GMU:BioArt Forum

From Medien Wiki

mooses and algae. Photos and experiments: Dr. Klaus Fritze

Werkmodul Fachmodul
Credits: 4 SWS
Venue: DIY Biolab @ Marienstraße 7b, Room 202

The BioArt Forum will continue in the summer semester with an irregular series of workshops and lectures designed to provide students with knowledge that cannot be taught in regular courses. The list of workshops was proposed by Bauhaus University students and faculty and is intended to raise awareness of living organisms. The workshops include both theoretical and practical exercises to understand the functioning of organisms and their sensory system. Students will learn to examine microorganisms as they look at them, and to build and use simple tools to grow and analyze organisms.

The BioArt form is designed to allow participation as needed. Registration for the module is not needed but it will guarantee a place. Students will receive ECTS for attending two workshops, documenting them, and developing ideas for future projects.

The workshops will be delivered by international scholars and artists. For more information, please see the announcements and/or attend the introductory session during the first week of the semester.

Scheduled workshops


In order to register you have to apply for the course first mindaugas.gapsevicius[at] No previous knowledge is needed

Past workshops

Workshop with Jan Vondrak on lichens

Dr. Jan Vondrak will do at least two special walks/excursions with us and we will look at the biodiversity of lichens in Weimar/Thuringia and learn about the ecophysiology of lichens in an urban (industrial ruins) and a semi-natural area (i.e. castle and landscape park Belvedere). In the biolab we will examine lichen samples microscopically and perform simple investigations on specific lichen substances. Jan Vondrak will also tell us about his research and about phylogenetic analyses and the special problems of identification and classification of lichens. Importance of lichen growth for air and climate studies, to what extent do these special mixed creatures contribute to the fixation of CO2 and nitrogen oxides and are important components of the biocrust of our world.

Dr. Jan Vondrak is an academic assistant at the University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Department of Botany in Budweis Jeske Budovice (CZ). Jan Vondrak is one of the few lichen specialists in the world and an experienced mycologist.

Workshop with Dr. Katja Bühler on photosinthesis/biofilms

The workshop is about understanding the role of the smallest living things we know in our global fabric. Why are bacteria important? What can they do and what is their importance for us? We want to work this out together, with lectures and practical experiments.

Katja Bühler is a professor at the TU Dresden. She conducted research (Dr. rer. nat.) at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, Institute of Biotechnology II under Prof. Rudolf Müller. Bühler's research focuses on the development of alternative biotechnological reactor concepts based on in vitro and in vivo approaches.

Workshop with Zackery Denfeld on endophytes

At the Endophyte Club (RECC) biological hobbyists meet to identify, discover, discuss and trade information about new, rare and hard to access microorganisms. The race is on: who will get to unlock, collect and share the secrets of the microbiome era?

Members of the Rare Endophyte Collectors Club will get hands-on experience setting up experiments and learning the DIY Biology methods needed to cultivate and isolate the microorganisms that live inside of plants (i.e. endophytes). We will also conduct field visits to collect plant samples and debate the use of endophytes as biopesticides as well as the ethical implications of biohacking for agriculture, the commercialization of science and the privatization of the commons. What other forms can our microbial future take?: A Lending library? An Internet of Plants? A Civilian Conservation Corps for Microbial Life?

Participants will learn how to collect agricultural plant samples (leaf, roots, etc.) and plate, grow, isolate and identify the microorganisms that grow inside the plants (Endophytes). The goal of the lab would be to discover an entirely new organism and to take this DIY Bio research forward and to prototype its promise and limitations.

Applied endophyte research is being promoted as a possible replacement for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. In addition to learning basic biological lab techniques, we will be able to imagine different food futures and various registers and modes of biohacking.

Workshop with Mario Behling on hacking Pocket Science Lab

Our vision with Pocket Science Lab (PSLab) is to miniaturize laboratories and make scientific instruments accessible for everyone. There are a lot of problems in the world from environmental problems, to daily challenges in our personal lives, to challenges we face in work life. In order to solve these problems we need to understand the world around us. Open Source labs that are small and accessible enable us to do our own experiments and collect our own independent data to do just that. We can also verify official data, e.g. air quality, by doing our own measurements using sensors. Or, use the out of the box tools for measurements of electronics devices and components to ensure they work as expected.

Mario Behling is the CEO of OPNTEC. Mario co-started the FOSSASIA organisation and projects like and Pocket Science Lab IoT platform.

Projects and Students


The successful completion of the course is the attendance of the seminar and the documented work on GMU wiki. The documentation may contain text, video, images, sketches, sound, and other digital formats.

20 % Theory 50 % Individual project 30 % Documentation including 20% of updates in Wiki