Alchemy Unveiled: exploring the intersections of knowledge through art

By | Karina Vissonova | Judit Boros

The ABRA project’s group of learners completed their journey with an exhibition titled “Alchemy of Knowledge: transdisciplinary entanglements of artificial biology, robotics and art” at the Art Quarter Budapest independent contemporary art centre in Budapest, Hungary. The exhibited multimedial works resulted from the three year long explorations and guided learning within the ABRA transdisciplinary framework. The learners cross-pollinated ideas tracing the disciplines involved in the project, and created artworks and conceptual designs.

The group consisted of twelve learners representing different fields and different levels of education, eight being master degree students of arts, media arts, art and technology, computational biology, sound design, and experience design; and four being doctoral students researching design, art, bioart, and art & science fields. The learners were selected in association with the four ABRA partners, respectively art students from the university of Aalto, art and technology oriented students from the university of Aalborg, natural sciences students from the university of Trento, and art and design students representing the ADES institute, invited from the doctoral school of Moholy-Nagy university of Art and Design.

The works were produced in collaborations between the learners from the different universities, as well as created individually, and with an assistance of external expertise e.g. in coding Arduinos, and sensor technology setups. Out of the twelve participating learners, who collectively exhibited seven artworks, three were individually produced.

The ABRA project’s framework provided an opportunity for these young professionals in training to tap into technologies and fields of expertise outside their disciplines: soft robotics, artificial biology, and art.

Additionally, the learners gained insights into principles of interaction design, human-robot interaction, bioart, art theory, digital fabrication and design, urban design, and sustainability. All of these technologies as well as principles were to some degree applied, integrated and used as an inspiration in the final artworks.

The Alchemy of Knowledge exhibition, organised by the ABRA project, marked the culmination of the three-year journey. This transdisciplinary exploration brought together the master’s and doctoral students specialising in arts, media arts, art and technology, computational biology, sound design, and more.

Through collaborative efforts and individual creativity, these learners produced a collection of captivating artworks and conceptual designs. The ABRA project provided a unique opportunity for these young professionals in training to gain insights and to delve into technologies and fields beyond their disciplines. The resulting exhibition showcased the successful integration and application of these diverse disciplines, leaving a lasting impression on both the participants and the audience.

Venue: Art Quarter Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

May 12 - 26, 2023

Exhibiting Artists:
Maroš Pekarik & Andrea Tešanović
Hege Tapio
 with the assistance of Yu-Han Tseng, Yousaf Muzafar, Dag Egil Njaa, Pål Asle Pettersen
Edit Blaumann, Marija Šumarac, Sólja Holm Mortensen with the assistance ofBartal Eyðfinsson Veyhe, Margo Nowicka, Mercedes Krapovickas
Johanna Møberg Lauritzen & Aska Mayer with the assistance of Cyan Find- ji, Judit Boros, Martin Hanczyc, Larisa Chernyaeva, Edel O’Reilly, Laura Beloff
Katri Naukkarinen, Aurora Del Rio, Markus Löchtefeld Renáta Dezső with the assistance of Kálmán Tarr, Karina Vissonova, Timothy Robert Merritt
Dániel Szalai with the assistance ofDániel Rácz, Marcell Mesterházi