Mediamatic 2020

Here you will find an overview of our highlights, go here to see the full overview of our 2020 program or who we worked with this year.

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01-05-2020 Serres Séparées - Testing Serres Séparées at Mediamatic ETEN - We offer a really nice plant-based dinner in our greenhouses on the Amsterdam water side of the Oosterdok. Because of Covid-19, these chambres séparées are recommended only for people that are already living together. Photo was taken at Mediamatic ETEN in Biotoop Dijkspark during our testing on April 28, 2020. Reproduction permitted with credit: Willem Velthoven for Mediamatic Amsterdam. #corona #covid19 #1,5meter #6feet  Willem Velthoven

Serre Séparée

During Covid-19 virus times we are intrigued by contamination precautions and the redesign of togetherness. We came up with a design to be social but with safety guidelines. Our greenhouses protect you from the outside and others, while offering you a unique experience of intimate dining. 

In restaurants and bars, a separate room is traditionally named in French: "chambre séparée". It suggests a sexy kind of intimacy, here things can happen that should remain hidden from plain sight and not be heard by all. We've decided to name our greenhouses in French too. Although what happens inside will be a lot more public..

 

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serre separree testing -

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mediamatic eten -

Space for a final goodbye

Since 2020 we offer in our warehouse a unique space for a final goodbye. All forms of life are given a place at Mediamatic. Death is inherently linked with the cycle of life. Just as nature provides room for death, so do we. As a funeral location, we like to think along with you and the undertaker about a proper goodbye. To make this farewell as beautiful and safe as possible, we provide the creative spirit of Mediamatic. As an art institute, we offer space for a special and fitting farewell. A funeral by moonlight? Arriving by boat? Life-sized projections? Almost everything is possible.

Our venue the 'Sluisdeurenloods' (floodgates warehouse) is very suitable as a location for a memorable ceremony. The warehouse was built in the end of the 19th century and is recently renovated by Mediamatic. The robust wooden building has a serene and timeless character.

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Presentatie opstelling in Sluisdeurenloods - The Canal Lock Gate Warehouse is a space for rent. More information on our for rent page Julia ter Maten

Odorama

the smell of rain, little red riding hood and the smell of fear;

Most of us remember how the streets smell after a summer rain. At the workshop 'The Smell of Rain' we look closer into the smell of what is called: petrichor. This smell petrichor is partly caused by the organic compound geosmine and bacteria that help organic matter decay. Over time these build up under stone and earth, the rain releases their perfume. The Smell of Rain is an homage to this natural phenomenon. We will look into the microbes that cause the pleasant smell after rain, humans' sensitivity to geosmine and the art installation by Saša Spačal that has captured this distinct scent.

Also in this year. We have invited our speakers to delve into this scent as we discover other ways smells tell a story. Can smell enhance the experience of a fairytale? And did you know amusement parks and cinemas use smells to influence guests? We will look at this topic through the lens of Little Red Riding Hood. We will smell of the flowers that caused Riding Hood to go off her trail and sense the Wolf's fur. 

We also were fascinated by the smell of fear. Twenty men from twenty different parts of the world, with completely different backgrounds, have one thing in common: they suffer from severe phobia. Tolaas' research project started in 2005 when these twenty men were given a small, custom made device to carry around with them at all times. When a man would feel a fear attack coming on, he would place the device under his armpit and the equipment would suck in the sweat and register its molecules. This information would be sent to Tolaas, who then simulated the sweat in her Re_searchLab in Berlin. The sweat molecules were reproduced and micro-encapsulated using nanotechnology. This meant that the molecules were safely enclosed in micro-units, which can only be activated by touch. These micro-units were then integrated into a transparent, neutral smelling binder, and applied to a wall without any clear borders except for a little markation in the left corner of each area. This resembles the randomness of bodies moving next to each other. By touching the wall, the smells are released.

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20-02-2020 Odorama: The Smell of Rain - Frank introduces the theme of this edition of Odorama - The Smell of Rain.  Most of us remember how the streets smell after a summer rain. This smell is called petrichor and is partly caused by the organic compound geosmine and bacteria that help organic matter decay. Over time these build up under stone and earth, the rain releases their perfume. The Smell of Rain was a homage to this natural phenomenon. We looked into the microbes that cause the pleasant smell after rain, humans'

With: Frank Bloem

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Little Red Riding Hood vintage illustration -

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23-01-2020 Little Red Riding Hood and the Smell of Fear - This evening we will research the smells in fairytales. Often meant to frighten children, one of the genre's staple smells is fear. We have invited our speakers to delve into this scent as we discover other ways smells tell a story.  Can smell enhance the experience of a fairytale? And did you know amusement parks and cinemas use smells to influence guests? We will look at this topic through the lens of Little Red Riding Hood. We will  smell of the flowers that caused Riding Hood to go off… Filippo Iannone

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'smell of fear' by Sissel Tolaas - Mar-Ina Uhrig

Still Life

We explore new approaches and designs for our own inevitable death with progressive funeral director Susanne Duijvestein. Lectures and workshops about architecture, rituals, life stories and the variety of death.

