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Lecture by Joe Davis
The mad scientist of MIT

About Joe Davis

Part free-spirited artist and part mad scientist, Davis is a maverick in both circles. Davis has been embraced as a genius by some and dismissed as crazy by others. But in the world of scientific art, Davis is a pioneer and a legend. He has spent the last few decades as a “research affiliate” at MIT and has also worked as an “artist-scientist” at Harvard Medical School, where he has a lab in the Longwood Medical Area.

About ‘Friday afternoon lectures’

Long ago Gilles Holst, first Director of the famous Philips Natlab, already proclaimed in one of his official research reports, ‘researchers with sufficient freedom and an open mind are most likely to be successful’.

We believe Gilles Holst’s original vision for the Natlab could easily be forgotten in these times of increased specialization. Proactively addressing this issue, we, Baltan Laboratories, Holst Centre, and High Tech Campus Eindhoven, committed to setting up the initiative that revives the Natlab original spirit. Inspired by this idea, we invited Joe Davis for the first in this series of insightful lectures. Referencing his own vast and varied art-science research, he will show why boundaries between disciplines, like art and science, should cease to exist because they limit true freethinking.

Are you a researcher, artist, designer or any other creative and inspired enthusiast? Then you should not miss this unique opportunity to be inspired by top-notch speakers and to meet with like-minded souls. Our initial plan is to set up a series of four lectures over the next twelve months. As we move along, we might also add other activities to our repertoire. If you have ideas or suggestions about this initiative or if you want to structurally join our small organization team, do not hesitate to approach us.

Location: High Tech Campus 34
More info: Baltan Website


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“A project that embraces both art and science and balances on the border of imagination and reality. Which is perhaps the most exciting place to be – as a scientist and as an artist!“ - Robbert Dijkgraaf

Book presentations

Baltan Laboratories explores the possibilities and boundaries of the merging of Art and Science with two compelling book presentations by Jalila Essaïdi and David Rothenberg. Both speakers reveal their fascination for the arts and the natural world through their unconventional research practices, which enable the ability to comprehend the unexplored behind nature’s genius.

BALTAN SESSIONS # 2 – ART, SCIENCE AND EVOLUTION, March 20th 2013 from on Vimeo.

Dutch artist Jalila Essaïdi will present her book “Bulletproof skin, Exploring Boundaries by Piercing Barriers” about the project 2.6g 329m/s. As one of the three winners of the Designers & Artists 4 Genomics Awards, Jalila Essaïdi (1981) created a piece of ‘bulletproof’ skin. For this purpose spider silk, proportionately many times stronger than steel and made by transgenic goats and worms, was seeded with human skin cells and has grown into a ‘bulletproof’ human skin. By creating this ‘bulletproof’ human skin Essaïdi wants to explore the social, political, ethical and cultural issues surrounding safety. With this work she shows that safety in its broadest sense is a relative concept, and hence the term bulletproof.

Musician and philosopher David Rothenberg (USA) presents his a talk based on his book‘Survival of the Beautiful: Art,Science and Evolution’. An exciting and almost hallucinating book about why nature is beautiful and how art has influenced science. Artists get inspiration from nature, but can we say that nature itself creates art? Survival of the beauty starts with a walk in an Australian forest. A bird has built a beautiful sculpture of twigs, blue feathers and blue cutlery. It’s made by the male to entice a female to mate. A biologist explains that the bird in case of shortage of material won’t hesitate to kill a blue bird just for its feathers. Even with humans killing for your art is rare. This bird, says Rothenberg, gives food to the thought that art in a pure form can be created by animals other than humans.

About Jalila Essaïdi

Jalila Essaïdi is a BioArtist who uses Biology and the Life Sciences as an artistic medium. Her artwork is about the recognition of the transience of matter and a human desire to keep and hold. Jalila Essaïdi studied Bioart at Universiteit Leiden and is the founder of BioArt Laboratories. The project received an honorary mention of Prix Ars Electronica 2012. This was truly a “bullet heard round the world”— Jalila’s story was immediately picked up by the Associated Press, the Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, CNN, EuroNews and the BBC. Watch Jalila at CNN:

About David Rothenberg:

Rothenberg has written and performed on the relationship between humanity and nature for many years. Taking inspiration from Charles Darwin’s observations that animals have a natural aesthetic sense, philosopher and musician David Rothenberg dives into the mysteries of why we create art, and why animals, humans included, have innate appreciation for beauty. Rothenberg is the author of Why Birds Sing, on making music with birds, that was turned into a feature length BBC TV documentary. Rothenberg is professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Watch the BBC documentary “Why Birds Sing”, after a book by Rothenberg.

