Growing Cellulose - Call for workshop participants
posted by Erich Berger on 23 October 2017

The Bioartsociety together with Pixelache are inviting you to participate in

Growing Cellulose - a workshop with Margherita Pevere

1st session 11th November 14-18h
2nd session 18th November 14-18h

Location: Pixelache, Kaasutehtaankatu 1/21 Suvilahti (Rakennus/Building 7) 00540 Helsinki Finland, View Pixelache office location in Google maps

The workshop is free of charge but places are limited to 10 participants. Please sign up by sending an email with a short statement of motivation until 6th of November.

The workshop focuses on the aesthetic potential of microbial cellulose (MB) and the philosophical implications of working with leaking, growing, hybrid bodies in artistic practice. MB is a natural polymer which resembles skin and bodily matter. Once dried, it reminds of paper and leather. It is produced by Glucoacetobacter hansenii (G. hansenii) bacteria, a non-pathogenic bacterial strain.
Participants will compare laboratory protocols and DIY techniques for cultivating G. hansenii and investigate the aesthetic and design potential of MB in a dedicated prototyping session. Insights into G. hansenii life cycle will promt participants develop innovative ideas, gain specific knowledge, and critically address issues of sustainability, ethics, and aesthetics of working with living organisms. A discussion will follow.

The workshop is open to artists, designers, students and everybody who is interested.
No prior knowledge is required, however participants with some experience are welcome.


1st day - 11th November 14-18h
- microbial cellulose: biomedical, artistic, and design applications
- G. hansenii cultures: lab & DIY techniques
- how to protect cultures from mold and contamination
- material observation: fresh and dried MB

2nd day - 18th November 14-18h
- coating and dying techniques
- sketching and prototyping
- discussion

Margherita Pevere (Berlin/Helsinki)
Deeply fascinated by biological processes, Margherita Pevere is a visual artist and researcher investigating decay and transformation. Her practice features a unique combination of organic and technological materials: she grows bacterial cultures, manipulates paper and photographic film, collects organic relics, and plans to store a digitized collection of memories on bacterial genome.
Pevere is PhD candidate (Artistic Research) at Aalto University, Helsinki, where she collaborates with the interdisciplinary research group CHEMARTS. She is member of the Finnish Bioart Society. Most recent exhibitions include the Article Biennial – i/o lab, Stavanger (NO); the Dutch Design Week – BioArt Laboratories, Eindhoven, curated by Jalila Essaidi; State Festival for open science and society, Berlin, curated by Daniela Silvestrin; Art Laboratory Berlin, curated by Christian de Lutz and Regine Rapp.