Press Reviews on Art Laboratory Berlin






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ART LABORATORY BERLIN, looking at the past, present, and future of interdisciplinary art
(Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz interviewed by Lyndsey Walsh) in Clot Magazine, 21 Dec 2020

Current exhibition:

Swarms, Robots and Postnature

Kaethe Wenzel | So Kanno | Sofia Crespo

Opening on 30 April 2021
30 April 2021 – 27 June 2021
We are pleased to announce that Swarms, Robots and Postnature will again be open to the public from Friday 21 May 2021 . All guests must book an appointment in advance. You can book a reservation at Please note the health regulations below.*

30 April 2021, 8pm - Virtual Vernissage at
6 May 2021, 8pm - Online artist talk with So Kanno (
20 May 2021, 8pm - Online artist talk with Käthe Wenzel
3 June 2021, 8pm - Online artist talk with Sofia Crespo (online venue TBA)

The exhibition project presents research based artistic positions on swarm behaviour, questioning the traditional concept of "nature" and explores the interface of the biological and the machine.

Käthe Wenzel has created interfaces between the biological and the machine in her project Bone Bots. These hybrid electronic animals, robots made from animal bones, blur traditional categories of "technology" and "nature" as they are based on experiments from synthetic biology and represent semi-living machines. Wenzel's Bone Costumes thematise the mass consumption of living beings and the daily killing of animal bodies and the standardized forms into which we try to squeeze our own bodies. The works emerged from research into historical corset techniques and in connection with modern fashion technologies; they have developed into exoskeletons: half organic and half mechanical apocalyptic outfits.

So Kanno combines design and computer science with digital art and has been working extensively on robotic systems and swarm robotics in recent years. Lasermice is a swarm robotics system consisting of 60 small robots inspired by the synchronous behaviour of insects such as fireflies. Normally, a swarm's network is invisible, but in this case, these robots create a visible network using laser-light photodetector communication. Thus, they create a rhythm, acoustically perceptible through electronic magnets, that is constantly changing. The updated version Lasermice Dyad, also follows the idea of making natural phenomena artificially visible, and features even more parameters.

Sofia Crespo works on the representation of artificial life and generative forms of life. One of her main focuses is the way organic life uses artificial mechanisms to simulate itself and to evolve. This implies the idea that technologies are a distorted product of the organic life that produced them, rather than a completely separate object. Her Neural Zoo project is research into how creativity works. Computer vision and machine learning build a bridge between us and a speculative "nature" that is only accessible through a high degree of parallel computations.

Curated by Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz.

*One person (+ 1 accompanying from the same household) at a time is allowed in the exhibition space. As per state health regulations, admission is subject to proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 antigen or PCR test result within 24 hours prior to the appointment. FFP2 masks are required for the duration of the visit. Contact details for all visitors will be retained for one month. If you have any questions or concerns about these measures please feel free to contact us before your visit.

With the generous support of:

Next exhibition:

Paired Immunity

Marta de Menezes & Luís Graça

The exhibition project Paired Immunity presents two works by bio artist Marta de Menezes and her partner, the immunologist Luís Graça.

In Immortality for Two Marta de Menezes and Luís Graça immortalize each other's immune cells. This is achieved by introducing cancer-inducing genes in the cells with a viral vector. These immortal cells, although derived from two people in love, are immune cells involved in the bodily defence. If they interact, they will be mutually rejected. Thus, immortality comes at a price – perpetual isolation. The live cells will be exhibited in the absence of any visible lab equipment, and the tension created by their isolation will be emphasized through two live projections of the growing cells that partially overlap. Only in the virtual space of the projection can the cells interact.

The immune system can be seen as a sixth sense that identifies and discriminates our composition and the outside world. The work Anti-Marta extends on Immortality for Two, where the artist and scientist questioned the limits and understanding of their identity. In Anti-Marta a skin transplant was exchanged between Marta and Luís (with an autologous graft as control). Anti-Marta can be seen as a pact, where the inevitable rejection of the transplant contrasts with the live-long acquisition of a new form of recognition of one another afforded by the emergence of antibodies.

