Algae and human hair


Recorded on 26 June, 2022 at the Jan van Eyck Academie

Weaving Water – weaving together a lost connection between human and nature with Bela Rofe.

By engaging in storytelling through materials, Bela discussed her research project Weaving Water in relation to human hair and algae. She talked about ways in which biomaterials can be our starting point to reconnect with nature. By inviting us to speculate, feel and fabricate, Bela invited us to reimagine a new interspecies paradigm where human and nature coalesce into one living entity. In her practice, Bela explores the following questions: How important is it to harness ourselves as a resource? Are materials the gateway to which we can co-create with and reimagine reciprocities between human and other-than-human species? How does human hair make you feel in comparison to other animal furs?

By entangling the often overlooked and abundant resources of algae and human hair, each participant had the opportunity to create a bioplastic sample with algae and human hairs. All the samples have been eventually cut by Bela and woven together in a new textile piece, a material ecology which reminds of earthly interconnections.