BadLab Zurich

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08.-27. June 2020

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BadLab project joins Gessneralle Zurich in collaboration with Piksel and Hackteria to install a three-week laboratory in artistic research and experiments on the metaphor of wild herbs.

BadLab Project

BAD LAB project (what is our name and how to we write it?) is a collective laboratory of interdisciplinary ideas and practices around plants. It consists of installations, libraries, screenings, workshops, food, textile, objects, sound and movement. Combining Paloma Ayala’s work around the delta landscape of the MX/US border river, Lisa Biedligmaier's healing explorations, Anne-Laure Franchette’s investigation around city weeds as “mauvaises herbes”, Maya Minder's fermentation practices and Corinna Mattner’s work on plants traces, pigments and toxicity, we collectively investigate plant knowledge and uses. (Plantes Sorcières work on witches history and women’s ancient plant knowledge in the Valais region:

What is a "Bad Lab" compared to a scientific laboratory? Reflecting on what productivity means, we focus on exploration rather than on delivering results. Trying not to follow strict protocols or fixed methods, we dig into the diversity that nature offers with un-toxic plants and microbes, attempting to rewrite strings of (His-Her)stories, looking at human’s capability of understanding and perceiving the world. We are as interested in chemical reactions than in the complex relationships between society and our environment. As a collective, we value relationships and want to highlight all hidden and emotional labour, which is often carried by women. Think globally & Act locally. We are inviting creatives around the globe to partake and participate within their own projects since we are considering the topic of plants as broad as the diversity around its artistic practice. To imply this knowledge and practises we hold workshops around the ideas we develop in local and international spheres and are continuously developing new formats of workshops, gatherings, exhibitions and performative formats (play). For the exchange and discourse, we share with international artists and researchers we use online and offline methods. We communicate, meet and exchange in digital formats, explore new hybrid possibilities of sharing ideas from our ateliers, however, we try whenever possible to highlight also the importance of gatherings in real life.

Our project deals with the politics of the invisible, plant migration, the resurgence of oppressed and marginalized feminine knowledge, the creation of solidary ways in which to narrate space that include rural, indigenous beings, and biota, digging up lost and old recipes around healing and culinary, healthcare and colloquial practises. The plants- traces on the fabric let us conclude how their chemical composition reacts with pigments and speculate about the relations of information of the plant and effect on the medium (body or tissue). We dare to experiment and conclude based on basic knowledge and procure expertise when needed. We couriously forage, follow intuition, try and find out. We combine DIY strategies, start from scratch, do research and learn practical methods to realize ideas.

We find it particularly interesting to work with greenhouses, gardens or organise field trips in urban settings and public spaces. As an open collective, we invite disciplines from the human and natural sciences, theatre, literature, performance and music in the various spaces we invest, to approach the broad subject matter through a variety of tools. Working with various disciplines allows a transdisciplinary approach to follow holistic concepts where we can focus on unknown hiatus where undistributed challenges meet in equal solution findings.

Piksel Fest Spill 2020

Bergen, Norwey 22nd May - 21th June | @Studio207 | @Piksel Cyber Salon

Exhibition COPY/PASTE

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The exhibition COPY/PASTE features the work of nine artists and art collectives who all incorporate copying as a core aspect of their work. Taking the form of a physical exhibition at Piksel Studio 207, an online exhibition at Piksel Cyber Salon, a hybrid workshop and a lecture, the exhibition aims to show that copying is natural, an exhibition to re-think the way we create/share/copy and paste. Along with the exhibition, Piksel is also presenting a DIY bio-art program, the “DIY or die - Plant Printing Workshop” on the topic of colouring fabrics with wild herbs and the toxic impact of the textile industry. The “Worship - Dinner Performance” joins performers from Zurich, Kazakhstan and Bergen. It is based on an exchange of food, gesture, rhythm and sensuality threw to an online meeting tool like zoom, jitsi, skype, etc. It is a tangible stretch towards how sensuality is perceived in the digital realm threw media. Due to the travel restrictions brought by COVID-19, these two events will take part at Piksel Spill Fest remotely, from the virtual space, with base in Gessnerallee Zurich.
Piksel Fest Spill is also premiering the Piksel Cyber Salon, a 3D virtual space where the audience can enjoy a Cyber experience through the virtual activities. Piksel Cyber Salon intends to bring new realms to the boring but necessary digital telepresence. Designed by the Mexican artist Malitzin Cortés, Piksel Cyber Salon will be the Piksel Fest Spill neuralgic hub.


