Laboratorium develops projects in collaboration with artists and scientists applying the research from the color biolab project.

Photo algae

Haematococcus pluvialis is a unicellar green algae. The green cells synthetize a red pigment called astaxanthin, that protects them against sunlight. When exposed, the green algae turns red. Euglena Is another unicellar algae that is able to move towards light. Since it ‘feeds’ on photosynsthesis, it has the special quality of phototaxis. The aim is to record negatives or expose positives on plates / papers / petri dishes prepared with this algae. This all is rather still in development phase. Further examination should point out if there is any difference in lightsensitivity if the algae are grown in the dark or in indirect sunlight.

A project by Tim Theo Deceuninck


Blood is something a lot of living entities have in common. The animation Red is made from an interest in electron microscope images. The unreachable /unwatchable is what grabbed my attention. The primary idea would be to make a Virtual Reality animation of which you would be able to feel like a blood cell.Aiming for a total immersion, but due to the lack of a capable VR headset I was obliged to make it in an animation. The result isn’t a representation from an outer space but an inner space. I used different kinds of electron microscope images as reference and inspiration for the animation. The result is a representation of the microcosmos we call blood. My own practice is based in the nuanced zone between art and science, I am an enthusiast of speculative design and 3D modelling is a medium which lend itself to it. It has also an very wide variety of possible outcomes, it could be an animation, game, video or picture. The main project I am working on at the moment is called Tools For Animals, It is a speculative design project to arm animals against humans. The anthropocene has negative consequences for the fauna and flora on our planet. We are currently undergoing a 6th major extinction wave, one caused for the first time by a species, man. If nature were to recover through the process of natural diversification, it would take another 5 to 7 million years. If we want many species to continue to exist, alternatives must be explored. Is it possible that we can make ecology and technology work together in a harmonious way?

A project done by Fons Artois

Experimental Textiles

Trying to create a different type of textiles, I experiment with new materials to develop yarns in a particular method.

Using Mycelium combined with Rattan and Crystals with wool I created a new type of yarn and then I weave it to make a textil piece.

A project by Natalia López

Sonic complex system

Out of a kombucha experimented sprouted a new speculative thought process about the emergence of sentience and self organisation in different complex systems.

A project by Jannes Snyers

Color Coherence

In quantum physics, color has an important role in what is known as quantum chromodynamics (QCD). QCD is the theory which explains interaction between quarks and gluons, known as strong interaction. In QCD, quarks and gluons are defined with a color and a color force. Although the color is the language to describe this kind of interactions, it has nothing to do with visible color. Color is a quantic number. The reason for this nomenclature is the similar behaviour to the three primary colors used in RGB color model: the combination of red, green and blue makes white. This neutral state, where the colors are annulated, is how hadrons exist.

Nevertheless, there is a visible coloration in quantum chromodynamics: colors are used in models and graphics to help the visualisation and communication of the research results. Widely used in scientific publications, there is a discussion in the scientific community for the use of colors, and the miscommunication derived of their perception and reading.

For the Arts@CMS project, the color biolab, specialised in color extraction and application, will work with the red, green, and blue pigments produced in the Ghent Botanical Garden in collaboration with the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy of Ghent University, as an exercise of translation between different scales and fields. This project intends to be a space of freedom to reflect on the use of a common terminology and the possibilities of generating new knowledge by combining both fields.

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Microalgae pigments

In collaboration with Elias Heuninck responsible for FORMLAB we created colored 3D printer filament from microalgae pigments. Phycocyanin, phycoerythrin, and beta-carotene were mixed with corn-based PLA before extrusion. Filaments and prints had texture from the pigment and resulted to be photosensitive.

More details of this project can be found in Tools for things and ideas, a research project for the development of 3d technologies and media.

Wax Landscapes

The landscape is a recurring element in my practice. It is not always expressed in the same form. They can be existing, imaginary, divided, fragmented, elemental, distorted, moved, copied or self-designed. The landscape that is now present and dominant are the luxuriant greenhouses from the 19th century. When entering a greenhouse, another world comes your way. A greenhouse is like an encyclopaedia and an escape route from reality. Because of my fixation on vegetation and my systematic reproduction of it in all kinds of different media, I have come across similarities with other things. While viewing my detail-photos of different flowers, I often ended up with images that have an architectural, dancing or erotic character. Images of known objects often suggest something else. A huge number of stimuli influence our perception. As artists, you look for those stimuli. Where do they come from? Can they be manipulated? How can we put them into words or images? With these questions, greenhouses as a world on its own, the idea that nature is a part of our image of a landscape in mind, I started to explore how a ‘natural-looking’ landscape can be formed. It has the same idea as artificial nature nowadays. It’s a mix of a natural element (wax) that is sculpted by an unnatural element (laundry soap). Also by making detailed photos they really look like a landscape. It’s the same effect detailed photo’s of lowers can have.

