Bacterial Field Guide by Maya Minder

Kombucha, as a new material (also praised for its probiotic benefits for our digestive system), holds potential as a suitable approach to familiarize oneself with the complex world of microorganisms. Bacterial cellulose as made inside Kombucha is a new model system for cooperation and conflict in a complex multi-species microbial environment. As Lynn Margulis pointed out that bacterial life as part of the five kingdoms is the predominant lifeforms on planet Earth and the most ancestral life form developed in wet humid environments.  The encounter and study from an artistic approach bears great potential of learning from bacterial live and existence through the view of non-human perspectives while diving into a field trip of encounter using microscopes, human sensory and deep contemplation. The Workshop will endorse the symbiotic approaches of how human perceive microbes through history involving a holistic approach of understanding the kingdom of bacteria by workshops and field trips. Within this workshop we will dwell into various aspects of Kombucha and the existence of biofilms in natural environment, its composition and perceiving in a human scale sensory apparatus. Hands on Workshops on how to grow bacteria, how to sing with bacteria, how to draw and colourful create recipes of enhancing or interfering human microbiome, but also biologic knowledge and micro-cosmomological perceptions of plant-human, plant microbial, stone-microbial, organic inorganic symbiotic living territories of bacteria. Coping, hunting and analyzing them by going back into the beginnings and history of microbiology science threw Louis Pasteur, Sergei Winogradsky and Heinrich Anton de Bary as well as but also mapping out field trips for investigating into geological appearance of microbial matts pre-existing on planet Earth (Stromatolites) as primer terrestrial landscape. 

Bacterial cellulose made of Kombucha requires research and practice in handling the material. Creating protocols for growing bacterial cellulose requires time, space and stillness to research its density, thickness and strength of the material, as well as drying processes, duration and durability of the layers, the post-treatment still to explores can be adapted to traditional leather making processes. For the appropriate duration of several months as the preparation and post-processing time, I conducted the research on bacterial cellulose produced by fermentation of kombucha and its production and processing process and led to interesting results, the results of which led to further research and practical application as well as workshop giving but for Piff camp mainly the sharing knowledge and creating encounters, experience and new possible collaborations

Working with the new biomaterial requires adaption and familiarize with the uncanny bacterial existence. To learn microbial behaviour means to adapt to a pre-historic deep time understanding of original archaic lifeforms. In this workshop I propose to learn from an hands-on approach inside the outdoor lab using olfactory, sensory, biohacking and sensorial methods to approach microbial existence as well as field trip explorations to visit ancient and modern existence of microbial matts in our environment. We will additionally research in our approximate environment and explore the concept of biofilms as a biomass pre-existing and predominant during the triassic period by visiting the Karst mountains. Through tapping into invisible life and their ability of growing microbial matts by microbial activity we will get familiar by approaches of Lynn Margulis or Betsy Dexter Dyer, feminist Biologists who are leading in the approach of symbiogenesis, welcoming a more close look into the predominant existing species of microbes. To oppose and decolonize knowledge of them as laboratory guinea pigs by western science epistemology of microbiology biochemistry.

Oscilloscope Music

Oscilloscope Music is audiovisual music, where the visuals are drawn using sound. In order to get the closest possible correlation between image and sound, the exact same signal that is connected to the left and right speakers is also connected to an analog oscilloscope’s X and Y inputs, producing complex lissajous images.

Over the span of six years Jerobeam Fenderson and Hansi3D have created ever more elaborate techniques to explore this largely uncharted field of audiovisual music, resulting in a full length album, as well as the unique 3D-audio software OsciStudio. For PIFcamp they will do a little performance, host an introductory workshop to lasers and/or oscilloscopes and maybe try to do a tiny laser light installation.

Networked Touch Workshops

Rob Canning of Zavod Rizoma will lead two experimental instrument building workshops culminating in an informal improvised musical/sound/noise performance. Workshops will combine a sculptural, craft and upcycling element with a technological element, allowing the made objects to become touch sensitive instruments or interfaces.

One workshop will be directed at younger PIFlars and shall involve less coding and place more emphasis on listening, sound recording, simple soldering and creative object construction. The more advanced workshop will look more closely at the technological back-end enabling participants to integrate capacitive touch interfaces into their own creative workflow using the esp32 and the OSC protocol.

#newinterfacesformusicalexpression #opensoundcontrol #capacitiveTouch #wireless #100%freeandopen sourcesoftware #openhardware #supercollider #puredata #audacity

Both workshops are part of konS:: Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art and produced by LokalPatroit, Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory and Projekt Atol Institute.

konS:: Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art is a project chosen on the public call for the selection of the operations “Network of Investigative Art and Culture Centres”. The investment is co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union.

What about food and VR technologies?

During PIFcamp 2023, Sophia Bulgakova is planning to experiment with food and various augmentation of reality using XR technologies and analogue tools of sensory deprivation while dining.

She wants to conduct testing & tasting sessions together with other participants exploring their relationship with various sensory stimulants with a focus on food and dining as a communal ritual. How can a change in visual perception affect the taste of certain foods? Can physical togetherness be achieved at a distance? How our taste buds be tricked by the stimulation of other senses? These experimentations will be a part of her collaborative, ongoing umbrella project, Metaphysical Tastings, which Sophia is working on together with Leonardo Scarin & Cemre Deniz Kara.

