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Esmee Geerken is a Dutch artist and Earth scientist, with a main expertise in biomineralization and paleoceanography. After defending her dissertation entitled Elements in foraminiferal shells as recorders of past climates in December 2019, Esmee now combines her interdisciplinairy background in an artistic practice influenced by geology, chemistry and philosophy. Her work playfully questions our perception of the obvious – the curvature of the Earth, and the peculiar – how organisms (like us) build their shells.

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Esmee is specifically interested in building as a way to enact the environment, at multiple spatial scales. In her current project Building as Being, Esmee is in search of the sweet spot between order and chaos, by means of building. From the microscopic realm of crystals precipitating from solutions; to the growth of urban ecologies. How are these blobs of order –crystals, cities, minds, stories, 'precipitating' from their environments? How to enhance and constrain the permeability of boundaries – membranes, shells, skins and houses, that create insides within outsides?

Portret: CC BY-NC-ND, Jimena Gauna, Waag, 2021.

Currently, Esmee is ArtScience fellow at the UvA-Institute of advanced studies, research fellow at Waag, and guest-researcher at the Self-Organizing Matter Group (AMOLF). Esmee's work is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Funds for the Arts) and Stimuleringsfonds Creative Industries.

Photo: Ivar Pel. In the Self-Organizing Matter lab at AMOLF.

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