A project done by Hanne Fatah

Musical Improvisation inspired by Colour Theory

Inspired by the theories of Goethe and the compositions of Scriabin we developed a relationship between the 12 notes of our Western music chromatic scale and the same amount of colour regions, equally dividing the visible spectrum from Red to Purple. We ordered the 12 notes according to the circle of fifths: (F, C, G, D, A, E, B, F#, C#, Ab, Eb, Bb) and linked them with the 12 regions of colours: (Red, Red-Orange, Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Blue, Purple-Blue, Purple, Red-Purple)

In this way we achieved an interesting property: notes that are related by an interval of a tritone are linked by colours that are complementary to each other. According to Goethe’s theory, and later by the laws of optical physics, two colours are said to be complementary if their combination would produce a greyscale colour such as white or black. Also, tones close to each other by their overtone series would be linked to colours of adjacent spectra. There are of course many representations possible between colour and sound space and in the last decades several models have been proposed in the field of Sonification. Other authors and artists suggested other representations for relating sound and colour, based on Hue-Saturation-Luminosity or Visual Color Notation.

The recording of the three sessions, performed between March and April 2019, are available in the SoundCloud account of Nicholas Cornia .

Each session was performed in different conditions: 1. The first session, recorded on the 3rd March was performed using several early 20th century paintings as sources of inspiration. The paintings were Paul Klee’s Scarecrow (1935) and Triumph of a Degenerate, Kandinsky’s Houses in Munich (1908) and Monet’s Twilight in Venice (1908-1912). 2. The second session, recorded on the 6th of March was performed during one of the Master Seminar’s class. Our fellow students suggested some works to be performed, like a painting of Sol Lowitt, a picture of photog- rapher Dries Segers and a fabric artwork of Olga de Amaral. 3. The third and last session, recorded on the 3rd of April, was conducted together with the Dance class, led by Paola Bartoletti, and the Impro- visation class, led by Bart Maris, of the Drama and Classical music de- partments of the School of Arts Ghent. The experiment was based on the mutual interaction of three improvisation groups: Dancers, Drawers and Musicians. The Drawers could represent with colours and figures the improvised choreography of the Dancers while the Musicians would impro- vise according to the colours and shapes of the drawings made during the performance. In this way we created a feedback loop of causal relations for the improvisational process.

Nicholas Cornia, Dimitrios Tsirogiannis and Ricardo Valero Classical Music students Conservatorium Ghent, Belgium


Bestaat er ongerepte sneeuw? Dit werk gaat over het creeëren van een kunst of zuiver en natuurlijke cinema op basis van schaduwspelen. We vertrekken vanuit de idee dat er ‘geen ongerepte sneeuw bestaat’, dat alles wel al eens is gedaan in de kunst. Het plan is om een installatie-film te bouwen waarbij de personages van de film zelf worden gemaakt of beter gezegd, gekweekt. Op die manier trachten we toch een vorm van ongerepte sneeuw of zuivere gewaarwording te creëren. we documenteren het kweken en de levensloop van motten. We kunnen in zekere zin veronderstellen dat elk wezen vanaf zijn geboorte ongerepte sneeuw is. Dat elk organisme verschillend is en dat ze nog niet is bepaald door zijn omgeving. Daarom trachten we de personages van onze film zelf te kweken. we hebben gekozen voor de wasmot als personages omdat ze in de eerste instantie een hevige aantrekkingskracht tot licht vertonen, wat een essentiële factor is in cinema en dat wilde we optimaal benutten. Daarnaast is beweging een vereiste in cinema. Deze proberen we als makers en regisseurs van de film te realiseren door een spel van licht en geluid uit te oefenen op de wasmot. De wasmot of de Galleria mellonella staat er om bekend een zeer breed geluidsspectrum (20 mHz-300 kHz) te kunnen waarnemen. Deze motvlinders gebruiken hun gehoor om roofdieren, vooral vleermuizen te ontwijken en voor paringsroepen. Wij beslissen over het leven van de motten doordat we ze in de eerste instantie kweek en ze vervolgens in een bepaalde leefomgeving plaats. De duur van deze filmprojectie zal de levenscyclus van een mot voorstellen, wat ongeveer twee weken zal zijn. Zo creëeren we als ‘regisseur’ of filmmaker een soort scheppende functie over de filmpersonages en maken we een eigen versie van ‘de grot van Plato’.

