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)

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