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MA'A* Cultural Innovation Editor  2019
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Green Afro ✩ Diptyque ✩ Photographies ✩ 2018 ✩ Laure Roynette Gallery & Karine Bonneval© the new destination of discoverers defending the best of Art, Architecture and Design
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HOME SWEET HOME ✩ #SchulzSchomburgk

A carte blanche & some addresses to imagine new utopias.

Listening to bark under one's touch ✩ 2017 ✩ Sound workshop ✩ Karine Bonneval©

To transform life
Karine Bonneval

Éric of MA'A*: What motivated you to integrate living matter into your creative process?

Karine Bonneval: In the year 2000 I entered a primary forest for the first time, it was in Guyana. I felt like I was entering a living entity. I had always had an interest in gardens and greenhouses, but my artistic research did not relate directly to that.

After this experience, I read a lot of books on the history of exotic plant exportation, then "The Spears of Twilight" by Philippe Descola. Also, I met the Canadian philosopher Karen Houle, and our discussions changed my perception of plants. That's why, through my art, I care to speak of vegetal beings and our relationship with these complex beings which we often consider as nothing more but objects.

Listen to the Earth ✩ 2017 ✩ Photo. Karine Bonneval©
Community coalescence ✩ Confocal microscope image made with the Diagonale Paris-Saclay's support ✩ 2017 ✩ Karine Bonneval©

Éric: You work in teams with different people in Art & Science. What obstacles did you face in decompartmentalizing your research territory?

Karine: Well, none! Indeed, scientists and art centers desire to collaborate from the moment they become partners in a project. The scientific approach, which works by series of questions and tests, is also quite close to artistic creation.

Constellations ✩ Geodesic dome containing Petri dishes ✩ Culture of the human body and plant microorganisms in Sri Lanka ✩ Photo. Cinnamon Colomboscope©

Child and cedar ✩ Invitation card ✩ "The soul of bark" exhibition ✩ 2018 ✩ Louise Michel Gallery in Poitiers, France ✩ Karine Bonneval©

Éric: Can you tell us about your latest exhibitions and future projects?

Karine Bonneval: The year 2018 was quite dense in terms of exhibitions. "Listen to the Earth"
the installation of sound ceramics made with bio-acoustician Fanny Rybak has been widely shown, including in a solo exhibition at the Berlin Botanical Museum. At the moment, I am working on the movement of plants, in collaboration with a new team of scientists: PIAF INRA from Clermont-Ferrand.

The first pieces will be shown at Gr_und, a gallery in Berlin. I am also preparing a culinary performance around the theme "Eating Earth" for Cahors-Juin-Jardin, in collaboration with a chef and an ethnobotanist. Also, my work on trees' breathing will go to Riga and Bourges. Finally, I will end the year with a residency in Cornell, in collaboration with soil and bioacoustics specialists.

Umarmen ✩ Huggin urban trees, privately ✩ 2017 ✩ Cahors-Juin-Jardins ✩ Karine Bonneval©

Listening to bark under one's touch ✩ 2018 ✩ Berlin Botanical Museum ✩ Karine Bonneval©

The scientific partners of the projects: Claire Damesin, ecophysiologist ✩ Ludwig Jardillier, microbiologist ✩ Fanny Rybak, bio-acoustician ✩ Eric Badel & Bruno Moulia, ecophysiologists ✩ Matthias Rillig, specialist in fungi and soils...

"Listen to the Earth" was produced with the support of Diagonale Paris-Saclay, the DRAC Center-Val de Loire, the Art Center Micro-Onde | "Dendromité and Constellations" was created with the support of Diagonale Paris-Saclay.

Dendromité ✩ 19 remarkable trees to listen to in a sound room ✩ 2015 ✩ Made possible thanks to the support of the Mire and the Centre-Val de Loire region, France ✩ Karine Bonneval©
Listen to the Earth, in collaboration with Fanny Rybak ✩ Installation of 12 sound ceramics on an earth bed ✩ 2017 ✩ "Like a sleepy chill" exhibition ✩ Microwave Art Center in Vélizy-Villacoublay, France ✩ Photo. Joel Prince©

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Mycelium ✩ Eric Klarenbeek©

Centre Pompidou

Venus Crystal Chair ✩ Tokujin Yoshioka©

"Designing the Living" exhibition traces artificial life in artistic creation while presenting the most significant creations and innovations in the field of art, design, architecture and music through the works of fifty creators. Its material itself is evolutionary, some works being tightly connected to the process of growth and degeneration.

