Divine Fumes & Mystical Plants
Devotion Smelled Sweet
Perfumes, incense, and fragrant oils were commonly connected with the divine — gods, sacred spaces, and spiritual entities. Aromatic plants like copal and palo santo (holy tree), have meaning in a...
Theologian, Author and Roman Catholic priest
Pierre Theodorus Valkering (1960) is a theologian, author and Roman Catholic priest. He studied in Amsterdam, Nijmegen and Rome. He graduated 1988. He became a pastoral worker for the R.C. Church...
Dutch Courage and the Amsterdam Spirit
Botanicals in Jenever
Inspired by all the quarantinis (that is a quarantine martini) recipes plastered across social media in the past few months, it bodes to dive into the history of Jenever as Amsterdam’s--and the...
Mariko Hori is one of the artists chosen through our 2019 Olfactory History of Oosterdok Open Call. To find out more of her contribution to the project, check out her artist interview with our...
Philipp Franz von Siebold
German physician, botanist, and traveler
Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold (17 February 1796 – 18 October 1866) was a German physician, botanist, and traveler. He achieved prominence by his studies of Japanese flora and fauna and the...
Mara van der Blonk
Jo-Lene Ong 1 mei 2020
Mariko Hori’s Under The Harbour
An artist conversation with OHO curator, Jo-Lene Ong
Mariko is one of the artists selected from our 2019 open call . She is currently preparing for her upcoming exhibition with us of her new work, ' Under The Harbour' that involves underwater...
Gum: maybe money does grow on trees after all
A lot of people chew every day, and even if you’re not a daily chewer, you have almost definitely tried it once. Gum can be found in pretty much every store that sells essential daily goods, but what...
Mediamatic Biotoop Laura Triana
The cultural influence of Tobacco
This is a part our Olfactory History of Oosterdok
Discover the transition of Tobacco from a cultural/historical perspective.
The Magic of Cacao
Of flowers, rituals, and sensations
The origins of chocolate -this sublime natural creation- are traced back to the Ulua river valley in Honduras around 1100 BCE (Norton, 2008). The Olmec community or their descendants provided the...
Gum on the streets
Visions of freedom and utopia
Gum is found on walls and streets all over the world. Most of the time it is normalised, sometimes it's encouraged and occasionally it is completely illegal. Perhaps a society's attitudes...
Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat
Amsterdam’s Relationship with Civet Cats
Have you ever wondered what civet pheromones extracted from its anal glands smell like? Actually... don't answer that. Just drop by our AromaLab and catch a whiff yourself. But first, read about...
Laura Burgers studeerde Rechten en Frans in Amsterdam, Parijs en New York. In 2016 startte ze een promotieonderzoek aan de rechtenfaculteit van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, naar de democratische...
Jan Banning is a Dutch artist/photographer based in the Netherlands. He was born in 1954 from Dutch East Indies parents, and he studied social and economic history at the Radbout University of...
Class & Smell
What the Golden Age of Amsterdam and Parasite have in common
Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite was not only the first South Korean film to be nominated for the Best Picture award, as well as six other Oscar nominations, it has just become the first film not in the...
I am a self-taught visual artist working primarily in hand-embroidery on textiles with a special interest in “memento mori”, a genre that reflects on the impermanence and fragility of life, nations...
Masuma Halai Khwaja
Masuma is a multi-disciplinary artist. Her art practice revolves around weaving cultural political and historical perspectives along with personal experiences and individual stories. Currently for...
The Making(s) of Biryani
by Masuma Halai Khwaja
Masuma Khwaja is a brilliant artist from Karachi, Pakistan, whom we are excited to welcome as our first guest artist of 2020. During her one-week research stay with Mediamatic in mid-January
A Blame, A Barrier
Olfactory Discourse Regarding the Other
R: Dutch children weren’t allowed to be held, [because] later they’d smell of [our] sweat. Holding them wasn’t allowed… [T]hey [The Dutch] were afraid [of their children] being soaked in sweat, sweat...
Gunpowder: Fireworks and Fatality
The smell of fireworks, of the sulfur within the ignited gunpowder, permeates the streets of Amsterdam as the Central European Time Zone welcomes in the new year. Illegal for the public’s usage at...
Profile of Jonas Klinkenberg, a Germany-based artist and performer. He is involved with Mediamatic's Olfactory History of Oosterdok upcoming exhibition, through the ongoing 'Private Dreams...
Profile of Jan Jedenak, a Germany-based artist and performer. He is involved with Mediamatic's Olfactory History of Oosterdok upcoming exhibition, through the ongoing 'Private Dreams and...
From a Botanical Specimen to a Powdered Delight
The arrival of tobacco in Europe has been traced back to the late 15 th century, when the Botanist Francisco Hernández de Toledo brought the first seeds to Spain as part of the colonial mission. The...
Smoke, Snuff, and the Cosmos
Tobacco in Amerindian Rituals
Before tobacco entered the European markets as a luxury good, particularly among the elites of the 16 th century, it already had a thousand-year long history among the Amerindian communities, which...