Activities of the mikroBIOMIK Society

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Here is an incomplete summary of what happened in the last few months:

March 2019

HUMUS sapiens at the SEEDS & SOIL conference in Paris

At the SEEDS & SOIL conference we explored the invisible biodiversity of the Parisian soil. Afterwards, there was a round table with Julian Chollet, Ariane Leblanc and Pedro Wirz at the Center culturel suisse - moderated by Antonia von Schöning. The conference continued on Saturday (08.03.) And also included film screenings, lectures, performances and installations.

ARTICLE from Makery

February 2019

mikroBIOMIK at the Marie-Curie-Alumni-Conference in Vienna

Josephine represented mikroBIOMIK and the HUMUS sapiens network on the MCAA (Marie Curie Alumni Association) general assembly and annual conference in Vienna (25-26th Feb 2019). The MCAA meeting this year focused on 'disseminating research results from European research projects through public relations', open science and on how better working conditions can be created for scientists. Presenting the work of the Society for mikroBIOMIK in Vienna, we were able to bring our approach to open, collaborative and practical science communication into the discussion. For our multimedia presentation (hyperlink), with which we participated in the poster session, we received consistently positive feedback. Our presence at the MCAA meeting gave us the opportunity to discuss topics that are important to us with experts from many exciting disciplines. We presented the HUMUS sapiens soil microscopy workshops as an opportunity to engage interested people in research regardless of their educational background and agreed that hands-on activities are important in providing physical memory for hard facts.

Talk and discussion about HUMUS sapiens in Tel Aviv (TAMI)

"@ Tel Aviv Makers I... hackerspace!"

January 2019

Interactive exhibition "SCOBI, Shit and Humus" @ACUD Berlin

As part of the Transmedial "Vorspiel" (Prelude) at ACUD Berlin we had an interactive exhibition on the theme "SCOBI, Shit and Humus" - in cooperation with Mindaugas Gapsevicius and Juan Pablo Diaz. Among other things, the participants had the opportunity to analyze their own soil or compost samples under a microscope. With more than 500 visitors and very positive feedback, we consider the event a great success.

November 2018

Lecture on collaboration between art, science and technology (Kunsthaus Raab)

The Munich Embassy of the Self-proclaimed "Republic of Užupis" invited us to reflect on what happens when artists, scientists and engineers work together. The artist colony Užupis was founded in Lithuanias capital Vilnius in 1997 and now houses about 7000 people.

October 2018

Workshop: Invisible life in compost and soil

As part of the symposium "„Weil alles irgendwie zammgehört“" by the Center for Environment and Culture Benediktbeuern, Julian was invited to give a workshop on microbial soil life. The meeting brought together very interesting people and initiatives: e.g. Daniel Diehl from Slow Food Germany with his project „Boden begreifen“ and Susanne Stoiber from the IG Gesunder Boden.

September 2018 – HUMUS sapiens on tour

«Humus sapiens on tour»
Lucerne, 22.-25. September 2018
Stuttgart, 26.-29. September 2018
Zurich, 03. October 2018
Berlin, 01.-07. October 2018

Here is an overview

LUCERNE

The first stop of our tour was Lucerne: we met @FabLab to discuss about microplastics, analyze soil samples and build centrifuges. Of course including an excursion. More Information

STUTTGART

Retreat in the Container City (Kunstverein Wagenhalle)

For 5 days a large part of the HUMUS sapiens network gathered in the center of Stuttgart.
What happened there, we cannot summarize in a few sentences - please be patient until we have set up a decent wiki. In the rooms of the Kunstverein Wagenhalle some results of this productive time were open to visit in an exposition until 14. October.

July 2018

mikroBIOMIK soil retreat

From the 20th to the 22nd of July the woods surrounding Projekt Draussen as well as the house itself became the setting for the «mikroBIOMIK soil retreat». We gathered a colorful mix of experts from different disciplines, curious gardeners, skilled hobby microscopists and passionate artists. The event was flexibly structured (as a barcamp/unconference) to address as many questions and approaches as possible and to develop the program together with the participants. There were many discussions and networking sessions, but also a lot has happened in practice: excursions, microscopy, composting, electronic crafts, comic drawing, yoga, a jazz concert,...

More Information:

Workshop: Workshop: Invisible life in compost and soil

As part of the Children Climate Camp 2018, we were invited to do a workshop series on soil microbes at the BUND Naturschutz- und Jugendzentrum Wartaweil. Several groups of children between the ages of 8 and 12 collected samples, rummaged through compost, and observed the wild mini-creatures at work. A day full of muddy hands, astonished faces and fascinating insights into the world of invisible life.

