Apr 21' - Nov 22'

Elise Chalcraft

Workshop Producer and Manager / Aquaponics Assistant


Elise Chalcraft - Aquaponics Assistant Picture taken in Norway whilst working and sailing with InTheSameBoat (NGO) cleaning the Norwegian coast of marine pollution. Elise Chalcraft

 I have worked as an Aquaponics Assistant in Mediamatic's Greenhouse from April - September 2021 and moved from the greenhouse upstairs into the office to work as the workshop manager and producer until November 2022, transferring my organisational skills to producing wonderful workshops to be experienced at Mediamatic. 

I am a 1st class honours MSc graduate at Queen's University Belfast of Leadership for Sustainable Development in 2021. I have lived in the Netherlands since 2016, completing my BSc in Sociology & Urban Studies at Erasmus University College in Rotterdam in 2019. 

I am fundamentally curious about unpacking social norms and habits to see where improvements and behaviours shifts can be made to be more sustainable holistically. Coming from a Liberal Arts & Science background, I use multiple perspectives and backgrounds to solve problems and offer interdisciplinary solutions. 

My many hats at Mediamatic:

One part of Mediamatic that I really loved was how much cross-pollination and exploring of all sectors there was. I would be working in the greenhouse in the morning, in the office for meetings, then back to the barn to finish a project before starting out in the garden all in one day. A good friend told me that I needed different hats for all the different jobs I was doing so people knew where I was going! 

Also known as: Pigeon MC, Bokashi dumper, Garden lady, Ratticus, not Megan, Workshop manager, Program manager, up-and-coming graphic designer, Stager connoisseur, mushroom dancer, fish lover, etc.

Program Manager & Workshop Production:

I was a Program Manager between September 2021 and November 2022. Along the way I met many incredible people and took part in projects that I will telling stories about for many years to come. My main focus was on producing workshops and expanding Mediamatic's library of workshops. I was jumped aboard many existing workshops such as:

I produced many more in combination with fellow workshop production assistants and artists such as:

Finally, I also helped close and round off some workshops such as


Building Miniponics system as a team - During the Building Aquaponics Systems workshop


I was also the mentor to numerous interns who passed through Mediamatic during their 100 day internships here. I mentored Aquaponics interns, Program interns, Pigeon tower interns, Aroma Lab interns, Inhuman Carnaval interns, and exhibition interns. Mentoring including assigning daily tasks, keeping an overview of their progress, having weekly check-ins to check how they are doing, but professionally and personally, helping them with tasks they are stuck on, having weekly meetings with other teams in Mediamatic, and organising their evaluations and follow ups of their work. I also trained 5 different interns to be workshop production assistants to help me produce more workshops at Mediamatic. 
I have learnt just as much from my interns as they have hopefully from me. Not only did we focus on daily tasks at Mediamatic, but also on knowledge about up keeping in the garden, production tips and tricks, DIY and carpentry skills, and how to know when compost is ready to put on the beds. 
Thank you to my interns Ada, Alix, Ana, Andreas, Ariana, Aya, Dasha, Fenella, Floortje, Francesca, Fred, Georgia, Iliana, Jip, Margherita, Marguerite, Rachel, Sadhbh, Sophia, Stefan, and Thibaut for making it so lovely to work at Mediamatic.


My experience as an Aquaponics Assistant was incredible, filled with lots of learning, evolving, adapting and deciding. I grew my skills alongside the plants and 128 African catfish in technical, botanical, ecological, and organisational sectors. I also was part of the bar staff having working bar & hosting shifts and cooking for all employees during my cleaning shifts using homegrown aquaponics produce. I gave edible flower tours around the greenhouse on Friday's Open Tours and whenever there was a curious guest to Mediamatic. 


Playing the Twijfel Zaaien game with others - Reopening of Twijfel Zaaien/Casting Doubt 2021 In April 2021 was the reopening of the exhibition Twijfel Zaaien/Casting Doubt. 


I managed stocks of current nutrients and supplies within the greenhouse, worked up plans for planting season of Twijfel Zaaien, helped find ethical and reliable suppliers for biological pest control, prepared and planned project proposals to a strict timeframe, gave presentations about current work processes to the team in a confident and precise manner, time management skills evolved in order to multitask on the multiple different projects in order to finish them on time and up to standard.

Botanical & Ecological:

I learnt a lot about a huge variety of edible plants and flowers, both inside and out of the greenhouse, including exotic plants like wasabi, karela, and tibetan poppies. I learnt better ways to propagate and plant seeds within rock-wool cubes and how to care for seedlings appropriately. I used airpots to promote better root development and felt bags to plant wasabi to ensure constant retention of water within the plant. I learnt a lot about fish welfare and behaviour during my project on adapting the diet of the catfish to include waste streams within the greenhouse. I made numerous scales to assess fish wellbeing and happiness that can be used in future year. I learnt the proper and least stressful way to weigh a fish and how to maintain the system to ensure they are as happy as can be. 

My overall experience was incredible. Both working within the greenhouse and expanding my horticultural and ecologist knowledge but also within a motivated and highly diverse team from a plethora of backgrounds. 


Elise planting seeds in the Aquaponics - Spring gardening preparations 2021  In Spring 2021 the growth of new outdoorplants was supported by the warm temperatures of the Aquaponics. Our Aquaponics team worked on the preparation and care of the seedlings.

The Garden

Alongside working inside on workshop development and production, I also was in charge of over 200 different plants and over 50 growbeds here in the Dijkspark. This came in the form of communal gardening, a task we did as a team to maintain the growbeds, the plants within, and the area surrounding Mediamatic. I ran the communal gardening every Tuesday afternoon along with fellow plant gurus Simone Brus, Mieke, and Anke Visser. I was able to put into practice all I had learnt from the greenhouse and help the plants flourish in and around Mediamatic. Some tasks as Garden manager were teaching the team how to water growbeds and use the hose, how to weed, plant recognition, compost turning, bokashi emptying, harbour cleaning, pigeon tower destroying, grow bed construction and maintenance, replanting and repotting, bulb ordering, landscaping, herb harvesting, hedge trimming, and soil sieving.


Elise taking care of Hard Water -

De Hortus

I took over the management of the project De Hortus where we plant signs in the Dijkspark showing the medicinal value of each plant. I focused mainly on the planting of the signs and making sure they were the correct plants, correct medicinal values, the maintenance of the plant database, and the actual making of the signs. This included glueing of the signs, welding the sings, and prepping the garden. 
I also ran the team of enthusiastic hortus lovers research and learn about the different plants we have in the Dijkspark and set them up to continue the project long after I am gone. I learnt so much from the hortus team mostly from how enthusiastic they are around the project. 

The Costume Lab

I was the coordinator of Mediamatic's Costume Lab launch in Dutch Design Week in 2021. I made a space available to all attending Dutch Design week to be able to make a costume as part of Mediamatic's Inhuman Carnaval program. Along with Anouck Beckers and Kristin Maurer, we worked on redeveloping the costume lab to have weekly open costume lab events in Mediamatic. 


Creating costumes in the Open Costume Lab - At Dutch Design Week 2021 we are hosting an open costume lab where participants are creating amazing costumes from species in our ego system, while hopefully becoming more aware of the biodiversity of our planet. Caroline Aravicius

Fungi Trail

I ran a collaborative program between 3 institutions in Amsterdam including, ARTIS-Micropia, de Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, and Mediamatic. I was the liaison between the 3 organisations and we made a program centred around fungi. I had a blast being involved with all 3 organisations and getting the public's focus back down to the fungi, spores, and yeasts. 

Thank yous

I would like to take a moment to thank all those who I have met along the way during my time here at Mediamatic. 

