Mediamatic 2019

Here you will find an overview of our highlights, go here to see the full overview of our 2019 program or click here to view who we will work with this year

And more: exhibitions, presentations and workshops.


One of the participants of the Design your own Shroud wrapped in a cloth - Designing Death is a workshop, were  participants can actively think about their passing and can design their own burial shroud. Hereby they used an old traditional Dutch way of c ustomize it.  Filippo Iannone


In 2019 we took part in Museum Night again, this time with the theme of death. We approached this theme in interactive ways, including a selfie coffin and quarter-length conversations with artist Irina Birger. We also offered a shroud workshop and ran a peaceful beauty salon where guests could have their faces pampered and immortalized in a "death mask".


21-11-2019 Visitors receiving a facial treatment in our Death Beauty Salon - During Museumnacht we looked at death. All our rooms were dedicated to death. With a soundscape sounding through every room, guests could have a 15 minute one-on-one with artist Irina Birger, take a selfie in a coffin or design a death shroud. Guests could also win a relaxing facial treatment with a death mask as the result.


11-11-2019 Susanne Duijvestein interviewed by At5 during Museumnacht - Workshop with Susanne Duijvestein It used to be Dutch tradition to make your own shroud, wear it on your wedding night, and put it away until you died. This workshop will enable you to work on designing your shroud. Anisa Xhomaqi

Night Garden

De first edition of Night Garden was held in 2006. Night Garden is an event series in which we invite people to share their unique plant-related journeys. Come join us in this parallel universe accompanied by dreamy DJ sets and botanical dancing to keep your winter hearts warm! 

Using the series Mediamatic will foster a better understanding and establish communication between people and indoor plants. Learning together through playing, interactive exploration and entertainment.

We had performances and DJ's from Alexandra Duvekot, Yon Eta, LULU, Tomislav Feller & S. M. Schneider, Anastasia Loginova, Michal Mitro, Tony Guarino and DJ Plasticboy. And also with MC's Aroma Jockey Flora Dulleman.

A special thanks to: Maria, Aron en Patrick.


15-12-2018 Cultivation of Sounds - Alexandra in the middle of discussion about her project - Artist and musician Alexandra Duvekot (1984) started researching the sound of plants early September 2012 at the bio lab of The School Of Visual Arts in NYC.  "Plant sounds" can be understood as a means of communication and it appears that plants react to mankind and its environment. The real sound of plants themselves is hard to capture, but data and vibrations can be converted to sound in meaningful ways. The desire to hear the sound of plants lead to thorough research and dialogues with… Tia Török


We have organized more than 70 workshops in 2019. With these workshops we have given our audience the opportunity to learn and do for themselves. The workshops are an extension of the various program lines such as fermentation, death and smell. We added a number of new workshops to our range this year: Botanikurs 101, Blending a Rose Accord, Creating Cacti, Co-Design with Microbes, Design your own Shroud, Distilling a Scent Bouquet and Sculpting Textiles. In addition, in September we had Dora Goldsmith as a guest, who spoke at Odorama about the smell of Egypt and the next day gave a workshop about the smell of mummification.


25-11-2019 Yeast in a cell-culture dish - In Yeast Hunting, you will learn how to catch wild yeast from nature, how to manage a pure yeast culture and how to grow your favorite yeast strain. One of the most important tastemakers in beer happens to be a living organism: yeast.  Filippo Iannone


28-09-2018 Martijn Baas explaining cacti - Enten is a technique by which you join plants together. It is usually used to grow identical fruits on different fruit trees. The upper part of these trees is grafted with shoots from the same mother tree and thus produces exactly the same type of fruit. You can do the same with cacti. When cacti are grafted, the lower cactus influences the flowering and growth time of the upper cactus. Cacti lives in different habitats (desert, snow or jungle) and even they can be grafted together and become a… Alice Gimpel

With: Martijn Baas

Attendees touching the textile that's been manipulated with heat - Elnaz Assar


Ambergris, Milk - Scent of a Woman, Scent from Heaven, Leather Galore, Mapping Scent, The Male Haze, The Smell that Sells

Who would think that a whale turd could be as valuable as gold? On March 14, we dedicated the first Odorama of the year to the rare perfume ingredient Ambergris . With our speakers we discussed, among other things, the value of the washed up Potvis in 2016 and the image of smell in 16th century paintings. In the 2nd edition of Odorama in 2019 we smoke breast milk.  We unraveled the history of the womb as a sense of smell and talked about a future where men breastfeed.