Last Events:

Mind Blind Pathetic Sublime
Online Performance Lecture by Sarah Hermanutz

16 February 2021, 8 PM

Five years since she presented the lecture-performance Mind Blind: Therapeutic Interventions for Human/NonHuman Communications for Transmediale|Vorspiel 2016, artist Sarah Hermanutz revisits the problems of social cognition in this time of isolation and multiple intersecting crises.

While previously this performance played with the discomfort and tensions of an audience's physical presence made captive within the social conventions of an in-person lecture, in 2021 the human observers may only join remotely through Zoom. Within the gallery, the artist will livestream from her unvisitable installation environment. Seeking comfort, escape, and clarity amid the leaking infrastructures of our times, she will be using whatever tools at her disposal to finally help axolotls to understand the Pathetic Sublime.

Registration required:

Organised by Art Laboratory Berlin in cooperation with Lacuna Lab
This event is part of the Vorspiel Programme of the CTM and transmediale 2021.

VIRAL CLOUD | Berlin Tokyo
A Network for Hybrid Arts and DIY Bio Cultures

Since spring 2020 Art Laboratory Berlin and BioClub Tokyo have been arranging online meetings between hybrid artists and associates in our respective cities and beyond. These meetings are a forum for exchange of research, practice and solidarity in times of crises. (More information)

Meeting #13 | 9 February 2021, 1 pm CET/ 9 pm JST
Presentations by Hideo Iwasaki and Matthias Rillig

Hideo Iwasaki is a biologist and artist, director of metaPhorest (biological art/ bioaesthetics platform), Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Bioscience, Waseda University, Tokyo.

Matthias Rillig is Professor at the Institute of Biology, Plant Ecologies, FU Berlin. They will speak about their ongoing project as well as artists in lab, and artist/scientist collaborations.

These events are part of the Vorspiel Programme of the CTM and transmediale 2021.

Last exhibitions:

Mind the Fungi | Art & Design Residencies

Theresa Schubert | Fara Peluso

3 July - 28 December 2020
Virtual opening: 2 July 2020, 6PM via Facebook Live

Curated by Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz

FUTURIUM | Futurium Lab, Alexanderufer 2, 10117 Berlin
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun 10 am – 6 pm, Thu 10 am – 8 pm, Tue closed, Free entrance

The Artist- and Design-Residencies of Mind the Fungi with artist Theresa Schubert and artist designer Fara Peluso bring in art and design as constructive sources of ideas for this research project. Schubert studied the effects of sound on fungal growth. Peluso has done research on new biomaterials on the symbiotic basis of algae and fungi. The artistic and design related works are a result of a close collaboration with both departments of TU Berlin’s Institute of Biotechnology – Prof. Vera Meyer’s department of Applied Molecular Microbiology and Prof. Peter Neubauer’s department Bioprocess Engineering.
(More information)

With the generous support of the Technische Universität Berlin as part of the program Citizen Science - Forschen mit der Gesellschaft:


Futurium Lab und Skywalk wieder offen in Presseportal. de (25.06.2020)

New Artistic Positions on M/otherhood, Life and Care

Ai Hasegawa | Baum & Leahy | Cecilia Jonsson | Margherita Pevere | Mary Maggic
Naja Ryde Ankarfeldt
| Nicole Clouston | Sonia Levy | Špela Petrič | Tarah Rhoda

Exhibition and Symposium | Curated by Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz

THE CAMILLE DIARIES. Current Artistic Positions on M/otherhood, Life and Care
Opening: 27 August 2020
Running time: 28 August - 4 October 2020
@ Art Laboratory Berlin, Prinzenallee 34 | OKK, Prinzenallee 29, 13359 Berlin
Opening Hours: Thu – Sun, 2 – 6 pm

Current health rules!

