LabPortal 7: Ivan Henriques, Symbiotic Machine

March 9– April 27, 2014 | Glazen Huis
Opening Sunday March 9, 3 – 5 PM

In collaboration with scientists from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Ivan Henriques developed a prototype of an autonomous photosynthetic bio-machine which harvests energy from photosynthetic organisms, applying this energy into movement to be able to collect photosynthetic organisms again. This bio-solar machine will create a symbiotic system with the environment where it is located, which detects, collects, carries and processes these organisms autonomously, amplifying the energy obtained from them using a floating mobile robotic structure. These micro organisms can be found in ponds, canals, rivers and the sea, which are a potential source to feed the Symbiotic Machine. The environment where it is located can be cleaned when for example occurs harmful algae blooms.

During two months the Symbiotic Machine lives in an aquarium in the Glass House, where it feeds itself with algae. In the back space research materials, objects, texts and drawings will be shown where hands on workshops for adults and kids will be offered.

Symbiotic Machine is developed in collaboration with Raoul Frese and Vincent Friebe scientists of VU Amsterdam Laser Lab, physicist Michiel van Overbeek and engineer Leydervan Xavier from Cefet/RJ (Technological School from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).
This project is supported by Stichting DOEN.

Ivan Henriques is a transdisciplinary artist and researcher working in multimedia installations examining different perceptions of time, memory and environment. He explores in his works hybrids of nature and (technological) culture creating new forms of communication between humans and other living organisms. He considers nature as inspiration and a necessary factor in the development of the technological world (

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