Organizer: Baltan Laboratories
Van Abbemuseum, Auditorium. Eindhoven


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A lecture by Marius Watz

During the lecture Watz will explain the state of computational aesthetics, from early pioneers to the recent boom in creatives working with code. From infoporn to data sculpture and generative landscape painting, what new ideas are coming out of this new movement? And how do you deal with algorithmic clichés anyway?

Marius Watz is an artist working with visual abstraction through generative systems. He is known for his bold use of colors and hard-edged geometric compositions. Watz is a lecturer at the Oslo School of Architecture and at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Department of design. He has given many workshops and lectures on topics like as computational aesthetics, live cinema and digital fabrication.


Marius Watz (NO) is an autodidact, he dropped out of Computer Science studies to pursue visual work based on parametric processes. Watz has exhibited internationally at venues including Victoria & Albert Museum (London), Todaysart (The Hague), ITAU Cultural (Sao Paulo), Museumsquartier (Vienna), and ROM for Kunst og Arkitektur (Oslo). In 2010 he was commissioned to create “Prime”, a permanent public artwork for the Bybanen light rail system in Bergen.

In 2005 Marius Watz founded Generator.x, a curatorial platform that has resulted in a series of events related to generative art and design. Generator.x 1.0 was a conference at Atelier Nord in Oslo, accompanied by a travelling exhibition organized by the Norwegian National Museum that lasted until the end of 2007. A Generator.x concert tour of audiovisual performances was initiated in March 2006 and continues to this day. He is currently based in New York and Oslo.

Organizer: Baltan Laboratories
More info:
Location: TAC, Vonderweg 1, 5611 BK Eindhoven.



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Short presentations & Screenings

What happens if we move beyond any marketing strategists’ one-liners of ideas about the museum of the future becoming more social, open, co-produced, personalized, augmented, and outside, beyond its own walls? There seems no way around it that this will happen in more or less concrete forms, but how will this really affect the institute, the infrastructure of museums, and moreover the content that gets produced.

Moderators and organisers of the conference, all professionals working in the field of practice and theory of art, will shed their light on the future and show their favourite (sci-fi) visions of museums in the future. Thinking from the content we may witness another future.

A preview of what will be on show:
Neil Cummings and Marysia LewandowskaMuseum Futures: Distributed

Museum Futures: Distributed is a machinima record of the centenary interview with Moderna Museet’s executive Ayan Lindquist in June 2058. It explores a genealogy for contemporary art practice and its institutions, by re-imagining the role of artists, museums, galleries, markets, manufactories and academies.

See a preview of the film on You Tube, and for the first time in the Netherlands the full length version during the evening of the 14th!

Location: Plaza Futura, Eindhoven
Organizer: Baltan Laboratories

Playgrounds Digital Arts Fest 2012

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November 20/22/23

Playgrounds Audiovisual Arts Festival is a festival for innovative and creative digital art. During the two-day festival in Tilburg, Playgrounds presents an impression of the latest developments in technology as well as creativity. The festival programme offers an inspiring mix of inventive films, documentaries, animation, graphic design, artist talks, character design and performances.

Play Ajax | Antfarm | David Wilson | Digital Domain | Discussion | Henry Hobson | Mikey Please | ManvsMachine | Sil van der Woerd | Peppermelon | Alex Trochut | Fons Schiedon | Digital District | Job, Joris & Marieke | Spirit Award | Talent Award

Welcome to Playgrounds Digital Arts Festival 2012!

— Every year we are surprised by the huge positive response we receive
after every edition. It gives us the energy to do it again. By the fact that you
are joining us and the more than kind presence of some of the brightest
creative minds in the world, we are sure we will make a great edition once

This year we chose the slogan ‘Cut the Crap’, because we really like a no-
nonsense attitude. It also refers to the political climate in the Netherlands.
A lot is changing. There’s a constant fear of losing money.Great people are
losing their jobs and we are losing our brand as the world’s most tolerant
country. That sucks.

