Research Gathering with Lisa Ma

This event has passed

We invite you to a research gathering with the speculative designer Lisa Ma, currently in residence at FoAM in Brussels. Your presence and feedback will help Lisa to clarify what it might mean to be a Bioluddite, a social activist attempting to find new relationships between biotechnology and daily life. You’re very welcome to join us with your suggestions, feedback, constructive criticisms and anything else you’d like to contribute. 

Entrance is free (bioluddite sustenance included)

Lisa Ma socialises activism. Combining fringe communities, ethnographic research and speculative design, her unusual ‘platforms of engagement’ creates social events that are perceived as activism but function as services.

More about Lisa's Microresidency:

While going about our daily life, we are surrounded by biotechnology. We are not talking solely about the glamorous transhumanism and synthetic engineering but also about the vast monocultures, GMOs, industrial meat processing, organic industry, systems ecology, food deserts, sugar addiction, hormone replacement and public healthcare… As DIY biologists fight for democratisation of biotechnological tools, we might need a grassroots movement to help us navigate through biotechnologies of everyday life. People who fight for our freedom to choose technologies that enrich our communities, free us from the incessant industrial growth and work, allow us to step more lightly onto our environment. We call these people Bioluddites.

Luddites were early 19th century activists protesting against the destruction of their cottage-industry lifestyles by the mechanised, profit driven production processes of the Industrial Revolution. Their tactics were geared against the symbols of capitalist oppression, the large-scale looms and other machinery. Nowadays, being a ‘Luddite’ is often used as derogatory term for people who refuse to use twitter or a smartphone. This is a painful misunderstanding of the motivations and actions of the original Luddites. We’d like to have a discussion about a different kind of luddism in the 21st century: could a Bioluddite, through designs of modern-day services, help us curate appropriate biotechnologies for our daily lives? As we start to be selective about digital technology we use in daily life, perhaps Bioluddites might help us to become choosier with biotechnology? Could Bioluddites be the sociological arm of the bio-hackers movement?

Lisa Ma works with Timelab on parallel experiments in Ghent, Belgium. Lisa helped shape "Atelier de Stad Gent: Niets is verloren", a project with mass public participation involving the locals, scientists, vegetarian societies, the mayor and the national TV station (Canvas), to explore how a city might become active by eating instead of destroying invasive plants and animals. By subverting a glitch in the system, the project became a ongoing platform on an urban scale empowering grassroots organisations and foster unexpected expertise, to alter the systems of policy-making and business innovation.

In progress


FoAM - Brussels, Koolmijnenkaai 30-34, 1080 Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, Brussels, Belgium
Get directions: Google maps


Supported by: