LASER Talks Brussels: Light, Color and Matter
With Adrien Lucca, Dr Sebastien R. Mouchet and Heleen Sintobin

Moderated by: Edith Doove
Chaired by: Alexandra Dementieva

The topic "Light, Color, and Matter" is an exploration into the dynamic relationship between perception and materiality. It encompasses a broad spectrum of topics, including the study of vision in various organisms, from humans to animals and insects, the fundamental properties of electromagnetic radiation, the behavior of light waves, and the interaction of light with matter. Exploring texture, transparency, reflectivity, and other material qualities enriches our understanding of how light interacts with surfaces and shapes our perception of the world.

In collaboration with Namur University https://www.unamur.be/en


Since 2009, Adrien Lucca develops a multidisciplinary body of work around color and light that questions our perception of the physical world. In search of practical means of action to set up aesthetic experiences, he has set up a research and production laboratory where he conceives his works in an autonomous way at the intersection of art and science.To the antipodes of a sad passion for the normalization and the technicization of our relations to the physical world, Lucca believes that one can highlight the strangeness of the link between the physical world and our perception of it by appropriating scientific and technological resources. His most recent work aims at redefining the very concept of ìcolorî. Adrien Lucca (born in 1983 in Paris) lives and works in Brussels, Belgium


Studio Adrien Lucca
Created in 2015, Studio Adrien Lucca is a Belgian company whose main activity is the design, production and installation of monumental artworks in the public space.The studio has in-house research, innovation, prototyping and production activities that allow it to be largely autonomous with regard to the projects it undertakes. The main specialties are pigment color, glass and LED light, which are used in an approach that combines chemistry, physics and perception.

Projects are therefore either entirely made in-house or developed via a fleet of digital fabrication machines before being outsourced for production. The studio is equipped with CNC, 2D/3D cutting and printing, physics and chemistry devices,custom-designed software and a paint formulation lab. The studio has collaborated with many specialized companies: glass makers, glass factory, paint manufacturers, industrial production of metal structures, specialized lighting company, custom electronic component manufacturers, engineering and architectural offices, and scientific laboratories.The studio has thus acquired considerable experience in the realization of large-scale projects.

Dr Sebastien R. Mouchet received his BSc, MSc, and PhD degrees in Physics from the University of Namur, Belgium. Since his MSc and PhD degrees, he has studied the physical origins of various visual effects evolved by natural organisms: from additive colours in photonic polycrystals and fluid-induced colour changes to fluorescence emission in natural photonic structures and UV&IR scattering in integuments. After the completion of his PhD degree in 2015, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Exeter, UK for 4.5 years. He is now carrying out his research within the University of Namur, as a hon. senior honorary lecturer and researcher. With Prof. Olivier Deparis, he co-authored a book entitled ìNatural Photonics and Bioinspirationî. In November 2023, he was awarded the 10th Charles Courtoy Prize for the best PhD thesis in Physics of UNamur for 2014-2017.

Heleen Sintobin has a masters in Design Products at the Royal College of Art in London. In her current personal work she is exploring the future of crafts in the digital age. Heleen also works as an artistic researcher in KASK ís biolab Laboratorium in the interdisciplinary project Ecology of Colour. Together with scientist Maria Boto she explores the future of sustainable colour production.




LASER Talks Brussels
November 16 at 4 pm
Where: hybrid / IMAL
Quai des Charbonnages 30 Koolmijnenkaai, 1080 Brussels
Access Info: https://www.youtube.com/@imagicy/streams
Website: https://www.imal.org/en/events/codealgorithms

In the framework of the opening of exhibition ‘What is wisdom in a calculated world? Code & Algorithms
Panelists: Diego Diaz, Kyriaki Goni, Ana María Barragán Montero, Daniel Pérez Lozano and Manu Luksch

Moderator: Manuela Naveau
Organised: Lucia Garcia (director of IMAL) in collaboration with Alexandra Dementieva (Laser Talk Brussels)


In programming terms, an algorithm is a sequence of logical steps to solve a problem. Although the first ones we know of appear on tablets from the Babylonian Empire, everything changed in 1842 when the mathematician Ada Lovelace proposed what is considered the first computer algorithm, that is, the first algorithm that could be processed automatically by a machine.

Today, we are surrounded by devices capable of executing a multitude of algorithms. Our everyday life is inconceivable without them: they suggest how to get from one place to another, which film to watch or how to translate a word. Algorithms can help us predict a stroke two years before it happens, select crops that adapt to climate change or calculate the shape of 200 million molecules to understand diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson’s. They can also exclude us from a selection process and determine whether we qualify for a loan or health insurance.
Invisible and incomprehensible to most, algorithms remain a set of more or less sophisticated instructions with the capacity to generate positive or negative impacts on a large scale, depending on how we design them. We increasingly delegate major decisions to them, which is why it is essential to understand how they work and what ethical challenges they pose. How can we make our humanity prevail in a world calculated, organised and parameterized for algorithms?
Diego Diaz and Clara Boj have been working together since 2000. Since then, they have investigated how new digital technologies transform our society. Initially, they developed physical interaction and non-linear narrative systems to investigate and promote social and physical interaction in public space. Recently they are analyzing how the Internet of Behavior could transform our idea of the future, especially its effects in our society, when computers could totally understand and predict our behavior. Currently, Diego Diaz is an Associate Professor at Universitat Jaume I where he teaches experimental videogames design.

Kyriaki Goni born and based in Athens, works across media exploring the political, affective and environmental aspects of technology. She focuses on extractivism, surveillance, human and other than human relations, alternative networks and infrastructures of care and community. Manifesting through websites, drawing, videos, sound, and text, her installations build alternative ecosystems and shared experiences by connecting the local with the planetary, the fictional with the scientific.

Ana María Barragán Montero is a senior researcher at UCLouvain working in artificial intelligence methods for health care. In particular, she develops AI models to analyse medical images and predict optimal treatments for cancer patients. She studied physics at University Complutense in Madrid (Spain), and moved to Belgium in 2013 for a PhD in optimisation algorithms to improve proton therapy treatments for cancer patients. After graduating in 2017, she moved to the United States to the Medical Artificial Intelligence and Automation lab at UTSouthwestern, where she started to apply deep learning models for medical imaging. Since then, she has been working in the field of AI for healthcare. In addition, Ana is part of the non-profit organization CEBE (Spanish Scientists Abroad) where she shares her passion for science communication and reach out. 

Daniel Pérez Lozano, PhD  is a hardware development researcher specializing in cutting-edge technologies. He is presently employed at IMEC, where his primary focus lies in quantum computing and superconducting logic for high-performance computing. His ultimate objective is to enhance the computational capabilities of existing systems while simultaneously boosting their efficiency.
Manu Luksch - through her artistic practice, Manu Luksch interrogates conceptions of progress with a strong emphasis on research, collaboration and new forms of engagement. Her films and artworks raise critical interdisciplinary questions about the political and technological circumstances of particular forms of contemporary imagery, and how these can be deployed to question or critique the same systems they arise from. International awards and fellowships include Oustanding Artist Award 2023; Denning Visiting Artist Stanford University 2021; School of Law Birkbeck Visiting Artist 2020; ZONTA Award, 65th Kurzfilmfest Oberhausen 2019; Open Society Fellowship 2018; Best Feature Austrian Film Press Award & Moscow Int’l Documentary Film Festival 2016.