Cut the crap is about making the best out of it. Pick up those pieces, glue
them back together and find some new shapes while you’re at it. Meet
some nice, inspiring people, have a beer, share ideas, listen to good music,
make great stuff and enjoy doing it. Don’t focus on money or crazy politi-
cians, but stay put on your inspirations and enthusiasm.

Cut the crap and make the best out of it.

Location: Nov. 20th – Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam, Nov. 22/23 – 013, Tilburg.
More info:


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Baltan Sessions

Baltan Laboratories and BioArt Laboratories proudly present a sunday afternoon session with artist/scientist Joe Davis, College Tour style. This session is part of Shaking Science, a series of events in November, where life science meets society and society meets life science.

The talk will cover some of Joe Davis’ motivations surrounding his own work in several fields and some of the practical problems he has encountered along the way. Davis will also touch on the lives and works of others. Through these examples he will focus on the implications for a whole new mentality in the study and practice of art and science.

More info: Baltan Labaratories
Location: Auditorium Van Abbemuseum.

3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part Two

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Following the deliberations during Part One titled Beyond What Was Contemporary Art (19–20 April 2012, Vienna), Part Two of the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress bases its discussions on a question ushered in—somewhat unexpectedly—by theorist and curator Irit Rogoff in her closing keynote address for Part One: “What on earth do they mean when they say art?” Admittedly a question that is as difficult as it is intriguing, it seems to be a critical one to pose and also to begin to answer as the hegemonic formations that held the imagination of the future hostage for the last 20-odd years are being dismantled. The chasm opening up before us is yet to be filled through a negotiation of meanings and (im)possibilities. At stake is the redefinition of the space of art beyond what we came to know as both product of—and propaganda for—neoliberal capitalism.


With contributions by Marion von Osten (artist and cultural researcher, Berlin/Vienna), Bassam el Baroni (curator and art critic, Alexandria), Delaine Le Bas (artist, London), Mihnea Mircan (curator and writer, Bucharest), Rasha Salti (curator and writer, Beirut), Jonas Staal (artist, Rotterdam), and Stephen Wright (theorist, writer, curator, and researcher, Paris), among others. Part Two of the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress follows the opening of the exhibition How Much Fascism? at BAK, curated by What, How and for Whom/WHW.

The 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part Two is developed by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst and co-curated by What, How and for Whom/WHW and the FORMER WEST curatorial team. The 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part Two is realized in collaboration with Utrecht School of the Arts. It is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam and the EU Culture Programme, Brussels.

Location: Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, Mariaplaats 28, Utrecht
More info:

3rd Former West Research Congress

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19—21 April 2012
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Secession, Vienna (AT)

The 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part One: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art takes place on 19 and 20 April 2012 at Secession, Vienna and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, respectively. Consequently, the Congress deliberations are reflected upon in an open session on 21 April 2012. The Congress is envisioned as a discursive platform aiming at offering a space to speculate about possibilities for art vis-à-vis the increasing forces of antagonism across the world and the emerging imaginaries that accompany them.


19 April 2012 (Thursday) 19.00–21.00, Secession, Friedrichstraße 12, Vienna

Beginning from the “Formerness” of Contemporary Art
Is it possible to think of so-called Contemporary Art as art—or an art historical period even—emerging from 1989 and developing in parallel to other hegemonic formations such as global neoliberalism? Could it then be argued that, in sync with the current seismic shifts in society, politics, and economy, it now also faces if not a dead end then a number of challenges that take it to task? Is Contemporary Art, as an iconographic source of the political architecture of the world of the last two decades on its way out so to speak, together with the system that made it possible? What kind of challenges and possibilities might then lie before us in the space of art in times like ours? Can we speculate collectively on how to move beyond the present confines of Contemporary Art’s practices, and begin articulating what can appear from its “formerness?” What are our responses to—and proposals for—the times ahead?

