Participant biographies

By Z33 - House for Contemporary Art, Design & Architecture, Constant

Alchorisma alludes to the relationships between algorithms, charisma, rhythm, alchemy and karma.

Biographies of the participants

Anne Adé studied history, got sidetracked along the way, and ended up (amongst others) as a researcher, sub editor, journalist and translator for a wide range of Belgian media outlets such as the public broadcaster VRT, newspapers and women’s magazines. When the open call for the Alchorisma-workshops was launched, she had just finished reading The Overstory, a powerful novel about trees and the destruction of forests, partly inspired by forest ecologist Suzanne Simard. How to inspire people to care more for the non-human entities on our planet (and beyond)? Can art be a gateway? Anne took part in Alchorisma as an outsider to find out, and is still trying to distill an answer to that question.

Adva Zakai was born in Israel and lives in Belgium. She combines her background in dance and performance with the creation of participative, educational and life practices. She is a part of the collectives Common Wallet, School of Love and Co Post. She teaches, studies and tries to never work alone and to never work too much.

An Mertens is a media artist, author, nature guide and spiritual practitioner. She is a member of Constant, Association for Art and Media based in Brussels. She develops a research-based art practice, focusing on the use of computational techniques for literary creation. In 2019 she launched the artist name Anaïs Berck, a collective that stands for a collaboration between humans, algorithms and trees and looks into the specificities of human intelligence amidst artificial and vegetal intelligences. She initiated and coordinates Algolit, a workgroup around free code, text and literature.

Anne-Laure Buisson, based in Brussels, Belgium, is a statistician / datascientist who has worked with data since 2008. Fascinated by maps, forests and the different ways memories populate places, she was happy to contribute with a bit of Python code and some knowledge on walnut trees.

Annie Abrahams, based in Montpellier, France, has an art practice that meanders between research and performance. In her carefully scripted art, she tends to reveal ordinary human behaviour and develops what she calls an aesthetics of trust and attention. She is interested in collaborative practices as a learning place for ‘being with’ and considers behaviour as the aesthetic material of her art.

Arthur Gouillart is a hybrid artist/designer/engineer based in London. In 2018 he graduated from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College in innovation design engineering. Working with interaction technologies, he explores the intersection of meaningful emotions (Love, Fear, Death) and complex systems (Technosystems, Ecosystems). He focuses on making the unseen tangible through materialization and inverting values hierarchies to open new perspectives. Research methodologies include: Futurecasting, Speculative and Critical Design, Human-Centred Design, Artistic research and Ethnographic user-research.

Artyom Kolganov is an independent theorist and writer based in Moscow. He holds a BA in Philosophy from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and is a member of the AAA Research Group on Contemporary Theory. His current research is dedicated to conceptual constructions of the future under the conditions of algorithmic capitalism and control society infrastructures.

Axel Meunier does design research, social practice, mapping and workshop protocols. Currently a PhD candidate in design at Goldsmiths College, he is an associate researcher at Sciences Po’s medialab and an associate artist at the cultural co-operative CUESTA. His practice consists mostly in creating live situations.

Donatella Portoghese graduated in foreign lLanguages and literature with a master’s degree in cultural management with a focus on museology. She has worked in various public and private cultural institutions, ensuring artistic production, curatorship and financial management. She has worked with artists from different fields, but with a particular focus on media and audiovisual art. Since 2011 she has been working with her colleagues on the management of Constant. She is interested in collaborative processes of artistic production, the creation of different and polyphonic narratives, the analysis and dissection of cultural institutions such as libraries and museums, the interaction between art and urban life.

Femke Snelting develops research at the intersection of design, feminisms and free software. In various constellations, she explores how digital tools and practices might co-construct each other. Femke is a member of Constant, Association for Art and Media based in Brussels and collaborates as/in Possible Bodies, The Underground Division and The Institute for Technology in The Public Interest.

Gaspard Bébié-Valérian has been working, with his partner, as an artist for over 15 years. Their joint practice focuses on social and environmental issues such as energy, interspecies symbiosis and cooperation for survival. They believe in the power of care to foster more empathy and better understand our respective immediate ecosystems. Through their collective work narratives, they entrust signals from non-human entities to guide them down a more enlightened path towards the future. For that purpose, their investigations include living organisms as agents for change, invoking both a respectful and humble position towards the complexity and ever-changing diversity of life.

Ils Huygens is curator of contemporary art and design at Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design & Architecture in Hasselt, where she has curated exhibitions o the verge of art, science and society such as Space Odyssey 2.0, The School of Time, Learning from Deep Time and solo shows with Basim Magdy, Jasper Rigole and Kristof Vrancken (forthcoming). She has co-curated two editions of Artefact Leuven: This Rare Earth: Stories from Below and The Act of Magic. She is co-editor of the book Studio Time: Future Thinking in Art and Design. Her recent research has focused mostly on the politics of time and on exploring multispecies interactions crossing art, nature and science.

Isabella Aurora is a Brazilian artist currently living in Paris whose body of work combines painting, performance and installation to create a contemporary discussion re-imagining technology and alchemy as augmented notions and instruments for transformation.

Karin Ulmer has worked for more than 20 years with Brussels-based civil society organizations engaging in advocacy and lobbying towards EU institutions on policies related to sustainable food systems, agriculture and trade, land and seed rights. Karin is a member of the photo collective This article is written in her new capacity as independent consultant and will be part of her forthcoming photo-note-book in 2021 titled [homo situs].

Maeva Borg is currently a student at the Higher School of Art and Design of Saint-Étienne, France. Her work focuses on the link between machines and language, and how forms of ‘virtual spirits’ can emerge from it. Her pratice involves programming and graphic design. She is currently working on hybrid formats, such as a paper format and additional digital ones. She also works on gender studies and archives for her thesis, in order to find a way to make visible queer works in the field of digital design.

Malgorzata Zurada is an interdisciplinary artist from Poland currently based in Zurich (CH). She develops her works from esoteric theories and rituals of past and present. The main areas of her research are visual languages connected to heterodox belief systems and means of coding the occult knowledge. She works mainly with site-specific installations, digital image, text and sound.

Mauro Ricchiuti is a digital artist trained as an engineer with a passion for technology and innovation. He loves the beauty of mathematics and he tries to use it in creative ways in his works. Mauro likes to use different technologies to create generative, interactive and immersive experiences. He is currently a student of media technology, doing his master’s thesis on computational creativity.

Peter Westenberg is a Brussels-based visual artist and cultural instigator working in the field of community-based, technology-related public art. His video work, walks, photography and collaborative projects investigate urban iconography, vernacular architecture and social routines. He prefers copyleft and free software. He is a core member of Constant, Association for Art and Media, and is active as a teacher and culture worker in the fields of art and design.

Sumugan Sivanesan is an anti-disciplinary artist, researcher and writer based in Berlin. Often working collaboratively, his interests span migrant histories and minority politics, activist media, artist infrastructures and more-than-human rights. He is currently developing ‘fugitive radio’ to research anticolonial/antiracist media activism and music in Northern Europe, in collaboration with Pixelache Helsinki. With Tessa Zettel he co-founded the T. Rudzinskaitė Memorial Amateur Lichenologists Society, an SF-storytelling and astrobiological social movement that lives 86 years into the future.

Tiina Prittinen is a doctoral student at the University of Lapland in Finland. Her research in the Faculty of Art and Design is based on the interest in plant life, our response to undergoing ecological crisis and visual presentations of pollution and key steps towards remediation. She has a background in environmental activism and humanistic research on art and environment. She includes the aesthetic experience in her work, including the somatic response to our surroundings.

Vesna Manojlovic is a hacker, a mother, an expat from ex-Yugoslavia living in Amsterdam since 1999; an intersectional feminist; a computer science engineer turned teacher, artist, lecturer, organizer & community builder. At RIPE NCC she takes part in Technical Internet Governance and Networking Infrastructure fora and advocates for fundamental topics and activities such as: mental health, diversity & inclusion, ethics & fairness, empowerment, non-violent communication, sustainability, ecological justice. She is also promoting Free/Libre & Open Source and hackers ethics values & practices within activist and human-rights and humanities communities.

Wendy Van Wynsberghe is an artist, tinkerer, member of Floss Arts Lab, Constant vzw, sound & field recorder, fauna adept, part of the lively and chaotic Brussels realm, fascinated by protocol in all shapes and sizes, avid free software user, pro open licences such as the Free arts license for artwork, frankenscript coder, physical computing aficionado, decentralization enthusiast, dabbling in embroidery, crochet & knitting (with or without eTextiles).

Elodie Mugrefya is a member of Constant, Association for Art and Media based in Brussels. She’s interested in the many things that form, feed and codify what we call knowledge (mostly cultural) and its transmission. She loves experimenting with writing as a generative gesture to think about oppressive systems and our relationships to them.

Rares Craiut is a Romanian Brussels-based artist-researcher developing food performances centred on affect, collaboration and factual information. His food performances are concerned with the increasingly good knowledge we have about what is good for human and environmental health and, at the same time, the huge gap between our knowledge and policy, eating habits and urban food culture, precisely because these are tightly constrained by the interests of giant corporations.

RYBN.ORG is an artist collective created in 1999 and based in Paris. RYBN.ORG leads extra-disciplinary investigations within the realms of high-frequency economics and information technologies, writing kabbalistic algorithms, inserting suicidal trading machines into the financial markets, perverting neural networks during their training phase or hunting ghosts in the noise of data traffic.

FoAM (Maja Kuzmanovic, Nik Gaffney) is a transdisciplinary network which entangles art, science, nature and everyday life. Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney operate as a nomadic cell within the network to explore futurecrafting as a way of re-enchanting the present. They cultivate circumstances for conviviality and collaboration, resonant with animist approaches to time, attunement and interdependence. Their works and ways of working aim to stimulate collective imagination and form solidarity through speculative propositions, immersive experiences and contemplative practices suitable for techno-materialist cultures.

Erik De Wilde, Ingrid Baisier, Karin Van Ginneken, Linda Verplancke, Marleen Verschueren, Martina Gylsen and Nele De Man are a group of local shamans who organized a shamanic evening as the opening of the worksession in Z33 in Hasselt. As a group they followed the shamanic training and were initiated by Frank Coppieters and Kathy Melcher.

Z33 is a groundbreaking arts institution in Hasselt that works at the intersection of art, design and architecture. It is a safe haven on the periphery with a magnificent new building and a refreshingly diverse programme. It is a rugged playground for artistic research, with its sights set on the world, its feet in the mud, and a heart that beats for talent development, (un)learning, the enjoyment of research and scintillating collaborations.

Constant is a non-profit, artist-run organization based in Brussels since 1997 and active in the fields of art, media and technology. Constant develops, investigates and experiments. Constant starts out from feminisms, copyleft, Free/Libre + Open Source Software. Constant loves collective digital artistic practices. Constant organizes transdisciplinary worksessions. Constant creates installations, publications and exchanges. Constant collaborates with artists, activists, programmers, academics, designers. Constant is active archives, poetic algorithms, body and software, books with an attitude, counter cartographies, extitutional networks, performative protocols, etc.