NEWS: upcoming Exhibitions, Lectures & More


Deep Ecology Exhibition @Lab42

At the end of the Deep Ecology honoursmodule, it’s time to present the ‘Future Imaginations & Actions for the Amsterdam Science Park’, by the Deep Ecology students.

__30th of November 2022 17:30 – 20:00. Main Hall of Lab42, Science Park 900, Amsterdam. __

To register, click here.

Drinks and bites will be provided. You may arrive and leave at any time, however, please note that there will be a program with presentations between ~17:30 – 19:00. From 19:00 – 20:00 you can enjoy food made by the students, explore the exhibition and engage in a dialogue with the students.

Expect Spoken Word performances, Sound installations, World Building, Creative Writing, Poetry, Photography, Music, Weaving, Ecological food and more.

For the Deep Ecology series, I invited guests from various disciplines to share their views on ecological approaches. Complexity Scientist Prof. Peter Sloot, Artist and performer Alexander Cromer, Environmental Scientist Dr. Paul Behrens, Artist and writer Vibeke Mascini, Philosopher and XR-rebel Chris Julien and Gender studies / anti-disciplinary scholar Dr. Eva Hayward contributed with their perspectives on (Deep) Ecology.

Together, we reflected upon how to build – be, grow, exist, imagine and act – in the face of climate change, biodiversity loss, inequity and other so-called ‘wicked problems’: problems that are so complex they sometimes make us want to give up, stay in bed, and cry. And even though tears are undervalued, and we need to mourn the loss of primordial forests, in this exhibition we come together: to imagine alternative futures, and to act, from within the wicked systems we find ourselves in.

How to listen to others – humans, more-than-humans, soils, oceans, minerals, shells and stones, and navigate uncertainty while taking responsibility, with modesty, while knowing that no one can really know?

How to imagine and act meaningfully, however small and our insignificant individual actions may be, in the realm of deep time, in the face of the unknown?


Truth, Water, and Memory. A Talk by Joe Davis & Bonnie van Vugt at IAS

__Truth, Water, and Memory: Landscape painting for beginners __

BioArtists Joe Davis (MIT and George Church Lab at Harvard) and Bonnie van Vugt (UvA) will present their artistic research project on ‘Encoding water’, followed by a dialogue moderated by IAS Artist in residence Esmee Geerken. The artists explore the possibilities of encoding different materials and with that invite us to think about a new kind of archive for human knowledge.

14th of November | 15:00 - 17:00.

For more information and registration, please register here.

Image: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the estate of Marie Tharp


A Quantum Navigation Dance Workshop - By Marjolein Vogels and me

How can we practice home coming together, as a flock? How to find our way in this complex world? And what can we learn from pigeons?

Recently, it was discovered that pigeons are able to observe Earth’s magnetic field, by making use of quantum effects. In short; magnetoreceptors in the pigeon's eye allow the pigeon to ‘see’ Earth’s magnetic field, based on the quantum spins of so-called radical pairs in the eye of the pigeon.

In the ‘Fly like a pigeon: a quantum navigation speculative dance workshop’, you will re-activate your own quantum navigation skills, and flock between the Polar Spirits of our spinning home planet.

You will practice spreading your wings, and flock together. After this, you will be set free, able to navigate challenges such as geomagnetic reversals and finding your way through Museumnacht.


Drinks and SEM works at IAS!

Welcome for a drink, bite and the celebration of hanging up some Scanning Electron Microscope images of my 'Building as Being' experiments at the UvA-Institute for Advanced Study

There will be an informal ~15min presentation around 16:30, and otherwise time to mingle and meet.

3th of November 16:00 - 18:00 Oude Turfmarkt 147-149 Sweelinck Room

Please register here.



Longing to go (back to) University?

Join us for a Waag, UvA Institute for Advanced Study & Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies lecture series around new perspectives on Deep Ecology, referring to a movement started by eco-philosopher Arne Næss in 1973. Deep Ecology entails the idea that the ecosystem is a web of complex relationships that needs to be regarded as a whole, with moral and legal rights to remain flourishing, instead of using it for the extraction of wealth and resources – especially enriching the privileged, while others, humans and non-humans, must live with the consequences of pollution, climate change, disrupted biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity loss – that eventually will impact all of us, Earthlings.

For more information and to register for the talks (for free!) see here.

For this series, I invited performers, researchers and artists to share their perspectives on ecological approaches. Personally, I can’t wait for the performative talks and discussions with the amazing Alexander Cromer, Paul Behrens, Vibeke Mascini and Eva Hayward – don’t miss the opportunity to meet these wonderful minds!

Together, we will address how to build – be, grow, exist, imagine and act – in the face of so-called ‘wicked problems’; problems that are so complex they sometimes make us want to give up, stay in bed, and cry.

And even though tears are undervalued, and we do need to mourn the loss of species and primordial forests, in this series we will come together: to admire the beauty that surrounds us, to imagine alternative futures, to surf the waves, and to act from within the wicked systems we find ourselves in, drawing inspiration from complexity science, ecology, philosophy, poetry and art.

How to find the sweet spot between order and chaos, how to balance our desire for being in control with the need to let go?

How to merge our need for narratives, understanding, models, solutions, design and (political) organization with allowing for adaptation, uncertainty, chance, self-organization, and forms of (happy) chaos?

How to listen to others – humans, more-than-humans, oceans, minerals, shells and stones, and navigate uncertainty, while taking responsibility, with modesty, while accommodating for unintended outcomes, while knowing that no one can really know, nor has the answer or the one solution?

