Biologizing the Machine
In Biologizing the Machine (tentacular trouble), the artist uses a stretched leather-like kelp to create hanging incandescent sculptures that conjure up images of organisms such as human organs and insect eggs through chrysalis-like pods within which animatronic insects flutter about. The use of this material calls attention to the ecological history and exciting potential uses of algae, a powerful and shapeshifting entity comprising the largest biomass on the planet. The ground beneath evokes a swamp (not too dissimilar from the watery underbelly of Venice) from which these organisms and other primordial beings may have come.
REI – Listening to Silence
This work consists of a jet-black sphere containing 16 speaker units, six loudspeakers suspended from the ceiling, and a cubic structure. It creates an acoustic space by reverberating the sound of water from the sphere and the surrounding environment using four omnidirectional micro- phones installed on both the structure and the loudspeakers. The oceans evaporate, rain falls, and rivers continue to flow forever without any kind of consciousness. REI moves from the conscious to the subconscious by superimposing the sound echoing from one’s own body and the sound of water echoing from the sphere, which is a metaphor for this world.
Algae window is an arrangement of glass spheres mounted in a wall. Directly behind the wall and the spheres is a window; vivid, miniature, inverted views of the scene outside the gallery thus appear in and inhabit each sphere. The composition of the work closely resembles the structure of one type of the single-celled algae known as diatoms, which remove large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere.
Algaerium is an in-vitro aesthetic photosynthesis system of microalgae for spatial installation of algal biotechnology in the urban environment. As a collective family, each member of Algaerium represents an urban bio-repository, floating biota, in which to preserve the microorganisms for their future biotechnological use such as bio-energy. Through displacement into the urban environment, Algaerium re-contextualises the sterile environment of the algae culture laboratory. I have incorporated and manipulated the endogenous yet ‘re-programmable’ biological processes of photosynthesis and bioluminescence.
This is the imagery evoked by Ito at the Palladian Basilica: “The austere hall has dissolved into a fluid volume, inside which float luminous and almost vital algae for the dozens of visitors who “swim” and group around, like fish in a fluorescent abyss, or in an urban “aquarium” “.
“I considered the first life forms on Earth and how we came to be as a way to refer to the Natural Sciences. I looked at fossil records of the first multi cellular organisms of the Ediacaran Period, 555 million years ago for inspiration. I was struck by the theory of symbiosis in evolution; our DNA ancestors are the resultant fusion of single cellular organisms and bacteria. The millions of bacteria in our bodies are our foremothers. EON is a speculative fiction, a depiction of early life forms underwater. The Universe was formed 13.7 billion years ago. The Earth is 4.543 billion years old. Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae were the first microbes to create oxygen on Earth via photosynthesis 3.5 billion years ago. First humans 200,000-300,000 years ago.” Jennifer Steinkamp
Home Algae Garden
In June 2020 ecoLogicStudio has devised BioBombola, a pioneering project that invites individuals, families and communities to cultivate a domestic algae garden – a sustainable source of vegetable proteins. BioBombola absorbs carbon dioxide and oxygenates homes more effectively than common domestic plants while fostering a fulfilling daily interaction with nature. Each BioBombola is composed of a single customized photobioreactor, a one metre tall lab grade glass container, filled with 15 litres of living photosynthetic Spirulina strain and culture medium with nutrients.
The exhibition PSYCHOPROSA focuses on mucus as a biochemical substance and sculptural material. The production of mucus takes place as a real process within the exhibition spaces, transforming the Frankfurter Kunstverein into an interconnecting ensemble of greenhouse, laboratory, walk-in refrigerator, cinema, and factory. Through tubes connected to one another, equipment and objects produce and transform their interior substances, refrigerators open and close automatically and transparent threads of mucus drip from expansive glass sculptures.
In close collaboration with biochemists, Thomas Feuerstein has developed the synthetic molecule Psilamin, derived from algae and fungi. In its production, large quantities of viscous biofilm are generated. If one were to take Psilamin, one would begin to feel psychotropic effects. Perception would liquefy, and objects in the room would appear soft and shapeless. Simultaneously, the flowing nature of the sculptural matter, which escapes solid form, externalizes an inner psychic process. At the end of the biochemical production process, which visitors can track in the different exhibition spaces, there is the expan-sive sculpture Accademia dei Secreti over whose glass containers vast amounts of mucus pour.
MICHAEL BURTON AND MICHIKO NITTA
singer: Louise Ashcroft
When we think of futuristic fashion, our minds often lean toward the minimalist designs of Star Trek or Tron. But maybe what we wear in the future will have more to do with what we eat than what we want to look like.
That’s the premise behind the algaculture symbiosis suit designed by Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta. The symbiosis suit is designed to make food for you as you go about your daily routine. A number of tubes, placed in front of your mouth, harness the CO2 you breathe and feed it to an ever-growing population of algae which lives in the suit. Stepping outside or sitting near a window provides the algae all the sun it requires.
Of course, the growing of algae isn’t the end-game here — it’s growing enough to eat three square meals a day of the stuff. The suit debuted at a recent event at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. There, an opera singer donned the algaculture symbiosis suit and serenaded the gathered crowd. The suit created new algae populations during her performance, which audience members were free to consume after the presentation.
bio intelligence quotient house
Dubbed the Bio Intelligent Quotient (BIQ) House, the approximately €5 million building was designed by Splitterwerk Architects and funded by the Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA), a long-running exhibition series showcasing cutting edge techniques and architectural concepts, for this year’s International Building Exhibition – 2013.
A total of 129 algae culturing tanks are affixed to the East and West sides of the building via an automated external scaffolding structure that constantly turns the tanks towards the sun. The plant cultures are fed through an integrated tubing system, CO2 is pumped in as well.According to Arup’s Europe Research Leader, Jan Wurm, who collaborated with Splitterwerk on the project:The algae flourish and multiply in a regular cycle until they can be harvested. They are then separated from the rest of the algae and transferred as a thick pulp to the technical room of the BIQ. The little plants are then fermented in an external biogas plant, so that they can be used again to generate biogas. Algae are particularly well suited for this, as they produce up to five times as much biomass per hectare as terrestrial plants and contain many oils that can be used for energy.Not only do these tanks provide shade for every level of the building during the summer and biogas for heating during the winter, the facade itself collects excess heat not being used by the algae, like a solar thermal system. That heat can then either be used immediately or stored in 80-meter-deep, borine-filled borehole heat exchangers located under the structure. Total fossil fuels used in this process: zero.