• Talks at Homo Sensorium 

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    Posted: 6 October 2019

    Join the discussion about Homo Sensorium

    Mediated senses, love and sexuality, superorganisms

    During Homo Sensorium, you'll get the chance to discuss with the participating artists the projects presented during DDW and deepen the two main trajectories of the program: mediated senses and love and sexuality. Besides those topics, we are also hosting a talk by 3 recent graduates of Design Academy Eindhoven, which will give us the occasion to speculate on how humans could augment their bodies through biotech, an added level on the technology mediation already explored by the experiences proposed in Homo Sensorium.

    Sensorium Talk

    Date: Sunday 20 October
    Time: 16:00 – 17:30
    Location: Baltan Basement.
    Register for free on Eventbrite

    A series of artist talks around the Homo Sensorium theme, focusing on the blurring borders between the synthetic and organic, the real and the virtual, the human and machine, sense and perception. Artists Madeline Schwartzman, Sophia Bulgakova and Klara Ravat will talk about their practice and projects. How can you influence human perception and hack the human sensory apparatus?

    Together with the audience we explore human perception and technology. Our senses determine the way we perceive the world around us, so what does it mean if we hack into these senses? Using technology to alter, hack, broaden, deepen them? How can we use these technologies to re-connect with nature, each-other, our environment and our own memories?

    Madeline Schwartzman is a New York City writer, filmmaker and architect whose work explores human narratives and the human sensorium through social art, book writing, curating and experimental video making. Her book See Yourself Sensing (Black Dog Publishing, London, 2011) collects the work of artists, interaction designers, architects and scientists who speculate on the future of the human sensorium through wearables, devices, headgear and installations. Her new book See Yourself X: Human Futures Expanded, was recently published by Black Dog Press and explores the future of the human head.

    Most of Sophia Bulgakova’s recent works are created with the intention of exploring relationship between light and perception, particularly focusing on the individual abilities and ways of seeing. Creating spaces, situations or conditions for the audience to expand their perception and focus on their own personal unique experience inside the work itself.

    Klara Ravat is an olfactory artist an experimental filmmaker based in Berlin. By opposing the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, Ravat absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. By investigating the concept of landscape in an adventurous and exploratory way, she wants to amplify the wonderment of the spectator by creating compositions or settings that generate tranquil poetic images that leave traces and balances on the edge of alienation and recognition.

    Imagining Superorganisms: Augmenting the Human Body

    Date: Wednesday 23 Octomber
    Time: 20:00 – 21:30
    Location: Baltan Basement
    Register for free on Eventbrite

    Microbial masks, DNA engineered human skin, a living phone: Modern biotechnology promises and enables us to rethink the body, augmented and cohabitated with new abilities but also empowered through a deeper understanding of ourselves. Microbial masks functioning as monitoring wearable, an embedded extra organism substituting smartphones and a direct alteration of the human DNA enabling adaptive skins - three recent graduates of the Design Academy Eindhoven present and discuss their graduation projects situated within the fields of body-hacking and biotechnology.
    How will we develop as a human species? What are the responsibilities for a designer when imagining futures?
    Join the debating round and contribute your opinion and knowledge or enjoy learning about the field's challenges.

    Beyond the Human Surface by Bich Tran

    Beyond the Human Surface explores the possibility of human enhancement through Genetic Engineering, with the focus on how skin cells could be programmed to temporarily transform when triggered by light. Will we be able to grow scales or change our skin colour? What else? The project consists out of two parts: creating a platform with a collection of interviews that allows an intellectual dive into the topic of genetic modification and on the other hand exploring through speculative skins what this technology could become.

    Bich Tran, recent graduate and trained at the Design Academy Eindhoven, looks at his practice through the kaleidoscopic lens of design, science and the humanities. As a conceptual designer he's seeing a new field surfacing, where designers will work and manipulate biology as they did in the past with materials like clay, wood or letters.

    Machina Synthetica Communicatia - The Living Phone by Lukas Adrian Jurk

    Recent findings and developments in the field of synthetic biology take first steps into or indicate the future generation of organisms that could take over functions of current electronic smart devices. Machina Synthetica Communicatia imagines a world of living products that are becoming integrated with the human body. There are numerous promising advantages of such a design and production principle: Disruption of the current environmentally and socially hazardous product life cycle of smartphones, less dependency on raw earths, sustainable energy supply and higher performance than current chip technology. However, the new technology entails lots of critical questions. How do we personally and legally treat living products? How does it change the identity of our body acting as a battery and receiving augmented abilities? Who controls the production and how does it change the processes and locations of consumption?

