Press Reviews on Art Laboratory Berlin




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Next exhibition:

The Silkworm Project

01 June - 14 July, 2019, Fri-Sun 2-6PM
Opening: 31 May, 8PM

Shanghai-based artist Vivian Xu's Silkworm Project explores the possibilities of using silkworms to design a series of hybrid biomass machines capable of producing self-organized flat and spatial silk structures. In her work Xu is interested in how far the behavior of insects can serve as a foundation for technological design. She develops cybernetic machines based on both biological and computer-controlled logic. The Silkworm Project is the first of a series titled the Insect Trilogy, that is still under development, in which she examines the behavior of ants, bees, and silkworms in order to take this into account in the design of work machines. The exhibition features the first part of her trilogy: The Silkworm Project, where she develops an interactive machine made of silkworms and electronics. Their ultimate goal is to create self-organized silk structures created by live silkworms - in short, a posthuman machine. The exhibition will present prototypes for flat and spatial silk weaving as well as a new 3D weaving device interacting with live silkworms.

Art Laboratory Berlin is pleased to collaborate with the Berlin-based Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) on a four-month research stay in Berlin by Vivian Xu, . Between May and August 2019, Vivian Xu will pursue her artistic research at MPIWG, and her artistic practice at a studio at ALB. The exhibition and a workshop on sericulture by Vivian Xu will provide the public with insights into this fascinating long-term project.

In cooperation with Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

Next Event:

DIY Hack the Panke

Panke Life. Microbiodiversity Workshop
26 May, 2017

Photos: Art Laboratory Berlin

The workshop will explore the microflora and fauna of the Panke river
More information coming soon.

Last Event:

(Un)Real Ecologies

Microplastics workshop with Kat Austen & Frithjof Glowinski
13/14 April 2019, 1-6PM

otos: Art Laboratory Berlin

Plastic has pervaded water, soil and our bodies. It is the new icon of our time. During the (Un)Real Ecologies: Microplastics workshop we will explore the presence of microplastics in the Panke River, near Art Laboratory Berlin. How do organisms and microorganisms exist with and construct with these human-made materials? We will investigate water samples, to discover a new understanding of the reality of the Panke's ecosystem, with plastic present and wholly a part of it - a microcosm that allows us to ask: "what is nature?"

In the workshop participants will use DIY chemistry methods to separate microplastics from mineral and organic matter, and discover the origins of the plastics they find by creating density columns. They will also learn about the ecology of the Panke River and the Citizen Science project DIY Hack the Panke.

Kat Austen is a succession of experiences and an assemblage of aspirations. She creates artworks that explore multiple knowledges, from music to embodied knowledge to DIY science, focusing on emotional connections between what we consider internal and external. Kat is a Teaching Fellow on UCL's Arts and Sciences BASc, and is Artist in Residence in UCL's Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences. Previous residencies include Artist in the Arctic, NYU Shanghai Gallery and ArtOxygen. Kat was an inaugural member of the London Creative Network programme. She is based in Berlin.

Frithjof Glowinski studied biochemistry at the University of Greifswald. Subsequently, he received his doctorate at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin for infections relating to the stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori. The focus was on the balance between bacteria and humans, as well as the long-term consequences of this interaction. He is currently teaching biology and chemistry at a school near the Panke. Together with Art Laboratory Berlin and the DIY Hack the Panke collective, he organizes workshops with children from the school along the Panke.

Organised together with DIY Hack the Panke.

Limted number of participants - to take part please email

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


Last exhibitions

Watery Ecologies. Artistic Research

Kat Austen | Mary Maggic | Fara Peluso

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)

Cooperation partners:

Part of the Vorspiel programme in partnership with the CTM and transmediale

Berliner Gazette, published on 16.03.2019, Sound der Klimakrise: Wie erlangen wir Zugang zu verborgenem Wissen über die Erderwärmung?

Clot, published Jan. 2019 Exhibition: 'Watery Ecologies. Artistic Research' at ArtLaboratory Berlin

HYDRO_PERFORMANCE Night. Performances, Talks with New Cassettes and Vinyls!

With Kat Austen, Robertina Šebjani
č and Fara Peluso as part of the exhibition Watery Ecologies. Artistic Research.

16 March 2019, 9 PM at Art Laboratory Berlin, Prinzenallee 34, 13359 Berlin


Short introduction into the ongoing exhibition WATERY ECOLOGIES and the three different artistic approaches on water – by curator Regine Rapp.

Then Fara Peluso, one of the artists of the show, will give an insight into her long-term research that 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 in speculative and critical design to produce a myriad of innovative design and artistic solutions.

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.


