During the 50th Venice Biennale Aurora Fonda’s activity as Director of the Cultural Centre of Slovenia continues in its unusual way by offering an autonomous space of communication and research as well as a habitation unit capable of supporting the concentrated work of eight persons in isolation/insulation for up to 120 days. A real laboratory, Makrolab is equipped to hold artists, scientists and strategic operators of the media world, who are supplied with instruments and means for a common progressive independent work that develops wide-ranging research in the field of telecommunications, climate and migration. The location where the initiative is based is also unusual: Campalto Island in the Venetian lagoon.
From the beginning of June through to the end of September, it will be possible to visit the Makrolab laboratory in full swing, thanks to a ferry service that goes to the island from the Biennale site of the Giardini. This service makes it possible for all those interested to take part directly in the research activities and experiments and, naturally, the results that emerge.
Makrolab, started in 1994 by Marko Peljhan, and realised for the first time as part of Documenta X at Kassel in 1997, draws on the collaboration of people from many different studies and disciplines. It is expected to end in 2007, when the structure will be placed permanently in the Antarctic. From then on Makrolab will be managed by a trans-national foundation. The project has already been a feature at Venice, in June 1999 at the Querini Stampalia Foundation and, in February 2001, at the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation as part of the Guggenheim public project.
In its three themes (telecommunications, migration and climatic systems) Makrolab has identified a real resource to understand how our planet works on a social, technological and natural level, and how it develops through methods and systems of art, where it finds the notion of liberty, and of science which offer the possibility to progress and reflect.
It should be stressed that Makrolab is a social experiment and is run by the non-profit association of Slovenian artists Zavod Projekt Atol. The project is financed by governments, international organisations and societies, and by individuals. After Venice it will be installed in Israel, South Africa, Nunavut Territory in Canada, Japan, Russia and finally the Antarctic (2007) where it will be used as a permanent and independent artistic-scientific station for research in the areas of primary interest to the project.
Makrolab is equipped with systems which allow the most comfortable working conditions, despite limitations in space. It has five sections: the working section, kitchen, storage area, rest area and hygiene area. It draws its energy from wind and sun and possesses a system of filters to obtain and recycle drinking water; what’s more, it’s capable of recycling most of its waste and has a small hydroponic vegetable garden. In the near future perma-cultivations will be installed, which should supplement the nutritional necessities of the team. For extreme conditions the laboratory also has a system to control the internal atmosphere.
Makrolab operates an equal opportunities policy and is open to anyone. The present team can be contacted with proposals, suggestions etc., on firstname.lastname@example.org The majority of results are available to the public on the Internet or other research engines.
Makrolab is part of the 50th International Biennale of Art in collaboration with the Comune di Venezia, Assessorato alle Politiche Sociali, Regione Veneto, Interreg III Phare CBS Italia/Slovenia, The Slovenian Ministry of Culture, The City of Ljubljana, Mobitel d.d. Ljubljana, The City of Nova Gorica and the rx:tx Foundation, and the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB).
Roberta Lombardo Hurstel
8bis, rue de l’Argonne – 75019 Paris
tel. +33 1 53 26 04 26 – fax +33 1 53 30 00 26
Castello, 5064/b – 30122 Venezia
tel. +39 041 52 87 721 – mob. +33 6 10 56 42 51