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presse@artlaboratory-berlin.org
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Archive of Press releases and reviews: (click here)


Next exhibition:

Invisible Forces

Erich Berger    Mari Keto    Martin Howse




19 October- 8 December 2019
Opening 18 October. 2019, 8PM

Our planet is not only made up of earth and rocks, but also of a number of invisible forces that influence and shape the form and viability of life. Radiation is not just a by-product of the atomic age, but something that exists in the background of almost every environment. In this exhibition, the work of Erich Berger and Mari Keto is presented along with a workshop and forensic exhibition by Martin Howse to open a dialogue between contemporary culture and deep (geological) time and psycho-geophysics.

Erich Berger and Mari Keto's works examine the questions of toxic and radioactive waste in our world today. Inheritance is a precious family heirloom and consists of jewellery, which are radioactive and therefore rendered practically and symbolically unwearable. Together with an electromechanical device to determine the remaining radioactivity, the jewellery is stored in a concrete container which is build to endure over a vast amount of time. With these items the story goes that each time the jewellery is handed over from one generation to the next, the ritual of measurement determines if the jewellery can finally be brought in use and fulfill its promise of wealth and identity or if it has to be stored away until the next generation.

Open Care proposes a speculative future where individual families take responsibility for radioactive waste. The piece includes an electroscope for measuring radioactivity, an electrostatic charger and a storage disc for a small amount of nuclear waste, to be passed down form generation to generation. By rendering the huge timescale of radioactive decay into more meaningful units of lifetimes these work open the question of collective care and responsibility from a fresh perspective.

Martin's Howse's workshop and forensic exhibition, Local Area Network (LAN), is a transdisciplinary, speculative investigation of local fields and particles, energetic exchanges, towards the hacking and re-routing of circulations and networks at all stacked levels of local geological, environmental and technological "Umwelten".

LAN intervenes within the co-existent realms of algorithmic entities, of the structures and infrastructures of computation, and communication with the non-human entities of the earth (mycelium and microbes).



With the Generous support of:





Most recent exhibition:

The Silkworm Project
Vivian Xu

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

08 June 2019, 3-6PM:
Workshop THE SILKWORM PROJECT with Vivian Xu.
@ Art Laboratory Berlin // Registration necessary (register@artlaboratory-berlin.org)
More information

30 June 2019, 3PM: Artist Talk with Vivian Xu and Lisa Onaga (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)
@ Art Laboratory Berlin
More information

04 July 2019: Symposium The Artist-Silkworm Interface: The Agricultural Treatise as Source and Scrutiny for Creating an Artist Book, organised by Lisa Onaga, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.
Speakers: Vivian Xu, Regine Rapp, Anna Grasskamp, Yubin Shen, Dagmar Schäfer.
@ Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, at the Harnack House | More information: https://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/event/artist-silkworm-interface-agricultural-treatise-source-and-scrutiny-creating-artist-book Registration necessary by 30 June 2019 (event_dept3@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de)


Vivian Xu is a media artist and researcher based in Shanghai. Her work is situated between bio and electronic media in creating new forms of machine logic, life and sensory systems, and often takes the form of object, installation or wearable.

In The Silkworm Project Vivian Xu explores the possibilities of using silkworms to design a series of hybrid machines capable of producing self-organised 2D and 3D silk structures. Xu wants to understand how far the behaviour of insects can serve as a foundation for technological design. To this end she has developed cybernetic devices based on both biological and computer-controlled logic. In the exhibition a series of interactive machines made of silkworms and electronics will be displayed. The artist-designer works on the creation of self-organised silk structures designed by live silkworms, a posthuman machine.

Art Laboratory Berlin is happy to present Xu’s projects for the first time in Europe.

“The silk machines utilise a closed feedback loop system between the organic and the artificial, where the biological and the computational form an ecosystem that demonstrates automated production that is autonomous in its nature” remarks the artist. By researching in the history of computation and its entanglement with the technological development of the loom, the artist explores a critical and artistic intersection between the organisation of silk and the organisation of information.

The Silkworm Project is the first of an ongoing series titled The Insect Trilogy, in which she examines the behaviour of silkworms, ants and bees in order to take this into account in the design of machines. Combining the 5000 year-old tradition of sericulture with new technologies, Vivian Xu's work investigates the role of human and nonhuman, biological and technological, and the permeable borders between them. Her silk machines are based on a closed feedback loop that creates an autonomous production system that is both organic and artificial, biological and computational.

The exhibition will present multiple prototypes and documentation of previous experiments as well as a new machine interacting with live silkworms. The most recent prototype of Silkworm Project, Machine III – Magnetic Spinning Machine, has been financially supported by Art Laboratory Berlin.

Our collaboration with Vivian Xu spans more then four years. Her project The Silkworm Project is closely tied to our series “Nonhuman Subjectivities” (2016/17) and “Nonhuman Agents” (2017/18). We appreciate Vivian Xu’s contribution at our conference “Nonhuman Agents in Art, Culture and Theory” (Nov 2017, Art Laboratory Berlin), which we published as a video recording (along with all other conference contributions) in our web archive (see here).

We are pleased to collaborate with the Berlin-based Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) on a four-month artistic research residency in Berlin by Vivian Xu (May–August 2019). The exhibition, talks, a symposium, and a workshop on sericulture by Vivian Xu will provide the public with insights into this fascinating long-term project.

Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz (curators)

More information
Press text as .pdf


In close cooperation with Max Planck Institute for the History of Science



Recent Events:

The Silkworm Project


'Conversations in Silk' with Vivian Xu and Lisa Onaga


Sunday 30 June 2019, 3PM
@ Art Laboratory Berlin


"Conversations in Silk" presents a dialogue between historian of biology Lisa Onaga and artist and designer Vivian Xu. They will reflect on the complex and intermingled topic of silk, spanning from the historical and cross-continental context of sericulture, to specultations of the future of the silkworm-human relations within a technoscience framework. Onaga will draw from her own research inquiries into the histories of silk cocoon production and standardization in Japan, and silkworm heredity experiments spanning various continents, introducing to audiences new research from her upcoming book Cocoon Cultures. Xu will speak of her work and research for The Silkworm Project, which takes on a more speculative and cybernetic view, drawing inspiration from the silkworm's behaviour and biology, to better design labour machines and system logics. The talk takes into consideration the ongoing exhibition "The Silkworm Project" and will conclude with conversations between the speakers and audience.
(More information)


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


The Silkworm Project


Symposium The Artist-Silkworm Interface: The Agricultural Treatise as Source and Scrutiny for Creating an Artist Book, organised by Lisa Onaga, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.
Speakers: Vivian Xu, Regine Rapp, Anna Grasskamp, Yubin Shen, Dagmar Schäfer.
04 July 2019 @ Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, at the Harnack House | More information: https://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/event/artist-silkworm-interface-agricultural-treatise-source-and-scrutiny-creating-artist-book Registration necessary by 30 June 2019 (event_dept3@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de)



DIY Hack the Panke



Summer Walk and Talk #1
13 July 2019, 3.30PM, starting at Art Laboratory Berlin
Upon donation

Microbiologist Daniel Lammel and biochemist and illustrator Eliot Morrison from the artist and scientist collective DIY Hack the Panke will guide participants along the Panke River in Berlin-Wedding, discussing the interaction of water, soil and atmosphere from the molecular level and how this effects and is affected by organisms up to the larger ecological level. They will explain how water, plants and soil take part in cycles of carbon and nitrogen that support life, and how Berlin's urban environment can both nurture and threaten biodiversity.

The meeting point is Art Laboratory Berlin at 3.30PM, where curators Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz will give a short introduction to the current exhibition "The Silkworm Project" before the Walk and Talk.