Over the past year, we also looked at the symbolism of fragrance in communities, such as in Scent from Heaven or Leather Galore . The word perfume is a corruption of the Latin words per fumum: through smoke. In many ancient belief systems, it was thought that scents were the correct language to match the immaterial state of the gods: invisible, indescribable, and elusive. Egypt and Europe listened to different stories of fragrance as a messenger to the gods. In addition, we unraveled the secret scent of leather in  Leather Galore . We looked at the symbolism in the fetish community, its use in medicinal practices and the smell of tanning.

In addition, we also connected geography and scent in 2019. Together with Caro Verbeek, Dora Goldsmith, Birthe Leemeijer, Kate McLean and Gayil Nalls, we looked at the different possibilities in Mapping Scent . We smelled the scent of Ancient Egypt, collected the polder in a bottle and divided the city into different scent zones.

A real man smells like the Ax commercials, or so we think. The Male Haze  distinguished the cultural and biological aspects of "men's scent". During The Smell that Sells , also the last Odorama of the year  , we looked at how marketing can make use of scent. 


Raymond Timmer speaking about the importance of leather in the fetish community - Anisa Xhomaqi


Breastfeeding kit by Marie Claire Springham - Alongside taking the appropriate hormones, this kit allow men to breastfeed.  Tia Török


Caro Verbeek introducing the theme of the evening - Anisa Xhomaqi

With: Caro Verbeek

"Les portraits olfactifs" - The «olfactory portraits» are portraits of intimacies. They are the results of encounters between an artist and a population, an opportunity to discuss. By asking everyone to show me the cosmetic products he would use every day and by taking the picture in his house, they let me get in their private smelly life. They open to everyone the possibilities to imagine and to realise the smell of their necks, hairs... It not only a projection of the inside to the outside, of the self to the other but… Boris Raux


Guests smelling the perfume of leather - Anisa Xhomaqi

Open Tour

This year for the first time every Friday our doors opened to the curious visitor. During our tours we walked past all our different spaces and installations and gave the visitor an impression of the rich life in the Biotope. 

Neo Futurist Dinner

The Eating of People, A La Mano - the Spring Edition, Children of O, The Beauty Dinner
After two successful years with Neo Futurist Dinners, we started the year with a controversial dinner: The Eating of People. In May, a total of 154 people, of which more than 60% tried their own blood. Chef Bryce Steba served bread, asparagus and chocolate mousse. He invited guests to add their own blood. The dinner emphasized the philosophical questions that blood entails: why is it permissible to use all creatures for our own purposes and everyone stands on their hind legs when a piece of human is used - even if this human being there totally not suffer? Why does self-consumption provoke resistance? Can it be tasty? Is it contagious? 

After the summer, we asked food designer Giulia Soldati and chef Tommaso Buresti to do a spring edition of their A La Mano dinner, a culinary experience in six courses where taste is enriched with touch. Your bare hands explore different temperatures, textures and shapes. Crunchy, fresh, sweet, velvety, warm and cool alternated.

Together with the Food non Food department, we wondered what happens when a water shortage occurs and playfully investigated the effects of climate change on our food culture and on our relationship to water. In an all too credible dystopian scenario, they created The Children of O, the people who stayed in Amsterdam with the aim of finding solutions to the lack of fresh water. To celebrate their water ingenuity, they invite their fellow survivors to an annual ceremony at Mediamatic.

What is the connection between cosmetics and food? Shouldn't everything you eat be just as safe for your skin? Margherita Soldati, Alice Héron and Krisztina Czika developed the last dinner of the year at Mediamatic, which was half a beauty salon and half a delicious dinner. The 8 courses were performed playfully among the guests. Face masks could be eaten in combination with a dish and at the same time cared for the skin. Cleansing, Moisturizing, Exfoliating, Nourishing, Detoxing, Steaming and Cooling were all part of the treatment. 


Guest eating bread, oil, salt and blood - Course 1


Twirling spaghetti between fingers - Course 5 - Dipping Elizabeth Vasilyeva

With: Anne Lakeman

- Elizabeth Vasilyeva


Putting Edible patches on faces - Course 6 - Detoxing Our skin protects us, but how much do we care for it? As a society, we rely on chemical creams that promise us miraculous results and seem to forget that the skin is an organ, and just like our bellies deserves something yummy and kind. For this 7-course dinner, artists Margherita Soldati, Krisztina Czika, and Chef Alice Herón created edible face masks served with lovely plant-based dishes. Inspired by the natural exfoliants and skin-renewing properties of the many foods around us, this dinner… Filippo Iannone

Beauty products from body liquids

3-Package Deal: Isabel Burr Raty

Artist Isabel Burr Ray worked during the winter and spring to her Beauty Kit Female Farm in the summer. During the Beauty Kit Focus Group, she presented beauty products made from woman-body substances, and subsequently asked the public to respond critically. In the month of August, nine women finally took part in the week-long and theatrical 'farm'.

The participants learned how to harvest their own sexual liquids and how to use them to produce transpersonal unisex cosmetic products. The activities they did combined contemporary and ancient techniques designed to increase the vitality of sexual fluids. They questioned their bodies, their sexuality, their discomfort and explored their limits. On the last day, the 'farm' opened its door to the curious and you could ask questions to some of the participants and the 'patrona', Isabel Burr Raty.


Face mist made with female erogenous juices - Anne Lakeman


Visitors standing in structures built for Beauty Kit Female Farm - Anne Lakeman

Still Life

Composteren, Resomation, Saponification and Taxidermy, Death Architecture

This year we started our collaboration with Susanne Duijvestein and started our new program about death, Still Life. Subjects such as composting or resomizing the human body were discussed. As a final part of one of the evenings we composted a muskrat in our own garden. In the third edition of Still Life, we looked at how architecture can affect death. What a funeral looks like and where it happens can have an immense effect on how we relate to death as a community. In combination with giving shroud workshops and our museum night program, we tried to make death a more discussed and approachable topic. 

Liza Witte, Amber Veel, Robin Beers, Rowin Snijder, David Rademacher, Theun Karelse and Stichting Metamorfose, among others, came to speak.


26-06-2019 Susanne Duijvestein resomating a muskrat - During our Resomation, Saponification and Taxidermy presentations and Designing Death workshops we observed the meaning of death in our society and looked at sustainable scenarios for the future. With talks from Sabrina Franken, Amber Veel, Liza Witte and Susanne Duijvestein.     Anisa Xhomaqi


Theun Karelse presenting his view on the beauty of nature and vanitas -

The Morphology of Fish

What is actually swimming in the Oosterdok? This educational collection was created together with artist Mandy Den Elzen. In her art practice she uses animal material and transforms it into beautiful sculptures. The collection of 17 Amsterdam fish gills surrounds our Aquaponics greenhouse and with its special shapes invites passers-by to come and discover. Most gills are freshwater fish often found in estuaries or coastal waters, just like the IJ and the docks. Some are also known as food items, such as bream, cod, perch or whiting.


Two fresh fish gills - Clara Froumenty


Pleuronectes platessa - Filippo Iannone

Hortus Dijkspark


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How well do you know the nature around you? Many different plants grow around our Biotope, from healing to poisonous, from dark green to purple. Hortus Dijkspark is a project with which we want to teach people about the medicinal properties of the plants.


21-03-2020 Hortus Dijkspark - Starting from Dijkspark, we're mapping the flowers in our city.  A big variety of plants is growing around our Biotoop, from healing to toxic, from dark green to purple. You can visit the Hortus Dijkspark at any moment. Filippo Iannone


Together with Timberland and 150 other people, we learned more about making the city greener. We hosted workshops and organized a volunteer day in our garden. Together we prepared the Dijkspark for the winter.