Manuela Naveau (PhD) is a university professor, an independent curator and an art-based researcher.  For almost 18 years she worked as curator and projectmanager at Ars Electronica Linz, where she developed the Ars Electronica Export department together with Artistic Director Gerfried Stocker and led it operationally since its inception. Since 2020, Manuela Naveau has been a university professor for Critical Data at the Artuniversity Linz, department Interface Cultures, which she is heading since February 2023. Previously, she has held teaching positions on the topic of Art/Science at the Paris Lodron University in Salzburg, the Danube University Krems among others and in 2021 she was invited as a guestprofessor at the Technical University in Vienna (Future.Lab). Her monography "Crowd and Art - Kunst und Partizipation im Internet" was published in 2017 by transcript Verlag, Germany. The book is based on her dissertation, for which she received the Award of Excellence from the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy in 2016.

Billions of Operations Per Second BCN Supercomputing © Espacio Fundación Telefónica, 2022.

CYLAND http://www.cyland.org/lab

Restoring the Human Element - The Power of Transdisciplinary Collaboration between Arts, Science and Technology

9th November 2023, Royal Academy of Antwerpen

Panelists: Ronny Blust, Marjoljin Dijkman, Eva-Maria Lopez, Frank Theys and Florian Zanatta
Moderator: Edith Doove

Alexandra Dementieva ADEM vzw/asbl and Kristof Timmerman (research group MAXlab) 

image: @Marjoljin Dijkman

The current state of our society is a product of the technological developments that originated in the second half of the past century. These accelerating technological innovations have shaped our way of life profoundly. From the advent of computers and the internet to the rise of automation and mass production, these developments have revolutionized various aspects of our lives. However, the rapid pace of progress often overshadowed the long-term implications, leading to unintended consequences such as environmental degradation, social inequalities, and the erosion of human connection. Blinded and propelled by the promises of technological progress we have often overlooked as well the human factor as the ecological consequences.
Can the arts play a role in rectifying this imbalance by reintroducing the human and environmental element as the center of scientific and technological advancements? As we grapple with the challenges of today, such as the ecological crisis and societal imbalances, transdisciplinary collaboration becomes imperative. By integrating the arts, technology, and science, we can reimagine our future and create a society that harmoniously considers the human experience, the ecological well-being, and the technological advancements. Transdisciplinary collaboration serves as a powerful catalyst for addressing the challenges posed by our technological legacy. By bringing together artists, scientists, technologists, and ecologists, we can bridge the gaps between disciplines and foster a holistic approach to problem-solving. Through collaboration, we can pool diverse perspectives, knowledge, and experiences to create innovative solutions that address the human, ecological, and technological dimensions of contemporary challenges.

Ronny BLUST is Professor of Ecophysiology and Ecotoxicology at the Department of Biology, University of Antwerp.
Together with Kristof TIMMERMAN organizes the Maxlab. His research is focussed amongst others on environmental chemistry, ecology and bioaccumulation. His environmental chemistry research integrates issues from pollution, bioavailability and surface water. His ecology research is multidisciplinary, incorporating perspectives in zoology and animal science.


Marjolijn DIJKMAN is an artist, researcher, and co-founder of Enough Room for Space, based in Brussels. Her works, that have been shown worldwide, can be seen as a form of scienceЦfiction, partly based on facts and research but often brought into the realm of fiction, abstraction, and speculation. Enough Room for Space initiates long-term experimental research projects, challenging the barriers between disciplines (artistic, scientific, or activist). She is currently a Ph.D. candidate as part of the artistic research cluster Deep Histories Fragile Memories at LUCA - School of Arts Brussels / Leuven University until 2027.

Eva-Maria LOPEZ is a multidisciplinary artist based in Karlsruhe and Paris.
After receiving the masterТs degree in agriculture, she studied art at the Academy of Fine Art in Karlsruhe, Germany. Due to this background, issues relating to nature and environment have an important impact on her art. Working with the themes of nature, ecology and their historical contexts., she explores the relationship between object and environment. Her sensitivity to the destruction of natural habitats and resources, as well as socially anchored structures in contemporary societies, is highly visible. In her work, Lopez places various realities in new contexts and thereby makes them visible. Her work is shown internationally in shows and on art & science conferences; she is key founder of NAIA (Naturally and Artificially Intelligence Art association) in Karlsruhe. Next to photography as the main medium she is using AR and installations and even land art. Her works explore means of conveying these issues visually. Merging realities or history together into one picture or graphic and reframing themes are the central aims of her projects. Artistic long term research is also an integral part of her work. By the interplay of keywords, titles and slogans, Lopez attempt is to arouse questioning in the audience.

Frank THEYS - artist and researcher based in Brussels and Amsterdam. In 2006 he collaborated with Michel Bauwens to create the three-part documentary film TechnoCalyps and the author of TechnoCalyps which delves into the scientific, ethical and metaphysical dimensions of technological development.Genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence, bionics and nanotechnology have mankind transcending human limits.

Dr. Florian ZANATTA is based in Liège and working on biogeography and urban ecology. He focused his research on developing ecological niche models to explore bryophytes migration capacity, integrating wind dispersal simulations, in the context of climate changes. Later he worked at Meise Botanic Garden, mainly on bryophytes spores morphological variations using SEM photography and morphometric analysis. He co-founded lacYme, a collaborative urban ecology lab which develops science communication and citizen-science-based research projects and activities combining scientific, historic and artistic approaches.

Moderator: Edith Doove - https://bureaudoove.com

CYLAND http://www.cyland.org/lab

Illuminating Liquid Crystals: A Fusion of Art and Scientific Exploration

Panelists: Dmitry Gelfand, Evelina Domnitch and Yoann Olivier
Edith Doove
Organisation: Alexandra Dementieva
26th October 2023
Hosted by KIKK festival
Studio at floor -1, Théâtre de Namur, place du Théâtre 2, 5000 Namur

In an innovative project titled "Lemniscate Cascade," artists and scientists join forces to unravel the secrets of light-sensitive liquid crystals. This enigmatic material is more than just the stuff of digital displays, but holds the key to the fundamental dialogue between light and soft matter that sparked life on Earth. The artists behind "Lemniscate Cascade" employ laser beams to traverse light-sensitive liquid crystals, setting off a mesmerizing chain of transformations along the beam's path. 

It's fascinating how the very materials featured in 'Lemniscate Cascade' could draw parallels to elucidate the materials and intricate physical processes at the core of this scientific research. The dual-phase nature of liquid crystals and their intriguing response to light might find intriguing correlations with the dual-state duality of singlets and triplets in the realm of OLEDs.

Yoann Olivier researches the future of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLEDs). OLEDs are at the forefront of lighting and display technologies, but there's always room for improvement. This project delves into the world of TADF (Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescence) to boost OLEDs' efficiency to an astounding 100%. It's a quest to understand the intricacies of singlet and triplet states, influenced by magnetic field effects (MFEs) such as spin-orbit coupling, hyperfine interaction, and the delta g mechanism. Olivier's multi-scale approach tackles these challenges, offering new perspectives for material design.

Dmitry Gelfand (b.1974, St. Petersburg, Russia) and Evelina Domnitch (b. 1972, Minsk, Belarus) create installations and performances that merge physical phenomena with uncanny philosophical practices. Current findings, particularly regarding wave phenomena, are employed by the artists to investigate questions of perception and perpetuity. Such investigations are salient because the scientific picture of the world, which serves as the basis for contemporary thought, still cannot encompass the unrecordable workings of consciousness.
Having dismissed the use of recording and fixative media, Domnitch and Gelfand's installations exist as ever-transforming phenomena offered for observation. Because these rarely seen phenomena take place directly in front of the observer without being intermediated, they often serve to vastly extend the observer's sensory envelope. The immediacy of this experience allows the observer to transcend the illusory distinction between scientific discovery and perceptual expansion.
To trace the liquid
crystal’s light-propelled flow, hollow glass microspheres are suspended in the solution. These tiny lenses also serve to expand the liquid crystal’s sensitivity to brightness and color. During the laser beam’s self-shaping journey, it creates a projection that magnifies microscopic landscapes in the liquid’s depths. 

