Kathrin Hunze

Abstract Peripheries
iPS Structures
System im System
Score of Abstraction
Surveillance Suite
LAAC · life as a construct
Molecular Machina
Mutation and Rhytmics
Lonely Land
Cells + Reaction + F
Eine Stadt verschwindet · sound-book
Über die Verhältnisse
Molecular Machina · Workshop
Workshop ‚Life play’ by Mirela Alistar
Sound Experiments


PlantiSonics (up)

Die Landschaft der Pflanzenzüchter in Deutschland ist vielfältig. Es gibt viele mittelständische und große Züchtungsbetriebe, die verschiedenste Nutzpflanzenarten den unterschiedlichen Boden-, Wasser- und Temperaturbedingungen in Deutschland anpassen. Besonders an Weizen, Raps und Kartoffel wurde intensiv gezüchtet. Über die Jahre haben sich die Züchtungstechniken verändert und das hat die Sortenentwicklung beeinflusst.
Wichtige Merkmale der einzelnen Pflanzenarten, sowohl für den Produzenten, die verarbeitende Industrie, den Handel als auch für die Verbraucher, wurden identifiziert und gezielt verändert.
Es gibt vielfältige Beispiele dazu: Bei Kartoffel sind typische Merkmale ihre Anfälligkeit gegen Pilze und Schädlinge, die Farbe der Knolle, ihre Form, Größe und ihre Konsistenz beim Kochen. Lange Weizenhalme knicken häufig bei starken Winden um und können schlecht geerntet werden. Deshalb züchteten die Züchter Sorten mit dem Merkmal kurze Halmen.
Die Züchtungsgeschichte der Nutzpflanzen ist sehr komplex. Mit Hilfe der Sonifikation kann die Vielschichtigkeit der modernen Pflanzenzüchtung im 20. Jahrhundert klanglich dargestellt werden.
Mit ihr können große, mehrdimensionale Datensätze in Klängen und Geräuschen hörbar und nachvollziehbar gemacht werden.
Durch die produktive Verzahnung von künstlerisch ästhetischer Expertise mit der Arbeitsweise der wissenschaftlichen Sonifikationsforschung entstand das PlantiSonics Projekt.
Von der Arabidopsis Thaliana über den Weizen bis zur Kartoffel wurden Datensätze des Bundessortenamtes und National Center for Biotechnology Information in Klang übersetzt.

Weitere Links über das Projekt findet ihr hier:

Live Stream der Arabidopsis

Museum für Naturkunde

PlantiSonics bei pflanzenforschung.de

Deutschlandfunk Kultur Radio Feature von Julia Diekämper

PlantiSonics wurde realisiert von

Prof. Dr. Alberto de Campo

Dr. Julia Diekämper, Museum für Naturkunde

Marcus Gammel, Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Dr. Thomas Hermann, Universität Bielefeld

Dr. Henrike Perner, DIALOG GEA

Dr. Matthias Arlt, PLANT 2030

Kathrin Hunze
Dr. Thomas Hack

Abstract Peripheries (up)

How does an AI’s abstract concept of two peripheral urban districts compare to that of humans?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming a vital technological tool, pervading various aspects of our lives. Artificially intelligent systems are used to evaluate and categorise real data, and thus, ultimately, reality itself. For this reason, it is essential to understand the mistakes an AI can make and the concept of reality it develops. Neural networks are a particular kind of an artificially intelligent system. These networks can perform many tasks which require a particular type of intelligence - meaning comprehension -, such as identifying or rather classifying images, interpreting spoken language, or playing games. Like the human brain, neural networks are plastic systems which can change and adapt depending on the input they receive. This process of adaptation is what we call “learning”, or, in the context of a specific task, “training”. The design and inspiration for the name of neural networks came from the understanding of our brain. A long term goal is to be able to design an entire artificial brain. Although many AI systems currently have been able to beat humans in particular tasks, such as strategic board games, we are still far from constructing a general AI. Indeed, we have a limited understanding of how our brain works, and remarkably, also an incomplete understanding of successful artificial neural networks.

