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

SiO2 nanoparticles

Currently the lab produces structural colour paint based on SiO2 nanoparticles. Depending on the size of the particles, different colour appear. At the end of the process synthetic melanine is added to coat the particles and make the colour more visible. We are able to make blue, green, and purple.

Microalge photopolymer

Microalgae pigments were tested as colouring agent in a photopolymer for the development of CMYK photos Kees Brandenburg.


Mirrors intend to explore the meanings of more-than-human and deep ecology within the post-anthropocentric paradigm, addressing the urgency and recontextualising its values and aesthetics. The project, done in collaboration with the designer Chiara Scarpitti, uses mirrors to symbolise the connection between humans and animals by coating metallic pieces with a nanofilm of synthetic melanin that produces structural colours. The different hues depend on their thickness.

These contemporary jewels mimic the nanostructures present in a wide number of organisms, where colours are based on light interaction with these structures rather than pigments. As in nature, the whole perception of colours requires participation from the viewer to find the right angle where the light interferes with the nanostructure.

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Etching with algae

Microalgae pigments were adapted to be used for etching in collaboration with Marnix Everaert from the printing studio of Academie Gent.

The Ink Project by Greta Facchinato

The Ink Project - Between Craft and Technology by Greta Facchinato is an innovative research delving into the convergence of ecology, craftsmanship, and contemporary printing techniques. Its primary aim is to unearth prospects that merge forgotten knowledge with digital advancements, investigating circular solutions to the ecological issues arising from synthetic ink use in printing.

Greta visited us to testing bio-based inks with pen plotting using the recipe for phycocyanin formulation together with Jos Polman - chemistry teacher at Hogeschool Rotterdam; Original recipe of Laura Freixas.

The ink project

Photo credits Greta Facchinato

They will wear you, Regardless by Sylvia Sarpong

For this project I started by conducting research on the relationship between the viewer and the artwork. I wondered what it would be like if I took over the role of the viewer. As a viewer, how can I separate myself from the process of the maker? How does an image communicate with me and how do I interpret it ? I want to know what happens when control is no longer in my own hands. This research offers me the opportunity to explore the duality between control and spontaneity. As a creator I can have an idea of what I want to achieve, but the outcome will depend on the unpredictable processes of the natural world. This research gives me the opportunity to test my own creativity and develop the ability to enjoy the unexpected outcome that can result from the process. I use bacteria/fungi to create an image that develops through the process of growth. The process of using bleach is used to destroy the garment. The combination of these two processes can lead to very unexpected results and can be a challenge for me as a creator, because I have no control over the final product. The resulting image of the whole collection is the result of the interplay of the natural elements of the mold/bacteria and the artificial element of the bleach.

Sylvia Sarpong Photo credits Sylvia Sarpong

Penplotting with microalgae

We had the pleasure to have Laura Freixas from ELISAVA as an intern. She researched different methods of penplotting in collaboration with Formlab to create a series of posters with our algae pigment inks.

Dancing algae

Animation is a time-based medium, so are dance and choreography. They are arts of the instant, and play around with memory, projection in the happening, and highlight the ephemeral aspect of the present.

The concept of using micro algae as a tracing material enhances this idea of past being reenacted on each frame, of a living-dead character in the previous moves. The micro algae are already dead, and fade away as they dry out and the light is projected on the surface. It’s an act of remembrance, which opposes this quality of dance and animation being ephemeral. The technique reminds me of archaic technology, like these (find type) old TV screens, which keep in the dark backgrounds the trace of the previous images. Like short-term memory, it enhances the curve onto which the dancer moves, and keeps alive what is already gone.

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LABOBRATORI notebooks: Boreal Each one is unique. Some of the colours used to paint the cover are microalgae pigments derived from the research project "Ecology of colour" developed at LABORATORIUM.

Microalgae watercolors

Microalgae watercolor palette done in collaboration with Laurence De Craene at Industrie Museum.

Labobratorium notebooks

Fist edition of the notebooks which covers were printed with microalgae pigments. This project is a collaboration between KASK and the Spanish bookbinding studio Labobratori. The colours applied to your notebook are sensitive to UV light and change over time. We want to hear and see how the notebook changes as the days go by.