May 2018

The HUMUS sapiens RandeLab retreat 4.-6. May

The Global Hackteria Network, Gasthaus: Fermentation and Bacteria and mikroBIOMIK invite scientists, biohackers, artists, makers, teachers, ecologists and farmers to meet in a forest hut to develop new DIY concepts and workshops on soil ecology. We are all very excited !! :)

More Information:

April 2018

Spring awakening in plants and microbes

What is going on below the ground? Especially in spring, plants excrete a variety of substances from their roots to the ground. In young plants, these so-called "exudates" can account for up to 40% of the carbon compounds they produce from air and sunlight. With the help of these excretions, microbes with whom the plant would like to cooperate are attracted and supported; harmful ones are deterred. The fact that the energy of the first spring sun-rays flows into the ground to such an extent, shows us how important the interaction between the young plants and microbes is for further growth.

If you would like to know more and/or read scientific literature on this topic, just write a short e-mail to humussapiens@mikrobiomik.org

PS: Many thanks to all supporters of the Humus sapiens crowdfunding campaign!!!

March 2018

Humus Sapiens crowdfunding campaign launched

In cooperation with the Global Hackteria Network and Gasthaus: Fermentation and Bacteria, we are launching our first, larger project with the title "Humus Sapiens: open soil research" dedicated to the complex topic of soil ecology.

To begin, we focus on the organization of two events near Munich and Schaffhausen (CH) in the spring and summer of 2018, as well as the establishment of a global network of amateurs and experts who are developing new approaches to soil analysis.

The financing of Humus Sapiens runs until 08.04.2018 on the Swiss crowdfunding platform wemakeit.com.

More information
To the campaign

February 2018

mikroBIOMIK Society founded

Finally, we are a legal entity and the association should very soon also receive the status of a non-profit organization - this is currently being examined by the tax authorities. We are committed to the promotion of research and science, as well as the promotion of education and vocational training.

If you would like to be a patron or member, please write to verein@mikrobiomik.org

December 2017

Workshop: antibiotic properties of garlic

The participants made their own agar-plates and cultivated different species of bacteria and microbial fungi. Garlic was placed in the middle of the plate to see how the microbes react to its antibiotic properties.

Results: some microbes hate garlic (bacteria?!) and some don’t mind (fungi?!).

November 2017

Workshop: DNA amplification at the Bauhaus-University, Weimar

A laboratory course for art students to communicate basic knowledge about molecular biology. We performed real DNA-amplification and then reenacted the ‘invisible’ procedure with the help of paper-DNA and creativity.

Workshop: kombucha fermentation and biomaterial

Some friends were interested in the cultivation of kombucha for drinking and tinkering. We tested a few different recipes for fermentation and drying of the microbial cellulose. We also had some fun forming letters from mushroom material.

September 2017

Kick-off meeting of the ‘Nordic Biohack Network’ in Vilnius, Lithuania

“The international meeting with a coded name "siNbiozė" is an attempt to realize the possibility of symbiosis of scientific and artistic practices, aimed at development and presentation of ideas, [...]“ Nordic Biohack Network

There was some lichen-biohacking, a ‘reversed science cafe’ and a lot of time for networking!

Fermentation & Microscopy at the Klöntal Biohack Retreat

During the last warm days in september, an international crowd of biohackers gathered in the beautiful swiss mountains to share knowledge, inspiration, techniques, good food and of course also microbes. Julian brought his aunts old ZEISS microscope so we could analyze all the fermented food, soil extracts, water samples and other funny stuff. We even tried to do some digital 3D reconstruction.

Klöntal is also the birthplace of the “wormlab project”

Here is a video from the event:

June 2017

Phage Hunting in Georgia

The Georgian Eliava Institute is worldwide the most experienced research institution in all aspects of phage research, production and therapy. Julian and Rüdiger attended the “centennial celebration of bacteriophage research” and also took part in a summer school concerning the isolation of phages from the environment. This was also a good chance to present the idea for an interactive learning platform on microbial communities. The poster definitely got a lot of attention - also from the cleaning lady (see picture below).

This was also the beginning of the „ Phage Academy “ project

May 2017

Hackteria and mikroBIOMIK at the MakeMunich Makerfare

In the middle of 3D-printers, robots and other fancy electronics, we had a nice little booth about biology. Special guests were Marc and Urs from Switzerland, Timbil and Geger from Indonesia, a huge batch kombucha and some mushrooms.

We performed several workshops concerning fermentation and biomaterials as well as a discussion-round on biohacking.

Biofabbing convergence at CERN, Geneva

The famous research institute for particle physics hosted a very international and interdisciplinary crowd of “enthusiasts, practitioners, and researchers on Biohacking and Do-it-Yourself Biology in an effort to foster transformative discussions and learning experiences.” Biofabbing convergence website

We discussed some important developments in the community, cooked and fermented good food as well as ideas and got to know each other a lot better. During a visit to Lausanne\'s Biohackerspace Hackuarium there was also enough time to built some webcam microscopes and test the ‘foldoscope’.

April 2017

DIY macro/microscopy in the Spanish mountains

While hiking through northern Portugal and Spain, Julian got a little bored and built a very simple microscope from a 2€ laser pointer (only the lens) and a piece of cork. It works by placing it very near to your eye – like the 17th century Van-Leeuwenhoek microscopes or (more convenient) by using it together with a smartphone.

It works great for little insects and we spontaneously organized a workshops with kids from the village.