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‘Listening to Cyanobacteria’ at REGENERATE: Noorderlicht International Photo Festival

Risk Hazekamp, of Caradt’s Research Group: Biobased Art and Design, is presenting ‘Unlearning Photography’ at the REGENERATE: Noorderlicht International Photo Festival, in Groningen.


Hazekamp’s work is on display at Akerk as part of the exhibition Regenerate Societyarrow where Nooderlicht brings together the work of artists who seek positive change in the world and present alternative perspectives on the reality around us.

Date: October 7 — December 10, 2023 | Tuesday to Sunday, from 12:00 – 17:00
Location: Akerkhof 2, Groningen.
Entrance fees are €7,50 for adults, and free of charge for people under 17 years old.
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Unlearning Photography

Photography is toxic in several ways: many analogue processes are toxic, the digital stream of images slurps energy, but photography is also a mediator of power structures through categorization and definition. As an artist working with photography, Risk Hazekamp (they/them) also holds themselves accountable to photography’s contribution in determining the histories we do perceive and the ones we fail to perceive. They seek alternative, non-chemical and (as far as possible) unbiased methods, as if we are looking through non-human eyes.Hazekamp is fascinated by Cyanobacteria, which, as the ‘inventor’ of photosynthesis, underpinned our evolution when it filled our atmosphere with oxygen. Cyanobacteria have lived on Earth for three billion years and can rightly be called true survivalists. They thrive even in the face of ecological disturbances, like coming into contact with photographic material, on which the bacteria leave their spores. But that same Cyanobacteria, which was once at the source of life, is now mostly seen as toxic itself.Questioning the Western urge to categorize human bodies and other life forms is the common thread throughout the artistic practice of artist, tutor and researcher Risk Hazekamp (Netherlands, 1972). Hazekamp studied in Rotterdam (Willem de Kooning Academy), Maastricht (Jan van Eyck Academy) and Antwerp (St Lucas School of Arts). This year, Hazekamp began their Professional Doctorate research titled ‘Unlearning Photography: Listening to Cyanobacteria’ at the Biobased Art & Design Research Group of Avans University of Applied Sciences.

Unlearning Photography: Listening to Cyanobacteria

Risk Hazekamp, researcher from the Biobased Art and Design group has received funding from Regieorgaan SIA for their PD project – Unlearning Photography: Listening to Cyanobacteria.

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‘It is through the “not-knowing” that a stimulating and caring environment can be created to confidently share vulnerability.’

Risk Hazekamp is researcher within the Biobased Art and Design research group and tutor for the Art & Research study programme at St. Joost School of Art & Design. 

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Research Group: Biobased Art and Design

The research group Biobased Art and Design capitalises on the role of artistic practice in unlocking the unique potentials of living organisms for everyday materials and communicating these to a broader public. In doing so, the group aims to instigate and accelerate our widespread understanding, further development and usage of such materials. The group’s research approach encourages tangible interactions with the living organisms, such as algae, fungi, plants and bacteria, to explore and understand their unique qualities and constraints through diverse technical and creative methods taking artists, designers and scientists as equal and active partners in the material creation.

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