Sweat, odor and soap

Biotalk 11 - with Helena Shomar, Pei-Ying Lin, Paulien Routs and Wander Eikelboom

11 jun 2015

What insights does sweat give about the state of your health? And how do ashes transform into soap? This Biotalk we will talk about human sweat, odors and soap making. Can you recreate the last living minutes of a famous person by using scent? Find out at Biotalk a monthly lecture series with leading figures in the field of Bio-art, science and design.

Doors open at 20.00, talks start at 20:30


Exhibition display of Living Ashes - Living ashes is a creative project part of Making Life, a project by the Finnish Society of Bioart in collaboration with Biofilia – Base for Biological Arts – Aalto University Finland and Bio:Fiction Vienna Austria within the SYNENERGENE EU Project. Helena Shomar

Paulien Routs

Imagine your clothing revealing the state of your body. Paulien developed SOAK, a prototype textile coating that can provide it’s wearer with information on how much sweat is lost and also give an indication of the substance composition. As the wearer sweats, the applied pattern will color and communicate wether or not the wearer’s water/base level of the sweat, that is recommended to keep the body vital, is good or getting too low. It shares insight in the condition of the inner body, since too low water levels effect skin and hair conditions and cause acid levels in the body that effect your health.


Body diagram of sweat colors - By Paulien Routs Using sweat to learn about your body's vitality. Paulien Routs

Pei-Ying Lin & Helena Shomar

Did you know that soap, that what keeps us clean an smelling great, is traditionally produced with minerals from dead organic matter? Lye, one of the two key ingredients of soap, is obtained by dissolving ashes in a liquid (leaching). This lye has a strong base and is added to greasy materials like animal fat to accelerate the release of glycerol.

With Living Ashes artist Pei-Ying and scientist Helena Shomar zoom in to this process on a microscopic level in order to see the protocols move, interact and gradually turn into on this banal item of our existence; soap. An exploration of boundaries between the animate and inanimate.


Saponification up close - From burned organic matter to soap with Living Ashes

Wander Eikelboom & Mark Meeuwenoord

Wander and Mark were part of "Sense of Smell", an international co-creation and research project. Within this project, teachers and students explore the amazing world of scent. Their aim is to rethink and prototype the possibilities of scent for strategic communication, storytelling, interaction and media design. In this project, Wander Eikelboom and his students are currently developing prototypes for interactive installations, sensual experiences and immersive events. This resulted in Famous Deaths, an installation that recreates a famous person's last few living minutes by using scent.


Famous Deaths installation - Designed by Communication and Multimedia Design (CMD) Breda at the AVANS University of Applied science, the Netherlands.


Biotalk: sweat, odor and soap
Thursday 11th of June
Biotoop Mediamatic, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam
Doors open at 20:00, start talk at 20.30

Tickets: €8,50 (or only €3,50 for members)

Students get discount! As a student you only pay €5,- for the membership. Don't forget to bring your student card, or buy your ticket online and fill in the discount code 'student' at the checkout.


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