“Synthesize Sympathize Synthesize Sympathize Synthesize Sympathize - are we really staying as long as the sun shines?”

Recycled GDR Chemistry Glass Pieces, fluorescent dyes from Catalight, UV flashlights, water, water pumps, 3D porcelain, dried plants, iv bags, wool, rubber tubes, and other mixed materials
During the art & science residency, Kuenstlerische Tatsachen I began a body of work which will be developing in cooperation with the residency and Catalight Labs until Winter of 2024.

Visitations and observations at the University of Jena, the Hausknecht Herbarium, the Botanical Garden Jena, and the Labs in Catalight inspired an artistic investigation into synthetic photosynthesis. As artistic research, I chose to observe and look into the differences and overlappings between biological and chemical laboratories. Catalight is a chemistry lab researching, among other things, synthetic photosynthesis. In contrast, I also visited and observed the research of systemic botany and geneology of plants at the Botanical Gardens of Jena. 

The derivatives and seperations between the natural and the synthetic, the organic and artificial were binaries I was interested in meshing together through artistic practice and materiality.

At this stage in the project, what one witnesses are fragments and iterations of collecting, extracting, and observing from my immediate surroundings in Leipzig and Jena. Collecting plants, using categorical systems to identify them and document them and further exploring the ways these non-humans can coexist with a human-made world of glass, technology, and contemporary craft. I decided to work in a way I usually work- mixing the old with the new, the soft with the hard, the cold with the warm, and the analogue with the digital. this body of work contains 2D textiles, 3D printed porcelain, water pumps, found objects, rainbows, and photography works. All of these different elements are composed together to build my own synthetic system reflecting artificial and authentic dependencies between humans, plants, and the sun.

Among the many smaller interations of plants and human non-human relationships in the current ecosystem stands a large breathing glass installation made of synthetic dyes from the Catalight labs and old GDR Chemistry Equipment from the collection of the Jena University. In my research, I realized synthetic photosynthesis as a concept has been concieved for well over one hundred years.
"On the arid lands there will spring up industrial colonies without smoke and without smokestacks; forests of glass tubes will extend over the plains and glass buildings will rise everywhere; inside of these will take place the photochemical processes that hitherto have been the guarded secret of the plants, but that will have been mastered by human industry which will know how to make them bear even more abundant fruit than nature, for nature is not in a hurry and mankind is. And if in a distant future the supply of coal becomes completely exhausted, civilization will not be checked by that, for life and civilization will continue as long as the sun shines!"
- Giacomo Ciamician, 1912

I find this quote especially fitting for the materiality and composition I decided to work with for this presentation in September 2023.

This project and residency with Künstlerische Tatsachen is continuing through 2024 and an exhibition will take place in Ulm, Germany November 2024.