Interdisciplinary Conference


in Art & Science

26-28 November 2020, University of Applied Arts Vienna/Online

20. Algae Mask
Session: Session "NSP4 / Stray"
Speakers: Michelle Lai, Kwan Q Li

We live in a time where masks are in shortage. Masks protect, they hide - it forms a second skin, and morphs the identity of the wearer. How could we take this narrative around masks, and speculate on the symbiosis between the masked and the mask? How would masks in the future look like and be worn? How could we think about eco conscious futures that across across production lines?

We are a multi - disciplinary group spread across the South American and Asia Pacific region. As we confront and mediate the narratives of our daily realities, our dialogue has coalesced in a vision of a a genre of mask - wearables made with biomaterials, with algae as a starting point. A survey of algae was done in Singapore, in which water samples were taken, and 2 were identified and selected for further investigation and material tests. The resultant algae biopolymer was made into mask prototypes, for use in cities such as Sao Paolo and Hong Kong. We share reports of our investigation in applying these cross continental learnings, from microalgae and fungi networks, to protest movements currently unfolding in Hong Kong and in Brazil today.

Michelle Lai
Kwan Q Li

Hosting Institutions

angewandte   inarts