STARTS Journey

Fermenting Futures

Prof. Diethard Mattanovich (AT), Prof. Ingeborg Reichle (DE), Anna Dumitriu (UK), Alex May (UK), Sonja Schachinger (AT)

Wed Sep 9, 2020, 5:40 pm - 6:00 pm
All times are given in Central European Summer Time (CEST / UTC +2).
Ars Electronica Selection Channel

Fermenting Futures is an art and science project developed by the Institute of Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), and conducted in collaboration with the Department of Media Theory, University of Applied Arts Vienna (Angewandte), as outreach for arts-based research. The project will introduce some of the thousands of yeast species and their characteristics, as well as synthetic biology methods to create new yeast strains with exceptional capabilities to make our lives better while preserving the planet. In a residency at BOKU the British bioartists Anna Dumitriu and Alex May will transform some highlights of this research into sculptural artwork.


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Diethard Mattanovich (AT) is Professor of Microbial Strain Design and Head of the Institute of Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna. His research group focuses on synthetic biology and cell engineering of yeasts for the production of biobased chemicals, utilizing and expanding the metabolic capacity that evolution has provided, a field in which he has published more than 160 research papers and 26 patents. He is Vice President of the European Federation of Biotechnology and Chairman-elect of the International Commission on Yeasts.

Anna Dumitriu (UK) is a British artist who works with BioArt, sculpture, installation, and digital media to explore in her works the social relevance of biotechnology, synthetic biology, and robotics. Her work has been exhibited internationally at the ZKM, Ars Electronica Festival, BOZAR, The Picasso Museum, The V & A Museum, and LABoral to name just a few. She currently holds visiting scholarships at the University of Hertfordshire, the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and the Waag Society.

Alex May (UK) is a British media artist who uses digital media to investigate physical and emotional human limits on a personal and social level. He has exhibited at the Francis Crick Institute, Eden Project, Tate Modern, Ars Electronica festival, LABoral, and the Science Gallery in Dublin.

Sonja Schachinger (AT) is an art mediator and an art&science curator. She has many years of international exhibition experience and worked for the Ars Electronica festival, Atelier Victoria Coeln, luminale Frankfurt, Atelier Lucas Zallmann, BIO-FICTION Festival, Studio Sonja Bäumel, #TullnART, Kunstmeile Krems, Mauthausen Committee Austria and the spell GmbH.

Ingeborg Reichle (DE) is Professor of Media Theory at the Department of Media Theory, University of Applied Arts Vienna. Her main focus of research and teaching is the encounter of the arts with cutting-edge technologies and global challenges. She is the co-founder of the German Association for Interdisciplinary Image Science (Deutsche Gesellschaft für interdisziplinäre Bildwissenschaft), and an active member of the U.S. College Art Association (CAA) and the International Association of Bioethics (IAB).

Günter Seyfried (AT) is an artist and works and lives in Vienna. He teaches the seminar “Understanding Biomedia” for the Department of Media Theory at the University of Applied Arts Vienna since 2017 and heads the Open Lab Class. In his projects he combines artistic and scientific research. In recent years he has been working as a freelance artist on a number of interdisciplinary projects at the intersection of art, biology and synthetic biology.

Wolfgang Giegler (*1962 in Linz) is a consultant for museums, exhibition curator/designer, author and entrepreneur. After his studies in Salzburg (philosophy, art history), he has been an entrepreneur at the interface of art / science / economy for 20 years. With his companies and projects, he is one of the pioneers of the agency system in the Internet sector, which began to emerge in the 1990s. Until 2010, he will manage market-leading agencies with a focus on international clients. His company the spell GmbH currently supports public institutions, museums, exhibition houses and municipalities in art and cultural projects. In the exhibition/museum sector, the spell’s team of experts offers conception, planning and implementation services, multimedia/technology planning, collection management, exhibition design and supports with consulting, coaching, curating, project management, outsourcing and interim management. Current projects include the general refurbishment of the Rudolfinum, the repositioning of the entnological and historical museums and collections on the Erzberg in Carinthia and a new geopark museum.

Michael Sauer (AT) is Assistant Professor and Senior Scientist at the Department of Biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Head of the Christian Doppler-Laboratory for Biotechnology of Glycerol and Co-founder of Syconium Lactic Acid. His research and expertise focuses on biotechnology, molecular biology, bio ethics, white biotechnology and industrial microbiology.

Europäische Kommission Horizon 2020