How is the weather today by Camille Wouterson

“How is the weather today?” wants to subtly confront the audience with the climate crisis by asking a daily question in which people anticipate unconsciously on climate change too, but within a short-term perspective. Climate crisis is happening today, the consequences include extreme droughts and floods, the out of control version of a hot and rainy day. We can fool ourselves and say we can’t do anything about the current climate crisis. Science and technology however opened new perspectives which require long term engagement and adaptive new ways of behaviour for all of us. “How is the weather today?” is an open invitation to reflect on the weather and find ways to reconnect with our environment again.

The artwork has the printed quote ‘How is the weather today?’ which is hidden by the layered screen printed rectangles. The colours are applied using screen printing mediums which consist of sustainable pigments from microalgae. Each colour is created by using a different algae pigment. The artwork has the printed quote ‘How is the weather today?’ which is hidden by the layered screen printed rectangles. The colours are applied using screen printing mediums which consist of sustainable pigments from microalgae. Each colour is created by using a different algae pigment.

When the algae pigments are exposed to UV and O2 indoors or outdoors the pigments start to fade. The layered colour scheme of the poster will start to change and fade and after a couple of months/years (depending on amount of UV and O2 exposure) the quote in the centre of the poster will start to appear.

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Tempering steel by Jules Labath

No comes the tempering stage, tempering is used to incrementally increase or decrease the hardness of the steel. What you do is you bake the steel in the oven at a certain temperature, different temperatures result in different hardnessess and also different colours (structural colouring) the colour changes start to happen at around 180 °C, and make the steel extremely hard (the lower the temperature, the harder the metal will become.) so for instance, razor blades, rock drills and metal cutting saws are usually tempered between 176 °C and 205 °C whilst surgical tools, hammers, chisels and screwdrivers are tempered at 250 °C to 310 °C.

I tempered my blades at 280 °C resulting in a range of brown, purple and blue hues.

If steel has been freshly ground, sanded, or polished, it will form anoxide layer on its surface when heated. As the temperature of the steel is increased, the thickness of the iron oxide will also increase. Although iron oxide is not normally transparent, such thin layers do allow light to pass through, reflecting off both the upper and lower surfaces of the layer. This causes a phenomenon called thin-film interference, which produces colors on the surface.

Jules Labath

Research Chair on Beauty studies

On November 27, 2020, the Steering committee of the Research Chair on Beauty studies designated the laureates of its call for collective and transdisciplinary research projects.

In living beings, colours come from pigments and structures. Structural colouring produces colour by microscopically structured surfaces in layers thin enough to interfere with visible light. These colours are often constructed from simple biological elements such as cellulose, chitin, keratin and the pigment melanin. Melanin is the most common pigment in nature. In living organisms, organized melanin granules can interact with light on a nanoscale and generate colours that differ from brown (the colour of melanin), which are structural colours.

It was following these observations that Dr. Maria Boto Ordonez began to study the possibilities of using these structural colours to apply them to the arts by deciding to carry out this research with the contribution of the visual artist Ann Veronica Janssens. This research aims to design structures to obtain colours rarely available in nature, to create a palette of biodegradable and non-toxic colours of innovative beauty, to produce experiments and to question the question of beauty & structural colours from a sensorial point of view. In addition, the project wishes to question this research from a philosophical and aesthetic point of view with the participation of researchers in such involved fields.

Project led by Ann Veronica Janssens, Beaux-Arts de Paris - PSL & Dr. María Boto Ordóñez, Researcher at KASK / School of Arts Gent (Belgique)

Members of the scientific crew

Dr. Matthew Shawkey, Associate Professor at the Biology Department Department of Biology, Evolution and Optics of Nanostructures, Ghent University (Belgique). Pr. Nathan C. Gianneschi, Professor of Chemistry, Science & Engineering materials and Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Illinois (USA). Pr. Ali Dhinojwala, Dean of the College of Polymer Science and Engineering, Akron, Ohio (USA).

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Natural pigments from microalgae grown in industrial wastewater

The aim of this study was to investigate the cultivation of Nostoc sp., Arthrospira platensis and Porphyridium purpureum in industrial wastewater to produce phycobiliproteins. Initially, light intensity and growth medium composition were optimized, indicating that light conditions influenced the phycobiliproteins production more than the medium composition. Conditions were then selected, according to biomass growth, nutrients removal and phycobiliproteins production, to cultivate these microalgae in food-industry wastewater. The three species could efficiently remove up to 98%, 94% and 100% of COD, inorganic nitrogen and PO43−-P, respectively. Phycocyanin, allophycocyanin and phycoerythrin were successfully extracted from the biomass reaching concentrations up to 103, 57 and 30 mg/g dry weight, respectively. Results highlight the potential use of microalgae for industrial wastewater treatment and related high-value phycobiliproteins recovery.

