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Revolutionising Photography: Risk Hazekamp’s Presentation at Helsinki Photomedia Conference

At the recent Helsinki Photomedia Conference, Risk Hazekamp captivated an international audience with their research, “Unlearning Photography: Listening to Cyanobacteria.” This project challenges the medium of photography and proposes a sustainable, decolonial approach towards photograhic imaginaries.

Opening Keynote of Bernhard Siegert: Slimy Images: The Media of Plankton (1889 - today)

Risk’s presentation delved into the historical toxicity of analogue photography, which has long been entwined with harmful chemicals and colonial socio-political power structures. In their project, Risk explores alternative processes that envision a world viewed not through the lens of a camera but through human relationality with Cyanobacteria. These microorganisms, fundamental to our planet’s oxygenated atmosphere, become collaborators in creating living, breathing artworks that absorb CO2 and release oxygen.


By investigating and “unlearning” the imperialistic and toxic impacts of traditional photography, Risk proposes a shift towards less anthropocentric and more ecological photographic practice. This method not only reduces environmental impact but also redefines the medium of photography as a dynamic and ongoing process of mutualistic care.


The enthusiastic reception at the Helsinki Photomedia Conference highlights the relevance and urgency of rethinking artistic practices in current times. For further details on the Helsinki Photomedia Conference, please visit the Helsinki Photomedia websitearrow. As Caradt continues to push the boundaries of interdisciplinary research, projects like “Unlearning Photography” demonstrate the potential of art and design to contribute significantly to ecological and cultural sustainability.

Opening Keynote of Bernhard Siegert: Slimy Images: The Media of Plankton (1889 - today)
Exhibition of the MA Photography students of Aalto University
PHLSPH Philosophy & Photography Lab
Signpost to the Dipoli building

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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