Lewi Moors & Jacob Schoolmeesters


Interference is a proposal that explores the possibility of using the physicochemical properties of some minerals to generate colour under certain circumstances in an artistic context: minerals as a source of colour and coloured minerals as a source of knowledge.

Through the visualization of interference colours observed in a mica sheet before and after human intervention this project aims to think about colour modifications in geological material in the Anthropocene epoch and its possible application in the arts.

Muscovite is a phyllosilicate mineral conformed by thin elastic laminae. Each laminae looks transparent and colourless under a naked eye, but as anisotropic mineral has birefringence. This property allows to observe interference colours under a petrographic microscope that counts with a polarizer and a polarizer/analyser. Not only the colour analysis gives us an idea about the mineral that has this behaviour and thus, scientific valid information, but also generates colourful mosaics that evoke artistic works.

Handbag of bacterial land

1- Boil the water(200liter) . 2- Put the tea backs for 30 minutes. 3- Then take the bags ,and add sugar(200g). 4- Add the vinegar (300ml). 5- Add the culture (piece of SCOBY). 6- Then cover up it ,and wait more than two weeks. 7- Then remove solution and squeeze the layer of cellulose in order to be dry . 8- Paint it before it becomes dry. 9- After painting hang it and wait until it will be dried. 10- For adding some textures , I ley the layer of cellulose on the paper(when it was wet) . 11- Then I sewed a handbag.

A project done by Susan Moaez (graphic design KASK).


Colour is a physical property of the light that we are able to perceive through our eyes and transformed by our brain in form of an experience. The significance of colour is different according to the context. The colouring in science, and specifically in microscopy, it is used to visualise organic and inorganic structures, its presence or absence. However, the aesthetic result it is generally dismissed by the viewer. In this proposal materials and methods of both fields are mixed with the objective of distort the information that we are getting from the images. The support where the colour is applied are human cells and plants cells derived from Linum usitatissimu, a plant commonly used to make art canvas. And the colouring source, fluorescence pigments used for cells research and calligraphy pigments. The result is a serie of photographies where the scale is questioned by these micro-cosmic images.

This project is collaboration between the KASK-HoGent and the Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET, UGent) with the Doctor Marta Calatayud.

WASO (Write a Science Opera)

Children from 6 to 9 years old from the school De Buurt prepared a Science Opera on the topic of sustainability and biomaterials, specially mycelium. During their research they visited the lab to get inspiration for their libretto.

The final opera "Schimmelschoenen" was presented the February 22th at Wisper Ghent.

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Citizen gardener

What is the duration of a seed becoming a plant? How do plants influence the choreography of an exhibition and how it similarly leads our daily gaze? What tools should a citizen gardener have? Only plants have lived long enough to listen to the city carefully, to the howl of engines, while the concrete and tires keep on discussing. The process that it takes to grow the plants is embedded in the exhibition, suggesting to head towards a future that is shaped by attentiveness and care coated by the warmth of friendship and complicity. Considering that plants have a secret opinion too, this proposal intends to unfold a sensation as part of the characteristics of space. Therefore, we start a dialogue between flowers, colours and materials which lies in various surfaces smoothed by our daily gaze.

Gintaute Skvernyte (LT) and Sina Hensel (GER)

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Petrilogy _biology_

3D printed petri dish with a fungal mountain range in collaboration with Formlab .

Ressurected Object

In this work of the artist Jerry Galle, mycelium is growing inside of a PLA sculture printed by FORMLAB. The deformation is captured by camera attached to a robot arm and recognize it by a AI program.

More info is an ongoing artistic website that aims to reflect about the color vocabulary that we are using in our daily life at professional and personal level by establishing connections between a color name and a meaning or experience.

The random RGB code generated for the website background is presented as hexadecimal code, a name following the rules presented above and gives also the possibility to the user of name it by creating a new color database.

This project has been developed by Laboratorium, the experimental lab for art/design and biotechnology at KASK/School of Arts Ghent, as part of the research project “The color biolab” funded by Arts Research Fund of University College Ghent in collaboration with Juan Luis Font, digital alchemy.

