DIY Hack The Panke
research group DIY Hack the Panke, founded in January 2018,
consists of a group of artists and scientists promoting Citizen
Science projects along the Panke River in north and central Berlin.
In the next few years the upper part of the Panke, in Berlin-Buch,
will be re-wilded according to new EU standards, while the river's
two points of entry into the Spree, currently underground, will
be uncovered. DIY Hack the Panke is interested in these fluctuating
areas and the effects of re-wilding, but our main area of focus
is the Panke in Wedding and southern Pankow. This part of the river,
known only a century ago as the 'Stinkpanke' because of pollution
from nearby factories and tanneries, is now a popular urban green
space sought after by local residents.
Through interdisciplinary practice, the group aims to explore the
Panke River for living organisms and critically examine its complex
history of human use. Members of DIY Hack the Panke plan
public workshops on topics such as river flora, fauna and microbiology;
plastic waste and other pollutants; and the impact of history, culture
and technology on the present-day Panke. In addition to workshops,
the public is also invited to take part in a walks and talks as
well as public labs to rediscover their urban environment, as well
as learn and take part in Citizen Science.
Beyond public participation in the research and connected events,
results will eventually be returned to the public in the form of
an online blog or website. A final publication in book form is also
Upcoming topics of interest:
in the Panke
lives in the Panke: microflora and fauna and larger creatures
ecologies, community coalescence and experiments with algae
mud ecologies and Winogradsky columns
of the industrial Panke in soil an water
cultural and natural history of the Panke
of DIY Hack the Panke include:
Dr. Kat Austen
(artist and chemist)
Lammel (microbiologist, FU Berlin)
de Lutz (curator and artist, ALB)
MacLean (microbiologist, GFZ, Potsdam)
Mansour (biologist, FU Berlin)
Morrison (biochemist, FU Berlin and illustrator)
Peluso (designer and artist)
(media and sound artist)
Rapp (art theorist and curator, ALB)
Whitehead (biologist, FU Berlin)
Workshop and Livestream:
Austen and Nana MacLean
22 April 2020 from 5:30-7:00 pm
we consider to be our environment unequivocally and ubiquitously
contains plastic. It has been found at the outskirts of human reach:
at the top of Mount Everest, in Arctic ice, and at the bottom of
the Mariana trench. Plastic is becoming part of our geology and
the lively surrounding of many organisms on this planet - a new
material and habitat providing new stories and lifeforms.
Coexistence of plastic with non-artificial entities in the environment,
and with humans, is a burgeoning area of research, which has been
explored through participatory interdisciplinary techniques. In
the DIY Hack the Panke programme's (Un)Real Ecologies
workshops by Nana MacLean and Kat Austen, participants worked
together to research the coexistence of microplastic with the Panke
River in Berlin-Wedding. The Sushi Roulette workshop series
uses DIY chemistry to search for microplastics in fish guts.
While plastic can be detrimental to the quality of an ecosystem,
plastic pollution is also a carbon sink, storing carbon and keeping
carbon dioxide and methane out of the atmosphere. But is this carbon
sink, itself an embodiment of industrial processes that contribute
to the climate crisis, in competition or complementarity to forests?
Using DIY science and artistic research, Kat Austen has been working
on a new project exploring the coexistence of microplastics with
birch trees for her project Stranger to the Trees* .
This Earth Day, join Kat Austen and Nana MacLean to discuss the
coexistence of microplastics in the environment and what it means
for nature and ourselves.
More information and video documentation
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 Cultural Fellow in Art and Science at the University of Leeds,
lectures on UCL's Arts and Sciences BASc, and is Artist in Residence
in UCL's Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences. Previous residencies
include NYU Shanghai Gallery and ArtOxygen. Kat was an inaugural
member of the London Creative Network programme. She is based in
MacLean studied Biology at the UvA Amsterdam and finished her
Master studies in Molecular Biology at the University Potsdam. Besides
her studies, she has been involved in projects that crossed borders
between disciplinary styles and methods - embracing both speculative
design and performative collaborations. As a PhD student, Nana is
currently working on microbial communities in anthropogenic landscapes
and plastic polluted grounds at the GFZ Helmholtz Center Potsdam.