In this project, we shall train a neural network to distinguish between images of the urban landscapes of Biesdorf and Marzahn in Berlin. These images are taken from Google Street View. The trained network will ideally be able to say with high certainty whether an image from one of the
two districts is showing either a scene in Biesdorf or Marzahn. The interesting thing about neural networks is that we do not fully understand how they “understand”. However, we know that our neural network learns by developing a “general image”, or “abstract concept” of Biesdorf and Marzahn. Then it compares given images to this abstract concept in order to decide whether it is “seeing” Biesdorf or Marzahn. In this project we shall try to understand this abstract concept learned by the neural network. Thus we try to answer the question: What is Biesdorf, and what is Marzahn, for an AI? And how does the AI’s abstract concept of these two districts compare to the same abstract concept for humans? In order to answer these questions we shall use images of Marzahn and transform them in a particular way until the trained neural network thinks that they are images of Biesdorf, and vice versa. This transformation is achieved by introducing several mutations to an image of, say, Marzahn, and keeping only the mutations which, according to the neural network, are more “Biesdorf-like”, while discarding the others. We continue to mutate the image until the neural network is, say, 95% sure that the mutated image is showing Biesdorf and not Marzahn. Doing this with several images, we hope to uncover the AI’s abstract image of these two districts. We shall also go one step further and we shall sonify the AI’s abstract concept. To this end, we shall visualise existing musical compositions in the form of a still image. We shall mutate this image until the AI classifies it either as Biesdorf or as Marzahn. Reversing the visualisation process, we shall obtain a new composition which for the AI “sounds like Biesdorf”, or “sounds like Marzahn”. This will enable us to understand the AI’s abstract concept of the two districts also on a sonic level. (in collaboration with Thomas Hack)

This project is part of

‘Living on the edge’: when we think of spaces we tend to think of the space within. We leave the edges — the peripheries — where instability festers and sprawls out, for the rebellious or the adventurous. In cities, living at the periphery signifies both being an insider or city-dweller, but also being an outsider; not fitting inside for economic, social, or other reasons, and therefore resigned to the edge or the opposite — explicitly chosen to live there. Suburbia, or the Suburban Sublime. For the mind, the edge represents the grey matter — the cortex — where the higher mental processing takes place. This mental space is susceptible to being moulded dynamically by inner thoughts and external stimuli. To think about the peripheries, both in the tangible and intangible, is to explore the intersection between mind and space.
Students from the class of Prof Nina Fischer, Experimental Film and Media Art, University of the Arts Berlin, will be living and creating on the edge, both in thoughts and the periphery. The exhibition will conclude with a film and performance evening
event: at June 28, from 6-9 pm: „Habitability Salon“.

In cooperation with Schloss Biesdorf, Artistic Director: Karin Sheel
As part of Make City. Berlin Remixing / Stadt neu gemischt (http://makecity.berlin/)
iPS Structures (up)

The relation between nature and art and the area of tension between naturality and artificiality are a constant source of scientific and social discourse. The principal and most essential questions arising are: Where are the borders and similarities between those seemingly disparate concepts? Can a true symbiosis of these elements exist, can they ever be in equilibrium?
"iPS Structures II" is the result of digital manipulation of two source images. One of them can be thought of as an induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell. Like an iPS cell, the iPS-image has been transformed into a primordial form, embodying an almost infinite potential for differentiation. The second image provided the nutrient solution and skeleton in which the iPS-image could multiply and grow structures. This growth was further stimulated and influenced by the application of digital image filters, serving a purpose much like molecular biological vectors. The endless complexity of nature is the result of simple base objects composed and manipulated according to simple rules in many individual simple steps. This image (one of a series of five) displays a tiny yet powerful fraction of this complexity.

This project will be displayed in the exhibition “Infinite Potentials” SciArt Center at ArtCell (Cambridge, U.K.) and New York Hall of Science (New York City), in collaboration with the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute.
System im System (up)

System im System

Thalassiosira pseudonana is a species of marine centric diatoms. Diatoms are eukaryotic, photosynthetic microorganisms, who live in the water and in great variety of forms almost all over the world can be found. Diatoms are single-celled, but often occur as a colony
and its special feature is the hard shell that surrounds the cell.

System in a System represents an excerpt of a protein of clone CCMP 1335 of T. pseudonana.
The protein is visualised with a type system developed for my work GEN I.
Each character represents an amino acid and comes from a visual algorithm that I have developed.

In the sound composition, the individual amino acids in the form of their codons were entered and played back by using a gene synthesizer. The Gensynthesizer is developed to generate Sound with different or single DNA strangs.

This project was displayed as part of the exhibition 'Biologie und Bauen' at the Museum für Fotografie / Helmut-Newton-Stiftung, Berlin.

Thalassiosira pseudonana CCMP1335 info:
Score of Abstraction (up)

In “Into the Universe of Technical Images”, Vilém Flusser writes about different steps how we abstract the concrete and make ourselves subjects of an objective world. The concrete reality can be abstracted in several steps from four-dimensional space-time continuum to zero-dimensional points. These points can be recombined, calculated, and computed to form a higher-dimensional abstract reality. The objective world itself becomes a projection of these possibilities.

