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Unlearning Photography: Listening to Cyanobacteria

Research Group: Biobased Art and Design

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.

In 2023, Universities of Applied Sciences will commence a pilot program for their doctoral track called the Professional Doctoratearrow (PD). This new learning path aims to expand the boundaries of professional practice. The Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (Vereniging Hogescholen) has partnered with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and Regieorgaan SIA to develop this initiative. On May 30th, Regieorgaan SIA granted the first 11 funding grants to the first PD candidatesarrow.

Unlearning Photography: Listening to Cyanobacteria

Analogue photography and toxicity are intimately linked by almost all chemical photographic production processes. In addition, photography’s contribution to creating dominant socio-political power structures of defining and categorising can also be considered toxic.

As a way out of these toxic histories, Risk Hazekamp investigates alternative photographic methodologies, to envision the world without a camera, through a sustainable production process and with a more-than-human gaze.

Hazekamp proposes a new approach to photography, where the photographer is no longer in control of the image, but rather creates circumstances in which photographic images can evolve.

The aim of this PD-project is to create a breathing work of art, in which transformation is the image, and the result is always in progress; a ‘living micro-organic photographic process’ that continuously converts carbon dioxide and releases oxygen.



Risk Hazekamp – Experiment (Petri Dish) – 2021

Risk Hazekamp (with Scape Agency) – ‘How do we take care of our failures?’ – Stroom Den Haag – 2022

Risk Hazekamp – an analogue photo negative dissolved by Cyanobacteria – 2022

Risk Hazekamp – an analogue photo negative dissolved by Cyanobacteria – 2022


About PD in Arts + Creativearrow

‘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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Hazekamp, R., Lykke, N. (oct. 2022) Ancestral Conviviality. How I fell in love with queer crittersarrow, FORUM+, Volume 29, Issue 3, Oct 2022, p. 30 – 36.

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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