The exhibition presents new artistic works by eleven international women and non-binary artists (installations, video, objects, performance). Reflecting on the current conditions of our world (environmental changes, gender aspects, biopolitics, etc.), the artists' positions propose an 'aesthetics of care' as the basis for inter-species coexistence. Here, the planet is understood as a symbiotic web in which we are all entangled with one another (humans, plants, animals, environment) - on molecular, organic, ethical and biopolitical levels. The artistic positions investigate reproductive mechanisms, biochemical connections between humans and nonhumans, and refer to alternative biomaterials as "source of life" in future times of scarcity and crisis.
(More information)

Online Symposium
26 September 2020, 10 am – 7:45 pm (CET Time Zone), with livestream (

The one-day symposium will bring the artists together with researchers from the humanities and natural sciences into a critical dialogue. In the panels “M/others, wombs and placentas”, “Fluid Inheritance” and “Modes of care” we will discuss current and alternative concepts. On the basis of the exhibited works, we will discuss approaches like "Collective survival" and "Arts of noticing" (A. Tsing), "Staying with the Trouble" (D. Haraway), and in particular “Bodies of water” connected to hydrofeminism (A. Neimanis).
(More information)

Accompanying Talk Show Series
Feminist SF: Visions of M/otherhood & Reproduction

Curated and hosted by Isabel de Sena
Mary Maggic | Alison Sperling | Noemi Yoko Molitor

This event series pays tribute to the powerful alternative images of mothering we've inherited through the pioneering work of feminist Sci-Fi writers, and examines their sustained relevance within the socio-political landscape of today. Through a live Talk Show format artists, scientists and scholars are invited to programme their "ideal TV and reading evening" on the topic, so that the audience (re)discovers the works through the guest's eyes.

(More information)

Alle Spezies sind gleich in by Urszula Usakowska-Wolff (03.09.2020)

Bio-Art au Art Laboratory de Berlin by Irina Moussakova in (17.09.2020)

A Scientific Motherhood: ‘The Camille Diaries’ at Art Laboratory Berlin in by Judith Vallette (Sept. 24, 2020)

Insight: ‘THE CAMILLE DIARIES’, finding kin and ‘m/othering’ life In Clot by Lyndsey Walsh (26 Oct. 2020) published on 8 Jan 2021, The Camille Diaries (on the symposium)

With the generous support of:

Associated project partners:
The project THE CAMILLE DIARIES arose from a generous invitation to take part in the international curatorial swarm for the open call »M/others and Future Humans«, initiated by Ida Bencke (LABAE,Copenhagen, DK) and Eben Kirksey (Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, USA).

Media partners:,
AVIVA_Berlin Online Magazin für Frauen,

Borderless Bacteria / Colonialist Cash

Ken Rinaldo

26 January- 1 March 2020, Fri - Sun 2-6PM
Opening 25 January 2020 at 7PM

Borderless Bacteria / Colonialist Cash discusses important current aspects of biopolitics. By visualising microbiome landscapes of banknotes, the project invites us to reflect about the interconnectedness of ecological and economic exchanges.

Much recent attention has been given to the human microbiome, the microbes which live on and within our bodies. These communities also exist on most surfaces around us. When we touch objects, we exchange bacteria, fungi and viruses, leaving some microbiota behind. It is no surprise that one of the objects we touch most – money – is not only a medium of economic but also microbial exchange. According to a study conducted by the NYU Center for Genomics & Systems Biology, 3000 types of bacteria were identified on dollar bills from just one Manhattan bank.

Ken Rinaldo, an established artist in the field of Bio and Postmedia art, develops hybrid human-nonhuman ecologies. Borderless Bacteria / Colonialist Cash explores the hidden microbiome of money within a critical framework that also sheds light on exchange and power. Do Chinese Yuan and American Dollars share bacterial and fungal communities?

This micro-performative project is intriguingly simple in its setup: Various bills of international currency are displayed in square Petri dishes on enriched agar. Time plays a crucial role, as a microbial landscape grows and realises itself over the course of several weeks.

On an aesthetic level, the iconography of the currency literally loses face as microbial growth undermines the representational aspect of the banknotes. The official character of money is subverted. As its microbial nature comes to light, it appears far less representative: a fine network of mycelia covers the head of George Washington on a $1 note; on a 10 CHF note, Le Corbusier is no longer recognisable due to bacterial growth.