Sophia will also continue her experimentations with the analogue/digital VJ set-up she is developing and work on arranging jam and play sessions with other participants of this year’s program.

Body to Code by Laurent Malys

Laurent Malys is working on a show that mixes dance and techniques of live music composition. He build a prosthesis to attach each part of a split computer keyboard to his hands, allowing him to type while moving freely and dancing.

The show is intended to be an ironic and impractical transhumanist performance that will show the creativity of algorithmic and electronic music, while bringing all the musical expressiveness through the movement of the body. It is also a questioning of the interfaces between humans and machines/instruments and our relationship to technical languages.

The technical part of the project involves three software components that are in an early stage of development and will continue to be built and tested during PIFcamp:
– tui-seq: A terminal user interface for live composition and live coding (using FoxDot and supercollider)
– body2ctrl: A set of computer vision tools that can translate movement of the body into musical control
– ofxpartloop: An “event-driven” music visualization software (made in Openframeworks)

During the PIFcamp, Laurent will try to engage other participants to experiment ‘body2ctrl’ to control music software or their own software or hardware synthetiser (via midi or osc).

Laurent Malys makes sound and moving images with algorithm and electronics and experiment with various ways to mix music, visuals and performance (with live-coding, digital and analog synthesis, vector synthesis, electronics, mechanics, fabrication.)

Food & Ecosystems: Nourishing Connections through Nature

Fransisca Tan is an Austrian food experience designer with a diverse background in cognitive sciences, communication, gastronomy, and media technology. With a deep-rooted passion for exploring and curating transformative human experiences, Fransisca uses the multisensory power of food as her canvas. As an artist, creative producer, and international project manager, she endeavors to foster connections among individuals from diverse backgrounds, unveiling the profound significance of community and compassion. 

In her project for PIFcamp, all participants are invited to collaborate and embark on a collective exploration. Together, they may delve into the fascinating questions such as: How does food and our environment shape our interactions?  What does the future (of food) smell, taste and feel like to our touch – engaging all our senses? The beautiful surroundings of Soča valley will partake in this explorative journey by feeding inspirations on ecosystem thinking. 

During the event, participants can look forward to engaging talks challenging concepts such as food waste and nature, hacking rituals & cultural practices surrounding food, and workshops on sensory exploration that venture beyond traditional culinary boundaries. 

Join Fransisca and fellow participants at PIFcamp as they unlock the mysteries of our relationship with food, each other and the natural world, and collectively envision a future that tantalizes not just our taste buds but all our senses.

Experiments in Echolocation by Rodolfo Acosta Castro

70% of the bat species use echolocation to hunt and communicate. The ultrasound signals that bats emit are above human hearing, but we can bring them down to our perception with some electronics. Let’s build a couple of Bat-detectors and let’s search for bats at the Soča river when the sun comes down. 

No bats? No problem! We can steal the bats superpower and build a small square-wave synth secretly screaming for attention. 

Rodolfo Acosta Castro is a Berlin based artist working with electronics, code and nature in theater context. He will try some experiments with ultrasound transmitters and is happy to collaborate with other projects, to improvise or use new materials.

PIFood 2023 invitation

This year we will go through the documentation of previous PIFcamps, that is through everything related to food. Everything that can be thought of, gathered and connected to, and clustered under the umbrella of PIFood. Ideas, experiments, successes and failures. The goal is to provide future experimenters with information about previous activities, and offer the opportunity to this year’s attendees to recreate some of the material in its edible form, as fermented correspondences and digestible ideas; to reflect, react and engage with it from new perspectives. In so doing we will also attend to (fragmented and not in that order) questions such as:

How can we connect through food and with food; with the environment that provides us with nourishments? How can we think of care through food? How can we think of food as the Other? What can we learn from applying food related concepts to how we collectively imagine the world? What role do science and art have in how we consume, digest and nourish the natural and social world we live in? What kind of sustenance does PIFcamp provide for the hunger of imagination?

We will reminiscence and rearticulate foraging walks, alternative “club mate” fermentations, lime paneers, sourdough scoby breads, coffee corners, DIY incubators for natto and tempeh, open fire workshops, kombucha and foraged syrups cocktails, PIFnicks, beer brew workshops, and more.

The main ingredients were and remain the people. We will also remember these actors, explore their work and what informed their PIFood related activities, while also trying to connect with those physically not present to talk about Diva dinners, durian food festivals, beach BBQs, distillery visits, loose fruit, brick over construction and so on.  

We will learn about how PIFood was incepted through correspondences with DiNaCon, and how collaborations with PIFcamp’s kitchen informed its identity. We will also discuss where we can find concepts floating within the degrowth community (conviviality, care, social metabolism, commons, growth, post-normal science, ubuntu etc.) within PIFood, and also broader PIFcamp and DiNaCon activities. And we will debate the introduction of concepts like regrowth, undergrowth and overgrowth.

Participants are invited to help with preparing this documentation, to contribute to it with their own material and memories, new takes on it, reinterpretations, and new ideas, experiments, connections. The space will be open for sharing meals, recipes, ideas, and accompanying questions. Finally, we will launch this documentation on the PIFood.club blog.

If any participant sees themselves in any of the stated, please contact Ahac (ahac@drmr.si) and discuss your input and/or possible requirements for your PIFood related activity.

Commemorating the inspiration for PIFood, its godfather, the late but never forgotten Dario <3