Yoann Olivier obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Mons in 2008. From 2009 to 2013, he held a postdoctoral fellowship from Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) and went on postdoctoral stays with Prof. Claudio Zannoni at the University of Bologna and Prof. Henning Sirringhaus at the University of Cambridge. From 2013 to 2019, he was a research associate at the University of Mons and recently joined in July 2019 the Chemistry and Physics departments of the University of Namur as a lecturer. His research interests deal with the understanding of electronic processes in organic conjugated (small molecule and polymers) and especially materials for organic light-emitting diodes, including TADF, inverted singlet-triplet gap compounds and radical emitters.

Laser Talks Brussels - sunEARth / sunearth cohabitate / the solar pulsations echoing in the Earth's biosphere
Chaired by: Alexandra Dementieva
Panelists: Pepa Ivanova, Nicky Assman, Dr. Yana Maneva, Jasmina Magdalenic
Moderator: Edith Doove
19th September 2023
Hosted by NICC Brussels

The subject of this talk is motivated by the artistic practice-based PhD-research 'An Echo of the Sun' conducted by Pepa Ivanova at LUCA, School of Arts, and KU Leuven in collaboration with the Royal Observatory of Belgium (2019-2023).

While current research in artscience focuses on AI, bio media, and human-caused environmental changes, this talk discusses the sun-earth cohabitation. The research focuses on the physical processes of the sun captured by solar and earth observations which become creative mediums in the conception of the artworks dedicated to the interaction of the two cosmic bodies. In the contextualization of this research, Ivanova examines the holistic sun-earth dynamics from the perspective of more-than-human theories. According to these, all biotic and abiotic factors on the earth share equal importance and expand in an ecosystem with the cosmos.

Bridging Alexander Chizhevsky holistic interaction of cosmic bodies with Luciana Parisi's autopoietic in algorithmic architecture in a dialogue between scientists and artists we look at the sun-earth intra-connection found in frequencies and pulsating in planetary processes. The artworks resulting from the research encompass various methods and media; from fictional solar data drawings translated by scientists, and mixed media installation touching on the solar surface; to interface composing the incoming solar events into soundscapes and an installation summarizing the entirety of the visual light on the earth.

Pepa Ivanova is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher based in Brussels. Her recent works question the epistemological values of numeric languages and their scientific and art translations. Fascinated by how to materialize temporality, she composes light and sound experiences, she constructs decaying installations as well as physical scenarios to interact with.

Ivanova current research on the light on earth is supported by KIKK, Namur, and funded by the Wallonie Government, Belgium. It is part of the objectives of her Ph.D. in LUCA, Ghent/ KULeuven with a focus on sun-earth cohabitation found in pulsating patterns in the living and nonliving.


Nicky Assman is an artist with a background in Film and ArtScience who combines artistic, scientific and cinematographic knowledge in experiments that use physical and chemical processes, such as turbulence and fluid dynamics. Topics that serve as a metaphor for the turbulent and fluid times in which we live. By implementing natural and optical phenomena she creates visual compositions for a sensorial experience and often ephemeral macro universes.
Assmann has exhibited her work worldwide in solo and group shows. She was longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2023.


Dr. Yana Maneva is a heliophysicist with experience in space weather forecasting currently working at the Technical Support for Space Weather Operations at Royal Observatory of Belgium. Maneva has taken an active part in the creation of the WARMTH installation by Pepa Ivanova. Her input is the discussion concerns the journey into the solar depth giving introduction of the physicality and behavior of the solar layers and plasma. 

Dr. Jasmina Magdalenic is a scientist in the field of plasma astrophysics at the Royal Observatory of Belgium and an associate professor at KU Leuven at the Plasma-astrophysics Department. Her input in this discussion concerns the data analysis of the solar observation data and the methods of recognition and categorizing the different phenomena in the solar plasma. 


CYLAND Lab http://www.cyland.org/lab

Intersecting Realities: Exploring the Metaverse through the Lens of Art and Science
Organised by Alexandra Dementieva and Peter Friess
Bruno Dumas, Giusy Caruso, Eric Joris and Isjtar
moderated: Peter Friess
5th July 2023
Hosted by IMAL, Brussels

The Metaverse is “a post-reality universe, a perpetual and persistent multiuser environment merging physical reality with digital virtuality. It is based on the convergence of technologies that enable multisensory interactions with virtual environments, digital objects and people such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).” [Mystakidis 2022].
The term ‘Metaverse’ was coined and used in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel “Snow Crash”, and Ernest Cline's 2011 “Ready Player One”. The situation changed when Facebook rebranded as part of Meta Platforms Inc. in October 2021. Whereas the novelists' vision of the Metaverse is generally a dystopian one, the current protagonists and promotors bring forward a more positive view, as for example the procuration of new meanings of live or contribution to improve society [Ball 2022]. 
One could imagine the Metaverse becomes something other than an extension of today’s mass market culture, connecting physical and virtual worlds to create new spaces? What if the Metaverse contributed indeed to increase our resilience in the current Anthropocene, to rethink our relations to other humans, other beings, and matter, also transcending the limitations of a physical space. [Friess, Ruche 2023]?
The Metaverse, virtual worlds, and Web 4.0 have emerged as transformative trends shaping the future of our digital societies, by using technologies like augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchain.
Nevertheless, there are some related challenges to it - namely artists are concerned about the protection of their intellectual property within the metaverse, as it becomes increasingly difficult to prevent unauthorized use, reproduction, or distribution of their works, and surveillance. Some artists also worry that the immersive nature of virtual environments could lead to a loss of genuine human interaction, making artistic experiences less meaningful.
From a societal and ethical perspective, it will be important to ensure equal access to the metaverse, and not to forget issues such as the potential for addiction, manipulation, and energy consumption.
Artists and scientists together could generate a synergistic view and energy on the Metaverse, that leads to the creation of an immersive, accessible, and empowering digital environment. By combining the creativity of both, we can envision a digital realm that transcends the ordinary and elevates human experiences. It is crucial to remain vigilant in ensuring that the metaverse does not become overly commercialized or controlled by a select few, which could stifle our imagination and limit the diversity of opinions.
Suggested points for the discussion: 
_ What makes the Metaverse interesting for artists and scientists?
_ How to envision creativity, self-expression and authenticity in virtual worlds?
_ A metaverse beyond the Facebook Metaverse?

Matthew Ball. 2022. The Metaverse And How It Will Revolutionize Everything. W. W. Norton. London.
Peter Friess, Alain Ruche. The Metaverse: Did we escape a boring virtual world? Yes, by 2030 - thanks to inspired entrepreneurs and artists. Leonardo 2023. https://doi.org/10.1162/leon_a_02369
Stylianos Mystakidis. Metaverse. Encyclopedia 2022, 2(1), 486-497. https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia2010031

Bruno Dumas, Professor at the faculty of computer science of Université de, obtained his doctorate in 2010 from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. His doctoral thesis focused on the creation of multimodal interfaces. As post-doc researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel he continued his work on multimodal and cross-media systems. At present he leads the Extended User Interfaces (EXUI) research team, focusing on human-computer interaction, multimodal interfaces, augmented reality, and digital education.
Giusy Caruso, Chairwoman of the CREATIE Research Group at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, artist-researcher and professional concert pianist oriented towards the futuristic nexus of art-science-technology. Her research explores novel forms of human-machine interaction for the creation of XR performances, the analysis of gestures and AI Musicking via Machine Learning –in co-creative projects that combines music, dance, theatre and the active participation of spectators. 