Live coding is a performance practise that revolves around the creation and modification of code and algorithms in real-time. This kind of events are also called ALGORAVE, joining the words algorithm and rave. The 29th of May we welcome the artists Antonio Roberts and Alex McLean and their live audiovisual performance, taking place in parallel at the Studio 207 and the Cyber Salon.


COPY/PASTE featured artists: Carol Breen (IR), Constant (BE), LoVid (US), Lorna Mills (CA), Matthew Plummer-Fernandez + Julien Deswaef, Duncan Poulton (UK), Eric Schrijver (NL), Peter Sunde (FI)

Hackteria @ Piksel

Hackteria / BadLAB members: Maya Minder, Anne-Laure Franchette and Corinna Mattner, Zurich. QWAS artists: Dana Iskakova and Takhir Yakyharov, Kazakhstan and with the the collaboration of Kiyoshi Yamamoto, Bergen.

DIY or die - Plantprinting Workshop

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13th June 11-17h
DIY or DIE Is an transdisciplinary workshop on the topic of coloring fabrics with wild herbs. The toxic impact of the textile industry is the starting point of this workshop. Together we will learn the old technique of dyeing with natural dyes that we find in our neighborhood. The Workshop will be held mutually in Bergen, NW and Zurich, CH under the guidance of a local assistant and threw a virtual meeting with the BadLab project based in Zurich and working at the Theater house Gessneralle during the Naked Transition Project. We will dye fabrics of silk and cotton ourselves, go foraging for wild herbs and work with poisonous substances in small quantities - poisonousness is always a question of dose (Paracelsus) - investigating the toxic side effects of the textile industry. This workshop is a lot about the playful approach of learning and unlearning, we will follow the art of dyeing by means of DIYbio methods and old knowledge about plant dye and natural coloring. We use plants to dye fabrics and create unpredictable design and patterns. In the framework of the theme of the exhibition „naked transition the aspect of empowerment by DIY and community based work is celebrated threw the moment of liberation - Just do it and Do it with Others. Embroidery hoops stand as a symbol of the time we save, which we take as free time by growing beyond the collective stick tradition of manual work, no longer embroidering the fabric with rules and slogans, but use nature itself, its signs leaves to create traces of stories.

Worship - Dinnnerperformance

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11th June 20-21h
Worship is a dinner performance created by Maya Minder in collaboration with Almaty based artists Dana Iskakova and Takhir Yakyharov. The Performance is based on an exchange of food, gesture, rhythm and sensuality threw online meeting tool like zoom, jitsi, skype, etc. It is a tangible stretch towards how sensuality is perceived in the digital realm threw media. Elements of #asrm (autonomous sensory meridian response) the tickling sounds of whisper or crumbling paper, walking on snow or stroking hair combined with the elements of new media trend of #mukbang (Korean word for food space) the eating in front of audience recorded with detailed sounds, is probed and performed during a mutual dinner happening. The audience is invited to partake or just to relax and concentrate on the chatter and talk during the food. People are served with umami-rich food, so to give a physical layer of sensual perception emphasized threw food and audio-visual experience. Worship is connecting Bergen, Zurich, Almaty and ST.Petersbourg in cyberspace. Artists: Maya Minder, Dana Iskakova, Takhir Yakyharov

Piksel Fest Spill 2020 is supported by the Municipality of Bergen, Arts Council Norway and ProHelvetia and Gessnerallee Zurich.