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As part of a longer-term project, Ruchama Noorda launched the Tumulus in June 2019. A living installation that continuously changes shape and will continue to change until February 2023. The Tumulus is a  bounded garden installation that functions as a natural ruin, compost pile, cement and earth sculpture, seed bed, earthworks, lo-tech fountain, drinking / paint well, and dunghill. The Tumulus will go through 5 phases including Blue Monday, a closing ceremony where the Wede that has grown on the Tumulus over the past year will be turned into a blue war paint. 


Top view on Tumulus during the Growth Imperative - by Victoria Ushkanova

Clean Lab

Our Cleanlab provides space in the city for research into microorganisms, fungi, fermentation and chemical processes. This year we tried out various gastronomic studies with our Cleanlab team. Could you normally use poisonous acorns in bitterballen? And what shapes can you make from tempeh? We expanded our knowledge of fermentation and participated in the pop-up dinner of Mikkel Karstad and A La Mano: The Spring Edition.

Enlarge Edition.

The Team in front of the Clean Lab conducting the Resomation Test - Part of the experiment "The resomation of fungal tissue" Elizabeth Vasilyeva


Acorn bitterballen - Elizabeth Vasilyeva


The benefit of a jellyfish infestation? This year we experimented with a jellyfish as a material and as food.


13-11-2019 Jellyfish in salt - Experimenting with Jellyfishes in various substances. Filippo Iannone


In collaboration with Brewery Oedipus, Zeger Reyers went round the year with the elderberry. Under the leadership of head brewer Sander Nederveen and with the help of the fascination of Zeger Reyers, we brewed four beers with the main ingredient Sambucus nigra, or the common elderberry. On the trial-and-test evenings that we organized in 2018, we examined the blossoms and branches of the elderberry with weeder and sommelier Carlo Pellati. This year it was the turn of the other two seasonal ingredients: elderberry and the Judas ear. Together with Philipp Kolmann we discussed the use of (weed) herbs in the brewing process and the locality of flavor. 

After going four times through the taste of the season, the collaboration resulted in a Mediamatic cuvée: the taste of the year. During the presentation evening at the Oedipus brewery, we tasted the spicy drink that is reminiscent of a herbal aperitif, with notes of fruit, liquorice and earthy mushrooms.


Zeger Reyers and Sander Neereveen talking about inspiration and process of making the cuvée - Maxim Damper

With: Zeger Reyers

Mediamatic Cuvée - Studio Oedipus No. 19 - WILD ALE - 6.5% Over the course of a year we collaborated with Mediamatic and artist Zeger Reyers on four seasonal beers made with different parts of the Elder tree: branches, berries, flowers and the Judas Ear mushrooms that grow on it. This cuvée is a blend of the branch and berry beers with mushrooms and elderflower added later. The flavours combine to form “Vlierbier”: a spicy drink reminiscent of a herbal aperitif, with notes of fruit, liquorice and earthy mushrooms.

Open Aroma Lab

At the end of September, we opened the Aroma Lab every Thursday as a workshop. Led by Frank Bloem and Niklaus Mettler, we hope to be  a Lab where all people, from novice to professional, can come use our fragrance library.


Mixing, experimenting and smelling: A busy Open Aroma Lab - Filippo Iannone

Olfactory History Oosterdok

In 2022, a major exhibition about the history of the Oosterdok will take place in Amsterdam; the eastern part of the old port of the city. In 2019, we will take the first research steps in the form of a number of openly published blogs led by Irene Craen. Drugs, herring, nutmeg, mothballs, bread and gunpowder: in the OHO blogs , various topics are exposed with smell as an angle. In addition, after the Open Call, a number of artists came to our Biotoop to conduct research, including Masuma Halai Khwaja, Jonas Klinkenberg and Jan Jedenak.