Eric Joris, is a Belgian multidisciplinary artist and stage director. In 1991 he founded CREW, pioneering research on how technology influences us and enables us to switch in real-time between different worlds. Scientific Fiction is an apt description of Eric Joris’ modus operandi.
Today, CREW is driven by two artists: Eric Joris and,
Isjtar Vandebroeck, media artist, game developer and now technical director. Together with other returning collaborators and cocreators, they lead the audience through virtual and real spaces, integrating ordinary i-pads, motion capture suits or StrapTrack systems into digital art with VR devices.
Moderators and organiser:
Peter Friess (artist name Petermfriess) has a background in self-organizing social systems (Ph.D.) and space technology. Besides his activities in ICT innovation, he is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher with a an interest in artificial intelligence, and humanities. His focus is on the connection of societal changes with transdisciplinary processes. His work has been shown around the world at exhibitions and festivals.
Alexandra Dementieva is a multimedia artist based in Brussels. The idea of interaction between the viewer and an artwork, mediated by technologically progressive visualization methods, lies at the core of her work. Her installations focus on the role of the viewer and her/his interaction with an artwork and bring forth ways of provoking the viewer’s involvement, thus allowing hidden mechanisms of human behaviour to be revealed. (https://alexdementieva.org/)

The Artwork As A Living System
Chaired by: Alexandra Dementieva
Panelists: Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau and Dr. Elio Tuci
Moderator: Dr. Florian Zanatta
15th April 2023
Hosted by IMAL

The intersection between biology, technology & art, and the use of biological systems and processes serve as a metaphor for the complex relationships between humans, nature and the digital world.

Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau are internationally acclaimed pioneers of interactive art. Since the early 90s, their immersive installations encourage us to explore and interact with natural environments and to participate in their simultaneous transformation in the digital space. Plants, water and lights become sensitive interfaces through which the public can create and connect with virtual environments.

Dr. Elio Tuci is a researcher in the field of artificial life, with a focus on using robotic and computational models to understand the behaviour of biological systems. He has collaborated with artists on projects that explore the intersection of art, science, and technology.


Dr. Florian Zanatta is conducting research projects on bryophytes biogeography and urban ecology. During his PhD thesis (2013-2018) at the University of Liège he developed a novel framework for dynamic ecological niche models, integrating species-specific and spatially explicit migration simulations, in order to explore bryophytes potential migration capacity through wind dispersal, in the context of climate changes. Later he worked at Meise Botanic Garden (2020-2022).

He co-founded a citizen urban ecology lab (non-profit) in Liège called "lacYme" (2021), which develops science communication and citizen-science-based research projects and activities (e.g. BioBlitzes, urban biodiversity walks…). During these collaborative events, lacYme aims at gathering scientists from different fields, naturalists, artists and citizen together around places to explore, experiment and discuss biodiversity and ecological questions, with the complementarity of these approaches.

Thursday 26 January 2023
iMAL, Brussels
'The Cookery’ debuted its first edition between 23 and 29 January 2023.
'The Cookery' programme includes workshops, conferences, round tables, presentations and performances on the most emerging artistic practices - from creative coding, audiovisual and sound art practices to those linked to extended realities, artificial intelligence, design, fashion or architecture. 

Laser Talks Brussels was hold January 26 from 10 to 6 PM, Friday at 12 PM,Saturday at 12 PM.
Streaming will be organised for 'Realities in Transition'. Experts group. Roundtable

The growth of XR (Extended Reality) scenarios (Augmented & Virtual Realities, Metaverse...), raises serious social and cultural issues.  The Realities in Transition project aims at addressing these by thinking and promoting a common, open and sustainable XR, at a European level.

All events were recorded and put online later.

Programme for THURSDAY 26.01

Nicolas Nova

Nicolas Nova is a researcher, writer and design researcher. He is an anthropologist of technology active in the field of contemporary cultures, interaction design and futures research. His work is focused on observing and documenting digital and new media practices, as well as environmental changes. Using ethnographic approaches, Nicolas investigates everyday cultures to tell stories, and employs design techniques such as Design Fiction to explore the implications of social or technological changes.
He is both co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory, a research agency based in Europe and California, and Professor at the Geneva University of Arts and Design (HEAD – Genève), where he teaches digital anthropology, ethnography and design research. He is also associate researcher at medialab SciencesPo in Paris.
Nicolas holds a PhD in Social Sciences (University of Geneva), and another PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from the Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL, Switzerland). He was previously visiting professor at ENSCI - Les Ateliers (Paris) and Politecnico di Milano, visiting researcher at the Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA), the Institute of Sociological Research at the University of Geneva, and co-founder/curator of the Lift Conferences, a series of international events about digital culture, design and innovation. He has given talks and exhibited his work on the intersections of design, technology and the near-future in venues such SXSW, EPIC, the AAAS conference, O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, PICNIC, NEXT, the design week in Milano, and the Institute for the Future.

Regine Debatty

Régine Debatty is a Belgian curator, blogger and art critic who lives in Turin, Italy. In 2004, she created we make money not art, a blog that has received numerous distinctions over the years, including two Webby awards and an honorary mention at the STARTS Prize, a competition launched by the European Commission to acknowledge “innovative projects at the interface of science, technology and art”.
Régine writes and lectures internationally about the way artists, hackers and designers use science and technology as a medium for critical discussion. She created A.I.L. (Artists in Laboratories), a weekly program about the connections between art and science for Resonance104.4fm, London’s legendary art radio station (2012–14.) She has collaborated on numerous publications, most notably co-authoring the “sprint book” New Art/Science Affinities, published by Carnegie Mellon University (2011), co-editing E-Relevance· The Role of Arts & Culture in the Age of Artificial Intelligence for the Council of Europe (2021) and she is now co-writing a book about art and digital labour.


In an online streaming event, Eric and Isjtar present CREWs work past and future in the form of a lecture performance. Participants are guided through the CREW studio. Historical hardware artefacts developed by CREW are combined with XR techniques to draw a complex picture of CREW’s work, and how it relates to past, present and future forms of XR performance. After the lecture, participants are invited to an open discussion online.
Eric Joris, founder of CREW, is a transdisciplinary artist and researcher that pioneered immersive VR performances. Since 2003 CREW and Eric have realized fully embodied performances using in-house developed Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
Isjtar works as a media artist, electronic music composer and performer. A first-generation native digital artist, he uses the computer as chisel, stone and looking glass. His work is transdisciplinary, as such he excels in collaborations and art-science-technology crossovers.
Since 2019, Eric and Isjtar form the artistic heart of CREW together to plot and fill out CREW's artistic trajectory. As an experimental company, CREW seeks to make visible the ways technology changes us. The playground for sharing this immersive work with the public includes theatre, installations, and performances. These real-time creations anchor immersion in the here and now as the point of contact between humans and technology.
Participants requirements: up to date computer with good enough internet connection

Talk by Bavo van Kerrebroek
XR technology, as the latest instantiation of our escape into the virtual, has now reached a point from which we are no longer bound to our physical bodies, substituting conscious experience of our physical environments for experimentally controlled, simulated, and multisensorial contexts. With its capacity to immerse its users while offering an embodied sense of presence, it has great potential to simulate existing, or create new musical contexts enriching for embodied and collective music making. This presentation will give an overview of scientific and artistic research into the dynamic and coregulatory processes underlying music making, to answer fundamental questions regarding the technologically-mediated nature of musical expression and experience in XR. It aims to provide a basis for the extended musical space, in which composers, performers, spectators, and participants can explore, discover, and co-create the fertile dynamics and meaningful engagements of making music in XR.
Bavo Van Kerrebroeck is a researcher in the fields of embodied (musical) interaction, extended reality and human-computer interaction. He works with extended reality and audio spatialization technologies to enable and investigate the dynamical processes underlying coordination between musical players. For this purpose, he develops enriched and mediated musical contexts in which people and machines interact and can meaningfully express themselves. He is currently finalizing his PhD at the Institute of Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music (IPEM). His work has been published in the Frontiers and Computer-Human Interaction journals and has been presented at ISMIR, ICMC and Expanded Animation at Ars Electronica.


