2021 – WOVEN BY NATURE (iMAL, Brussels)

In an era where anthropocentrism defines more than ever the relationship we as humans build with nature, shifting the centre of attention can become a revolutionary act.
The exhibition WOVEN BY NATURE presents a selection of sculptures and installations about the potential of algae and bacteria. Investigating the origin of life as we know it, the works are plunging the viewer in an aquatic atmosphere where blue-green algae are cultured in handmade glass containers that grow on metal structures.
As an observation of temporality, the works change over time and showcase different declinations of a long-standing artistic project that involves lab research and field work. It expresses a journey that touches upon urban and aquatic environments, making the invisible visible.
Woven by Nature recalls the alchemical element of water, that, according to Greek philosopher-mathematician Thales of Miletus was believed to be the original matter out of which the world was created.
Woven by Nature is also the second chapter of a double exhibition. The first chapter ‘Sensorial Skins’ was presented at Pilar – House for Art and Science – in April 2021.

Concept and Artworks: AnneMarie Maes
Curation: Camilla Colombo (Ohme)
Technical Support: Erland Jacobsen
Production: SO-ON vzw

With the support of the Flemish Government

Installation shot at iMAL: ‘L’Origine du Monde’. Bacterial chain performing realtime photosynthesis.
©Silvia Cappellari

Installation shot at iMAL: ‘Glossa’. SEM micrograph (Proboscis of the Apis mellifera, detail).
©Silvia Cappellari

Installation shot at iMAL: ‘Guerrilla Beehive’. Sculptural prototype for a sustainable beehive.
©Silvia Cappellari

Installation shot at iMAL: ‘Sea Garden’. Art/Science device for growing bacterial colonies, glass and electronics. 25x25x150cm.
©Silvia Cappellari

Installation shot at iMAL: ‘Variation Games’ and ‘Territorial Flow’. Video (12:25) and skin from latex and beeswax.
©Silvia Cappellari

Installation shot at iMAL: ‘Bacterial Mantarey’ and ‘Alien Intelligence’. Sculpture with bacterial colonies, glass and metal. Selection of 4 lightboxes with SEM micrographies.
©Silvia Cappellari

‘Disappearance’ – slow process experiment, sculpture. Bacteria, plexi glass, glass, metal. 40cm x 40cm x 65cm.


AnneMarie Maes is kunstenaar en onderzoeker. Ze is mede-oprichter van de kunstenaars-collectieven OKNO en So-on. In haar artistieke praktijk combineert ze kunst en wetenschap met een sterke interesse voor DIY-technologieën en het gebruik van intelligente materialen.
Voor haar experimenten werkt zij samen met wetenschappelijke partners in Brussel (VUB, materialen onderzoek) en in Barcelona (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, bio-hacklab), evenals met architecten en designers (IAAC architecture school Barcelona) en Green Fablab (Barcelona).
In mei 2017 ontving AnneMarie Maes een Ars Electronica award in de discipline Hybrid Art, voor haar project ‘Sensorial Skin for a Guerilla Beehive’. Zij exposeert regelmatig, zowel nationaal als internationaal. Haar werk werd o.a. geprogrammeerd in de Vooruit (Gent), Stuk (Leuven), Okno (Brussel, TIK – Open House), Kaaitheater (Brussel), Buda (Kortrijk), Bozar (Brussel) maar ook in Oostenrijk (Graz), Croatia (Zagreb), Finland (Pixelache, Helsinki), Frankrijk (Mal au Pixel, Parijs), Duitsland (Transmediale, Berlijn – Documenta, Kassel), Tsjechië (Praag), Riga (Letland), Spanje (Barcelona), Zweden (Umea, ETC), US (New York, Matrix Art Project), Syria (Damascus), India (Mumbai, Delhi) Turkije (Istanbul), Argentinia (Buenos Aires) en Brazilië (Sao Paulo).