This year Momentum, the Nordic biennial, celebrates its ninth edition in the lush landscape of Moss, Norway. Taking the thematic approach of Alienation, the team of curators (Ulrika Flink (SE), Ilari Laamanen (FI), Jacob Lillemose (DK), Gunhild Moe (NO) and Jón B.K Ransu (IS)) seeks to extrapolate new perspectives on the human condition subjected to the rapidly changing interconnected world through transdisciplinary explorations. Presenting a group of internationally renowned artists, the biennial addresses topical concerns of cultural and geographical borders, biopolitics and social inequality, to outline a series of strategies towards “extraordinary futures”. We recently talked with one of the curators of the biennial, Ilari Laamanen, to peel the outcrops of the exhibition and explore its similarities with the next nature philosophy.
Real innovations are high tech but analogic, they are created by mixing biology, genetics and design to save energy and resources. This is the concept behind Lining Yao’s work, Chinese interaction designer and maker of novel materials and interfaces. She recently completed her PhD at Tangible Media Group, MIT Media Lab in Boston, where she focused on pushing Human Computer Interaction towards Human Material Interaction, and she is now Assistant Professor at HCII Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
In 2005, in his book Mycelium Running, American mycologist Paul Stamets predicted that mushrooms would help save the world. Twelve years later, several scientists and innovative entrepreneurs are using mushrooms to run their researches, businesses and dreams. Until Sunday February 12, you can learn more about the role of fungal micro-organisms at Fungal Futures exhibition in Enschede, The Netherlands. Even Stamets would be astonished by what a group of artists and designers can make nowadays with mushrooms.
Since 1979 we have been using satellites to measure Arctic sea ice levels, which have been warning us about the alarming decrease of ice growth. Climate models predict that by 2040, the Arctic Bay will continue to freeze in winter, but could be free of ice in summer. Now imagine an ice hotel in this scenario that melts away every year.
If you are fond of water sports or simply enjoy a walk along a coast, you probably heard of them before: cyanobacteria. These are toxic blue-green algae that thrive allover the world due to global warming and water contamination. When the algae are blooming they deplete oxygen level in water so that other species like manta ray are endangered. Moreover, toxic domoic acid, an element of cyanobacteria, gets into the food chain causing devastating domino effect. Inventor Rob Falken came up with an idea how to solve the problem: harvest and reuse them. For the next pair of your sneakers, for example.
Henk Jonkers, a microbiologist at the Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, has developed a way to make the cracks in concrete structures heal themselves. This is accomplished by embedding the concrete with limestone producing bacteria – the Bacilus Pseudofirmus or the Sporosacina Pasteurii.
Clothing made of human hair. Alix Bizet, French student at the Design Academy Eindhoven, collected hair from African American hairdressers to create jackets and hats for her project Hair Matter(s). Why? Because she sees it as a sustainable solution, an animal-friendly alternative to fur and an entrancement of our cultural an ethnic differences.
We don’t know if fashionistas are willing to wear her striking outfits, what we certainly know is that our peculiar image of the week makes us shiver with Anthropomorphobia.