Dirty Amsterdam canal - Oudezijds Achterburgwal 17 t/m 39A (links)(vlnr.) Source: Amsterdam City Archive


For Life in Plastic is not Fantastic by AMFI's label iNDiViDUALS, GENERATION26 transformed our Sluisdeurenloods into a supermarket where you could not only buy food. In addition to some apples and milk cartons, they also showed various future scenarios, a critical look at the fashion industry and waste production. Designer Zyanya Keizer is also inspired by fungi, trees, fungi and other pieces of nature. Between the work of Lizan Freijsen, she showed her new collection CONATUS 1, about the survival instinct of every living being.


Group shot of CONATUS 1 by Zyanya Keizer - by Team Peter Stigter Carpets by Lizan Freijsen


Tijdens de Life in Plastic is not Fantastic show - Moment opname tijdens de iNDiViDUALS show in de Sluisdeurenloods, Life in Plastic is not Fantastic, waar boodschappen en consumptie centraal stonden. Beeld: Carly Wollaert

Mediamatic Bon.

This year, we developed a gift card with our team to share experiences. The Bon was born from the idea that giving a gift can be more fun and easier than sending a bottle of wine. Sharing knowledge and experiences is central to Mediamatic and this can be done in various ways. We wanted that flexibility and diversity with our Bon. Making it accessible to our customers and their loved ones. The Bon can be purchased through our website and is cashed in by booking a workshop or presentation or by buying a dinner of your choice. In addition, the Bon. a gift in itself, it can be folded with instructions into a beautiful gift card.


Bon. - Mediamatic gift card Koop een bon voor je vriend, familie lid of collega en laat hen zelf kiezen wanneer en waaraan ze deze wil besteden. Mogelijkheden zijn onze leuke workshops, lezingen of lekker plantaardig uit eten. Kijk op onze website voor ons aanbod en mogelijkheden.  Federica Lombardi, Louis Riesterer

Precious Burden

Autistic designer Asefeh Tayebani wants to use her work to increase understanding about her neurological disorder. Her work allows the wearer to physically experience what being on the spectrum can feel like. An electric shock to the arm or an unbearably sharp sound in your ear when the train passes by is the daily reality of a large group of people around us. Tayebani  is convinced that understanding the environment can make themselves and perhaps other people with a disease feel that they matter and that their condition should not be hidden away. Tayebani's work is exhibited in our Plant Room and can be felt every Friday during the Open Tour. 


Blindfolded drawing an oyster and trusting your nose with what you smell. During various school visits from, among others, the Alan Turingschool and the Orion College, we explored the Biotope with our senses.


10-04-2019 Students of the Alan Turing School look at Haeckel's micro-organisms - We offer an education program for youngsters of the Orion College and the Alan Turing School. To enlarge the knowledge of themes in the field of biology and micro-organisms.


Student Orion College writing the recipe of their perfume -

Pop-up Dinners

Uitvist, Ever Green, Nomadic Picnic
The different pop-up dinners each showed in their own way alternatives to form an equal relationship with nature. Is it time to rethink our food traditions? For example, is there a plant-based alternative to the fish menu? Can we learn to include the seasons more consciously in our diet? Would it help to get to know ourselves better by eating together in silence?


Mikkel Karstad preparing dessert -


Nomadic Picnic - DAY Collective

Pop-up Events

Odam, Habit(ats), Mélange


Mediamatic by night - Tia Török


We are proud of our collaborations in 2019 with these partners: Alan Turingschool, AMFI - iNDiViDUALS, APRA, Dance Divine + Elisa Lind, DAY Collective, Design Academy Eindhoven - Food non-Food, Ecomare, Expeditie Oosterdok, Marres, Mocca Amsterdam, Mycophilia , N8, Nachtlab Agency, Nemo - Weekend van de Science, Oedipus Brewing, Orion College, PLANTMOM, Plastic Whale, Soulpicks, Voice of the Night, KIBII Foundation, Metamorfose Foundation, susanne at farewell, The Dutch Institute of Food & Design, Timberland , Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Fish Out, We Make the City, Wellant College

All Mediamatic activities have been made possible in part by the Creative Industries Fund NL, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts and Mondriaan Fund.