Complex behaviors, whether in feedback systems, chaotic circuits, social systems and/or computer programs are fascinating objects of study. The performance “A Score of Abstraction” explores the possible spaces of such systems. Based on Flusser’s thoughts, the performers design, build and program their own audio-visual/other performance systems based on a variety of devices, such as sensors, analog electronics, and different software syntheses.

Created and performed by 'The Society of Non-Trivial Pursuits' at CTM Vorspiel 2018, Berlin. Artists: Alberto de Campo, Haye Heerten, Kathrin Hunze, Lucas Maia
Surveillance Suite (up)

The 'Surveillance Suite' is a project of 'The Society of Non-Trivial Pursuits' performed in December 2017 at the Nová Synagóga in Žilina, Slovakia. Artists: Alberto de Campo, Haye Heerten, Hannes Hoelzl, Daniel Hromada, Kathrin Hunze, Arik Kofranek, Franz Milec

Pictures by Sarah Massardier
GEN I (up)

Signs and sign systems, i.e. codes, are part of our daily life. Some of them are simple and intuitively comprehensible. Others are complex and difficult to understand for non-experts. Nevertheless they play an important role in our everyday social life. A prominent example are the various codes used in digital information technology. These have been developed and optimized over decades and can be considered a major triumph of the human mind.

It is fascinating to realize that nature was a pioneer in that respect. The genetic code, basis of all life, is structurally very similar to the digital codes developed by humans and by now we understand how efficient and highly developed the genetic code is. In our bodies as much as in the bodies of all living beings processes analogous to processes in computers, which however seem to be rather abstract to most of us, constantly occur.

Aim of this work is to enable us to experience this fascination. To this avail the genetic code is analyzed from the perspective of semiotics. Inspired by the code itself, a sign system is developed and used to display two important mechanisms of the genetic code, transcription and translation, as audiovisual processes. In particular this should make it possible to transport microscopic processes, usually invisible to us, into our macroscopic reality. This aim shall be achieved by an audiovisual room installation.

bachelor thesis (in German)
slides (in English)
LAAC · life as a construct (up)

Life As A Construct deals with genetic data and synthetic life in virtual space.
Synthetic life arises from genetic data and evolves into a simple organism.
4 Channel Installation

Exhibited as part of:
Molecular Machina (up)

Molecular systems are very lively, exciting and at the same time artistically inspiring worlds. The mechanisms involved are found in all living things that we know so far. They ensure that vital processes can work, with enzymes playing a very special role.
The different types of enzymes were studied, tested as possible artistic tools and their motor skills simulated. The BRENDA database supports us as an additional tool for the development of an algorithm of enzymes associated with our environment.
Based on a Turing machine, an enzyme algorithm was created which is calculated from the base triplet genetic code.

Molecular Machina I:
Audiovisual Performance in Collaboration with Cammack Lindsey

Molecular Machina II:
Soundinstallation in Collaboration with Lisa Süssegger and Arik Kofranek
Mutation and Rhytmics (up)

Genes are in a process of constant change. These gene mutations consist of various components, substitution, deletion, insertion, duplication. The installation »Mutation and Rhytmics« deals with the polyrhythms resulting from these individual components and attempts to make these microscopic processes macroscopically tangible.

Gene befinden sich in einem Prozess der stetigen Veränderung. Diese Genmutationen bestehen aus verschiedenen Komponenten, Substitution, Deletion, Insertion, Duplikation. Die Installation »Mutation and Rhytmics« setzt sich mit den aus diesen Einzelkomponenten ergebenden Polyrhythmen auseinander und versucht diese mikroskopischen Prozesse makroskopisch greifbar zu machen.

Exhibited as part of REEPER REEPER 2; Reeperbahnfestival Hamburg
Lonely Land (up)

Cells + Reaction + F (up)

Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Nähe und Distanz im Zusammenspiel mit dem Soundscapes.
Durch Material-Experimente erstelltes Bildmaterial wird in Form von Montage zusammengeführt. Untersucht wurden Makroebenen, und Reaktionen mit verschiedenen chemischen Konsistenzen, die sich selbst in Bewegung setzten.
Die Soundscapes sind durch Field Recordings in Hamburg entstanden und mit kurzen Samplings von Mozart’s Requiem, die durch Zeitdehnung verändert wurden.

A confrontation with closeness and distance in interaction with the soundscapes.
Material created by material experiments is combined in the form of montage. Macro level, and reactions with different chemical consistencies that set themselves in motion were studied.The soundscapes were created by Field Recordings in Hamburg and with short samples of Mozart's Requiem, which were changed by time stretching.

3 Channel Installation
Eine Stadt verschwindet · sound-book (up)

Venedig, eine Stadt die beständig von Wasser- und Touristenströmen überflutet wird. Mensch und Natur tragen dazu bei, dass diese Stadt immer mehr verschwindet. Das Wissen, dass die Stadt sich im einem Auflösungprozess befindet, macht sie um so begehrter. Es ist der Reiz, es nicht greifen zu können, aber trotzdem mitten drin zu sein, das Durchleben der melancholischen Grundstimmung der Stadt.
Menschen wollen den Prozess der Auflösung festhalten, sie fotografieren, um sich zu erinnern. Doch wie sehen diese Bilder in unseren Erinnerungen aus? Welche Wahrnehmungsbilder entstehen in unseren Gedanken, sind sie hörbar und gleichen sie den fotografischen Bildern? Je seltener wir ein Erinnerungsbild in unserer Vorstellung aufrufen, umso unschärfer wird es. Auch die auditive Wahrnehmung ist in unseren Erinnerungen unscharf oder gar nicht mehr hörbar. Der Mensch selbst nimmt an dem Prozess der Auflösung teil.

instructions (in German)
leaflet (in German)
Über die Verhältnisse (up)

Das Internet ist in unseren Kulturkreis allgegenwärtig. Neueste Technologien ermöglichen uns permanenten Zugriff auf dort vorhandene Daten, zugleich gewähren wir durch die Nutzung dieser Technologien Zugriff auf uns selbst. Jeder hinterlässt einen digitalen footprint. Entweder, wenn persönliche Daten bewusst geteilt oder unbewusst zur Verfügung gestellt werden. Auch bei der alltäglichen Nutzung verschiedenster Dienste, die vermeintlich kostenlos sind, bezahlen wir mit unseren Daten. Dabei werden wir ausgespäht mit Hilfe von Profilen kategorisiert und so zu gläsernen Menschen, deren Daten lukrative Handelsware sind.
Molecular Machina · Workshop (up)

Molecular systems are very lively, exciting and at the same time artistically inspiring worlds. The mechanisms involved are found in all living things that we know so far. They ensure that vital processes can work, with enzymes playing a very special role.
The different types of enzymes were studied, tested as possible artistic tools and their motor skills simulated. The BRENDA database supports us as an additional tool for the development of an little algorithm of enzymes associated with our environment.

See also Molecular Machine these are the results of the workshop.

This workshops was supported by Frauenförderung Universität der Künste.
Workshop ‚Life play’ by Mirela Alistar (up)

Workshop ‚Life play’ by Mirela Alistar

I was a participant in the workshop Life play (the bright side of genetic engineering)

„The lecture aims to demystify genetic engineering and bring into attention the future implications of such technology.
We engineer a fluorescent gene (GFP) into gut bacteria (E. coli). Practically, we will take a gene that exists in jelly fish and insert it into the genome of E. coli (bacteria in your guts). Consequently, the genetically modified E. coli will become fluorescent, i.e., it will glow when UV light is shone upon it“

Mirela Alistar
Sound Experiments (up)

Links (up)

About (up)

Kathrin Hunze has studied Arts and Media at the University of the Arts in Berlin as well as Communication Design at the HAW Hamburg. During her studies she was concerned with audiovisual media in space and specialized in trans- and interdisciplinary contexts at the department of modern media. Her topics such as social circumstances and phenomena in natural sciences are approached from design- and art-specific angles and put into a new context. In her conceptual works Hunze does not limit herself to a singular and definitive means of presentation, but experiments with analogue and digital media in space and considers the contextual aspect to be an important additional element.

Awards ·

Exellence in the Application of New Technologies in Sound Art and Sound Design, Student Award 2016, klingt gut!symposium on sound

Fellowships ·

Deutschlandstipendium Bundesministerium Bildung und Forschung

Residencies ·

2019 „Artist in Residence“ Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics-IEM Graz

2017 research visit at Prof. Dr. Martin Zenke's group in the Department Cell Biology of the RWTH Aachen/Uniklinik Aachen, Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Technology

Project Funding ·

Promotion of Women University of Arts Berlin «Molecular Machina- Workshop»

Funding of the Presidium of the HAW Hamburg project ''Eine Stadt verschwindet (A City Disappears)''

Profession ·

University of the Arts Berlin Oct. 2018, tutor for generative class, Prof. Dr. Alberto de Campo

Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities 2017, student assistant, gene technology report

Hamburg University of Applied Sciences 2015/2016, student assistant, communication design