For our upcoming workshop parfum funèbres. We want to figure out how fragrances played an essential role in rituals surrounding death. By means of historical, contemporary and religious examples, we want to explore the relation between smell and death. In ancient times, people communicated with the dead by means of fragrant oils, and bodies were embalmed with perfumes to preserve them for eternity.  Scents can also be part of modern mourning rituals. How can people keep the scent of a deceased person alive? And which innovative funerary options are available? 

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A Plague Doctor - Photo by Kuma Kum

Meta_Bolus

Meta_bolus exposes the planetary metabolic process as an exchange of certain boluses or doses that define relationships between agents as either beneficial or adverse. The Streptomyces bacteria in the installation emit a seducing geosmin aroma, a single sniff of which can evoke the memory of a forest after rain. The aroma of wet leaves is intertwined with the history of human resistance to antibiotics. In the Anthropocene, agents are immersed in the planetary metabolic flow in which pharmacological doses are asymmetrically exchanged. Humans are no exception and non-selective pharmacological negligence can result in deadly consequences. Can humans smell the rising resistance to antibiotics?

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20-02-2020 photo of meta_bolus - We present the installation ‘Meta_bolus’ by Saša Spačal and Mirjan Švagelj.  Meta_bolus embodies the planetary metabolic process as a fragile dynamic of substances in a continuous balancing flow. The installation is a l oving exploration of the smell of rain which is partly caused by the Streptomyces Bacteria that emits the seducing aroma geosmin; a single sniff of which can evoke the memory of a forest after rain. The Streptomyces bacteria also produces antibiotics, therefore the aroma of wet…

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20-02-2020 Meta_Bolus - At the Opening of Meta_Bolus - We present the installation ‘Meta_bolus’ by Saša Spačal and Mirjan Švagelj.  Meta_bolus embodies the planetary metabolic process as a fragile dynamic of substances in a continuous balancing flow. The installation is a l oving exploration of the smell of rain which is partly caused by the Streptomyces Bacteria that emits the seducing aroma geosmin; a single sniff of which can evoke the memory of a forest after rain. The Streptomyces bacteria also produces antibiotics, therefore the aroma of wet…

Open Tour

It's been a successful year of open tours. This year we also opened our doors for the curious visitor. During our tours we walked along all our different rooms and installations and gave the visitor an impression of the rich life in the Biotope. Come explore Mediamatic as part of our weekly Friday Tour at 16:00.

Workshops

kombucha and pickles, Discovering Otoliths, Creating Cacti, Distilling Fragrance, Composing a Fragance, Sculpting Textiles, Growing Mushrooms; 

Fermentation

This workshop will be full of tasting and interesting facts. Kombucha has endless taste possibilities so you will also learn to experiment with this during this workshop. During the workshop you will learn the basic principles of fermentation and make kombucha using a SCOBY. Saskia Frederiks is specialist in fermentation. After tasting water kefir once, she was hooked, and has been fascinated by fermentation ever since. The transformation in scent, color, taste and texture never seem to lose their magic for her. She likes to inspire others with her fascination for and knowledge about fermentation. 

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Starters / Kombucha culture - fresh / dehydrated

Discovering otoliths

The otolith is located in the inner ear of the fish, but also of humans. During this workshop we will discover the otolith in a fish’s head.  Otoliths play a role in the mechanical perception of sound, acceleration and gravity. Just like with trees, an otolith has annual growth rings, from which the age of the fish can be calculated. We will work with a scalpel, magnifying glass and other preservation instruments. After cleaning the otolith, we will transform it into a real artwork that you can bring home. 

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27-02-2020 T-Discovering Otoliths - Otoliet van een Steenbolk - Photo Hilbran Verstraete Artist Mandy den Elzen has focused on the beauty of fish's heads.  After the death of a fish, the fish head still has various applications. In some cultures the fish head has ritual uses, in others, medicinal and gastronomical uses. In this workshop, we will look at it from another perspective: the beauty of it. Reveal the aesthetic side of an organ that is normally known for its function. Online founded on  https://www.naturetoday.com/intl/nl/nature-reports/message/?msg=17575  

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01-01-20 The Morphology of Fish: Amsterdam collection- Whiting - Merlangius merlangus In collaboration with MediaMatic did artists  Mandy den Elzen her research about fish in the canals of Amsterdam.  The specificity of the fish allows the visitor to learn more about the geography and history of this area in Amsterdam. Indeed, most of those fish are species which can only be found in freshwaters, often in estuaries or coastal waters, just like the IJ river and docks. Some of them are also well known as food products, like bream, cod, perch or whiting. They form a part of the…

Creating cacti

Grafting is a horticultural technique in which you join multiple plants and make them grow as one. During this workshop, Martijn Baas will teach you the basics of grafting and inspire you to design your own cactus. You will also learn the art of grafting and design a cactus together with Martijn Baas.

