MIND THE FUNGI

A research project of Art Laboratory Berlin and the Institute for Biotechnology, TU Berlin (2018-20)





MIND THE FUNGI | The Project

Art Laboratory Berlin, in cooperation with the Institute for Biotechnology TU Berlin, is pleased to present the Art & Science project Mind the Fungi, which is dedicated to the research of local mushrooms and current fungal biotechnology.

Mushrooms are used in biotechnology as cell factories to produce antibiotics, immunosuppressants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, antimalarials, insulin, prebiotics, pigments, organic acids, enzymes, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and more. The fungal biotechnology of the 20th century managed to establish itself as an essential platform technology for innumerable branches of industry and thus decisively shapes our daily life and our lifestyle in an invisible way.

At the moment, fungal biotechnology is undergoing a disruptive innovation process, which we want to co-design with citizen scientists in a sustainable manner. Mushrooms, which are produced on the basis of renewable vegetable raw materials in the biotechnological process, are to be converted, with far-reaching consequences, into packaging materials, building materials, and even leather.

In the project Mind the Fungi we use the interdisciplinary concept from STEM to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Art) to expand scientific research with artistic and design-based research. The Institute of Biotechnology works with Berlin citizens, artists and designers to develop new ideas and technologies for mushroom and lichen-based materials of the future. The Artists in Residence programme brings art and design into the project as a constructive source of ideas, multipliers and communicators of scientific issues, and supports the process of sharing research processes and findings with the public.

With the expertise of applied and molecular microbiology in the field of fungal biotechnology (Prof. Meyer), bioprocess development (Prof. Neubauer) and art and science communication (Art Laboratory Berlin) the aim of the project is also to establish a new, innovative and interdisciplinary field of research at the TU Berlin, which dares right from the beginning to build a bridge in the growing Citizen Science Community in order to integrate their expertise at an early stage.



MIND THE FUNGI | A Variety of Event Formats


Different formats and platforms offer the general public a regular opportunity to participate in the ongoing research project and obtain insights: talks, lab visits, workshops and exhibitions.

One format developed by Art Laboratory Berlin that has been already successfully realized and represents interdisciplinary connections between art and science is the format of WALK & TALKs. Berlin artist Theresa Schubert realised several WALK & TALKs in Berlin and Brandenburg during Autumn 2018.








MIND THE FUNGI | Walk & Talks

Artist Theresa Schubert offers diverse perspectives on the forest and its cultural meaning including a performance. Furthermore, together with biotechnologists from the Institute of Biotechnology | TU Berlin she guides us through forests of Berlin and Brandenburg in search of tree mushrooms and lichens. Samples taken will later form part of a two-year research project combining cutting edge biological research, citizen science and artistic research.

Biotechnologists from TU Berlin show participants how to collect samples of fungi and lichens and preserve them for further study and cultivation. At a follow-up lab at the Dept. of Applied and Molecular Microbiology | TU Berlin, participants are shown how to inoculate Petri dishes with samples for cultivation.







MIND THE FUNGI | Artist-in-Residence Programme

 

THERESA SCHUBERT | Artist-in-Residence

Berlin-based artist Theresa Schubert explores unconventional visions of nature, technology and the self. She studied media art at the Bauhaus-University, Weimar. She combines audiovisual and hybrid media with conceptual and immersive installations or site-specific interventions that may include living organisms. Thematically her works question the relation of humans to their environment and evolvement of matter and meaning beyond the anthropos.

 

 

 


FARA PELUSO | Designer-in-Residence

Fara Peluso is an artist/ designer based in Berlin working at the interconnection between design, art and science. Through a speculative design practice she wants to raise critical questions about which possible relationships between human beings and living organisms can be envisioned for near possible futures. After the successful eradication of the concept that the human being is the most important living organism on earth, she wants to contribute to cancelling the hierarchies between us and nature, to become more conscious and participative with ecological systems.


MIND THE FUNGI | The Team


Art Laboratory Berlin

Regine Rapp (Co-Director, Curator, Art Theoretician)
Christian de Lutz (Co-Director, Curator)

Theresa Schubert (Artist)
Fara Peluso (Designer/ Artist)


Institute of Biotechnology, TU Berlin
Applied and Molecular Microbiology
Prof. Vera Meyer
Bertram Schmidt
Carsten Pohl

Bioprocess Engineering
Prof. Peter Neubauer
Fatemeh Nejati





Activities



MIND THE FUNGI
WALK & TALK #2

Tegeler Forst | 17 November 2018

Forest excursion + Lab visit to the Dept. of Applied and Molecular Microbiology | TU Berlin




Art Laboratory Berlin invites you to a public event of Mind the Fungi, a two-year collaborative project between the Technische Universität Berlin and Art Laboratory Berlin. Artist Theresa Schubert will offer diverse perspectives on the forest and its cultural meaning including a performance. Furthermore, together with biotechnologists from the Institute of Biotechnology | TU Berlin she will guide us through forests of Berlin and Brandenburg in search of tree mushrooms and lichens. Samples taken will form part of a two-year research project combining cutting edge biological research, citizen science and artistic research.

Biotechnologists from TU Berlin will show participants how to collect samples of fungi and lichens and preserve them for further study and cultivation. At a follow-up lab at the Dept. of Applied and Molecular Microbiology | TU Berlin, participants will be shown how to inoculate Petri dishes with samples for cultivation.

Berlin-based artist Theresa Schubert explores unconventional visions of nature, technology and the self. She studied media art at the Bauhaus-University, Weimar. She combines audiovisual and hybrid media with conceptual and immersive installations or site-specific interventions that may include living organisms. Thematically her works question the relation of humans to their environment and evolvement of matter and meaning beyond the anthropos
.





In 2019 further workshops and labs will explore new modes of fungal biotechnology, which is currently undergoing a disruptive innovation process. Mushrooms, which are produced on the basis of renewable raw materials in the biotechnological process, will be converted, with far-reaching consequences, into packaging materials, building materials, and even leather. Together with biotechnologists from TU Berlin, citizen scientists, artists and designers, we invite you to take part in Mind the Fungi.

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


Cooperation partner:







MIND THE FUNGI
WALK & TALK #1

1) Briesetal | 27 October, 2018
(Day Excursion)
2) Lab excursion, TU Berlin | 29 October, 2018 (Evening)




Art Laboratory Berlin invites you to the first public event of Mind the Fungi, a two-year collaborative project between the Technische Universität Berlin and Art Laboratory Berlin. Artist Theresa Schubert will offer diverse perspectives on the forest and its cultural meaning including a performance. Furthermore, together with biotechnologists from the Institute of Biotechnology | TU Berlin she will guide us through forests of Berlin and Brandenburg in search of tree mushrooms and lichens. Samples taken will form part of a two-year research project combining cutting edge biological research, citizen science and artistic research.

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


Cooperation partner:


Art Laboratory Berlin is grateful for the permanent support of: