DIY Hack the Panke
(Un)Real Ecologies. Microplastics
Kat Austen and Frithjof Glowinski
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 microplastics 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.