Epistemologies of aerobic topologies

Carolin Melia Brendel, Helena McFadzean

As a shared investigation into the spatial dimensions of air, we will create a multi-local network of site-specific material by sending pieces of a kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) from Vienna to selected participants, who cultivate it and document its surroundings. Depending on where the living aerobic material is placed, its jelly-like surface will materialise differently as it ferments local conditions of space. The developed kombucha layers will later become the protagonists in an air digesting mixed-media installation in Vienna.

Carolin Melia Brendel is a finance sociologist and artist engaging with artistic research, performance and video art. She lives and works in Vienna and Frankfurt am Main. Her transdisciplinary work is informed by her diverse background, which ranges from contemporary dance and performance art to cultural and social anthropology (BA) and the sociology of finance (MA). Most recently she presented her artistic research at the symposium Sharing and Responding, a collaboration of Kunsthalle Wien and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Helena McFadzean is a writer and art professional whose research-based praxis focuses on the performative potential of food objects. She regularly contributes arts and food-related content as a free journalist. After completing her BA in Liberal Arts (History of Art, Philosophy) she is currently enrolled in the MA program in Critical Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her bachelor’s dissertation, which applied the framework of performativity as a lense to Nan Goldin’s documentary photography, received the departmental Mary Chamot Prize.