Smelling Species

Odorama 45 with Frank Bloem, Peter Roessingh, Jelle Zandveld, Arne Hendriks and Thomas Thwaites

17 Oct 2021

During the inhuman Carnaval at Dutch Design Week, there will be a lecture curated by Frank Bloem about the smells of the amazing species in our ecosystem. Most animals have a sense of smell, but do they use smell the same way as we do? And what about the aromas that animals and other species release to mark their territory?

Through lectures from artists and scientists, we will explore how our noses can help to engage with the non-human species around us. 

Tickets / Facebook


Goatman - Thomas Thwaites A holiday from being human (GoatMan). Source

Elephant smells - Frank Bloem

Did you know that a young male elephant smells a bit like a banana? Frank Bloem will talk about his 'elephant smell' project. Artis, the zoo in Amsterdam, created stations where you can hear, feel and smell like an elephant. For this Frank researched what the substances of the smells are, and how to translate them into scents for humans. Finally, he composed the scent of the drafty female, rutting male, and the young male. In this lecture, he will tell more about how these animals use scents to communicate and what they might mean. 

Do fruit flies smell? - Jelle Zandveld

How do flies always find the fruit? Do they have a sense of smell? Scientist and fruit fly specialist Jelle Zandveld will explain us more about it. He is doing evolutionary research on fruit flies and he will take some with him too. 

The smell of the woods - Arne Hendriks

Everyone knows that typical smell of the woods. Is it the soil? Are it the trees? No, it is the smell of mycelium! Arne Hendriks is an artist and researcher on human ecology. Currently he is researching how to build with mycelium. He will come to talk more about this interconnecting network, and the specific smell of it. 

Goat man - Thomas Thwaites

Thomas Thwaites explores the psychological and social impacts of technology. His research and making process is often interwoven as a story, told through live performance lectures, published books, moving images and exhibitions. In his second book, Goat Man, he tells the tale of taking time off from being human by becoming a goat. Thwaites escaped the angst of the human condition by roaming around the mountains in the Alps, on four legs with a prosthetic rumen strapped to his chest. 

How does it feel to live as a non-human? What can we learn from being part of another species group for a while? and in what way can close modern technology take us to fulfil an ancient human dream? Thomas will tell us more about it. 

Species Mimicry - Peter Roessingh

Peter Roessingh is an Evolutionary Biologist and Sensory Physiologist working at the University of Amsterdam. His main interests are chemical communication and the evolution of sensory receptors, in particular the role that these receptors may play in the evolution of new species. Peter will speak about species that disguise themselves as other species through smell. Spiders that smell like moths, flowers that smell like flies - how have species evolved and learned to mimic others?  


Entrance fee: €5


Odorama 45: Smelling Species at Dutch Design Week
17th October 2021, 16:00-17:30
Natlab, Eindhoven