To all the collaborators and artists I had the pleasure of working with, producing workshop with, and managing their events:
Alice Héron, Amber Rahantoknam, Anna Frijstein, Anna Gimbrere, Annemarie Verschoor, Arne Hendriks, Arthur Guilleminot, ARTIS-Micropia, Astrid Ardagh, Asuka Kondo, Benedikt Fischer, Bert Sliggers, Clemens Driessen, Conny Groenewegen, Csilla Lakatos, David Kerssens Goedhart, Densie Huigen, Desiree Hammen, DJ Huppeldepup, Emma Fukuwatari Huffman, Eros Risiglione, Esmé Calis, Esmee Geerken, Frank Bloem, Gentle Ink, Hanne Johne, Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, Ilya Rabinovich, Irina Birger, Iris Klaver, Iris Toonen, Iris Woutera, Isaac Monté, Jesse Asselman, Jimmy Paul, Jin Lee, Katja Novitskova, Kiki van Caspel, Kristin Maurer, Lea Jenny, Lizan Freijsen, Lizette van Hecke, Lynn Shore, Margherita Soldati, Mari Bastashevski, Mariko Hori, Marjolein Vogels, Martine Butler, Martine Albitrouw-Segijn, Miles Worner, Mily Bogaarts, Nadie Borggreve, Nelke Mast, Niels Albers, Niklaus Mettler, Pauline Wiersema, Philipp Kolmann, Philipp Schueller, Pim Walters, Rachel Barfield, René Nissen, Rosan Selles, Ruchama Noorda, Saba van Hoften, Sally Fenaux Barleycorn, Saskia Frederiks, Selma Carlsson, Simon Marsiglia, Spill Gold, Studio Nepco, Susan Kooi, Susanne Duijvestein, Suzanne Bernhardt, Thomas Thwaites, Venla Elonsalo, Vincent Gernot, Vita Buivid, Vivian Goerlich, Wei Min Zhu, Willem Wits, Willem van Egmond, and Zeger Reyes. 

To all my colleagues and staff I worked alongside with in the Biotoop:
Abigail Setiadi, Afra Commandeur, Anne Hofstra, Anne Lakeman, Anke Visser, Anouk Beckers, Aster Fliers, Avery Franken, Bogna, Chela Chen, Daniël Smit, Gino Marengo, Guus Berkhout, Iines Ramårk, Jeanne Rousselot, Jesse Blauw, Joci Száz, Julia van der Veen, Kamiel Rongen, Lea Ellemann, Luisa Tobinski, Maartje Koch, Marie van Niekerk, Mieke, Mitchi, Naomi van Dijck, Noah Oijnhausen, Pauline Picauly, Polina Fenko, Raad van Toezicht, Sacha Knezevic, Sara-Lot van Uum, Saro van Cleynenbreugel, Simone Brus, Sjoerd Houben, Skaiste Venckeviciute, Sophie Schulte, Victor Bridault, and Victoria Mazzone.

To all my wonderful interns who I had the pleasure of not only working alongside, but also learning from, and thriving from. I thank you all <3
Aakash Nair, Abdul Hadi Paryani, Abhay Villa, Abigail Setiadi, Ada de Gooyer, Alessandra Avanzi, Alix Briere, Ana Brichta, Andrea Valdivia, Andreas Buben, Anna Lina Litz, Ariana Amirhosseini, Aya Koné, Ben Hopley, Bogdana Schiopu, Camila d'Estutt d'Assay, Camilla Calamai, Candice Chemel, Caroline Aravicius, Dasha Lohvynova, Diana Neder, Ejla Miletic, Eszter Jambor, Fenella Mawdsley, Francesca Nichioti, Fredrik Link, Georgia Dalloro, Héloïse Floc'h, Hyunsuh Kim, Illiana Metaxa, Ismini Kyritsis, Jana Stockerer, Jeanne Rousselot, Jessica Cohen, Jikke Lesterhuis, Josie Dibnah, Kristin Kvisle, Kumi Allen, Linh Nguyen, Linxia Auzannet, Lisa Witte, Margherita Falqui, Marguerite d'Ervau, Maria Hadjicosti, Maria Millesimi, Maureen Kortenbusch, Minh Sandberg, Nour Akoum, Petra Baturova, Petro Prattis, Rachel Barfield, Sadhbh O'Donnell, Sandra Ruiz Castroviejo, Saskia Heinemann, Stefan van der Wal, Suzana Orsolic, Teun Freriks, and Tibaut Counot.


A special thank you to Jans and Willem for taking the chance on me and for allowing me to learn along the way.



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