Daniel Lammel is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Biology (Ecology of Plants), Free University Berlin. His area of research is soil ecology and mycorrizal symbiosis.

Eliot Morrison
is a biochemist and illustrator. He completed his PhD at the Institute of Biochemistry, Free University Berlin, where he is currently conducting Postdoctoral research on post-translational lipid modifications and enzyme kinetics in T cells (the molecular structure of immune cells).

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

     




Mind the Fungi as part of the Long Night of Science @ Technical University Berlin

15 June, 2019 from 5PM
Institute of Biotechnology
Bio Process Engineering

Ackerstr. 76
13355 Berlin
Raum: Raum 394

Mind the Fungi! - Mushrooms and their contribution to biotechnology
Everyone knows champignons, mold and co. But mushrooms can do more than just taste good or spoil bread. Already today they are used to produce detergent enzymes and bioplastics. And we are just beginning to understand the complex biology of fungi. Immerse yourself in the delicate and fragile world of mushroom microbiology. The Department of Applied and Molecular Microbiology of the TU Berlin with Art Laboratory Berlin gives you an insight into the modern molecular biology of mushrooms. Identify them by their DNA; use modern microscopes to discover a world hidden and enchanting to the human eye. Learn how today's biotechnology can solve tomorrow's problems.
(More information)

Cooperation partner:



DIY Hack the Panke


Panke Life. Microbiodiversity.
Workshop with Sarah Hermanutz, India Mansour and Fara Peluso

26 May, 2017, 1-6PM
Participation fee 15€/10€ (registration required)


Photos: Art Laboratory Berlin

This workshop will research 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 will show participants how to investigate the microbial life and ecologies of an urban waterway. The workshop will explore the river and floodplain as microbial habitats, with special emphasis on water, sediment and soil along the riverbanks. The workshop will explore 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 will be discussed and examples sought out.

Participants will test the water for signs of a possible Algal bloom in the coming summer, seek out life through microscopy and build their own Winogradsky columns, which can visualise bacteria and algae, from Panke mud. These will later bloom into rich visual and biological communities.

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 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.

Limted number of participants - to take part please email: register@artlaboratory-berlin.org

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


     





(Un)Real Ecologies


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



Ph
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
: register@artlaboratory-berlin.org


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


     





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 aiworkshop@artypical.com 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:




Recent 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


___TALKS

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.
http://www.farapeluso.com/site/


___PERFORMANCES

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.
http://katausten.com, http://katausten.bandcamp.com

Robertina Šebjani
č
Aquatocene_Performance

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).
http://robertina.net/aquatocene/





Strange Encounters with Vegetal Others
Špela Petrič


Opening: 21 September 2018
Exhibition runs 22 September -
25 November 2018
Fri- Sun, 2-6 pm




Slovenian artist Špela Petrič approaches art production with a background in Hybrid Arts as well as a PhD in Biochemistry. These dual epistemological approaches inform her work with the Plant Kingdom as part of a multi-species collaboration exploring the ontologies, methodologies, ethics and practices of care involved in our relationship to the vegetal. Her first solo show in Berlin will give an insight into her multi-species endeavour.

The green kingdom, upon which we depend for our very survival, functions on a radically different biological basis from us: seemingly inert, literally vegetative and endowed with unexplored forms of intelligence. Yet science reveals an intricate world of mysterious chemical conversations, interspecies networks and non-centralised operations alien from our own existence. Through her work Petrič proposes novel modes of human-plant communication, intercognition and exchange.

(More information)


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, published on 26/09/2018, updated on 05/10/2018 by Joachim Müller-Jung, „BioArt“ boomt : Wahrheiten, die uns nur durch Kunst bewußt werden

Labiotech.eu, published on 30/09/2018 by Clara Rodríguez Fernández, Trouble in the Soil Bed: Sex Toys for
Plants




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
here

Information on the Nonhuman Subjectivities series from 2016-17 here


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



Publications!

[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
presse@artlaboratory-berlin.org

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