles, and the extension of the nuclear/geological within the interiors of plants and bodies.

The first workshop will take place at Art Laboratory Berlin on the 13th October, the second on 10th November. For the 2nd workshop participants should follow the AND operator!

Local Area Network (LAN) forms part of the exhibition Invisible Forces opening at Art Laboratory Berlin on 18 October, 2019.

Photos from 13 Oct:


Supported by the Fachbereich Kunst und Kultur Bezirksamt Mitte and the Bezirkskulturfonds as part of the DIY Hack the Panke program: