Odorama: Scent and Scentsuality

With Lauryn Mannigel, Astrid Groot, Klara Ravat, Roald de Boer, Ibo Bakker

29 Nov 2017

Why are we attracted to some people and not to others? Many answers that try to explain sexual attraction point towards pheromones as a biological explanation for strong bodily desire. Scent is often seen as the lowest amongst the senses. It is the one that makes no sense, but that often causes the most immediate bodily response. Before you know it, you are drawn to somebody. During this edition of Odorama, we explore the scentsual aspect of scent.

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Body Odour - Anisa Xhomaqi

Odorama is a collaboration between Mediamatic and Caro Verbeek.

Astrid Groot

At the University of Amsterdam, Astrid Groot researches how sexual attraction is involved in the initial divergence of populations. In this sense, sexual attraction is approached as the first step in speciation. Since sexual attraction can directly lead to assortative mating, we aim to understand which genes are involved in within-species variation and which factors may cause variation in sexual attraction.

Lauryn Mannigel

Artist Lauryn Mannigel co-founded the Smell Lab (2015) and runs the Sensory Culture Club reading group (2016-) in Berlin. Currently, she is investigating how we affectively perceive human body scents. For Museumnacht Amsterdam 2016, Mediamatic invited her to develop the olfactory dating performance, Love Sweat Love. The public — playing a crucial role — activated the performance by collecting their body scents, as well as smelling and selecting their favourites from a large collection of body scents. They were guided through the smelling process by a short survey. For Odorama, Lauryn will unveil the insights into the affective perception of body scent that result from this performance.

Klara Ravat

Klara Ravat is the co-founder of the Smell Lab, a community project that focuses on the investigation and practice of the art and science of the sense of smell. By opposing the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, she absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. 


Love Sweat Love Museumnight 2016 - Anisa Xhomaqi

Roald de Boer

Roald de Boer wanted to become a firefighter, a doctor, a writer, an alcoholic, a quizmaster, and a film director but became an editorial assistant. He got fired after 25 years, graduated from Rietveld Academy, made a couple of short films with a voyeuristic touch and has been a zine-maker since 1996. In his zines, he often explores deviant fascinations and sexual preferences. During this Odorama he will present the process of acquiring used panties online - a fetish for many men allegedly because of the intimate scent - of which he documented each step in 2008 in one of his zines. Until now he never dared to open the package.

Ibo Bakker

Ibo Bakker sings, writes and performs. In the tradition of the old folk singers and storytellers, he brings old stories back to life. He finds inspiration in old hypnotic hymns from Asia and Persia. During this scentual Odorama, Ibo performs his edit of the famous Screamin' Jay Hawkins song: I put a smell on you. 


Odorama: Scent and Scentsuality
Wednesday 29 November
Program starts at 20:00
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam
Tickets: €7,50 pre-sale | €10 door | Students €5 (excl. Administration fee)