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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

Distilling Fragrance and composing parfum

During this workshop, you will be introduced to scent extraction and the distillation process.  Distillation is the process of extracting essential oils from plant based materials. Using your own or materials from the Mediamatic grounds, you will distill your own artistic essential oil. In this workshop, artist, and perfumer Frank Bloem will introduce you to the world of perfume making. You will learn the basics of scent composing and at the end of the workshop, you will have theoretical knowledge on the principles of perfuming, on how to mix fragrant notes and on the difference between natural and synthetic smells. You will go home with a 10 ml bottle of your signature fragrance.

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Distilling the scent of flowers -

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Picking a smell in AOA's scent collection -

Sculpting textiles

In just 4 hours, Soldati will teach you the many techniques she mastered over the past years. During this workshop, you will learn how to manipulate textiles into 3D shapes. You will leave with a solid base to start your own practice of manipulating textiles and the knowledge on how to design patterns. During the workshop, you will put Soldati's techniques to practice. This includes practicing non-conventional techniques such as using clay or bio-plastic to substitute stitching, as well as using heat to transform textile into unlimited 3D shapes. This workshop is especially interesting for those wanting to work with textile and those interested in architectural shapes and sculptures. To continue your practice after the workshop, you will receive a booklet with 16 different techniques.

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

Growing mushrooms

The workshop will start with an informative session where Wouter introduces different growth media, substrates, cultivation methods and fungal strains, as well as the potential of mycelium. There will be enough time to ask any questions you might have about mushrooms. You will take home a bag of substrate to cultivate oyster mushrooms and with knowledge on how to extract spawn from fully grown mushroom.

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Grow your own mushrooms - We will teach you how to start cultivating your own mushrooms. Fungi are the basis of many new material developments and novel food designs. But you can also just eat them.

Precious Burden

Autistic designer Asefeh Tayebani wants to use her work to increase understanding about her neurological condition. Her work allows the wearer to physically experience how on the spectrum being can feel. An electric shock over the arm or an unbearably sharp sound in your ear when the train passes is the daily reality of a large group of people around us. Tayebani is convinced that understanding the environment, themselves and perhaps other people with a condition can make them 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. 

Meet-ups

Mandy den Elzen, Margherita Soldati;

Mandy den Elzen is an artist represented by Mediamatic. She will be a regular attendee of the Mediamatic Biotoop with scheduled consults for you to attend. Exchange your ideas and sign up for a one-on-one with Mandy den Elzen. Mandy den Elzen is a visual artist bridging the realms of nature, science, and art. Particularly interested in tactile properties of organic structures, Mandy den Elzen brings to light the aesthetic side of natural wonders. Her practice may be characterized as combining intense and precise fieldwork with developing comprehensive and meticulous preservation methods. Mandy den Elzen’s works have been exhibited internationally and are included in numerous public and private collections. She is also the recipient of the 2015 Mondriaan Fund Talent Development Grant for Emerging Artists.

Margherita Soldati is also an artist represented by Mediamatic. She will be a regular attendee of the Mediamatic Biotoop with scheduled consults for you to attend. Exchange your ideas and sign up for a one on one with Margherita Soldati. Through her work, Margherita tries to strengthen the bridge between behavioral science and material research. For example, in the past, she applied organic and repetitive textures on pillows and simple everyday objects for people suffering from mental diseases (Alzheimer and Dementia). She was surprised to see how they could benefit from stimulation through tactile surfaces. From a small scale, her works develop into an architectural scale, where interventions and interactive environments that she creates aim to trigger a moment of genuine reaction of surprise and curiosity which involves more active and aware use of our senses.

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Meet Up - Mandy den Elzen -

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Margherita Soldati - Maxim Damper

Secretopia

chewing gum

Secretopia is an inquiry into human secretions through art, science and design. After exploring the potential of urine in The Pis’ Project, we decided to expand the programme to all sorts of human secretions. The Pis’ Project turned into Secretopia. In our events and blogs we consider bodily fluids in association with artists and organisations to explore them in a multidisciplinary manner.

Djara van Hove was really annoyed by chewing gum what was laying on the concrete. She wanted to discover the deeper meaning of Chewing Gum. It has something mysterious about it. Although we all know it, we can say very little about it. Why don't we question it more? How did it begin? What are we chewing? Why do we chew it anyway. Chewing gum could be more than just a piece of chewy resin. What happens if I use the gum as a pure material and consider my 'frustration' as a source of inspiration. 

