• Report Workshop GRACE ŒS: Enter the Amorphocene 

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    Posted: 25 January 2022

    GRACE ŒS: Enter the Amorphocene

    workshop by Lisanne Buik and Bela Rof

    On December 8th 2021, BALTAN LABORATORIES and GRACE ŒS hosted a hybrid biodesign workshop, ‘Enter the Amorphocene’. The workshop presented an overview of two possible future trajectories; ‘The Amorphocene’ (nature and consciousness oriented) and ‘The Imorphocene (technologically and intelligence oriented), inspired by the trajectories of Gaia and Etheria from Reon Brand’s ‘Co-Emerging Futures’ report.

    Over the course of one day, Lisanne Buik and Bela Rofe facilitated an immersive learning session for 20 participants, guiding them into one future trajectory, ‘The Amorphocene’, a world built on the core principle of resilience.

    Participants were introduced to the world of biodesign, what it is, and why it is important when designing resilient futures. The workshop examined how algae can be perceived as our mother from whom we can model, measure, move, and materialize our systems. To explore this concept the day was divided into two immersive learning sessions; an algae-embodiment practice, and a hands-on material exploration of making algae bioplastic.

    Participants discovered the knowledge that is yearning to be released from the body, and collectively agreed that if we want to build resilient economic futures we need to be designing systems with “more than just our heads”, and instead, find ways to include the intelligence of the body and mostly, the heart. “The body is disregarded in systems and there’s a great opportunity lying there: to reintegrate the bodymindheart and operate as a whole.”

    In the afternoon, participants reported that the biomaterials felt versatile, full of potential, and that they were interested in exploring potential applications of the material, particularly at an industrial scale. “I feel angry that we did not use biomaterials like alginate to create plastics in the first place, it is ironic and pretty dumb.”

    The workshop was a first step towards shaping a resilient future where everyone and everything collaborates, creates, and shares resources to co-evolve. We look forward to presenting the research, findings, and feedback of the workshop in future Co-emerging economies collaborations, a trajectory by Baltan, Avans University of Applied Science and Philips Experience Design.

    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.

    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.


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