Algae Publication OSP

Color Biolab research, initiated by Laboratorium with OSP (Einar Andersen, Gijs de Heij & Sarah Magnan). This poster/leaflet is under Free Art License Art Libre and has been generated with a Python script.This publication has been plotted with living colors derived from the Color Biolab research project of Maria Boto Ordonez and Kristel Peters within KASK Laboratorium.

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Kars & Boom collaboration

Algae print on paper and textile in collaboration to the design studio Kars en Boom in Eindhoven.

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Decay, is a general name for research in collaboration with Maria Boto and Laboratorieumbio at KASK, Ghent over the behavioral characteristic of dyes in gell solution, encapsulated in specifically designed glass forms. While the transparent glass allows light and heat to interact with the dyes, the gel solution has a porous structure where dyes can further mix trough time. Following the agential intra-connection the objects are in continuous transformation and confronting the preservational static notion of dimensional art objects.

The gell medium (Gelrite), where the dyes are injected is produced by bacteria (Sphingomonas elodea) naturally found in the lily tissue. This particular gell is chosen for its clear, optical properties compared to agar. The substance is a blending medium for green Spirulina, fluorescent pink from Phycoerythrin algae, dark red to violet from cochineal bug, methyl blue tracing dye, a synthetic dietary supplement (Astaxanthin), coloring the farmed salmon, and orange carotene. Small glass tubes inside the objects hold pure samples of the dyes. Due to light and temperature in the hall, the different dyes mix, and fade-away trough time, while the gelatin changes its porous consistency.

Scultures realized by Pepa Ivanova using some pigments derived of "The color biolab" research.

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Relict of a Tropical Princess

The object is a fragile artefact discovered by an extensive expedition to the remote island Lengguru, Neuguinea. The territory is characterised by an extremely high rate of endemic species. Over fifty researchers from Europe and Indonesia were involved in collecting data about the biodiversity when they found the trace of an undiscovered civilisation.

Work made by Vanessa Müller at Laboratorium

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The amazing Tardigrade-Water bear by Arta Konjusha

We waited again for 10-15 min and then he slowly (really slow!!) started moving again. First with his legs and then with his head and then the body, but now it was less energetic and it looked like he was tired. His moves we’re really sleepy and he never moved as in the beginning. I continued putting high frequencies and low ones but they didn’t seem to affect him at all. Then we put Beethoven’s 31st piano sonata on and it seemed like he was dancing to it in heavy ballet movements. Afterwards a pop song from Jax Jones but that one didn’t go well with his slow movements. I think he liked classical music more (haha).

THE EFFECT OF QUININE by Geertrui de Vijlder

Quinine is an alkaloid found in the bark of the centuries as a treatment for malaria. Quinine not only gives tonic water a cinchona tree and has been used for characteristic bitter taste, but this chemical can also be very fluorescent under the right conditions. Quinine contains a substance called phosphor. When hit with a particular wavelength of the EM spectrum, including UV-light from a black light,these substances will glow. The phosphors have the ability to absorb UV-light, which makes the quinine excited. By releasing or emitting the light, quinine returns to its normal, unexcited state. In this process, it converts the invisible UV-light to a visible, brilliant blue light that we can see, even when only a relatively small amount of quinine is dissolved in the water.

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When Earth was a Lover

When Earth was a Lover is an experiment based on travelling through microscopic elements of our daily life in search of poetry, cosmos, perhaps wisdom, or just a glimpse of a weightless moment, meeting in confrontation with the mind and its daily occupations. out of many short films created, three of them have been displayed here together with texts that they have triggered. the words seem to be as if thoughts floating to the seen image, though also, inevitably, uncontrolled confessions. a mind let loose. a cloud-staring. an exercise of a daydream. an insight to the nature of our surroundings that make us, invisibly. as, to relate has been a matter of education and decision-making... the perception of time, the nature of things, the place of a human, questioned by child`s observations, close to the life, unconstructed, mighty.

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Work made by Weronika Zalewska at Laboratorium

Present for a Day

After the holiday the jacket started to flush for its first time. It looks fairytaily beautiful. the mushrooms started to grow and their Pink spores made beautiful patterns on the plate. Even in the small bubbles of the plastic where mushrooms growing while they where searching for air.

Work made by Hamer Kormeling at Laboratorium

Fungus cases by Jelle Vandewiele

I wanted to grow something in a cassettecase. Something with a short life spawn which represents the transcience of the medium, tape. As you play a tape, you lose quality every time you play it, rewind it. Even when you don’t use the tape it starts to decompose (this happens very slowly but you can hear the aging proces when you play the tape). I started a tape label with a friend of mine and have been working hard to develop some sort of branding. We’ve always worked with pictures for online promo (no photoshop or illustrator works). These cases will be part of our upcoming promocampagne.