Wishing to lessen his carbon footprint, artist Ken Rinaldo expressed the wish that the work be made without his travelling. This work was first made in 2017 during a residency at Cultivamos Cultura, Portugal. Some of the works in the exhibition were created with students from the Gustav-Freytag-Schule in Berlin-Reinickendorf as part of a collaboration between the school, ALB and the DIY Hack the Panke collective.
(More information)

Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz (curators)

Exhibition text as .pdf

Art-in-Berlin, Finis Pecunia! Viva Mycelia!, published on 24. February 2020 by Urszula Usakowska-Wolff,

KUNSTDUNST. das Kunstmagazin aus Berlin. Finis Pecunia! Viva Mycelia! – »Borderless Bacteria / Colonialist Cash« von Ken Rinaldo im Art Laboratory Berlin, published on 24. February 2020 by Urszula Usakowska-Wolff,

El Pais, MICROBIOLOGÍA. Los billetes concentran hasta 3.000 tipos de microbios ,
published on 24 January2020 by Agathe Cortes

New Scientist, Contaminated banknote images reveal how money gets caked in bacteria
published on 15 January 2020 by Bethan Ackerley

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

With the generous support of:

Thanks to Cultivamos Cultura | Marta De Menezes and Dr Luís Graça; Dr. Mario Ramirez, Molecular Microbiology
& Infection, Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal; Prof. Amy Youngs; Dr. Adam Zaretsky.

Previous Events:

Discussion and Livestream

A Future for Food

with Amy Youngs, Ken Rinaldo, Anna Paltseva, Daniel Lammel, Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz

4 June 2020, 4-6 pm CET / 10-12 am EST

Left: Ken Rinaldo & Amy Youngs, Farm Fountain, 2009; center: Amy Youngs, Building a Rainbow, 2011; right: Ken Rinaldo, Cascading Garden, 2014

Can we break away from current agricultural practices which are intimately connected to desertification, water and soil pollution, antibiotic resistance, climate change and social and economic inequalities? In a two-hour discussion we are interested in considering a sustainable, multispecies perspective to farming, which could start in the soil and progress through thinking about the multiple ways we can consider food. Aquaponics, vertical farming, worms, soldier flies, and permaculture offer real solutions, where food is grown while respecting living beings, and the intertwined ecologies that support them.

Humane food can be grown in urban or rural communities, though the soil is critical. How can we learn and care about living beings we cannot quickly know or see? What is care like in practice? We are also interested in exploring the concept of "citizen eco-artist" as so much of what we do resides in the spaces between actual science, sustainable practice and speculative fiction.

This international talk with be livestreamed on youtube and here and questions can be sent in comments via youtube, facebook or


Amy Youngs is an Associate Professor in art and technology at Ohio State University. She uses electronics, kinetics, insects, plants and pixels to create artwork about the changing relationships between technology, nature and self. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and her essays about art and biology have been published in Leonardo and Nouvel Objet.

Ken Rinaldo is internationally recognized for interactive art installations developing hybrid ecologies with humans, algorithms, plants, animals, and bacterial cultures. His art/science practice serves as a platform for hacking complex social, biological, and machine symbionts. Inventing and constructing interfaces for animals and plants, allows illuminating and amplifying the underlying beauty, and intertwined symbiosis existent in natural living systems. Rinaldo is author of Interactive Electronics for Artists and Inventors, and is a Professor of Art and Technology at The Ohio State University.

Anna Paltseva holds a Ph.D. in Earth & Environmental Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center and Research and Program Coordinator at the NYC Urban Soils Institute. She focuses on the assessment of heavy metals bioavailability in urban soils. Anna Paltseva is a lecturer at CUNY – Brooklyn College, New York University, and the New York and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Anna develops educational materials, leads soil workshops and coordinates collaborations with international researchers for the NYC Urban Soils Institute.

Daniel Lammel is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Biology (Ecology of Plants), Free University Berlin. His areas of research is soil ecology and mycorrizal symbiosis as well as Soil Fertility, Plant Nutrition, Agricultural Science and Ecosystem Ecology. Originally from Brazil, he studied at the university of São Paulo, before competing his Ph.D. at Univ. of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Regine Rapp is an art historian, curator and co-director of Art Laboratory Berlin. Her current research interests include Installation art, artist books, hybrid art, art & science collaborations. She researches, curates and publishes on 21st century art at the interface of science and technology. She has taught art history at the Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle and is currently a researcher at the TU Berlin Institute of Biotechnolgy, Dept. for Applied and Molecular Microbiology.

