Monday, May 27, 2019

DIY HACK THE PANK - Panke Life. Microbiodiversity Workshop

A Workshop with Sarah Hermanutz, India Mansour and Fara Peluso

This workshop wion 26 May, 2019 researched the diversity of invisible life in the Panke River. Choosing a site along the river in Berlin-Wedding artists Fara Peluso and Sarah Hermanutz and microbiologist India Mansour showed participants how to investigate the microbial life and ecologies of an urban waterway. The workshop explored the river and floodplain as microbial habitats, with special emphasis on water, sediment and soil along the riverbanks. Microbial community characteristics, interactions with the environment, and nutrient cycles were discussed and examples sought out.

Participants tested the water for signs of a possible Algal bloom in the coming summer, seek out life through microscopy and built their own Winogradsky columns, which can visualise bacteria and algae, from Panke mud.

Sarah Hermanutz is a visual artist working at the intersections of performance, technology, and ecology. Her sculptures, installations, and performance experiments are preoccupied with wetlands, amphibious creatures, and the mysteries of social cognition. Her artistic research takes place in Berlin at Lacuna Lab, an art and technology collective she co-founded in 2015, and in the media arts department of Bauhaus University Weimar.

Dr. India Mansour researches microbial community structure and function in rivers and soils as a postdoc at the Free University, Berlin - Plant Ecology. She is currently focused on the emerging theoretical framework of community coalescence, which investigates the dynamics that occur when previously distinct microbial communities collide in space. She attained a joint PhD in River Science from Free University - Berlin and Queen Mary University in London.

Artist and 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. 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.

DIY Hack the Panke is a collective of artists, scientists and curators exploring the rich historical and ecological heritage of the Panke River in Mitte, Wedding and Pankow. Based at Art Laboratory Berlin, we thank Panke e.V. for their cooperation in this workshop and the Fachbereich Kunst und Kultur Bezirksamt Mitte and the Bezirkskulturfonds for their generous support of our 2019 public programme.

The event invites a wide public without special knowledge and is organised together with DIY Hack the Panke


Cooperation Partners; Panke e.V.

Supported by the Fachbereich Kunst und Kultur Bezirksamt Mitte and the Bezirkskulturfonds:



Thursday, May 02, 2019

Mind the Fungi: cultivation course at TopLab

27 April - 18 May, 2019
TopLab is hosting a mushroom home-cultivation course in collaboration with Art Laboratory Berlin and the faculty of Applied and Molecular Microbiology (TU Berlin)

In the course, participants learn how to isolate and grow mushrooms for different purposes. They learn to create and shape own mycelium based objects, such as packaging materials, furniture, building materials and even leather. Additionally, they learn how to set up a culture to grow edible mushrooms.

Participants also participate in a mycelium packaging experiment, grow together a mycelium box and ship it per post to test the material's resistance.

Some photos from the first session on 27 April:

All photos by Fara Peluso

While the course is fully booked, we hope a second course will take place later this year

For further details visit TopLab's webpage contact them via email:

The course is part of the Mind the Fungi project of the TU Berlin and Art Laboratory Berlin This course takes part thanks to the hard work of Alessandro Volpato, Tuce Erel and Flavia Barragan from TopLab (Top e.V.) as well as the Mind the Fungi team. More about Mind the Fungi at: