Laboratorium, KASK & Conservatorium, the school of arts of HOGENT and Howest In Laboratorium, the experimental lab for art/design and biotechnology at KASK / School of Arts Ghent, colour is the main research line. The researchers are looking for new applications of traditional colouring materials as plants or minerals, new colouring sources as microalgae, bacteria or fungi, and new understandings of what a colour can be within the field of art and design.
Title Work : “How is the weather today?”
Bare with me:
A couple is having breakfast in their apartment. The man is scrolling his ipad while reading
the news, the woman is pouring a glass of orange juice and asks:‘How is the weather today,
An ordinary simple question we often ask in order to start a conversation or feel less
Does the answer even matter?
There are only a few things in this world that humanity can’t control (yet?) and the weather is one of them. Let’s go back in time, a couple of million years ago, when we weren’t in control and were less dominant…humans were considered part of nature, co-habitants of the globe. The fluctuating weather and seasons defined the rhythm and the way of life. Nowadays we, as civilized creatures, think and feel we are more in control. Our lives feel less entangled with the environment we were once so interconnected with. While creating a safer environment for ourselves, humanity somehow became the predator for nature. “How is the weather today?” wants to create awareness around our climate crisis. It’s a simple question we ask ourselves everyday as it influences how we feel, dress, travel… And when we trust and think we adapted ourselves well to the weather predictions it starts to snow, rain and storm, however a rainbow might appear out of nowhere, nature’s magic! “How is the weather today?” wants to subtly confront the audience with the climate crisis by asking a daily question in which people anticipate unconsciously on climate change too, but within a short-term perspective. Climate crisis is happening today, the consequences include extreme droughts and floods, the out of control version of a hot and rainy day. We can fool ourselves and say we can’t do anything about the current climate crisis. Science and technology however opened new perspectives which require long term engagement and adaptive new ways of behaviour for all of us. “How is the weather today?” is an open invitation to reflect on the weather and find ways to reconnect with our environment again.
The artwork has the printed quote ‘How is the weather today?’ which is hidden by the layered screen printed rectangles. The colours are applied using screen printing mediums which consist of sustainable pigments from microalgae. Each colour is created by using a different algae pigment.
Orange (& Red): Pigment: Beta Carotene, Algae: Dunaliella Salina
Pink: Pigment: Phycoerythrin, Algae: Porphyridium Purpureum
Blue: Pigment: Phycocyanin, Algae: Arthrospira
Green: Pigments:: Chlorophyll+Phycocyanin+Carotene, Algae: Arthrospira
When the algae pigments are exposed to UV and O2 indoors or outdoors the pigments start to fade. The layered colour scheme of the poster will start to change and fade and after a couple of months/years (depending on amount of UV and O2 exposure) the quote in the centre of the poster will start to appear.
‘How is the weather today initiates an interdisciplinary collaboration between the print company, Camille Wouterson and Laboratorium. The work will be created in a hybrid way using digital print and analogue screen printing techniques. On the materiality level bio based sustainable algae inks will be confronted with synthetic pigments (print); disappearance versus fixed.
Keywords concept : climate crisis, awareness, time, circularity, design research, art/design/sciences