AI can be used to create, alter and deceive identities. Using this technology as a metaphor for questions of agency, constructivism and personality models is a continued interest of Alexander Schubert - leading to the current music theatre work ANIMA™
Alexander Schubert (1979) studied bioinformatics, multimedia composition. He’s a professor at the Musikhochschule Hamburg. Schubert’s interest explores the border between the acoustic and electronic world. In music composition, immersive installation and staged pieces he examines the interplay between the digital and the analogue. He creates pieces that realize test settings or interaction spaces that question modes of perception and representation. Continuing topics in this field are authenticity and virtuality. The influence and framing of digital media on aesthetic views and communication is researched in a post-digital perspective. Recent research topics in his works were virtual reality, artificial intelligence and online-mediated artworks.
Schubert is a founding member of ensembles such as “Decoder“.
His works have been performed more than 700 times in the last few years by numerous ensembles in over 30 countries.


The growth of XR (Extended Reality) scenarios (Augmented & Virtual Realities, Metaverse...), raises serious social and cultural issues.
The Realities in Transition project aims at addressing these by thinking and promoting a common, open and sustainable XR, at a European level.
To do so, the activation of an active, thinking Creative and Activist European XR community is needed.
The 7 members of the consortium (Seconde Nature - France - Aix en Provence; LEV - Spain - Gijon and Madrid; Kontejner - Croatia – Zagreb; Ars Electronica - Austria – Linz; Dark Euphoria - France – Marseille; V2 - Netherland – Rotterdam and iMal - Belgium – Brussels) will animate the Creative and Activist European XR community composed of the following contributors and beneficiaries, from diverse sectors, at various levels of implication: The cultural and creative sector, Students and academia, Economic sector, Government and policy makers, Civil society.

FRIDAY 27.01
17:00 / Talk: Fari (ULB - VUB)
The popularity of using artificial intelligence to generate art is growing. However, ethical concerns arise about making art with models that have been trained using other people’s artwork. What does that mean for creativity? How is generative AI changing creative work? When is art really art? Who is the real author of the work? These are all questions that will be addressed.
Session Moderator: Lea Rogliano
Participants: Hugues Bersini, FARI AI Institute for Common Good Lead Scientific Advisor / Head, IRIDIA (ULB), Carl Mörch, Manager, FARI AI Institute for Common Good, Université Libre de Bruxelles & more TBC

17:00 / Talk: Benjamin Gaulon
Benjamin Gaulon is an artist, researcher, educator and cultural producer. He has previously released work under the name "recyclism". His research focuses on the limits and failures of information and communication technologies; planned obsolescence, consumerism and disposable society; ownership and privacy; through the exploration of détournement, hacking and recycling. His projects can be softwares, installations, pieces of hardware, web based projects, interactive works, street art interventions and are, when applicable, open source.

He is currently director of NØ SCHOOL, a non profit organisation whose mission is to support and promote emerging art and design research and practices that address the social and environmental impacts of information and communication technologies, in France and beyond. Co-organiser of NØ SCHOOL NEVERS 2019. And he is the CEO of IoDT the Internet of Dead Things Institute
Organised by iMAL, in collaboration with ADEM Lab & Cyland Lab.

Immersive listening
Chaired by: Alexandra Dementieva
Panelists: Roel Heremans and Esther Venrooij
Moderator: Edith Doove

Tuesday 20 December 2022
iMAL, Brussels

On the Process of Becoming Silent and Listening - Esther Venrooij

An evening around attentive listening through the work of two artist-researchers that create immersive sound installations, sound landscapes, or films in which listening triggers the imagination and creates a special relationship with the audience.

Roel Heremans is a transdisciplinary artist working with sound, composed introspection and neurofeedback.
In most of his works he composes fragments of audio that trigger the imagination of visitors in order to create immersive group experiences.
As a result the visitors simultaneously become actors, witnesses, performers and reenactors of mental and physical processes of thought and movement, where collective performances encounter individual reactions and vice versa

Esther Venrooij considers her dual roles as artist and composer as occupying two different sensorial planes. She creates work in a variety of media, such as composed music, improvised combinations of electronica, video and site-specific installations. With a sharp focus, both in her studies and creative impulses on audio topography, she explores the way sound and movements inhabits space. Having collaborated live and in the studio with a variety of visual, sound and dance artists, Venrooij’s biography reads like a mixed media map of projects. She has performed and presented her works extensively for audiences in Europe, Asia and United States. In November 2015, she completed her PhD studies in Art at KULeuven with an exhibition of a series of sound installations and a dissertation: ‘Audio Topography: The Interaction of Sound, Space and Medium’. In 2018, she was granted a ZAP-mandate at KULeuven, in the field “Spatial Experiences: Spatial Experiences: Visual, Auditory, Sensorimotor, Tactile and Conceptual” and is she supervising doctoral research projects.

Images references :
Esther Venrooij : Double screening, Installation view "On the Process of Becoming Silent and Listening" (2021)

Roel Heremans : The NeuroRight Arcades on Ars Electronica Festival

The olfactory experience as a new language
Chaired by: Alexandra Dementieva
Panelists: Peter De Cupere and Piet Devos
Moderator: Edith Doove
12th June 2022
Hosted by IMAL

The olfactory experience is accessible to people of different cultures and with different abilities. It might actually become a new language for dialogue about common human values and needs.

In the animal world the olfactory system plays one of the most important roles to help animals to survive. In order to hunt, to recognize enemies and friendly species, smells warn them of potential danger. Humans perceive smells with each breath and while still inside of the womb their olfactory sensor is fully developed at the age of 7-8 months. But later humans lose half of these capacities. During the last two decades, doctors and researchers, from neuroscientists to the humanities, have sought to better understand the sense of smell, the way it shapes our everyday life, our emotions, feelings, our eating preferences, its role in creating memory and its functioning in our social interactions.

As part of the The Festival of the New European Bauhaus, LASERtalks Brussels invites artist Peter De Cupere and scholar Piet Devos to discuss their work on the importance of smell in human and nonhuman interaction. The talk is moderated by Edith Doove and Alexandra Dementieva.

The Festival of the New European Bauhaus brings together people from all walks of life to debate and shape our future. A future that is sustainable, inclusive and beautiful. It is a great opportunity to network, exchange and celebrate – from science to art, from design to politics, from architecture to technology.

About Adem
Adem asbl/vzw is Nonprofit organisation based in Brussels, Belgium. It develops and produces artistic creations and participates in the realization and artistic production of projects, covering all aspects of artistic creations, all disciplines and in particular multimedia, science, communication, journalism, it organizes events -talks, performances, exhibitions.

Leonardo fosters transformation at the nexus of art, science and technology, because complex problems require creative solutions. We serve to empower an inclusive global network, a borderless community where all belong in pursuit of a more vibrant, just and regenerative world. A fearless pioneer since 1968, Leonardo serves as THE community forging a transdisciplinary network to convene, research, collaborate and disseminate best practices at the nexus of arts, science and technology worldwide.

