Saturday, January 19, 2019

Opening: 'Watery Ecologies. Artistic Research'

Left: Video still from The Matter of the Soul, Kat Austen, 2018; middle: Viva, Fara Peluso, 2016; right: Video still from Open Source Estrogen, Mary Maggic, 2015


Opening 19 January 2019, 7PM
20 January - 17 March 2019

Fri - Sun 2-6PM and by appointment

16 March 2019, 9 PM: HYDRO_PERFORMANCE Night. Performances, Talks with New Cassettes and Vinyls!
With Kat Austen, Robertina Šebjani
č and Fara Peluso


Watery Ecologies. Artistic Research presents three artists pursuing research in biology, chemistry and ethnography with distinct DIY methods. Diverse approaches to the hydrosphere, the sum of the planet's water, explore the foundations of life and the threat of human impact on both the environment and our own bodies.

The Matter of the Soul examines the impact of climate change in the Canadian High Arctic through sound composition, sculpture and performance. Here, Kat Austen, an artist with a PhD in Chemistry, combines scientific knowledge, hacked equipment and ethnographic research with a strong aesthetic approach. Crucial to the work is the lived experience of being in a time of melting in the Arctic. The compositions contain field recordings of acidity and salinity, affected by arctic ice melt, using altered pH and conductivity meters; as well as samples from interviews with visitors to and inhabitants of Baffin Island and Resolute, Canada.

The work of Mary Maggic focuses on the presence and effect of endocrine disruptors in water. Not just estrogen from birth control pills, but many pesticides and other chemicals produce estrogen-like chemicals that flow into wetlands and infiltrate drinking water. Maggic's work also questions our cultural notions of gender conformity at a time when our industrial drainage has changed the environment chemically and hormonally for over a century. Maggic's projects Open Source Estrogen and Estrofem! Lab generate DIY protocols for the extraction and detection of estrogen hormones from bodies and environments, reflecting micro-performability and a potential for sex and gender hacking.

Artist designer Fara Peluso's long-term research focuses on potential uses for algae as an environmental regulator, source for sustainable materials, and aesthetic catalyser of biophilia. She proposes a closer relationship between humans and algae as an answer to our current environmental crisis. Her research and practice combine working with biotechnologists and DIY scientists with speculative and critical design to produce a myriad of innovative design and artistic solutions.

Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz (curators)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Mind the Fungi #2 Some lab results

Following are some results from the foraging and lab cultivation workshop from 17 November, 2018. Samples shown were photographed on 12 December by Bertram Schmidt from Applied and Molecular Microbiology (AMM), TU Berlin, photos from 23 November were taken by Carsten Pohl (AMM)

 More information the Mind the Fungi and the workshops at: http://www.artlaboratory-berlin.org/html/eng-Mind-the-Fungi.htm

Click on images to enlarge.




TEF_19 (taken 12.12.2018)

TEF_62 (taken 12.12.2018)

TEF_89 (taken 12.12.2018)

Mycelium cake (from samples gathered in October 2018, Photo taken 23.08,2018)


Mycelium cake (from samples gathered in October 2018, Photo taken 23.08,2018)


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Mind the Fungi - Walk and Talk #2

17 November, 2018. The second public event of 'Mind the Fungi', a two-year collaborative project between the Technische Universität Berlin and Art Laboratory Berlin exploring the potential of sustainable biomaterials from fungi. Artist Theresa Schubert led the event offering diverse perspectives on the forest and its cultural meaning. Then, together with biotechnologists from the Institute of Biotechnology | TU Berlin she guided us through Tegeler Forst (Berlin) in search of tree mushrooms and lichens. Afterwards at the Tu Berlin Bertram Schmidt and Carsten Pohl of the Dept of Applied and Molecular Microbiology, and Fathemeh Nejati of the Dept of Bioprocess Engineering, showed participants how to preserve the samples for further study. Participants cut and cleaned samples (in a bath of peroxide and in antibiotics) and inoculated Petri dishes with samples for cultivation. Samples taken will form part of a two-year research project combining cutting edge biological research, citizen science and artistic research.

At Tegeler Forst, Berlin






Samples cut

Adding information (where found, where growing, what trees are growing nearby)

Photographing the sample and bag


Honey mushroom (Hallimash - Armillaria)

 Sulfur tuft (Schwefelkopf - Hypholoma)

Left: Schmutzbecherling - Bulgaria inquinans?, right: unknown

Left. Unknown; right Trametes?
Lichens from the family Cladonia. Photo by Peter Neubauer

Photo by Peter Neubauer

Photo by Peter Neubauer

At the lab of the TU Berlin, Dept for Applied and Molecular Microbiology


Sorting mushrooms

Add caption

Cutting samples

Cleansing samples in Hydrogen Peroxide to avoid contamination (back dish) before inoculating

Adding antibiotics to the cleansing

inoculating the Petri dish with mycelium



Mycelium grown on substrate from an earlier sample




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

Monday, October 29, 2018

Mind the Fungi - Walk and Talk #1

27 October, 2018. The first public event of 'Mind the Fungi', a two-year collaborative project between the Technische Universität Berlin and Art Laboratory Berlin exploring the potential of sustainable biomaterials from fungi. Artist Theresa Schubert led the event offering diverse perspectives on the forest and its cultural meaning including a performance. Then, together with biotechnologists from the Institute of Biotechnology | TU Berlin she guided us through forests of the Briesetal, Brandenburg in search of tree mushrooms and lichens. Then on 29 October Bertram Schmidt and Carsten Pohl of the Dept of Applied and Molecular Microbiology, showed participants how to preserve the samples for further study. Participants inoculated Petri dishes with samples for cultivation.    Samples taken will form part of a two-year research project combining cutting edge biological research, citizen science and artistic research.

Briesetal, Brandenburg

Theresa Schubert addressing participants, Briesetal, Brandenburg





'Zunderschwamm' (Fomes fomentarius)


Collecting samples, Briesetal, Brandenburg

At the laboratory of the TU Berlin Dept of Applied and Molecular Microbiology, near Humboldthain

Carsten Pohl and Bertram Schmidt

Looking at Petri dishes previously inoculated with mycelium

Looking at sample biomaterials from mycelium produced by the company Ecovative

Looking at sample biomaterials from mycelium, produced by the company Ecovative


Organising the samples



Preparing the samples for inoculation onto Petri dishes




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