10 years of BAD Award

10 years of BAD Award

This year, the Bio Art & Design (BAD) Award celebrates its tenth anniversary. Specially for this unique edition, we talked to the three winners of 2020 and nine previous BAD Award winners - one from each year. All are showing new or recent work in the group exhibition Evolutionaries. In 12 video portraits, artists, designers and scientists who have shown their works at MU in the previous years take you along their fascination for working with living matter, biological processes and ecological systems. Together they underline how meaningful a prize like the BAD Award is for the collaboration between art and science.

Furthermore, we present a short film (12 min) in which MU director & curator Angelique Spaninks, head of the BAD Award jury William Myers and previous winners take us along 10 years of BAD Award and explain what the award & the collaboration between art and science means for them. Together they portray the unique character of the BAD Award and tell us about the new possibilities the life sciences have to offer. Not only for the fields of art and science, but for the whole of society.



Sissel Marie Tonn | Winner 2020
Artist Sissel Marie Tonn, in collaboration with researchers Leslie Heather and Juan Garcia Vallejo, presents Becoming a Sentinel Species. The intriguing, experimental science-fiction film follows two researchers on a quest to explore and amplify their own bodies’ sensitivity to microplastics on a cellular level. Sissel's works always return to the question at the core of ecological thought: Where do we perceive our bodies to end, and the environment to begin?

Dasha Tsapenko | Winner 2020
Designer & architect Dasha Tsapenko created Fur_tilize, together with researcher Han Wösten. The five grown ‘fur’ coats offer a speculative prototype of a value-building form of fashion, in which a garment evolves through phases of growing: producing materials as well as food for consumption. The coats, made of hemp fiber, show five live-use cycles of one garment and illustrate how different species support each other, increasing the value of a particular piece over time. 

Nadine Botha | Winner 2020
Research designer Nadine Botha, in collaboration with skin infections specialist Henry de Vries, presents The Orders of the Undead. The project explores the colonial origins of contemporary narratives of infectious disease, race, violence, and apocalypses through zombie films. Through four short films, the work draws attention to the war-like language and metaphors of contagion that are used to ‘other’ people.

Jalila Essaïdi | Winner 2010
Jalila won a BAD Award in 2010 with the project 2.6g 329m/s, also known as Bulletproof Skin. This year, her work Double Edged is on show at MU. Jalila is specialized in the fields of bio-based materials and bio-art and is the founder of BioArt Laboratories, one of the leading artistic development institutes in this field in the Netherlands.

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy | Winner 2011
The artist-led think tank Center for Genomic Gastronomy examines the biotechnologies and biodiversity of human food systems. Over the years, they participated multiple times in the bio art and design exhibitions at MU. The first time was in 2011, when they won a BAD Award with the project Eat Less, Live More, & Pray for Beans. This year, they present O.F.F.I.C.E: an interactive space that combines ten years of their research.

Charlotte Jarvis | Winner 2012
In 2012, Charlotte won a BAD Award with Ergo Sum. Her practice often utilizes living cells and DNA: amongst others she has grown her own tumor, recorded music onto DNA and she has seen her heartbeat outside her body. This year, her ongoing work In Posse is on show at MU. Together with professor Susana Chuva de Sousa Lopes (LUMC) she works towards creating viable semen from her own female cells. In collaboration with FutureFest, Charlotte also made a film version of In Posse.

Špela Petric | Winner 2014
Špela Petric won a BAD Award in 2014. This year, she presents PL'AI: the third work in the series PLANT-MACHINE. The installation showcases a playful interaction between a cucumber plant and a robot, lasting for several months as the plant grows. The installation embraces the notion of play as an ontological or natural condition of all living bodies, including plants. The act of playing, unlike games, which are limited by clear rules or goals, reflects the uncertain character of existence and is therefore at the heart of self-discovery.

Agi Haines | Winner 2015
In 2015, Agi won a BAD Award with the project Drones with Desires. During Evolutionaties, her work Alter-Terrestrial is shown. The work illustrates how beings, at one time having been earth terrestrials, might have to change to the point that reintegration on earth is no longer possible. They are 'alter terrestrials': not quite terrestrial (being of or from the earth), yet not quite extra-terrestrial either (being of outside earth).

Cecilia Jonsson | Winner 2016
Contemporary Diagram - Berlin by former BAD Award winner Cecilia Jonsson presents the visual effects of bacteria, which corroded a series of iron plates over the course of being stimulated by sounds and music. In 2016, Cecilia won a BAD Award with the internationally acclaimed project Haem, for which a small amount of iron was extracted out of human placentas and turned into a compass needle. In her interview, Cecilia tells you all about her fascination for elements. 

Xandra van der Eijk | Winner 2017
In 2017, Xandra won a BAD Award with her project Seasynthesis. This year, Ghost Reef is on show at MU. In her practice, Xandra connects art, ecology, and activism. She has developed a distinct research methodology demonstrated in a broad body of work, incorporating theory, fieldwork, documentation methods, and material development in her practice. Each of her projects deals with a key ecological issue, and how it is exposed by the passing of time.

Ani Liu | Winner 2018
No regrets for what you haven't been, Be the ghost you want to see in the machine: in 2018, Ani Liu won a BAD Award with the project that probably has the longest BAD Award title ever. In her practice, Ani examines the reciprocal relationships between science, technology and their influence on human subjectivity, culture, and identity. Reoccurring themes include gender politics, biopolitics, labour, nostalgia and sexuality. This year she presents the three works Small Inconveniences, Maternity Menswear and the film Mind Controlled Sperm

Michael Sedbon | Winner 2019
Michael Sedbon explores digital networked technologies and systems through their convergence with non-human intelligence, like plants, unicellular organisms, insects, and bacteria. In 2019, Michael won an award with his large, complex installation CMD: Experiments in Bio Algorithmic Politics. During Evolutionaries he presents the 2.0 version of the project, which is based on a possible future in which humans are directed by diffused digital networks that form a governing artificial intelligence.