How to act meaningfully, in some way or another, however small and our insignificant individual actions may be, in the realm of deep time, in the face of the unknown?

Be welcome to dive into these questions with us!

Thanks to Andrea Manneke, Luca Bertolini, Julia Hoffmann, Peter Sloot, Huub Dijstelbloem, Waag, Tonya Sudiono, Rosalie Bak, Chris Julien, Floortje Vermeer, Lucas Evers, Eric Smith, UvA Institute for Advanced Study, Waag, IIS and especially the extraordinary honours students for making this course possible.


Schaduw Floriade - Building Animal Pavilions with ZOOOF

ZOOOF/Building as Being ANIMAL PAVILION Workshops During the Schadow Floriade period, Zone2Source, ZOOOF and Esmee Geerken organize a workshop series for and with the animal residents of the Amstel Park. Together, we will investigate the history and future of Animal Pavilions in the Amstelpark, where animals find a semi-temporary and voluntary residence.

Shadow Floriade Animal Pavilion Program - for all ages! May 29 Listen and Observe Walk July 10 Animal Pavilion Building workshop October 2 Future Floriade Workshop.

During the workshops, we will explore the Origin Stories of the Amstelpark, by listening to the animals, the pavilions and their stories. How did the Floriade park, created in 1972, develop into its current form, through the interactions between squirrels, park rangers, grass, humans, worms, geese, politicians, seals, walibis, millstones, trees, asphalt and all other 'park' -actors'? And what happened to the seals…? seals? Yes, Else and Dolf!

From here, we look ahead; what could the Floriade look like in 50 years, if it were to return to the Amstelpark? And could this Floriade, instead of being built in 'no time', also start growing now, while we will not be able to predict what the Floriade of the Future will exactly look like? In the Pavilion Building workshop we set processes in motion, to grow Animal Pavilions of the future, through the interaction between materials and voluntary, more-than-human park residents.

What agency and freedom of choice do park organisms have, in their relationship with the Amstelpark, through the building of pavilions, shelters, lichens and nests? Can humans also re-learn how to build, through interactions with stones, sun, wind and water, and with each other – plants, animals and humans, while Pavilions will slowly unfold, over park-time and space.

Listen, research, build and design with the animals of the Amstelpark: via Wildlife Camera observations, Citizen Science, building-with-animals and dreaming about the Floriade of 2072.

You can register for the workshops (preferably all three) here

You can already start with your own research of the Amstel Park: go out to explore and collect stories and observations; what are the histories of the original Floriade Pavilions from 1972, the stories of former animal inhabitants of the park (such as the seals), and how are more-then-humans currently inhabiting the decaying pavilions? During the first workshop we will expand this explorative research, and use citizen science tools to collectively dive into the origin stories of the Amstelpark.


Our Living Soil

Artist and filmmaker Jasper Coppes invited me to join him in his exploration of Dutch lakes ecologies. Ecologies that formed when sand was extracted, and that were altered once more, when 'man-made' sediments, classified as soil, were added. What do these lakes tell us about about our relationship with the landscape, and with the 'new nature' emerging in unfamiliar, deep waters?

The coming month we will further explore this mysterious microsphere, that we encountered in the sediments. Is it toxic, or not? Is man-made, or not, and what does natural mean, in ever-changing ecosystems?

Please join us at the Our Living Soil exhibition, opening 10th of July at Zone2Source, to find out more.

  • Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

    Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

    FINALLY THIS BABY IS OUT!! In this manuscript, we show that the ‘calcite precipitation rates’ (the growth rate) of tiny shells called ‘foraminifera’ are REALLY fast compared to the rates of ‘inorganic’ (non-living) calcite precipitated from seawater. This is because of the intriguing ‘biomineralization’ mechanisms that foraminifera use to grow their shells out of seawater. We tracked the rates by adding and removing the element Strontium to the seawater in which the shell was growing, in intervals, allowing us to visualise the growth rates.

    What can we learn from these ‘micro-building-mechanisms’? Spending so much time looking through the microscope, in amazement of unicellular organisms growing intrinsic mineral shapes, is the main source of inspiration my current project ‘Building as Being’. So thanks to all the Japanese foraminifera that were part of this experiment 🐚 And a big thanks to all co-authors at NIOZ, Utrecht and JAMSTEC! You can find the manuscript here

  • Comenius - Leadership in Complexity

    Comenius - Leadership in Complexity

    For the Comenius course 'leadership in complexity' I will share some of the lessons I learned from foraminifera, about permeability, boundaries and building between chaos and order, with leaders from various fields ~ hoping cross-polinate between arts, science and society. Thrilled to share the floor with my former lecturer Prof. Sander Bais! Upcoming editions: 11th of November '21 and 17th of March '22.

  • Wet Urbanism Workshop

    Wet Urbanism Workshop

    For the RAVB course* Wet Urbanism*, young urbanists are challenged to imagine future cities in relation to water: how to make long-term and adaptive design strategies, with sea-levels rising, increased flood risks, soil subsidense and climate change? Can we build in interaction with the sea, rivers, plants and other land-water creatures?

    To inspire the students, we organise a workshop at IAS to address questions around how to deal with sea level rise, complexity and uncertainty of climate change predictions, when making long-term adaptive Urban design strategies.

    Special guest will be Prof. Maarten Kleinhans, who will share his research on the biomorphology of rivers and delta's. After his presentation there will be a dialogue with Prof. Peter Sloot and Prof. Huub Dijstelbloom.

    The workshop will take place the 22nd of April. Stay tuned for updates on how to join online, or watch back the presentation and dialogue!

    Image 'Hoogtij' by Freek van Riet.