19.00–19.10 Welcome by András Pálffy (president, Secession, Vienna) and Eva Blimlinger (Rector, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
19.10–19.30 Opening Remarks by Maria Hlavajova (artistic director, BAK, Utrecht and FORMER WEST)
19.30–20.30 Keynote by Nancy Adajania (cultural theorist and curator, Mumbai)
20.30–21.00 Questions

Play Video 3rd Former West April 19th
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20 April 2012 (Friday) 10.00–20.00, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz 3, Vienna

10.00–10.05 Welcome by Andrea Braidt (Vice-Rector, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
10.05–10.15 Welcome and Introduction by Maria Hlavajova (artistic director, BAK, Utrecht and FORMER WEST)
10.15–10.30 Introduction by Marion von Osten (artist and cultural researcher, Berlin/Vienna)

Organizing a Difference

In the context of a search beyond the confines of Contemporary Art, how does a difference get organized? What established and developing possibilities in the entangled field of artistic, intellectual, and activist practices are generating structures other than those that exist for research, production, and dissemination? How have the strategies of contemporary practitioners changed and how are new possibilities within and beyond the field of Contemporary Art constituted? Are new models of small translocal organizations already being created that are outside of the known forms of artistic self- organization, art institutions, and aesthetic disciplines?

10.30–11.15 CAMP (collaborative project and platform, Mumbai)
11.15–12.00 Respondent: Christian Höller (writer, Vienna)
12.00–12.30 Questions

Play Video 3rd Former West April 20th – part 1
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13.30–14.15 h.arta (artist collective, Timisoara)
14.15–15.00 Respondent: Ekaterina Degot (art historian and curator, Moscow)
15.00–15.30 Questions

Play Video 3rd Former West April 20th – part 2
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15.50–16.35 aaa/ Atelier d’architecture autogérée (urban research collective platform, Paris)
16.35–17.20 Respondent: Jesko Fezer (artist and architect, Berlin)
17.20–17.50 Questions

Play Video 3rd Former West April 20th – part 3
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Speculating Forward

The model of Contemporary Art has been taken to task not only for its complicity in the reality of the global neoliberal order, but by the serious challenges to it that come from within art. To what extent, for example, is the field still of relevance to the far-reaching practices of self-organized collectives? And how have these group initiatives changed the field themselves? What emerging propositions are being articulated in response to these modes of cultural production? How can we arrive at a deeper understanding of the possibilities at hand by looking at a set of concrete practices that function as meaningful interruptions of the business-as-usual model that has been established over the course of the last two decades?

18.10–18.30 Observations and Questions by Ruth Sonderegger (philosopher, Vienna)
18.30–19.30 Keynote by Irit Rogoff (theorist and curator, London)
19.30–20.00 Questions

Play Video 3rd Former West April 20th – part 4
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21 April 2012 (Saturday) 11.00 -12.30, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz 3, Vienna

Open Forum: In Place of Conclusions

Led by Ruth Sonderegger (philosopher, Vienna), this open session includes both the contributors and participants to the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part One. The session revisits the positions, statements, conversations, questions, and doubts that stem from the speculations about what lies “beyond what was Contemporary Art” in order to attempt to map the concerns and urgencies ahead of us. Instead of summarizing a set of conclusions, it is offered as a site of anticipation, as well as of collective thinking and action.

Play Video 3rd Former West April 21st – Soon Online…

More info:



Het begrip ‘Tijdelijk Gebruik’ van de Ruimte

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Info programma over Tijdelijk Gebruik in Eindhoven.

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2 dec.: Expostie.
3 dec.: Om 12.00 tot 18.00 Kunsthal
en vanaf 20.00 uur finnisage en afsluitingsfeest

Presentaties door kunstenaars/kunstkennerskunstliefhebbers en door mensen die werken met tijdelijk gebruik van de ruimte.

Kandidaat deelnemende sprekers op 1 december (allen nog onder voorbehoud):
Luuk Sponselee, Liesbeth Schreuder, Danny Scholtze, Martin Voorbij, John Kormeling, Cees Donkers, e.a.

Presentaties: Deze vindt plaats donderdag 1 december in de avond tussen 19.30 en 22.00
Idee; Een presentatie van 15 a 20 minuten over wat er te zien is, waar het te zien is en het idee van ‘tijdelijk gebruik’. De presentaties worden geanimeerd door Mr. Martin. Er is een mini podium met een headset.

