Opening of the exhibition "Ceremony for algae"
At the heart of the "Ceremony for Algae" exhibition is the aquatic environment and the algae species that are an integral part of its fragile ecosystem. Linking existing knowledge of aquatic organisms with design research, the exhibition treats algae with care and respect through gestures reminiscent of rituals. In this way, students from Icelandic, Finnish and Estonian universities will show works from local contexts in 'Ceremony for Algae', which reflect on the symbiotic relationship between humans and the environment - a post-anthropocentric symbiosis.
Using the example of marine ethics as an under-utilised bio-resource with a high economic potential, the exhibition will focus on the kind of conscious design approach it requires, with the aim of arriving at designs based on the valorisation of renewable bio-resources, as well as bringing them to industrial scale.
In the last decade, algae have been explored as a potential resource for new materials. Algae are also known as 'green gold', the biofuel of the future and an alternative to animal proteins in the human diet. For these high expectations to be realised in the long term, we need a radical shift in mindset, learning about the mysterious workings of the aquatic world and the different species assemblages, moving towards a restorative, supportive and nurturing model.
Julia Lohmann, professor and multidisciplinary designer at Aalto University, writes: "Vetikas become more than just a resource, but also our method and muse".
A large heterogeneous group of photosynthetic organisms in marine waters, algae are considered the untapped biological resource with the greatest potential. DiMa, the Sustainable Design Lab of the Estonian Academy of Arts, has been working on local algae as one of its focus topics since 2015. Local algae have been tested as a raw material for the production of various bioplastics, as a nutrient-rich food, and as a potential biomass for wastewater treatment... The role of the Baltic Sea ecosystem and algae as a whole has been analysed, involving experts and companies from Estonia and the Nordic-Baltic region.
The exhibition is open 04.06-15.06.2022
MON-FRI 10.00-17.00; SAT-SUN 12.00-17.00
at the Blacksmith's Gallery of the Nordic Factory (Marati 5).
The exhibition is supported by the Estonian Cultural Endowment and the Nordic Council of Ministers.