Sexy plants & illuminating nano particles

Biotalk 05 - with Špela Petrič, Matthew Whiteside and Simeon Henry Goodwin

17 okt 2014

How to visualize what is not visible for the human eye? And how to design for the non-human? For the monthly Biotalks we invite Bio-Artists and Scientists to clarify their research and practice. This time we dive into the dirty secrets and sexual behavior of plants above ground, and a fluorescent exchanging party below ground.
Food at 19.00, talks at 20.00


The Plant Sex Consultancy, Sarracenia Purpurea - The exploration of plant-centered design aims to populate the human attitude of convenience, use, fascination, necessity, and ignorance towards the plant realm with strange and quirky reflections, which inform the existing perception of plants. By Pei-Ying Lin, Dimitris Stamatis, Jasmina Weiss, Špela Petrič

How to design for the non-human other? As part of The Sex Plant Consultancy dr. Špela Petrič helped design new reproductive methodologies for her vegetal clients addressing problems such as bee extinction, infertility and infection (STD). In her artistic practice Špela combines natural sciences, new media and performance. This also shows in her current project; the launch of Naval Gazing, a 7,5 km kinetic structure in the North Sea intended as non-human architecture to facilitate a micro-ecology.

To visualize nutrients in soil, bacteria, fungi and plants, researcher Matthew D. Whiteside uses highly fluorescent nano particles, called quantum dots. With this novel technique we are able to see what is going on in below ground ecosystems; effectively, highlighting soil processes that would otherwise be dark and opaque. For example, how do plants and fungi exchange nutrients and carbon with one another throughout an ecosystem? No prior knowledge needed, Matthew will explain everything.

After the break Simeon Henry Goodwin will give a short talk about his sustainable fast food packaging made out of seaweed.


Microscopic view of highly fluorescent nano particles also called quantum dots - Image by Matthew Whiteside, researcher at the Vrij Universiteit Amsterdam Matthew D. Whiteside


Friday October 17th
Food at 19.00
Talk starts at 20.00
Mediamatic Fabriek, VOC-kade 10, Amsterdam

Ticket: €7,50 including a 9 weeks Mediamatic Membership allowing you to visit the expo anytime and attend events with discount. (NB food is not included) If you already have a membership you only pay €2,50! Buy your ticket here

Come early and have a meal served by Adams Appels, slow Mediterranean food.
From 19.00, price per meal €7,50 (also vegetarian)


Fluorescent grass with quantum dots - In order to study how plants and fungi exchange nutrients and carbon with one another throughout an ecosystem. By Matthew Whiteside, researcher at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam By Matthew Whiteside, researcher at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

About Biotalk

What are the social, cultural en technological implications of fungal and bio-based materials? And what possibilities do they offer for artists, designers, engineers, architects, scientists, farmers and chefs? Find out at Biotalk, a monthly lecture series with leading figures in the field of Bio Art, Science and Design.