31 May 2013
7 Jun 2013

As part of Techno Ecologies, Baltan Laboratories presents the workshop “BIOTRICITY” and the installation “BACTERIA BATTERY No.5” during the Dutch Technology week.


Bacteria Battery No. 5 -

Sunday June 2, 2013
Location: Schellensfabriek, Eindhoven
Time: 16:00 – 21:30
Workshop leaders: Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits and Arturs Gruduls

As part of Techno Ecologies, Baltan Laboratories presents the workshop “BIOTRICITY” and the installation “BACTERIA BATTERY No.5” during the Dutch Technology week.

The workshop “BIOTRICITY” explores the connection between water treatment and green energy production. The workshop is experimenting with the ‘next-generation’ biotechnology (called – microbial fuel cells / MFC) and how it can be approached and interpreted through artistic perspective and cultural innovation. MFC technology is based on a bio-electrochemical system that converts chemical energy to electrical energy by using microorganisms – bacteria found in the commonly available resource such as, for instance, wastewater.

During the workshop participants learn how to make a cell from bacteria living in water and to built ‘bacteria-battery’ system. Participants will also be experimenting with using different energy sources (soil, wastewater), introducing with scientific visions and artistic approaches to this emerging technologies, as well as developing collaborative and conceptual ideas for “bacteria-battery” future design, tools for measuring and modulation that can be used for artistic interpretations, sonifications and visualizations. As a result of the workshop cells will be built, each of which will be producing about 0,6 V electricity. The cells will be connected together in a chain creating a “bacteria battery”.

No fee for the workshop. Apply before 31 May via

A networked bio-energy & sound Installation
Friday 31 May – Friday 7 May
Location: Schellensfabriek, Eindhoven
by Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits, Martins Ratnik, Voldemars Johansons

‘Bacteria Battery No.5′ is an innovative art and science collaboration project by Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits and Martins Ratniks together with sound artist and composer Voldemars Johansons and young biologists from University of Latvia. The installation consists of a cell network altogether creating a ‘bacteria battery’. A part of the battery is aligned at the exhibition space in illuminated plastic containers whereas the other part operates remotely from a pond in Latvian rural area which is streamed live on one of the monitors at the exhibition space while another monitor displays microscopic images of the bacteria environment offering a limited insight into this invisible world. This ‘bacteria fuel’ process is interpreted in sound structures providing an aesthetic perspective on the mutual relations between nature and technology, biologic systems and electronic networks.

About the artists:
Rasa Smite is an artist, network researcher and cultural innovator. She is working with science and emerging media technologies. Smite is one of key founders of RIXC, chief-editor of Acoustic Space journal series, and organizer of the Art+Communication festival in Riga. Currently she also is an Associate Professor of New Media Art Programme and researcher at Art Research Lab (MPLab)/ Liepaja University.

Raitis Smits is an artist, curator and researcher on new media culture and networked arts. Currently he works as Assistant Professor in Visual communication departement at the Latvian Academy of Arts, where he also is a PhD candidate. Together with Rasa Smite, he is a key founder of E-Lab – electronic arts laboratory and RIXC – artist collective and new media cultural center in Riga.

Martins Ratniks is a video artist and designer, working together with E-Lab/RIXC since 1997. He is also one of the founding members of artists collective F5. He is an Assistant Professor in the Visual Communication department at Art Academy of Latvia and he works as an artist and designer in RIXC.

Voldemars Johansons is an artist and composer. He works with audio/data in forms of composition, installation and performance. He studied at the Institute of Sonology in Hague and the Latvian Academy of Music. His work deals with acoustics and sound processing, examining aspects of spatiality, physicality and interaction in context of real and virtual environments and their hybrid intersections.

Arturs Gruduls is a biologist. He is currently finishing his Masters at the Faculty of Biology at Latvian University. His research is devoted to ‘bacteria battery’ experiments, looking for ways to use micro-bial fuel cell (MFC) technology to produce electricity and bio-hydrogen.

Techno Ecologies:
Baltan Laboratories is one of the co-organising partners in the Techno-Ecologies project, along with ARS LONGA (FR), the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts (FI), the Finnish Society of Bioart (FI), Liepaja University (LV), Napon – Institute for Flexible Cultures and Technologies (RS), and the Vilnius Academy of Arts (LT). The Techno-Ecologies project aims to re-approach cultural, social and ecological sustainability through artistic explorations and cultural innovation

This workshop and installation takes place during Dutch Technology Week and is organised in co-operation with STRP. STRP meets DTW