Kat Austen

The Matter of the Soul | Symphony (Performance – today with Panke Water)

The Matter of the Soul | Symphony is a performance work that engenders empathy with a consequence of climate change: process of dispersal and transformation in the Arctic region. The work draws together stories of human migration and melting ice in the Arctic, and changing identity on and offline. The musical compositions for The Matter of the Soul are based around audio field recordings of Arctic waters made using hacked pH and conductivity meters. During this very special performance at Art Laboratory Berlin, Austen will weave together the global and local, accompanying the song of the Arctic along with live improvisation using her hacked instruments, playing the water from her closest river, the Panke in Wedding, Berlin.

Kat Austen’s work focuses on interrogating the boundary between what we think of as the self and other(s). Her work relates to redefining and enriching our relationship to the environment, with a particular focus on climate change.  Austen is a Berlin-based artist. She is Teaching Fellow at UCL Arts and Sciences BASc. She was Cultural Fellow in Art and Science at the University of Leeds 2018 and 2017-18 Artist in the Arctic for Friends of SPRI / Scott Polar Research Institute, sponsored by Bonhams and OneOcean. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from University College London and the Royal Institution of Great Britain.,

Robertina Šebjani

Aquatocene / The subaquatic quest for serenity investigates the phenomenon of underwater noise pollution created by humankind in the seas and oceans. The sound compositions are a re-mix between the bioacoustics of marine life (shrimps, fish, sea urchins etc.), the aquatic acoustics and the presence of human generated noise in the world’s oceans and seas. The audio compositions of the subaquatic soundscape encourage us to reflect upon the anthropogenic sonic impact on the underwater habitat and marine life.

Robertina Šebjani
č, based in Ljubljana, is internationally exhibited and awarded artist. Her artwork deals with cultural, (bio)political and ecological realities of aquatic environments. With her projects she tackles the philosophical questions at the intersection of art, technology and science. She was awarded with an Honorary Mention @Prix Ars Electronica, nominated for STARTS2016 and for the White Aphroid award. She was SHAPE platform 2017 artist and in 2018 she was artist resident at Ars Electronica (EMAP/EMARE).

The Work of Art in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

13 March 2019, 7PM Talk: Are Androids the better humans?
Tokyo-based curator and cultural diplomacy researcher Maurice Jones examines how different attitudes towards AI, robotics, and transhumanism are explored and represented through Japanese society's affinity towards technology, automisation, etc. The talk is free and open to the public.

14 & 15 March | The Work of Art in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
This conceptual artistic research workshop by media art curator Natalia Fuchs and media artist Helena Nikonole that spans Artificial Intelligence as a concept, neural networks as a tool, and research-based curatorial solution as an approach. According to Helena Nikonole, an artistic exploration of the potential possibilities (and also potential risks) of technologies like Artificial Intelligence or the Internet of Things is necessary to understand the context of modern technologically and media determined world. Natalia Fuchs is a media art curator that is dealing with historical contexts when curating exhibitions and art projects. From her point of view, it is crucial to see how new media choice for the artist correlates with topological spaces in the history of art. In other words, referencing notion to an external space is her approach to building media art communities stable and persistent; what is reflected in the “The Work of Art in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” which become global research community platform for the artist, curator and technology specialists.

The workshop is free but limited to 10 participants. Please send your application including portfolio and your project idea to before 2 March. Selected participants will be informed on 4 March.
The Work of Art in the Age of Artificial Intelligence is organized by Natalia Fuchs and the CTM in cooperation with Art Laboratory Berlin.
(More information)

Mind the Fungi: Update and Presentations

28 February 2019, 7PM

Fully booked!

Mind the Fungi is a two-year collaborative project between the Technische Universität Berlin and Art Laboratory Berlin.

There will be short presentations of some of the project partners about the process so far: collecting, cultivating and identifying the fungi, as well as a discussion of upcoming events:
- Regine Rapp | Art Laboratory Berlin
- Prof. Dr. Vera Meyer / Institute of Biotechnology - Applied and Molecular Microbiology, TU Berlin
- Bertram Schmidt | Institute of Biotechnology - Applied and Molecular Microbiology, TU Berlin

Cooperation partner:

Previous exhibitions and events: (click here)

Information on the Mind the Fungi project here

Information on DIY Hack the Panke here

Information on the Nonhuman Agents series from 2017

Information on the Nonhuman Subjectivities series from 2016-17 here

Information on the [macro]biologies & [micro]biologies series from 2014-15 here


[macro]biologies & [micro]biologies. Art and the Biological Sublime in the 21st Century. Ed. by Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz, Berlin 2015.
More information
Press release as .pdf

Online Publication:
We are proud to share with you our online-publication of the international interdisciplinary 2-day SYNAESTHESIA-Conference, held by Art Laboratory Berlin in the summer 2013:
Synaesthesia. Discussing a Phenomenon in the Arts, Humanities and (Neuro-)Science

Information about Art Laboratory Berlin:
Art Laboratory Berlin (as.PDF)


If you have any questions or wish material about the exhibition, please contact

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