About LASER Talks
Leonardo/ISAST LASER Talks are a program of international gatherings that bring artists, scientists, humanists and technologists together for informal presentations, performances and conversations with the wider public. The mission of LASER is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building.

About New European Bauhaus Festival
The Festival brings together people from all walks of life to debate and shape our future. A future that is sustainable, inclusive and beautiful. It is a great opportunity to network, exchange and celebrate – from science to art, from design to politics, from architecture to technology. The Festival brings the European Green Deal at the heart of our daily lives

Founded in 2007, CYLAND is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding the intersection of Art :: Tech through an annual international festival, visual exhibitions, sound art, video art, and educational programming. CYLAND brings together artists, curators, technologists, educators, and thinkers to create innovative projects around the world.

About iMAL
iMAL is a space for artistic practices around the creative and critical use of new technologies. iMAL connects a community of artists, thinkers, makers and citizens from Belgium and abroad and offers a completely renewed infrastructure to support a program focusing on research, production and presentation.

For press enquiries please contact Christiana Kazakou
Program Engagement Specialist, LEONARDO/ISAST

Peter De Cupere is the most prolific and proactive proponent of olfactory art in the world and an expert in the field of the olfactory system. In collaboration with a number of visually impaired assistants he has developed a shared system of writing for the blind to create an olfactory alphabet, the OLFABET.

Piet Devos is an author, translator and literary scholar. At the age of five he became blind due to retinal cancer. These experiences of illness and disability are very important for who he is today. They have shaped him as a person, as a writer and researcher, but also as an activist for a greener and more inclusive world.


Alexandra Dementieva is a multimedia artist. Like an explorer she raises questions related to social psychology and theories of perception suggesting solutions to them by contemporary artistic means.

Edith Doove (PhD) is a curator, writer and researcher, specifically interested in notions of emergence and contingency, cross and transdisciplinary collaborations.

‘Tangible sound, postdigital instruments, audio spatialization
technologies and extended reality.’

Chaired by: Alexandra Dementieva
Panelists: Claire Williams, Enrique Tomás and Bavo Van Kerrebroeck
Moderator: Alexandra Dementieva
23th April 2023
Hosted by dinA - Nieuwbrug 3 Rue du Pont Neuf / Brussel 1000 Bruxelles

Materialising digital matter into sound objects, embodied music interaction, spatialisation technologies to enable and investigate synchronisation between musical players using movement and sound, the physical aspects of musical human machine interaction, reinterpretation the physical value of well established cultural techniques creating Tangible user Interface.

Claire Williams is working at the borders of science, technology, arts and textiles. She  sees her self as an artist and researcher that tries to work between these fields, finding a common language, creating and amplifying specific interactions between different mediums. Her obsessions lay mostly around data, sound and ancient textiles, trying to materialise digital matter, imperceptible or inaudible informations found in our super saturated techno environment. She likes to work with unstable media, researching ways to create specific tools, usages or techniques to give us a sensitive experience of our daily environment. In her work she mainly uses textile techniques, hacked machines, DIY electronics, open source software and hardware.

Enrique Tomás is a sound artist and post-doc researcher who dedicates his time to finding new ways of expression and play with sound, art and technology. His work explores the intersection between sound art, computer music, locative media and human-machine interaction. 
As an individual artist, Tomás’ activity is centered around ultranoise.es and focuses on performances and installations with extreme and immersive sounds and environments. He has exhibited and performed in spaces of Ars Electronica, Sonar, CTM, IRCAM, IEM, KUMU, SMAK, NOVARS, STEIM, Steirischer Herbst, Alte Schmiede, etc., and in galleries and institutions throughout Europe and Latin America.
TAMLAB (Tangible Music Lab) at the University of Linz https://tamlab.ufg.at
Dr. Dipl.-Ing. Enrique Tomás, Post Doc researcher at TAMLAB https://tamlab.ufg.at/team/enrique-tomas 

Bavo Van Kerrebroeck is a researcher in the fields of embodied (musical) interaction, extended reality and human-computer interaction. He works with extended reality and audio spatialization technologies to enable and investigate the dynamical processes underlying coordination between musical players. For this purpose, he develops enriched and mediated musical contexts in which people and machines interact and can meaningfully express themselves. He obtained a master’s in engineering and computer music at the KUleuven and Sorbonne University, did a research internship at IRCAM and worked as an analyst for IBM and the European Space Agency. He is currently finalizing his PhD at the Institute of Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music (IPEM). His work has been published in the Frontiers and Computer-Human Interaction journals and has been presented at ISMIR, ICMC and Expanded Animation at Ars Electronica. 

Laser Talk Brussels is curated and organized by Alexandra Dementieva (ADEM lab) in collaboration with Edith Doove.
Alexandra Dementieva is a multimedia artist, based in Brussels. The idea of interaction between the viewer and an artwork, mediated by technologically progressive visualization methods, lies at the core of her work. In her installations she uses various art forms on an equal basis: dance, music, cinema and performance. Akin to an explorer she raises questions related to social psychology and theories of perception suggesting solutions to them by contemporary artistic means, that is by taking a subjective stance behind a camera. Her installations focus on the role of the viewer and her/his interaction with an artwork and bring forth ways of provoking the viewer’s involvement thus allowing hidden mechanisms of human behaviour to be revealed.

Learning through sound
Chaired by: Alexandra Dementieva
Panelists: Aernoudt JACOBS, Katrien KOLENBERG and Mathieu ZURSTRASSEN
Moderator: Edith Doove
29th March 2022
Hosted by IMAL

Sound helps us interact with the world and with each other, sonification gives a great possibility to present and analyse data. Space around us is filled with humming, murmuring, reverberating, carrying information. Sound waves can be a means of diagnosing health conditions and of monitoring the faraway space. Frequencies beyond human hearing can wake dormant instruments measuring volcanoes activity. Sound can be almost a physical instrument. Astrophysicists refer to sonification of light/brightness variations to reconstruct stellar compositions and structure. Scientists and artists are exploring and probing the world by listening.

1. Heliophone, Aernoudt Jacobs
2. KEOEEIT, Mathieu Zurstrassen

Aernoudt JACOBS
is a Belgian artist working primarily with the medium of sound. His work is both phenomenological and empirical. It has its origins in acoustic and technological research and investigates how sounds can trigger sonic processes that will affect the observer's scope of perception.
His work focuses on a central question: how can the complexity, richness and stratification of our direct, daily environment be translated into something that can really be experienced. His work has been exhibited widely in Belgium and abroad.
In addition to his artistic practice Jacobs co-directs with Christoph De Boeck Overtoon, a platform and production facility for sound art based in the centre of Brussels.


is an astronomer (astrophysics), STE(A)M coordinator and manager of ESERO-Belgium (European Space Education Resource Office) coordinator at the KULeuven. She is professor of astrophysics at the University of Antwerp and the VUB.
After obtaining her PhD in astrophysics at KULeuven in 2002, she did research at the University of Vienna and at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. At each of these stops, art always featured alongside astronomy.
Her scientific research is situated in the field of stellar astrophysics, in particular variable stars and asteroseismology (the physics of vibrating stars).
She is passionate about science and art, astronomy for development, and innovative/artistic science communication and education worldwide. In this context, she long ago made the bridge from the data of vibrating stars to the sound that can be associated with them, and discovered the (persuasive) power of multisensory data exploration. Her collaboration with Wanda Diaz Merced, who uses and studies sonification, inspired her to start "fine-tuning" sonification techniques for pulsating stars. While star sounds have often been used for science communication, the power of the sonification method for data analysis within asteroseismology (and by extension other fields) has never been thoroughly investigated. The AstroSounds collaboration allows this to be investigated on a larger scale, by letting the public listen to stars!