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Machine learning by Peter Beyls

A computer-vision environment to track, analyse, visualise and sonify the behaviour of tiny creatures in a petri dish. A machine learning algorithm to gradually optimise and influence animal behaviour using timed sounds and lights as activation.

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Piezo-Electrical Crystals by Quinten de Wilde

Piezo-Electric Crystals are known Rochelle Salt. These crystals have the potential to create a piezo-electric charge. Rochelle salt is correctly called potassium sodium tartrate tetra hydrate, a double salt of tartaric acid. Together with mono potassium phosphate the first materials that exhibit piezoelectricity. This aspect states an electric charge is accumulated in response by applying mechanical stress to a solid.

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SEBUM, Brenda Lou Schaub in collaboration with Moussa Cheniguel, Quentin Lamouroux and Florian Ortega

Sebum is the fat we can see if we don't wash our hair for a long time, it is natural fat we all do produce. Sebum is a typography/logo with the word sebum, two videos, a 3D model of the skin with sebum and one text on an iPad fixed on a structure which usually used is for showers.

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Work made by Brenda Schaub at Laboratorium

Thomas Vancoppenolle

Once photographed however, the depth of this physical object is reduced to a singular surface again. But when looking at these photos once they have been scanned and edited, a sense of imperfection rises. Apart from the fact that we cannot see a physical depth, a kind of doubt is raised when confronted with this image. Despite seeing ‘one’ image in front of us, the viewer is urged to think about the aspect of time that might have been needed to realise an image of this kind.

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Work made by Thomas Vancoppenolle at Laboratorium

Shi Chen

Although the intention was to make sort of thing like the amber, all these artistic works make me remind of the Chinese luxury jewelry. The blue-burning process (Shao lan) is based on silver, and is made of enamel-fired handicrafts. It is best known for its blue glaze and silver match. It is one of the traditional jewelry crafts in China.


This is a work proposal of a building-kit for a tardigrade safe house. Also known as the ‘domum fidelem tardigrade’. This kit describes how to create an observation house for the microscopic- world. To collect, identify, preserve and cherish the wonderful organisms of this tiny universe, especially the strangely adorable micro-organism named ‘the tardigrade’, also know as ‘the water bear’.

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Algae 3D printing by Janne Claes

Exploring biomaterials (agar and pigments) derived from microalgae for 3D-printing.

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Experimental movie based on Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction. Elias Heuninck (Formlab), María Boto (Laboratorium), 2017, 3.

Work made in collaborabation between Elias Heuninck and Laboratorium

Tierra de Diatomeas

Land of Diatoms, a project by Susana, Inés Cámara Leret and María Boto Ordóñez to investigate the relationship between human beings and Castilla and León geographic areas. This research is part of a collaboration with the Laboratory of Diatomology of the University of León, in which diatoms are used as a metaphor to create a dialogue through which to discover historical events, trace existing narratives and discuss desirable futures for the land, its waters and its people.

Due to the high sensitivity of diatoms to chemical changes in the water, these microorganisms are used to analyse ecological parameters such as the quality of the water. Thanks to the fact that diatom cells are covered by a silica wall, they are fossilizable, and through their study, it is possible to analyse agricultural cycles marked by the arrival of the Romans, the Industrial Revolution or livestock farming, for example. As a consequence of their easy dispersion they can be found in any environment, not only in places where there is or there was water. At the same time, diatoms also help to outline a map of invasions through the study of the migration, dispersal and propagation of species as a result of human activities.

Land of Diatoms has been accompanied by researcher Dr. Saúl Blanco Lanza (Diatomology Lab from the University of León) and botanist Dr. Estrella Alfaro. It is commissioned by LAB987 at MUSAC, supported by Universidad de León, represented by the Area de Actividades Culturales and Departamento de Diatomología from Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas and The University College Ghent, School of Arts KASK.


For five generations of Hofbouwers in Martha's family a lot of information and knowledge was passed on. This information has been bundled in an archive over time. She is the first person in the family who has not been brought up to take over the company, which makes her aware of the loss of tradition. This work is a reinterpretation of the existing archive and makes this knowledge susceptible to the present and future generations. Cultivation is a collected work of seeds, alias and technical terminology that forms in an installation with seeding trays, Alaam, Herbarium, Dictionary, Soil samples, etc.

Work made by Martha T'Hooft presented at Laboratorium greenhouse