    Lukas Adrian Jurk is a research driven and conceptual designer operating at the physical and abstract borderlines of object design, narration and space. Past and present fields of operation are hospital design and the exploration of how synthetic biology might change our body identity and wearable products. He is currently working as a researcher and product designer at Institut für Industriebau und Konstruktives Entwerfen at Technical University Braunschweig while parallely realizing independent projects.

    Microbial Self by Valerie Daude

    Microbial Self explores through speculation how relationships between humans, as well as between humans and micro-organisms will be affected through advances in microbiome research. Microorganisms are responsible for many aspects of our physical and mental health. Especially bacteria inside our guts help us to digest certain food, balance our immune system, and they even influence our cognitive functions, mood, and behavior. Understanding how these organisms interact with their human host could explain different aspects of many complex diseases and enhance human potential. Therefore, Valerie Daude developed Microbial Masks which make our bacterial levels visible.
    We live in a microbial world, without being aware of it. Sharing our highly unique microbiome levels with others, like data, will transform our relationships with humans and nonhuman bacteria.

    Valerie Daude is a social designer with an interest in our gut microbiota’s effect on human's mental and physical well-being. She aims to understand how these organisms interact with their human hosts and how this knowledge may enhance human potential.


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    Love in the 21st Century

    Date: Friday 25 October
    Time: 14:00 – 15:30
    Location: Baltan Basement
    Register for free on Eventbrite

    What is love in the 21st century? What taboos are still in place? Is a love-contract like marriage still relevant? How does/can technology influence our perception of love? Artists Lancel/Maat, design studio Joes+Manon and D’vorah Graeser
    reflect on the state of love and sexuality nowadays.

    Together with Joes + Manon, Leif Czakai will talk about De-Co-Date, a series of experimental events in which we decode the diverse shifting values and norms of our love, sex and friendship behaviour in reflection to the societal development in the present, the past and the future. D’vorah Graeser, founder of KISSPatent, will bring up her expertise on contracts and the role of technology in the wedding ceremonies.

    One of the strongest emotions we have is love, love for our friends, our lovers, our kids. Love is hybrid, flexible, it changes, it evolves. Yet, to legislate our love we still use strictly defined love contracts. Can we develop new, more fluid alternatives to the traditional marriage contract? Talking about love, often also means talking about sexuality. Nowadays, which taboos do we still face? How can we facilitate the conversation about this crucial, yet often awkward topic? Together we will explore new ways to celebrate love and intimacy.

    Artist duo and researchers Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat are considered pioneers exploring the tension between embodied presence, intimacy, privacy and trust in posthuman bio(techno)logical entanglement with (non-)human others. They start from the idea that experiences of intimacy and trust are embedded in public dialogue. Lancel/Maat create seductive, visual environments and invite people to experiment and play with social technologies

    Eindhoven based social design studio Joes+Manon is specialized in social challenges. One of the themes they work in is sexuality. Their ongoing researchproject ‘Poezensmoezen’ focusses on the taboo regarding menstruating. With ‘Voorspel’ they explore the added value of gamification for sexual education. For this DDW they put sexuality on the menu with a series of experience dinners.

    D’vorah Graeser is the founder of KISSPatent, a legal startup that focuses on protecting disruptive ideas and supports innovation and change within businesses. KISSPatent’s goal is to make the patent process transparent, straightforward and easy. D’vorah is a US Patent Agent with over 20 years of experience. She believes that innovation protection should be affordable and available to everyone. KISSPatent is a global company, with a fully remote team of patent attorneys and innovation experts who operate across three continents.

    Leif Czakai is facilitating for creating something together. Through interactive products, services and workshops he creates togetherness and mutual narratives. In participatory approaches Leif conveys research and collects information. He usually works on social topics related to consumption, community and place.

    The talks are part of the Homo Sensorium program during Dutch Design Week in Natlab. With a mix of experiments, workshops, talks, dinners, performances, guided tours, a brainwave wedding lab and films, Homo Sensorium investigates the future of our technologically mediated body.

    The program is a collaboration initiated by Baltan Laboratories with Broet and Natlab. Homo Sensorium at DDW is part of a multi-year trajectory developed by Baltan Laboratories and kindly supported by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Stichting Cultuur Eindhoven and Provincie Noord-Brabant. 

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