An introduction to STARTS4Water: How can art & tech contribute to regional water challenges? 

October 25 2021 | 17h00 - 18h00 CEST | Online

To kick-off the 10 STARTS4Water residencies we plan a live streamed webinar!

Water is a Global Challenge that requires regional solutions. This is because the effects and consequences of water management can vary due to geography, infrastructure, climate and the impact of human activities on the environment. During this session, the representatives of the STARTS4Water program will present the artists selected for ten ‘regional water challenges’ built in collaboration with their local expert network. Through the work of the artists selected and their own practices, the representatives of the STARTS4Water program will discuss and show best practices of how art and technology can explore new alternative approaches towards a more sustainable management.


Part 1: Inspirational talk by Giulio Boccaletti (15 min)

Part 2: STARTS4Water: 20 min. presentations and 20 min. moderated discussion: 

  • Presentation byMaria Montero Sierra, TBA21-Academy(5 min)
  • Presentation by artist collective Robertina Sebjanic + Marjan Zitnik (5 min)
  • Presentation by artist Joshua Stein (5 min)
  • Presentation by Prof Korneel Rabaey, CTO Capture resource UGhent (5 min)
  • Discussion between panelists moderated by Giulio Boccaletti (20min)

Part 3: Wrap-up & general presentation of selected artists — Valery De Smedt (5 min)

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to discover the program and the selected artists!

Meet the speakers

Giulio Boccaletti, Ph.D., is an author and a globally recognized expert on natural resource security and environmental sustainability. Trained as a physicist and climate scientist, he holds a doctorate from Princeton University, where he was a NASA Earth Systems Science Fellow. He has been a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a partner of McKinsey & Company, and the chief strategy officer of The Nature Conservancy, one of the largest environmental organizations in the world.

He is an Honorary Research Associate in the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University. He writes on environmental issues for news media, and is an expert contributor to the World Economic Forum. His work on water has been featured in the PBS documentary series H2O: The Molecule that Made Us. He lives in London.

Valery De Smedt is Head of Research LABOpro, a research unit centered around an r&d approach on sustainable challenges and digital opportunities. To this end, LABOpro develops an international platform that maximises vital collaborations, confrontations and collisions between artists, researchers, industrialists, young people and active citizens. The focus is always on current scientific and technological developments and imagining alternative human-centered and innovative scenarios. She has more than 10 years of experience in Cultural Management, Artistic/cultural projects, international collaborations with Art Centers, Universities and European Institutions. For 6 years she was the Creative Director of the art collective CREW, internationally recognized as a pioneer in immersive media. She has participated in European and international academic and technological research programmes (i.e. FP7 2020 3D Media, IBBT/Explorative TV, FP7 Dreamspace, ‘PRESENT’ (Photoreal REaltime Sentient ENTity) ICT-25-2018-2020, etc.)

Joshua G. Stein is the founder of Radical Craft. a Los Angeles-based studio that advances an experimental art and design practice saturated in history, archaeology, and craft. This inquiry inflects the production of urban spaces and artifacts by evolving newly grounded approaches to the challenges posed by virtuality, velocity, and globalization. His recent projects reimagine the construction and resource extraction industries as anthropogenic geological processes while investigating new applications for earthen materials. Joshua G. Stein has received numerous grants, awards, and fellowships, including multiple grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the AIA Upjohn research award, and the 2010-11 Rome Prize Fellowship in Architecture. He is Professor of Architecture at Woodbury University where he is the Interim Chair of the Sustainable Practices program.

Robertina Šebjanič is an internationally awarded artist, whose work revolves around the biological, chemical, political, and cultural realities of aquatic environments and explores humankind’s impact on other species and on the rights of non-human entities, while calling for strategies emphatic towards other species to be adopted. In her analysis of the theoretical framework of the Anthropocene, the artist uses the term ‘aquatocene’ and ‘aquaforming’ to refer to humans’ impact on aquatic environments. Her works received awards and nominations at Prix Ars Electronica, Starts Prize, Falling Walls.    Her work was exhibited and performed at venues and festivals such as Ars Electronica Festival (AT), Prix Cube Exhibition (FR), MONOM_CTM (DE), Matadero (ES), (Onassis Cultural Center Athens (GR), Kosmica festival & Laboratorio Art Almeda (MX), Kapelica Gallery (SI), Device_art (CRO), Art Laboratory Berlin (DE), Kiblix Festival (SI), Gallery of Contemporary Art Celje (SI), Museum of Contemporary Art Beograd (SRB), Eye Museum Amsterdam (NL).  

Marjan Žitnik, born 28th March 1990 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. In early childhood developed interest in musical art as a piano player winning national and internal awards. Besides art he showed interest in computers and creative digital design. After getting a master's degree in computer engineering, he founded several successful mobile-app-based startups. Among recent work, he served as the Product Manager for Photomath - a mobile application that utilizes a smartphone's camera to scan and recognize mathematical equations (several times #1 AppStore educational app Worldwide, with more than 200 million downloads). His biggest passion since he was a child was fishing, a tradition taught by his family, and he never missed the opportunity to get back to the boat. In 2018 he founded Maritimo Fishing company in Dubrovnik with the slogan "Fish like locals do", which offers customized boat & kayak fishing trips.In 2020 the company founded a non-profit spinoff devoted to preservation of marine ecology - Maritimo Recycling, which cleans the Adriatic Sea from plastic, upcycling it into innovative use

Korneel Rabaey (20/11/1977) is professor at the Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET), Department of Biotechnology at Ghent University as well as honorary professor at The University of Queensland. He is one of the founders and the present Chief Technology Officer of CAPTURE ( ), a centre focusing on resource recovery in the fields of Water, Carbon Capture and Utilization and Plastics to Resource. He is founder of HYDROHM ( ), a company focusing on electrification in the water sector. His main research efforts are on resource recovery from wastewater, decentralized treatments, industrial liquid sidestreams and CO2 streams from industry. Typically a combination of electrochemical and/or microbial approaches is used to achieve formation of added value products. He is the author or co-author of over 200 refereed articles attracting over 34000 citations, listing him as an ISI Highly Cited Researcher. He is Fellow of the International Water Association and was laureate of the Royal Academy (Belgium) in 2016. He is executive editor in chief of Environmental Science & Ecotechnology, as well as Editorial Advisory Board member for Environmental Science & Technology.

María Montero Sierra is an art historian and curator. She is the Head of Programme of TBA21–Academy, where she is currently developing Fishing Fly, a research project on the relationships between marine and human ecosystems from the eating prism. While at the Academy, she has co-curated the film programme Sense to Act: The Aquatic Observatory, ZKM (2020); The Sea: Sounds and Storytelling, Les Parallèles du Sud Manifesta 13 Marseille (2020) as well as supported The Soul Expanding Ocean #1: Taloi Havini; The Soul Expanding Ocean #2: Isabel Lewis, Ocean Space (2021); Joan Jonas. Moving Off the Land, Tate Modern (2018); The Current II  (2018-20) and The Current III (2021–25), as well as initiated TBA21–Academy Radio (2019-21), in addition to following the commission program. Her independent curatorial projects include: Frequency Singular Plural, performance cycle, CentroCentro, Madrid (2019) and En los cantos nos diluimos, Sala de Arte Joven de la Comunidad de Madrid (2017). She graduated in Art History from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and obtained the MA from the Bard College Contemporary Art Curatorial Studies Center, New York. 

Join the info session on ZOOM:

If you can’t make it on that date, you will be able to access the recording on the STARTS EU Youtube channel.

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