Project done in collaboration with Dr.Stijn Van Hulle, Dave Manhaeghe, Larissa T. Arashiro (Vakgroep Groene Chemie en Technologie, LIWET-Laboratorium voor Industriële Waterbehandeling en Ecotechnologie, UGent)

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Pigment extraction at LIWET

Microalgae are considered as a reliable and sustainable feedstock for the production of biofuels and biochemically active compounds such as phycobiliproteins. Phycobiliproteins are a group of coloured proteins present commonly in cyanobacteria (blue–green algae) and red algae. These compounds are extensively used in foods, cosmetics, biotechnology, pharmacology and medicine. The use of microalgae for wastewater treatment has the potential to produce biomass in a more economic and sustainable way. In this sense, the extraction of pigments from the biomass, as by-products, could leverage the recovery of resources from wastewater, while becoming an alternative to synthetic pigments.

In the last decades, the need for clean surface water and the importance of drinking water have become clear. Specific consequences are the decentralization of wastewater treatment (e.g. companies cleaning their wastewater before reuse) and the paradigm shift towards nutrient recovery. LIWET (Laboratory for Industrial Water and EcoTechnology) supports this movement through testing technologies on lab-scale, followed by upscaling to make sure these technologies can be implemented on industrial scale.

This work is a collaboration with Dr.Stijn Van Hulle, Dave Manhaeghe, Larissa T. Arashiro (Vakgroep Groene Chemie en Technologie, LIWET-Laboratorium voor Industriële Waterbehandeling en Ecotechnologie, UGent).

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Color sensor

Color sensor by using ColorPAL Colour Sensor Module (Parallax Inc 28380). The sensor is able to measure and emit any color. Connected to a raspberry pie+screen can show the reading on the screen. This project is developed as an extension for neochromologism database to measure and name colors.

Project developed in collaboration with Daniel Gonzalez and Juan Luis Font.

Send us an email for the arduino code and documentation.

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.

Reckless Intimacy 2

A red slip, a vivid element of the Italian new years eve tradition. Full of hopes and dreams is this thread of lingerie exposed as a real threat to our inner demons in the last night of the old year. The whole nation is covering their intimates with a layer dyed in passion and prosperity and is fighting with it the demons of the old. What we perceive now is the flavour of an explosive and euphoric turn of the year. A sober stain of an emotional roller coaster, imprinted in red. Released into the ether as a chemical factor, it is triggering a social response.

Reckless Intimacy 2 is the origin of Reckless Intimacy 1, a sculptural composition that embodies the efforts individuals face while coping with everyday life. The complexity of our reality and internal conflicts are represented by an avalanche of twelve bulky drying racks, visualising the psychological condition we experience after an intensive year.

Material: Distillate, Red Slip

A work done by Vanessa Müller.

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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 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 a theory that explains the interaction between quarks and gluons, which is known as the strong interaction.In QCD, quarks and gluons are defined with a color and a color force. Although the color is the language used to describe this kind of interaction, it has nothing to do with visible color. Color is a quantic number. The reason for this nomenclature is the similarity in behavior of the three primary colors used in the 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 visualization and communication of research results. Widely used in scientific publications, there is a discussion in the scientific community for the use of colors, along with the miscommunication derived from their perception and reading.

For the Arts@CMS project, the color biolab that specializes in color extraction and application will work with red, green, and blue pigments produced in the Ghent Botanical Garden. This is in collaboration with the Department 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 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 in being 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 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).

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 photographer 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 Improvisation class, led by Bart Maris, of the Drama and Classical music departments of the School of Arts Ghent. The experiment was based on the mutual interaction of three improvisation groups: Dancers, Drawers and Musicians.

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

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


Research in the potential of propolis as a mummification material for the project "Beetorrent" by Jerry Galle.

"As the Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds was flooded after permafrost melted, the Global Seed Vault is possibly in danger. No seeds were lost yet, but the ability of the rock vault to provide failsafe protection against all disasters is now threatened by climate change. Taking care of preserving as much ‘informed matter’ as we can ourselves, beeTorrent could be of some help."

This project is part of "Tools for things and Ideas"

A project by Jerry Galle.

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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’.

A project by Lewi Moors & Jacob Schoolmeesters.


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

Through the visualization of interference colors observed in a mica sheet before and after the human intervention, this project aims to think about color 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 lamina looks transparent and colorless under the naked eye, but as anisotropic mineral has birefringence. This property allows for observing interference colors under a petrographic microscope that counts with a polarizer and a polarizer/analyzer. Not only does the color analysis give us an idea about the mineral that has this behavior and thus, valid scientific information, but also generates colorful mosaics that evoke artistic works.


Color is a physical property of light that we can perceive through our eyes. It is transformed by our brain in the form of an experience. The significance of color is different depending on the context. In science, color, and specifically in microscopy, is used to visualize organic and inorganic structures, its presence or absence. However, the aesthetic result is generally dismissed by the viewer. In this proposal, materials and methods of both fields are mixed to distort the information that we get from the images. Color is applied is human cells and plants cells derived from Linum usitatissimum, a plant commonly used to make art canvas. As the coloring source, fluorescence pigments used for cell research and calligraphy pigments were applied. The result is a series of photographs where the scale is questioned by these micro-cosmic images.

This project is a 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, especially 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.

Project by De Buurt Gent.

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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.

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A project by Jerry Galle. is an ongoing artistic website that aims to reflect about the color vocabulary that we are using in our daily lives at a both professional and personal level by establishing connections between a color name and meaning or experience.

The random RGB code generated for the website background is presented as a hexadecimal code, a name following the rules shown above and also gives the possibility to the user of naming 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

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. Part of the Color Biolab research, initiated by Laboratorium with OSP (Einar Andersen, Gijs de Heij & Sarah Magnan).

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Forget me Not

This research is made with natural pigments of algae, they decompose by daylight. It's our research process how to print with algae.

‘We are born ( originate ), we live ( exist ), we die ( decompose )’ A search into our desire to preserve what is. We know life comes to an end, yet there is the desire for eternity.

Rhythms of nature, of life, take us along babbling brooks, through storms, across mountains, down our own path. Everything we discover and experience along the way is kept in our memories, they are unique and are hidden in our hearts.

Deep down inside, lies a desire to stop these memories of becoming a memory. It is our wish to preserve them and keep them forever.

Suppose this was possible. What if we could capture everything in a glass cage, lock it up and believe we could preserve it all.

This series of prints is made with natural pigments of algae, they decompose by daylight. If you want to preserve them, you will have to protect them from daylight and keep them in the black box. They will not see the light of day. Therefore, if you want the prints to see daylight, you will have to accept the consequences.

They originate, they exist, but will they ever decompose?

This is a question we can ask ourselves in relation to the more and more feasible world that we are creating ourselves.

This project is the result of an artistic research conducted by Studio Kars + Boom, supported by the scientific research of the Art Academy Gent.

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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.

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The amazing Tardigrade-Water bear

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).

A project by Arta Konjusha.


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.

A project by Geertrui de Vijlder.

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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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A project by Weronika Zalewska.

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.

A project by Hamer Körmeling.


BioTrack is a real-time audiovisual installation expressing interest in morphological and behavioral complexity observed in nature. Specifically, small creatures evolve and engage in a computer-controlled habitat - sensors, activators and software afford conditioning and tracking creatures’ activity as situated in a small glass container. Movement is detected by means of a camera and custom computer-vision software. Variable light patterns are sent into the container using a 3D printed structure holding 16 LEDs (light emitting diodes). A machine learning algorithm targets to maximize behavioral diversity by optimizing the relationship between the complexity of observed trajectories in space and specific light patterns. In addition, the way trajectories evolve echoes in the way sound patterns develop over time.

A project by Peter Beyls.

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Piezo-Electrical Crystals

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.

A project by Quinten de Wilde.

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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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A project by Brenda Schaub.

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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A project by Thomas Vancoppenolle.

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.

A project by Shi Chen.


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’.

A project by Linde de Nijs.

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Algae 3D printing

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

A project by Janne Claes.

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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.

A project by Martha T'Hooft.

Fungus cases

Tags: users Date: 3 May 2018 Author: LABORATORIUM

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.

A project by Jelle Vandewiele.

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