The Hydra Project
Maja Smrekar < Hu.M.C.C. >
at Corner College, Zurich (CH), an installation and work in progress curated by Boris Magrini as part of Hackteria's The Hydra Project.
August 25-30, 2015
Tue / Wed / Fri / Sat / Sun: 14:00h - 18:00h
Thu: 15:00h - 19:00h
The Hydra Project is an initiative of Hackteria, which aims to foster artistic and literary ventures in addition to the association’s main mission of promoting knowledge sharing and citizen’s science. The hydra is a mythological creature, a hybrid, a polychephalous monster and antagonist to fictional heroes seeking glory and fortune. It is also the name of a small organism, a water animal with the ability to indefinitely regenerate its cells and tissues, hence being virtually immortal and therefore a fascinating subject for biologists and researchers. The crossbreed form of the hydra is a metaphor for the merging of art and science that characterizes the activities of the Hackteria platform while signifying a multiplicity of interventions across a variety of disciplines. The project aims to support and present artists working with biotechnologies in collaboration with cultural institutions in Switzerland and worldwide, presenting their work to a wider public. Furthermore, it seeks to foster exchanges and encounters between artists, curators, critics and researchers of trans-disciplinary fields and with a larger public.
During a Hydra Project, one or more artists are invited to stage an intervention within the space of the partner institution or at an alternative location in the city. The artists are selected on the basis of their personal and creative use of biotechnologies, DIY/DIWO tools and hacking strategies and they are encouraged to develop new projects and partnerships. At Corner College in Zurich, Slovenian artist Maja Smrekar will present her work Hu.M.C.C. (Human Molecular Colonization Capacity) from August 25 to 30. The work consists of the presentation of a nutriment, the Maya YogHurt, which was produced in a laboratory by creating a new genetically modified microorganism containing the artist’s enzyme. It is a very provocative work, questioning the industrial food chain and its sustainability while also raising ethical questions about the future possibilities for nutrition offered by biotechnologies.
On Thursday August 27 at 7pm, Corner College will host a public talk with the participation of Maja Smrekar (SI), Jens Hauser (curator, art and media studies scholar, DE/DK/FR) and Sven Panke (Professor at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, ETHZ, DE). On Saturday August 29, the artist will offer a workshop, presenting and sharing her artistic research and allowing the public to experiment with the Maya YogHurt. In addition, Maja Smrekar has been invited to share her artistic research and findings with the public through the Hydra Reader, a small publication printed as a compendium to the project.
- August 25-30: Work in progress installation of Maja Smrekar’s
- Thursday, August 27, 6 pm: official opening of the exhibition followed by a public talk.
- Thursday, August 27, 7 pm: public talk with the participation of Maja Smrekar, Jens Hauser and Sven Panke.
- Saturday, August 29, 4 pm: open Workshop with Maja Smrekar.
Hackteria is an international network active since 2009 in the field of Open Source Biological Art.
Biofaction KG, Migros-Kulturprozent
Public talk with the participation of Maja Smrekar (SI), Jens Hauser (curator, art and media studies scholar, DE/DK/FR) and Sven Panke (Professor at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, ETHZ, DE).
This public talk is part of the installation by Maja Smrekar, < Hu.M.C.C. > at Corner College, Zurich (CH), August 25-30, 2015.
The Hydra Project is an initiative by Hackteria, an international network active since 2009 in the field of Open Source Biological Art.
Biofaction KG, Migros-Kulturprozent
On Thu / Fri / Sat, 27 / 28 / 29 October
each day from 14:00h to 18:00h
Public talk and discussion on Saturday, 29 October at 19:00h
Mohammad Namazi presents 'Entropische Iteration' (Entropic Iteration) as a reflection on his residency experience as part of the Freiraum-Stipendium – the index collective residency programme. The artist installs a three-days open laboratory at Corner College, which will end in a public talk and discussion. Namazi shows new work made during his residency in Zurich that utilises the Internet, installation and video formats. In his talk he presents his new experiments and talks about his research and practice in general.
Locating the numerous water fountains that are a feature specific to the urban experience of Zurich, Namazi re-imagines these sites as physical manifestos that are actualised as temporary non-hierarchical social platforms. A series of web pages have been created to map out a selection of these encounters. Through these online networks, linkages and locations - sound recordings, image editing and HTML programming are used to spatialize and demonstrate the physical and off-line reality on the virtual and online environment.
18:30h: Doors open
A temporary video installation of The Judgment by Kosta Tonev will be on display all evening.
19:00h: Presentation by Kosta Tonev, and discussion with the artist
2011, dual-channel video, 4 min 44 sec.
The video tells the story of a police roadblock. An artist has illegally appropriated the object transforming it into an exhibition piece. Shortly thereafter a police team enter the gallery where it is on display, and repossess it.
The first screen of the video installation presents the story as seen through the eyes of the cleaning lady who was the sole witness of the event. In the second, a group of actors impersonate the characters of her story.
2011, 2-Kanal-Videoinstallation, 4 Min 44 Sek.
Das Video erzählt die Geschichte eines Gegenstandes. Ein Künstler stiehlt eine Scherensperre von der Polizei und stellt sie danach in einer Galerie aus. Eines Tages wird die Putzfrau der Galerie von einer Gruppe von PolizistInnen überrascht, die ihre Scherensperre zurückfordern.
Im ersten Kanal dieser Videoinstallation erzählt die Putzfrau von dem Ereignis. Im zweiten werden die Personen aus ihrer Erzählung von SchauspielerInnen dargestellt.
This event is part of the exhibition project Theorem 4. Aesthetic Agency and the Practices of Autonomy. Part II: Der Prozess / The Trial.