About a hundred projects are exhibited, many of which were specially designed for the occasion. This event focuses on the notion of "living" that goes through the physical field of matter and the immaterial digital domain of the modern age. The young creators of this show wonder about bio-programming, new technologies and their impact.

Bio-ID ✩ Robotically extruded algae-laden hydrogel ✩ M. Cruz, B. Parker & S. Malik©
Mutations ✩ Erika Verz©

+info: Centre Pompidou Until April 15th 2019 
Coproduction: National Art Modern Museum & IRCAM
Original text by Centre Pompidou

H.O.R.T.U.S. XL ✩ Bio-digital Sculpture ✩ Astaxanthin.g©
My town ✩ Erik Schulz-Schomburgk©

Home is not a space, it's a feeling
Erik Schulz-Schomburgk


"In Venezuela, I saw the chaos of a favela. In Europe and North America, I have seen it too: in urbanized neighborhoods where all the houses are arranged in infinity and look the same. In the end, we all share a wall, a roof or a facade."

Éric of MA'A*: At what point in your life has home become, I quote, not a space but a feeling?

Erik Schulz-Schomburgk: When you leave your house, your country, your friends, your family, you can only carry very few material things. On the other hand, memories, experiences and feelings can accompany you wherever you go. I have lived in many countries and in many homes in Mexico, Spain, France, and Montreal. I know very well that the best way to move forward is to have your house in your heart. One day 16 years ago, on January 24th, I left my childhood home. Venezuela has lived and continues to live in an unsustainable situation. Many like me had no choice but to leave. It would be completely unbearable to think that my home is limited to a space. It's the feeling, the one that makes the space where I live, the people I love, where I continue to create experiences and memories; this is my home. In my painting, I feel it, my little houses tell the story of where I come from and where I am going. I would like people, who decorate their homes with my paintings, to also sense the feeling of home beyond space.


Éric: How would you define that feeling more specifically? Is it a feeling of warmth, tranquility, or fulfillment?

Erik: It's a feeling of gratitude. I am grateful to have discovered painting, to have recognized my weaknesses. I can continue to improve every day with this Art. I love doing what I do and I don't fear change, because in the end, "the only constant thing is change."

I am an oenologist by profession, so I always refer to aromas. My house smells of flowers. The floral aromas remind us of feelings like love. It smells of love to me. I put lemon oil in my paintings, because my hometown is called "Lemon". The fruity aromas remind us of family. I continue to explore, perhaps the next aroma will be floral or with a touch of exotic spices. I like being able to give a perception that isn't just visual, telling a life story with my paintings.

Montreal ✩ Erik Schulz-Schomburgk©
The red roofs ✩ Erik Schulz-Schomburgk©

Éric: I also think that smell is one of the strongest senses which allows us to transgress space and memory more effectively. Finally, what is your most striking memory of Venezuela?

Erik: We keep smells and emotions in the same place in our memory, which is why it's normal for a smell to make us nostalgic, like Proust's madeleine. Also, to feel happy, we remember the rain when we were small, how we went out to play in the garden, for example. When I think of Venezuela, two smells come back to me: the burnt gasoline that reminds me of chaos and, on the other hand, the tropical jungle, which reminds me of its immense beauty. When I think of what is happening in my country, I understand why I talk about these smells. When I started painting, I was told that I had a Caribbean style, that you could tell where I came from just by looking at my work. I did not look for a style, it was just there, full of light and colours. My memories, my feelings and my experiences made the artist that I am. Art is life and it smells very good.

"Every emigrant feels the need to take the home he left with him in order to find a better future." 


Alba ✩ Rabbit turned fluorescent by addition
of a jellyfish gene ✩ Eduardo Kac©
ADN Designer ✩ Clothing line made from human skin grown in a laboratory ✩ Tina Gorjanc©
Neutral pH sculptures submerged in the ocean ✩ Jason deCaires Taylor©
Amphibio ✩ A gill to survive after the sea level rises ✩ Jun Kamei© ✩ Photo. Jukan Tateisi©
Adaptive Respiration ✩ C. Madrigal, A.Dorn, M. Caprani & A. Terreno©
No regrets for what you haven't been, Be the ghost you want to see in the machine ✩ Amsterdam UMC© & Ani Liu©
Circulation(s): European Young Photography Festival©
P'eng's Journey to the Southern Darkness Ting Tong Chang© Photo. Giulietta Verdon-Roe©
Digital After-Love  Oan Kim & M.Y.O.P©
Bio-organic Sculptures ✩ Centre Pompidou ✩ NAARO©