Biomodd [NYC4], ReGeneration, New York Hall of Science, Queens NY, US, 2011-2013

Biomodd [NYC4] was commissioned by curator Steve Dietz for the art show 'ReGeneration' at the New York Hall of Science in NYC. Community building around the project started in late 2011, and the final result of the project was on display from October 2012 till January 2013. For this monumental project Biomodd collaborators from Belgium, the Netherlands and the Philippines joined the team in NYC.
Biomodd [NYC4] was created by a large international community: Ben Garthus (project co-lead), Jason Gaspar,Marco Antonio Castro, Bruno Kruse, Katherine Moriwaki, Karla Calderon, Nisma Zaman, Diego Maranan, Isabelle Smeets,Pieter Steyaert, Lucas Caesens, Hannah Pinson, Steffi Sturm,Claude Oprea, Michael Cosaboom, students of The School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons, participants of Immigrant Movement International...

TED Talk about Biomodd:
Biomodd community website:
ReGeneration website:

The New York Hall of Science occupies one of the few remaining structures of the 1964 New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the borough of Queens in New York City. Today, it stands as New York City's only hands-on science and technology center. ReGeneration explores the connection of cultural vitality to immigration, urbanization, and sustainability through the intersection of art, science and technology. Seventeen artists and artist groups will create and present their works at this exhibition.

This rendition of Biomodd in new York will take advantage of a three-tiered international community. It does so by capitalizing on the experience of past members from around the world while forming a team of New York based collaborators, as well as reaching out to the local community in Queens near NYSCI. The museum is proving to be an inspiring place for Biomodd to live. The exhibition space is a 60s example of nuclear fallout shelter architecture. With this in mind, the team has decided to let this influence the project by focusing on growing food in this closed environment as a model for creating a self-sustaining system. The windows at the front of the museum will be used to install photovoltaic cells and a window farm feeding into the central Biomodd structure. [Diagram by Tamara Sabler and Zach Smart]

Community building for Biomodd [NYC4] started in December 2011, and several activities have been set up since. In March 2012 the development of Biomodd [NYC4] was initiated at Immigrant Movement International (IMI) in Queens. Springmavera is an experiment in pop-up horticulture, a community building project that grows itself around Biomodd [NYC4] and urban gardening initiatives. Together with IMI, Biomodd and community members share gardening, food and building knowledge. In September, and in parade fashion, Springmavera will move to NYSCI where it will morph itself further into Biomodd [NYC4]. Springmavera is coordinated by artists Jason Gaspar and Marco Castro. [Video still by Nisma Zaman]

In April 2012 a Build Your Own Bioreactor workshop was organized at Parsons The New School for Design by Katherine Moriwaki and Angelo Vermeulen. In this workshop design and architecture students learned the basics about building photobioreactors and cultivating green algae typically used in Biomodd projects. Different innovative prototypes were built with mostly re-used materials. The workshop also served as a platform for a critical reflection on the role of living organisms in art and design. Participants of this workshop join the development of Biomodd at NYSCI in the fall.