Mathieu ZURSTRASSEN is a trained architect who since 2013 embraces the path of visual arts. In designing objects, he moves away from the projection of the drawing and focuses on the experimentation of construction. He gives added value to his work, symbolic and philosophical, on the quality of the invisible and the relationships thus created between the sender and receiver. He uses the codes of craftsmanship to solve aesthetical issues often at the borders of the unspeakable. Highly technical, Mathieu Zurstrassen combines the ambiguity of materials, a poetic thought made of humour and delicacy.
He has since exhibited in various events, galleries and festivals such as the KIKK Festival or Ars Electronica or Venice Biennale.

Assistance for streaming by Peter Friess
Editing by Anton Khlabov, Cyland

Out-of-control-ness and the emergence of possibilities
Chaired by: Alexandra Dementieva
Panelists: Frances BRAZIER, Joost REKVELD and Frank THEYS
Moderator: Edith Doove
December 2021
Hosted by IMAL

This is the 4rd talk in the series, discussing notions of out-of-control ness in a social and technical context that are at the core of the work of the three panelists: Prof. Dr. Frances BRAZIER who is a full professor in Engineering Systems Foundations at the Delft University of Technology and visual artists Joost REKVELD and Frank THEYS.
Brazier approaches the subject through her research into social systems and connects out-of-control-ness with the notion of emergence and new possibilities, the empowerment of people in change management. For Rekveld the notion of out-of-control-ness is related to his research into analog computing, its history and culture, pushing the limits of its affordance. For Theys it’s related to the current state of affairs of the world and global warming which is the subject of his latest interactive multimedia installation ‘Chronicle of an Extinction Foretold’.

Frances BRAZIER is a full professor in Engineering Systems Foundations at the Delft University of Technology, as of September 2009, before which she chaired the Intelligent Interactive Distributed Systems Group for 10 years within the Department of Computer Science at the VU University Amsterdam. She holds a MSc in Mathematics and a doctorate in Cognitive Ergonomics from the VU Amsterdam. Parallel to her academic career she co-founded the first ISP in the Netherlands: NLnet and later NLnet Labs. She is currently a board member of the NLnetLabs Foundation.
With a strong background in the design of  human computer interaction, multi-agents systems, and distributed systems, current research focuses on the design of socio-technical ecological systems that enable and support participation in today's networked society: participatory systems!  The leading design principles include design for trust, design for empowerment and design for engagement.   Areas of study and exploration include distributed energy management,  crisis management, dynamic supply chain management,  real-time safety management.

Joost REKVELD is an artist motivated by the question of what we can learn from a dialogue with machines. In his work, he explores the sensory consequences of systems of his own design, often inspired by forgotten corners in the history of science and technology. His films, installations and performances are composed documentaries of the worlds opened by such systems. His abstract films have been shown world-wide in a wide range of festivals and venues for experimental film, animation or other kinds of moving image. He has realized several installations and was involved in many collaborative projects involving composers, music ensembles, theatre companies, dance companies and artist’s labs. Since February 2017, he’s affiliated to the School of Arts, University College Ghent as an artistic researcher.

Frank THEYS is a visual artist, theatre and film maker. His audiovisual work varies from video and interactive installations to documentary, experimental film and theatre performance. He received several international awards such as the first award at the film and video festivals of Locarno, Montbéliard and Novi Sad. 
Frank Theys was cofounder of Argos, Centre for Arts and Media (Brussels) and of Dziga, the Belgian guild of media artists. He has taught audiovisual arts at LUCA Brussels and Ghent, performaing arts at DasArts, Masters in the Performing Arts at the Amsterdam School for the Arts (AHK) and art philosophy at the KABK ArtScience Interfaculty in The Hague. He has been a visiting teacher and lecturer at more than 30 universities, film and art schools worldwide.

Notions of Transhumanism

Chaired by: Alexandra Dementieva
Panelists: Marc Coeckelberg, PETERMFRIESS and Angelo Vermeulen
Moderator: Edith Doove
07 September 2021
Hosted by IMAL

Event info/Context:
In 2021 LASER Talks Brussels organizes four talks. This is the 3rd talk in the series, discussing notions that are at the core of the work of the three panelists: Marc Coeckelberg, PETERMFRIESS and Angelo Vermeulen.

According to a recently updated manifesto from Humanity+, Transhumanism can be interpreted as an approach to extend human lifespan and to expand human capabilities and states. The Manifesto continues stating that Transhumanism is the world’s strongest advocacy for a positive future in changing the human condition of disease, poverty and prejudice toward health, well-being, and prosperity.

In contrast to advocacy for improving the human condition, today’s interest in Transhumanism is in the first place not driven by direct necessities, but rather by commercial interests around Big data, AI, neuroscience, and more generally by platform entrepreneurs. Improvement of living conditions, planetary challenges and salvation are promised for the future, based on a strong technology dependence and externalisation of senses and reasoning capabilities. Critics often see Transhumanism as posing threats to human values and dignity by evoking transgenerational modification of human biology, body/brain cloning and genetic engineering. And in our highly competitive social environment, which demands increasingly efficient behaviour, any kind of enhancement is prone to increase inequalities in terms of wealth and social status or treatment. It can also be questioned if Transhumanism is an objective in itself, and how it relates to the idea of supremacy of the Homo Sapiens compared with other live-forms.

On the positive side Transhumanism can be seen as interesting stimuli for reflecting on desirable futures in light of human activity on Earth, which is provoking serious issues for humanity itself, but as well for other species. And what if Transhumanism is not a mere extension of lifespan, but a re-consideration and re-evolution on what constitutes humanity, and even a ‘going-beyond’ the humanity idea? This could be seen as an invitation to reflect in transversal manner between science, art and other disciplines on new and experienceable scenarios, linked to non-human based creativity for the future of us.

The role of the arts could be to challenge human-centred only scenarios, to evoke though questions around Transhumanism, to explore alternative design methods and use scenarios for technologies using artistic practices, and to make future emotionally experiencable for a larger audience. Beyond existing settings and conventions, the collaboration between scientist, artists and even machines could help us to develop new ideas, representing another ‘perception’ of the world and future thinking.


Mark Coeckelbergh
Mark Coeckelbergh is Professor of Philosophy of Media and Technology at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Vienna and former President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology. He is the author of several books and has written many articles. He is best known for his work in philosophy of technology and ethics of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), he has also published in the areas of moral philosophy and environmental philosophy.

Peter Friess (artist name PETERMFRIESS) has a background in self-organizing social systems (Ph.D.) and space technology. Besides his activities in ICT innovation, he is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher with a wide array of interests, in particular artificial intelligence, system theory, humanities, philosophy and ecology. His focus is on the connection of societal changes to emotional and aesthetic values, and the enablement of transdisciplinary processes. His work has been shown around the world at exhibitions and festivals.
https://www.petermfriess.com/ and http://www.robosoul.us/

Angelo Vermeulen
Angelo Vermeulen is a space systems researcher, biologist and artist. In 2009 he co-founded SEADS (Space Ecologies Art and Designs), an international transdisciplinary collective of artists, scientists, engineers, and activists. Its goal is to reshape the future through critical inquiry and hands-on experimentation. Currently, he works at Delft University of Technology on advanced concepts for interstellar exploration. His work proposes a bio-inspired design approach to deal with the unpredictability inherent to interstellar travel.

