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At the intersection between organic and inorganic matter, the field of biomineralization studies how organisms form minerals, which often are shaped into complex architectural structures with remarkable material properties.

The Foraminerals symposium provided a stage for scientists, outside of the usual academic platforms, and artists to share thoughts, images and stories inspired by biominerals. We aim to enable connections between artists, architects, performers and scientists, and to offer new perspectives on our environment by merging the lenses of biogeochemistry and art.

Foraminirals I

The evening was moderated by Reef and Sponge scientists Dr. Alice Webb

Performance artist Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti opened the evening with a shamanistic ritual to invite the spirit of the mineral

Dr. Helen King | Utrecht University
Biological architects: building with minerals
A 3D perspective on the mineral-based structures that biology makes as a consequence of its actions and on purpose, comparing minerals formed by microbial systems and us.

Sema Bekirovic | Artist
Reading by osmosis
The culture/nature dichotomy isn’t as self evident as has long been held. If culture and nature can no longer be seen as opposites, what’s to keep us from stretching things a little bit further, and proclaim nature to be capable of art, of authorship?

Dr. Esmee Geerken | Netherlands institute for Sea research (NIOZ)
Future fossils
Looking at the evolution of architecture from a unicellular perspective, while taking rather big jumps through geological time.

Dr. Willem Noorduin | Self organising matter group AMOLF
Shaping up matter
Inspired by natural processes, Willem's group explores how minerals can be sculpted into microscopic architectures.

During the break, images of Cogwheels by Dr. Inge van Dijk (Alfred Wegner institute for Polar and Sea research) were displayed.

Dr. Takashi Toyofuku | Japanse Agency for Marine Science and Technology
Tiny life
Takashi showed the beauty of tiny shapes created by the various organisms from his biomineralisation lab.

Dr. Lennart de Nooijer | NIOZ
Blueprints are representations of the essence of physical things and are, for Lennart, the best symbol of what science is all about.

Prof. dr. Gert-Jan Reichart | Utrecht University
Gert-Jan elaborated on what biominerals tell us about the climate of the past, and how this can be used to better understand future climate change.

Jasper Coppes | Artist and filmmaker
Wisdom of the Ice
As an alternative to the typical images we see of the melting Greenland ice-sheet, Jasper talked about his current film project, which emphasises on the perspectives of Greenlandic inhabitants from the biological and mineral world.