Her research focuses on Plastic as biological habitat, and furthermore
explores future ecologies and areas of research that involve storytelling
and other imaginative methodologies. Nana is based in Potsdam and
by the Berlin State office for Culture and Europe:
thanks to Ken Rinaldo
to the Trees is realised within the framework of the European Media
Art Platforms EMARE program at WRO Art Center with support of the
Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union"
by Doing. A Project with the students of the Gustav-Freytag-Schule
Left, center: Microbiodiversity Workshop (Lammel,
Mansour, Hermanutz) May 2019; right Mikroplastics Workshop (Austen,
MacLean) Feb. 2019
by Doing offered the pupils of the Gustav-Freytag-Schule
a wide range of events about the River Panke, spread throughout
2019. Through workshops and visits the Art Science collective DIY
Hack the Panke made it possible for students to artistically
explore biology, chemistry, design and ecology, and to implement
their own ideas. In addition to workshops on the topics of urban
ecology, microplastics (Austen, MacLean), microbiodiversity (Hermanutz,
Mansour, Lammel) and wetland ecology (Hermanutz, Popov), there were
performances such as the Wasserklang Orchestra (Austen), where the
pupils examined the Panke using self-made instruments, which was
later presented as an installation at the Berlin State Opera.
Further workshops on algae and speculative design (Peluso) introduced
the students to current topics on sustainability and biomaterials.
The school science club also visited Art Laboratory Berlin, the
Lacuna Lab and the Futurium. Finally an art and science exhibition
was presented in the school with the results.
left: (1,2 ) Microbiodiversity Workshop, May 2019; (3) Wasserklang
Orchester (Austen) May/June 2019; (4) Algea Workshop (Peluso) October
2019, (5) Wetland Ecology Workshop (Hermanutz, Popov) March 2019
thanks to the Gustav_Freytag-schule and Frithjof Glowinski.
Made possible with a grant from Berliner Projektfonds Kulturelle
in intra-flux of the Anthropocene
November 2019, 7:30 PM: Project presentation: Saa Spačal
in converation with Dr. India Mansour
research at the Rillig Group, Ecology of Plants, Institute of Biology,
Free University Berlin in cooperation with Art Laboratory Berlin
For the month of November 2019 bio media artist Saa Spačal
will provide artistic research for her new project Symbiosis
in intra-flux of the Anthropocene at the Rillig Group, Ecology
of Plants, Institute of Biology, FU Berlin.Towards the end of the
residency Art Laboratory Berlin will host a public presentation
and discussion about the topics that residency covered, together
with scientists from the Rillig Group.
on Symbiosis in intraflux of the Anthropocene)
event is supported
by the Fachbereich Kunst und Kultur Bezirksamt Mitte and the Bezirkskulturfonds
as part of DIY Hack the Panke
Area Network (LAN).
Workshop with Martin Howse
13 Oct and 10 Nov 2019, 11AM-6PM
Local Area Network (LAN) open workshop is a collective, speculative
investigation of local fields/particles, and energetic exchanges,
towards the hacking and re-routing of energy flows and networks
at all stacked levels of local geological, environmental and technological
"Umwelten", forking into a forensic exhibition at Art
LAN works in the field - at sites along the Panke - and in
the lab, punctuating an ongoing exhibition of changing processes
and prototypes, examining the interface of data ecologies and the
non-human through mapping, measuring and intervening within local
and specific energetic transformations, entropic gradients and boundings
of matters, materials and cultures.
LAN examines and identifies sites of execution, the places
where energetic transformations intersect with human infrastructure
and agents of abstraction and logic; intervening within the co-existent
realms of algorithmic entities, of the structures and infrastructures
of computation, communication with the non-human entities of the
earth (mycelium, microbes).
For example, specific devices, developed in the course of collective
workshops will examine relations of computation and decay, perhaps
logging the growth of lichen and other parasitic fungi/forms on
human infrastructures or examining branchy dew formations of radioactive
particles. Workshops and devices will equally examine relations
of the decay of particles, and the extension of the nuclear/geological
within the interiors of plants and bodies.
The first workshop will take place at Art Laboratory Berlin on the
13th October, the second on 10th November. For the 2nd workshop
participants should follow the AND operator!
Local Area Network (LAN) forms part of the exhibition Invisible
Forces opening at Art Laboratory Berlin on 18 October, 2019.
by the Fachbereich Kunst und Kultur Bezirksamt Mitte and the Bezirkskulturfonds
Workshop and Jam session with Kat Austen and Nenad Popov
5 October 2019, 2-6PM