Installations ·

2018 Abstract Periphery, sound-installation, group exhibition,
Examining the edge, peripheries in the mind and in the city, Schloss Biesdorf Berlin

2018 ips-Structures II, digital print, “Infinite Potentials” SciArt Center exhibition at ArtCell (Cambridge, U.K.) and New York Hall of Science (New York City), in collaboration with the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute.
2018 System in a System, installation, Helmut Newton Museum Berlin

2018 DIA-LOGOS Ramon Llull and the ars combinatoria, The Society for Nontrivial Pursuits:
Alberto de Campo, Hannes Hölzl, Daniel Hromada, Arik Kofranek, ZKM Karlsruhe

2017 LAAC - Life As A Construct, Installation, Imaging and Interaction Group Exhibition, Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften- TU Bibliothek, University of Art Rundgang

2015/16 GEN I- eine audiovisuelle Auseinandersetzung mit dem genetischen Code- (An audiovisual analysis of the genetic code)
Exhibition of University University of Applied Science Hamburg; Klingt Gut! Symposium on Sound; Group Exhibition,Design Export; Exellence in the Application of New Technologies in Sound Art and Sound Design, Student Award 2016, klingt gut! klangsymposium

2015 Cookies - Über die Verhältnisse, (On the Circumstances) with Jascha Bela- Kreschmann, Jan Hansen, Benjamin Wiemann, critical analysis of social topics (group project)

2013/15. Eine Stadt verschwindet - Soundbook with Dr. Thomas Hack. Supported by the University of Applied Science Hamburg, Opening new Mediahouse Haw Hamburg,

2014 “Mutation und Rythmics” as part of the group exposition Reeper Reeper 2 at the Reeperbahnfestival Hamburg

2013/14 ePhil, das Foyer der Zukunft (the foyer of the future), Projekt HAW Hamburg, supported by the Körber-Foundation

2013 Dynamische Fragmente (“dynamical fragments“) with Quirin Nebas. Kreaturen, Fabrik der Künste, Hamburg (group project), Interactive Installation

2013 Interactive Installation for experimental music. Denovali Festival Essen

Performances ·

2018 Abstract Periphery, ‘Habitability Salon’
‘Examining the edge, peripheries in the mind and in the city’ Exhibition, Schloss Biesdorf Berlin

2018 Molecular Machina, with Kristen Cammack, Spektrum Berlin

2018 A Score of Abstraction, The Society for Nontrivial Pursuits, with Haye Heerten, Alberto de Campo, Hannes Hölz, Lucas Mair, CTM Vorspiel, Vilém Flusser Archive

2017 Surveillance Suite, The Society for Nontrivial Pursuits, with Alberto de Campo, Haye Heerten

2017 GEN II, SKOP • Experimental music and art in an interdisciplinary context, Frankfurt

2017 Constructs- Experimental Soundscape, Banana Rot, Galerie Äuglein

2017 Lonely Land - Audiovisual Performance with Mengxuan Sun, Hannah Greifenstein, Dan Dansen, The Society for Nontrivial Pursuits, Spektrum Berlin

2017 Lonely Land - Audiovisual Performance with Mengxuan Sun, Hannah Greifenstein, Elysium Art and Musik Festival, Novilla International Centrum for Art, University of Art Rundgang

2017 The Society for Nontrivial Pursuits - Network Sessions, Savvy Funk Radio, documenta 14

2017 One Room - Audiovisual Performance with Mengxuan Sun, New Synagoga Zilina , Slovakia

2017 Error Error - Performance with Phillip Treschan, The Society for Nontrivial Pursuits, Spektrum Berlin

2015 “A Lamb and a Lion” Audiovisual Performance with Chiara Kramer and Stefan Troschka Central Congress, Hamburg

2015 Audiovisual Performance as part of the group UVA with Jazzband Urban Acadamy Quartet, Hamburg

2014 UVA + KiRRiN iSLAND - Visual Art Performance, Kraniche Club, Hamburg

Exhibition Design ·

2018 Examining the edge, group exhibtion, Schloss Biesdorf Berlin

2018 Bildräume: Biologie und Bauen, exhibition concept, design and production

2016 Call Me, exhibition concept, Designxport Hamburg

2015 ZEHN (TEN), special exhibit concept, design and production, 10 years of Reeperbahn Festival

2010/2016 Denovali Festival, concept and organisation, Essen, London, Berlin

2005/2006 Ambiente Fair Frankfurt, production, EcoSphere GmbH

Education ·

Masters Course Art and Media, Berlin University of the Arts 2016/Summer 2019

Bachelor of Arts Communication Design, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences 2016