Deelnemende kunstenaars:

Samenstelling: Martin Voorbij [Inkijkmuseum] en Michaela Helfrich [Michaela Helfrich Galerie]
Eindhoven: Wiel Wiersma, Nathalie Kuik, Rasim Huseynov, Wava Roestamova, Show Your Hope, Jan Radersma, Rob Looman, Gerriet Postma.
Berlijn: Michaela Helfrich Gallery, Gerard Waskievitz, Andrea Colitti, Christina Gay, Susanne Schirdewahn, Mi-Ran Kim, Ulrike Pisch, Manfred Niepel, Uta Zeitler.

Deze expositie is mede mogelijk gemaaktmet hulp en ondersteuning van: Penning Inside, Zesde Kolonne, Stichting Ruimte, Flaman Art, OpenWebcast, Inkijkmuseum, Stichting 80 Vragen, Stichting Complete Media en vele vele anderen.

Meer info…

La Biennale di Venezia

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Call the Witness
Live Testimonies
1, 2, and 3 June 2011: 13.00–19.00 hrs

Organised by: BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht.

Call the Witness is a project of the Roma Pavilion, which takes place as a Collateral Event in the framework of the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2011.

A makeshift exhibition evolving over the course of the Venice Biennale preview days through the flux of live “testimonies”— works of art, performances, talks, and conversations by and with artists, thinkers, and politicians—Call the Witness considers the situation of the Roma and Roma art as emblematic of a world filled with inequality and oppression today, and in solidarity with the largest minority in Europe speculates about another, hopeful future. Read More



1 June 2011

13.00 hrs
DANIEL BAKER, artist, United Kingdom & PAUL RYAN, artist, United Kingdom: Mirror Mirror (lecture-performance)

14.15 hrs
TOM MCDONOUGH, art historian, United States: Campo nomadi: Constant’s Design for a Gypsy Camp (lecture)

15.30 hrs
MAUD DE BOER-BUQUICCHIO, Deputy Secretary General, Council of Europe, France: Roma Advocacy Quilt (presentation)

16.15 hrs
CRISTINELA IONESCU, journalist and producer, Tumende TV Production, Romania: Romani Kris: Court of Common Consent (lecture-presentation)

17.30 hrs
SALMAN RUSHDIE, author, United Kingdom/United States (talk)

2 June 2011

13.00 hrs
ROSEANNA MCPHEE, educator and activist, United Kingdom: No Justice – Tinker, Help Thyself (lecture-performance)

14.15 hrs
SHAMUS MCPHEE, artist, United Kingdom: Out in the Open (conversation with Daniel Baker)

15.30 hrs
THOMAS ACTON, Emeritus Professor of Romani Studies, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom: The New Romani Art (lecture)

16.45 hrs
, artist, Serbia/Germany: Naked Life 2, 2011, performance, 24 min.

(Followed by informal drinks.)

00.00 hrs
BORIS ONDREIČKA, artist, Slovakia: BLACK BIRDS & BLACKBIRDS, 2011, reading-performance, approx. 30 min.

3 June 2011

13.00 hrs
CHRISTIANO BERTI (Italy), NIGEL DICKINSON (United Kingdom), TINA CARR (United Kingdom/Wales), and ANNEMARIE SCHOENE (United Kingdom/Wales) (participating artists): Web Launch of the Roma Media Archive( (talk-screening)

14.00 hrs
ROBERT KUSHEN, Roma rights activist, United States: Sticks and Stones and Words that Hurt: Roma Rights in Quotation (lecture-bricolage)

15.15 hrs
ŽELIMIR ŽILNIK, film director, Serbia: Kenedi Trilogy (lecture-presentation)

16.30 hrs
STALKER/ON, art and architecture collective, Italy: New Destination: The Moon!(presentation)

18.00 hrs
with contributions by GEORGE SOROS (financier and philanthropist, address via podcast), JAN TRUSZCZYNSKI (Director-General for Education and Culture, European Commission), ROBERT PALMER (Director for Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage, Council of Europe), WOLFGANG PETRISCH (Chair of the European Cultural Foundation (ECF)), and others, as well as a panel discussion organized by Decade Trust Fund is een platform dat zich richt op het live uitzenden en registreren van de cultuur van de stad. Muziek, symposia, theater, lezingen, debat, techniek, festivals, kortom 'dat' wat de stad doet leven!

Live & on demand!

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