Light, Time and Collaboration between Art and Science
Chaired by: Alexandra Dementieva
Panelists: Dr. Ulrike KUCHNER, Paul MALONE and Els VAN RIEL
Moderator: Edith Doove
15th June 2021

1. Paul Malone's Interpretation, Phase 01 of the ‘aleatory whispers: arachnids' project
2. Ulrike Kuchner’s Interpretation, Phase 01 of the ‘aleatory whispers: arachnids’ project

Dr. Ulrike KUCHNER followed both of her passions and (simultaneously) studied Astrophysics at the University of Vienna, Austria, as well as Fine Arts/Paintings at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, where she was born and raised. Today, after Masters and Ph.D. degrees have taken her to Australia, Chile, the US and Germany, she is an astronomer as well as a visual artist, currently based in the UK, where she works as a post-doctoral researcher for the University of Nottingham. In her scientific research, she studies how mass is assembled in the Universe and how galaxies form and evolve over their lifetime. As an artist she operates where art, culture, and science intersect, using both backgrounds to find or reject interdisciplinary answers to overarching questions. Her art often deals with the themes of humanity and imperfections in data, something we tend to strip away from science. She also joins the creative process of other art-scientists and science-artists as curator, mentor and researcher, and challenges the frontiers between the two cultures, translating between the fields without imposing a hierarchy.

Paul MALONE has always been interested in how the physical world comes to be; how it originates and what is its relationship to consciousness. In pursuing this research he has explored many historic lost and forgotten theories of science and natural philosophy; especially so in astrophysics. Often these early theories can be repurposed with contemporary data to resolve otherwise intractable problems within the current paradigm. The artworks he creates use these concepts as source material and it is often intriguing how this process assists in the visual understanding those phenomena. Paul is currently researching theories from the pre-Einstein era in relation to the phenomenon we call the Sun. This object is one of the most easily observed of all those in astronomy and yet it still presents some of the deepest and manifest mysteries within human understanding.

Paul studied Fine Art at Reading University for B.A. Degree in 1976 and MFA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 1980. Since leaving college he has worked in studios based in the London districts of Waterloo, Greenwich and, most recently, Art in Perpetuity in Deptford. He has exhibited extensively in the U.K., U.S. and Europe and engaged in curatorial practice through international exhibition exchanges and movie projects. He also delivers lectures and workshops about the historic astrophysical researches he is currently studying.

KUCHNER and MALONE currently collaborate on the project Aleatory Whispers.

Els VAN RIEL lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She studied photo- and cinematography, and worked as a photographer, editor and producer for various photo-, film-, video- and theatre productions. Her films, video's and installations explore the impact of detailed changes in moment, movement, matter, light and perception. With links to the tradition of structural film making, her work explores the basic elements of cinema -time and light- and develops a form for new aesthetic pleasure, bypassing any symbolism and narrativity. For van Riel the projector is a central figure in the cinematographical act of giving form to a screening, performance or installation. The mechanical image source often becomes actively present as if it were a living object.

Dr. Edith Doove is a curator, writer and researcher, specifically interested in notions of emergence and contingency, cross and transdisciplinary collaborations. She started curating in 1987 in Antwerp and worked as a freelance curator and art critic in Belgium until 2010 before moving to the UK where she became a member of Transtechnology Research at Plymouth University and attained her PhD in November 2017. Since 2018 she lives and works in France, currently in Rouen where she teaches at ESADHaR Le Havre-Rouen. She is a postdoctoral advisor with Transtechnology Research, a regular contributor to Leonardo Reviews, and co-convenor of Currer Bell College. With her creative consultancy BUREAU DOOVE, which she started in 2014, Doove continues to develop a unique bespoke way of collaborating, working, with, for and alongside artists and researchers.

Alexandra Dementieva is a multimedia artist, based in Brussels. The idea of interaction between the viewer and an artwork, mediated by technologically progressive visualization methods, lies at the core of her work. In her installations she uses various art forms on an equal basis: dance, music, cinema and performance. Akin to an explorer she raises questions related to social psychology and theories of perception suggesting solutions to them by contemporary artistic means, that is by taking a subjective stance behind a camera. Her installations focus on the role of the viewer and her/his interaction with an artwork and bring forth ways of provoking the viewer’s involvement thus allowing hidden mechanisms of human behaviour to be revealed.

Chaired by: Alexandra Dementieva
Panelists: AnneMarie Maes, Camilla Colombo
Moderator: Edith Doove
20th April 2021


In 2021 there will be four talks, starting Tuesday 20 April with a conversation with Annemarie Maes, artist and researcher, and Camilla Colombo, curator. Edith Doove will be moderator. Annemarie Maes is showing her exhibition SENSORIAL SKINS - WOVEN BY NATURE, in 2 parts at PILAR, House for Art and Science - Brussels 8 - 23 April 2021 iMAL, Art Center for Digital Culture and Technology -Brussels 29 April - 16 May 2021 with Camilla Colombo as curator.

Dr. Edith Doove is a curator, writer and researcher, specifically interested in notions of emergence and contingency, cross and transdisciplinary collaborations. She started curating in 1987 in Antwerp and worked as a freelance curator and art critic in Belgium until 2010 when she moved to the UK. Since 2018 she lives and works in France, currently in Rouen where she teaches at ESADHaR Le Havre-Rouen. She is a postdoctoral advisor with Transtechnology Research at Plymouth University where she attained her PhD in November 2017. She’s a regular contributor to Leonardo Reviews since 2010, co-convenor of Currer Bell College since 2019 and a member of AICA and C-E-A, the French Organization of Curators. With BUREAU DOOVE, which she started in 2014, Doove continues to develop a unique bespoke way of collaborating, working, with, for and alongside artists and researchers.

AnneMarie Maes is an artist who has been studying the close interactions and co-evolutions within urban ecosystems. Her research practice combines art and science, with a keen interest in DIY technologies and biotechnology. She works with a range of biological, digital and traditional media, including live organisms. Her artistic research is materialised in techno-organic objects that are inspired by factual/fictional stories; in artefacts that are a combination of digital fabrication and craftsmanship; in installations that reflect both the problem and the (possible) solution, in multispecies collaborations, in polymorphic forms and models created by eco-data. On the rooftop of her studio in Brussels (BE) she has created an open-air lab and experimental garden where she studies the processes that nature employs to create form. Her research provides an ongoing source of inspiration for her artworks. Bee Agency as well as the Laboratory for Form and Matter -in which she experiments with bacteria and living textiles - provide a framework that has inspired a wide range of installations, sculptures, photography works, objects and books - all at the intersection of art, science and technology. In 2017, she received an Honorary Mention in the Hybrid Art category at Ars Electronica for the Intelligent Guerrilla Beehive project.

Camilla Colombo, is a curator and producer whose practice focuses on arts and sciences.She curated exhibitions in collaboration with the Museum of Ixelles, at BOZAR, PILAR and iMal in Brussels, and she collaborated with z33 (Hasselt) and Atelier LUMA in Arles(France). With a background in the performing arts and in advocacy for the arts at the European level, Camilla worked in Italy, the UK, and Belgium. Interested in hybridisation and crossing of disciplines, she served in art organisations of all sizes as well as with independent artists, focusing on multidisciplinary and multimedia productions. Since 2016 she is based in Brussels where she started merging her multilayered and multidisciplinary experiences in her curatorial practice. She is co-founder and Artistic Director of Ohme, an organisation curating and producing through collaborative practices at the nexus of arts and sciences. In 2019 she co-founded SALOON Brussels, network for women working in the art scene of the Belgian capital. Aside from her curatorial practice, Camilla regularly organises and moderate panel talks usually gathering artists, scientists, researchers and civil society.


The Leonardo/ISAST LASERs are a program of international gatherings that bring artists, scientists, humanists and technologists together for informal presentations, performances and conversations with the wider public. The mission of the LASERs is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building to over 40 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit LASER near you please visit our website. @lasertalks