Christian de Lutz is a curator, co-founder and co-director of Art Laboratory Berlin, where he has curated over 40 exhibitions, including the series Time and Technology, Synaesthesia, [macro]biologies & [micro]biologies, and Nonhuman Subjectivities. His curatorial work focuses on the interface of art, science and technology in the 21st century, with special attention given to BioArt, DIY Science initiatives and facilitating collaborations between artists and scientists.

A coproduction of the Network for Prototyping the Future and Art Laboratory Berlin

Discussion Workshop and Livestream:

Mind the Fungi

MATERIAL DRIVEN DESIGN. Sculpting with Bioplastic Textile
Workshop/ Livestream with Fara Peluso
6 May, 2020 6-8PM

Today Material Research is a central point in the theory and practice of designing new technologies, in cooperation with art and design. These fields are currently collaborating, merging their knowledge and practice to develop a new generation of materials, by focusing on specific characteristics, to create new environmentally friendly materials. Another approach, however, has also arisen in the last years combining making, crafting and personal fabrication of new materials through a form of Do It Yourself (DIY) biology and craftmaking.

This Mind the Fungi workshop discusses this new material driven design movement and methodology, learning how to build a new material by studying and using a living organism like mycelium. Discovering the features, possibilities and limits of mycelium-based materials, the participants will work together growing material and developing new material, building sculptures, assembling DIY packaging and drawing and cutting patterns on a new material made of biofilm.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis the initial workshop has been postponed and will hopefully take place later this year.

On 6 May a livestream talk and workshop with Fara Peluso took place.
More here.

Day 1

After an introduction by Fara Peluso into her design research and insights by the biotechnologists from TU Berlin in context of the project Mind the Fungi, the participants will learn how to inoculate mycelium into a liquid culture and prepare a biofilm based on mycelium and algae. The knowledge and techniques learned are functional in a DIY setting.

Day 2

After a two-week period, during which the biofilms will grow, the participants will be now able to use their new biomaterials to assemble sculptures or create designed objects like bags. Here innovative design practice will enable us to unleash the potential of these new materials created through material driven design.

Fara Peluso, a Berlin based artist-designer, graduated in industrial design and graphic design at University of Spienza, Deptm. for Architecture, Rome. Through speculative research her work connects the human being with nature, living organisms and biological processes to form a deeper relationship. Together with biologists, she has pursued deep research into algae, taking constantly inspiration from them, experimenting and understanding how to work with them inside the fields of Art and Design. In collaboration with BioArt Laboratories in Eindhoven, she developed the prototyping of a speculative wearable accessory, WeaReactor, which connects the algae's photosynthesis process with the breath of the wearer (exhibited at DDW17 in Eindhoven in 2017; at Art Laboratory Berlin in 2019). Peluso has extended this knowledge over the last 15 months by working with researchers at the TU Berlin Institute of Biotechnology on mycelium-based materials as an artist-designer-in-residence in the project Mind the Fungi.

Mind the Fungi (2018-20) is a collaborative project between the Institute of Biotechnology TU Berlin and Art Laboratory Berlin. Biotechnologists and process engineers are researching local tree fungi and lichens (Prof. Vera Meyer/ Applied Molecular Microbiology; Prof. Peter Neubauer / Bioprocess Engineering). The focus is on developing new ideas and technologies for fungal and lichen based materials for the future. Art Laboratory Berlin bridges the gap between science, art, design and the public and offers various Citizen Science formats. The Artist- and Design-Residencies with Fara Peluso and Theresa Schubert bring in art and design as constructive sources of ideas for this research project.
(More information)

With the generous support of the Technische Universität Berlin as part of the program Citizen Science - Forschen mit der Gesellschaft:

Discussion Workshop and Livestream:

DIY Hack the Panke

Microplastics and Coexistence
Kat Austen and Nana MacLean

Wednesday 22 April 2020 from 5:30-7:00 pm

What 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 Berlin.

Joana 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 Berlin.

Supported by the Berlin State office for Culture and Europe:

Special thanks to Ken Rinaldo

Cooperation partners:

*Stranger 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"

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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