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27-03-2020 Secretopic Research: Chewing Gum - Chewing gum has something mysterious about it. Although we all know it, we can say very little about it. Why don't we question it more?  How did it begin? What are we chewing? Why do we chew it anyway.  Chewing gum could be more than just a piece of chewy resin. What happens if I use the gum as a pure material and consider my 'frustration' as a source of inspiration. Djara Van Hove

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15-04-2020 Growing Chewellery - rings -   Djara van Hove did her research towards chewing gum. The following objects were created by destroying another experiment. A delicate woven tissue was made with care and needed to fill it with some soil and flower seeds. The whole thing just fell apart in a second. The gum slowly lost its stickiness due to the dry soil. The chewing gum was saturated with the earth and changed the whole texture. The substance felt pliable and dry at the same time. The material didn't look appealing.  The… Djara Van Hove

Upcoming presentations

Light Observatory, Sixed Winged Chicken, Tumulus II, Illegal Scents, Face Nature; 

light observatory

The installation plays at macro and micro levels (Astral movements and light photons entering the eye), and aims to create awareness on the relationship between both. The mind creates an image, and therefore we experience. But in truth, they are just an interpretation, defined by several axes that meet within the subject in a specific time and space and object. We are physically able to see much more than what we mentally allow ourselves to see.

“The [...] installation offers an incredible journey. With every taken step the visitor travels further away from the surrounding world until everything is gone. Looking back, in the end, just a single dot of reality is what remains. It is as if we are watching our sun from far away in space”. - Taconis Stolk and Edwin Van Der Heide

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Light Observatory #2 seen from inside of the installation - by Natali Blugerman Natali Blugerman

sixed winged chicken

A few years ago stories circulated on the internet about Six-winged chickens. For a while they seemed to exist. Various media wrote about them, with images of chickens with six wings. Whether this mythical creature really exists remains unclear. 

In media nowadays it's hard to differentiate between real and fake news. Manipulating information is simple, and the sheer amount of news - whether fake or true - is overwhelming. This results in doubt, and the possibility of getting carried away by fantasy. Especially when facts are withheld or invisible, as is the case in the meat industry. Indeed, most people have no idea where the meat they eat comes from; it's hard to know when production takes place on such a huge scale.
With the book "The six-winged Chicken and other mythical creatures of the food industry" Anne Kamps explores the boundary between fact and fiction. She captures the zeitgeist, with its fake news, mad technologies and a food industry further removed from humans than ever before.

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The Six-Winged Chicken and other mythical creatures of the food industry - by Anne Kamps Photo by Iris Rijskamp Book design and binding by Swaan Mostert

With: Anne Kamps

tumulus II

Tumulus is an enclosed garden installation that functions as a natural ruin, compost heap, cement & soil sculpture, seed bed, earth work, dyeing source, and dunghill. Over the course of 16 months from June 2019 to September 2020, artist Ruchama Noorda will transform the patch of greenery next to our Sluisdeurenloods into a living sculpture and performance site.

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Tumulus in Vegetative State - Anne Lakeman

illegal scents

When you consider law, the subject of odour does not immediately come to mind. Until you look further, and realise odour plays a role in many areas. In civil law odour plays a part. For example, may a home rental contract forbid tenants to use garlic when they cook? In forensic investigation odour is an important factor in determining the cause of death. What does a prison smell like? During this evening session we will explore the connection between odour, law and crime.

face nature

Enter spring with a renewed inspiration from nature. Madeline Schwartzman will lead a workshop on prosthetic sensory apparatus, focusing on the head and ways of structuralizing and robotizing nature close to the body. Face Nature is a remedy for our dire cyborgian situation: we spend most of our time indoors staring at digital leaves and animals on our screens, aware of and enraged about climate change, not realizing how distant from real nature we have become. It’s so easy to look away, to close the screen. Any time spent observing, interacting with, and building with nature for the body, is elucidating and may be crucial to our future. What senses can we develop to better re-connect with our surroundings? What can we learn from nature’s modus operandi? Can we plug into the mycorrhizal network? What sensation have we ignored or missed?

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18-04-2020 Face Nature Masterclass - Extending the body with leaves and branches - Face Nature: Masterclass is a critical making workshop led by Madeline Schwartzman, known from the book   See Yourself Sensing . In this workshop participants craft their own speculative design prototypes and nature interfaces to build wearable prosthetics and face extensions. Face Nature involves participants in foraging, analyzing, and considering the senses, then engaging in the creation of an interstitial structure between the morphology of the face and the forms of nature. By crafting… Madeline Schwartzman