Living Canvas by Fara Peluso - Exhibition Opening and Algature Workshop

Living Canvas - Fara Peluso

Exhibition Opening and Algature Workshop

January 28 2019

pic: Anne Freitag

pic: Anne Freitag

Living Canvas Vernissage, Friday, 25 January 2019, 6:30 pm
Algature Workshop, Tuesday, 29 January 2019, 6:30 pm
Picture Download

Algae are our main oxygen producers on earth. They exist in nearly every ecosystem and contribute to the most fundamental biological processes on our planet. How can we as a society approach living organisms like algae beyond a mere scientific understanding but through their economic, political and creative potential? Which opportunities do algae thereby offer already today for an environmentally sustainable future? Are we ready to change our everyday conventions to face fresh and sustainable alternatives instead? 

In the second exhibition of Field Experiments, STATE Studio presents the artistic research project Living Canvas composed of the installation Living Canvas and the workshop Algature by artist and designer Fara Peluso. Over the past two months, Fara Peluso worked closely with Solaga, a Berlin-based startup specialized in the use of algae for clean air, energy, as well as a range of sustainable design systems based on algae biofilm. Due to their effective CO2 assimilation and their ability to absorb indoor light, the microalgae organisms photosynthesize far more efficiently than plants and are hence regenerative energy systems. Supported by Solaga, Fara Peluso recontextualized this innovative biotechnology into a speculative design object. Presented as part of transmediale Vorspiel, Living Canvas is an experimental and prototype project which cultivates an energy-generating algae biofilm within a quadratic glass frame. Through the cutting-edge light and irrigation technology of the wall-mounted installation, the algae biofilm grows and metamorphoses in real-time in an open-ended three-month long experiment. 

Fara Peluso’s work reflects a new social consciousness based on principles of sustainability and speculative design: “As part of a new design movement that has the power to influence society, I approach topics such as industry, nature and the environment with speculative design. I choose to practice speculative design because our ways of living in a possible future already tell us what kind of future we want.” During the Living Canvas installation, the algae biofilm is in porous interaction with the environment of the exhibition space and natural light and temperature cycles influencing the chlorophyll photosynthesis of the organisms. The organic process of Living Canvas produces a spectrum of aesthetic effects regarding size, color, pigmentation and other tangible qualities of the metamorphosing algae beyond its natural superpowers. 

Living Canvas provides an opportunity to witness existing technical possibilities of integrating natural biological process into our consciousness that can inspire and orient our actions towards sustainability. In the participatory workshop Algature, Fara Peluso invites us to turn from being observers of biotechnological processes into their inventors and experimenters. Combining a DIY biology laboratory and a speculative design approach, participants in Algature are introduced to the Spirulina algae and learn about methods of creating not only speculative, but readily possible futures that involve new and emerging biotechnologies that immediately change the ways we understand regenerative processes today. The artistic research project encourages fresh-air-breathing participants to reflect upon previously unused regenerative powers. By raising awareness regarding the potentials of algae biofilm, the project also provokes participants to turn their imaginations towards more sustainable possible futures involving new biotechnologies.

The project is developed in partnership with Solaga and supported by innogy foundation.


  • Living Canvas Vernissage with an introduction by the artist, innogy foundation and Solaga engineers,  25 January 2019, 6:30 pm

  • Algature Workshop, 29 January 2019, 6:30 pm

  • Living Canvas, Saturday 26 January, 12 - 5 pm, 28 January - 15 April 2019, Tue - Fr 12 am - 7 pm

  • Living Canvas Finissage and Artist Talk, tba 

More information about the opening, workshop and upcoming events will be announced at

About Field Experiments 

Living Canvas forms part of Field Experiments - Exhibition Laboratory for Science, Art, and Society, the ongoing exhibition series at STATE Studio. Field Experiments stands for the curated presentation of artistic positions of emerging technologies to display their relevance and impact for the broader societal realm. Speculative, current and controversial prototypes are tested in their anticipated environment: amidst society. Field Experiments showcases inspiring works of artists and designers in tandem with prototypes from international research institutes and laboratories, exploring the creative friction between cutting-edge research, artistic expressions, and societal discourses.

The mixed media exhibition displays both the work of artists and researchers, including Fara Peluso (IT), Emilia Tikka (FI), onformative (DE), and Veronika Natter (DE) in tandem with the artistic research project Farming the Uncanny Valley and Imagine Science Films with short films by Timo Wright (FI) and Franz Milec (SK).



Curation: Johanna Teresa Wallenborn, Dr. Christian Rauch
Curatorial Assistance: Christina Hooge
Concept: Fara Peluso, Stefanie Greimel
Technical Production and Engineering: Benjamin Herzog, Jacqueline Mueller, 
Andrea Familari
Event Production: Veronika Natter, Christina Hooge
Production Assistance: Veronika Cerkeza

Press contact 

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information. The curators, the artist and the involved engineers are available for interviews.

Press & Communication

Johanna Teresa Wallenborn
Christina Hooge


Fara Peluso

The Berlin-based artist and designer Fara Peluso graduated in industrial and graphic design at Architecture University 'La Sapienza' in Rome.  In her research Peluso focuses on a speculative approach that allows her to visualize ideas of possible futures where both the matter and procedural aspects play fundamental roles. Working with geometric decomposition and new morphologies, her criticals designs always reveals the existence of hidden geometries. Since 2014 Fara Peluso focuses on algae experiments. By exploring the relationship between humans and other living organisms, she questions our awareness of ecological systems that involve a potential for self-sufficient sustainability.

Peluso’s artistic concept integrates interdisciplinary cooperations with scientists and research institutions. Thus, the artist and designer creates hybrid artifacts that combine aesthetic codes and innovative know-how at the interface of social consciousness and novel biotechnologies.

Her design and artworks have been exhibited at DDW17 in Eindhoven and at Futurium Berlin. She is currently a resident artist at the Institute of Biotechnology at Technische Universität Berlin.

STATE Studio 

STATE is a Berlin-based initiative for open science, art, and innovation. Founded in 2014, we connect people with science in a new way: participatory, interdisciplinary and inspiring. Integrating research, technology, and culture in its thinking, STATE explores current developments in science where cutting-edge research transforms society.

STATE Studio is supported and developed in partnership with Wissenschaft im Dialog, the initiative for science communication in Germany, and JOHANENLIES, a Berlin-based upcycling furniture designer.

innogy Foundation (for Energy and Society)

The foundation supports projects related to the theme of energy and aims to raise awareness for the topic throughout society. The efforts of the foundation are intended to help make future energy supply systems sustainable. In its activities, the foundation emphasizes three areas: energy and education, energy and culture, energy and social innovation.


Solaga is a young, Berlin-based startup working with extraordinary biological structures: algae biofilms. Carefully and with great attention to detail, Solaga has developed an indoor air filter based on algae. ALWE, the air filter, is a "living image" that brings a natural green to lifeless, grey walls. At the heart of ALWE are microalgae which can render air pollutants harmless. But the algae can do much more. They produce material that can be used to produce biogas and support our future green living.

Wissenschaft im Dialog

Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD) aims to arouse and strengthen interest in science among people of every age and background. We aim to achieve this by organizing discussions, education projects for schools, exhibitions, and competitions – all focused on science and research. We develop new formats for science communication and run events across Germany to reach diverse target groups. Our goal is for as many people as possible to be involved in discussions about research, including its controversial aspects. WiD is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 by the major German science organizations on the initiative of the 'Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft'. WiD also has several foundations as partners and receives significant support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.