• A bio-design workshop for a new epoch: The AMORPHOCENE 

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    A bio-design workshop for a new epoch: The AMORPHOCENE

    By Lisanne Buik & Bela Rofe

    GRACE OES (BETA) is an immersive, audio-visual installation, enveloping visitors in a future world, the AMORPHOCENE. In this post-Anthropocentric era humans have learned to become shapeshifters, merging as one with the more-than-human world, designing technologies indistinguisable from nature.

    Participation is free of charge. (Update: This workshop is fully booked.)

    In this 1-day workshop we are being taken by the hand of GRACE OES – the operating ecosystem of the AMORPHOCENE - to explore how we can design an interspecies economy with algae. Algae become our mother, model, method, and material for imagining future economies that foster diversity and resilience. Algae breathe out the very oxygen we breathe in. They account for 70% of the oxygen in our atmosphere. You could say that algae are our mother: the first species on earth, birthing the rest of us. And not only that, in these swirling slimy creatures hide numerous applications for a future economy that runs on it as (carbon negative) food, fabric, and fuel. Algae are omnipresent and yet hidden from the everyday eye. Only with the ebbing tide we can see them swaying and stretching together. Could we deepen our bonds with algae from a faraway lab? Can we become interspecies communicators and work with algae as mother, model, method and material in building a gracious economy?

    In the morning we start by learning about the AMORPHOCENE epoch and GRACE OES, and how these concepts relate to Reon Brand’s Co-Emerging Futures. Then we start building our interspecies relationship with algae. We examine the growing process of a diverse range of algae: seaweeds, sea grass, micro-algae, sensing their qualities of shaping, moving, expressing, and relating through movement, breathing and meditative exercises. We ask, can algae inspire us to change our perception from separation to entanglement with nature; from scarcity into abundance; and from force into grace?

    In the afternoon we take these experiences into designing biomaterials in which the form, movement and network of algae is somehow mirrored. Together we form and shape a future human who embodies the AMORPHOCENE with our biomaterials. In this way we pull the future into the present and make an interspecies economy more tangible and real.

    Co-emerging Economies
    This workshop is organised as part of Co-emerging Economies, an artistic research trajectory about re-imagining other economic futures based on post-anthropocentric perspectives organised by Baltan Laboratories, Philips Experience Design and Avans.

    About the facilitators
    Lisanne Buik is the founder of Grace ŒS. She is a multidisciplinary artist and futures designer operating at the intersection of ecology, technology, somatics and spirituality. In her speculative installations, films and publications she combines emerging science with ancient wisdom to explore the shift from the age of the machine into a new age of symbiosis between nature, non-human species, humans, and technology.

    Bela Rofe is an environmental and textile artist specialising in the fields of ecology, anthropology and material futures. Bela's work is rooted in planetary symbiosis; biofabricating material experiences that enhance our connection to living systems.

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