Written by David Hilmer Rex and Aslak Aamot Kjærulff
I have no solution either, other than to say that, in general, I am more interested in things that have the effect of art but which refuse that status than I am in things that claim that status but refuse the effect. The program, it seems to me, is not to make software that is art, but art that is better software for the redesign of both art and software.— Benjamin Bratton, Mind the Pollocks: (Notes on) Art & Software, Purple Magazine, Spring 2019.
What are the conditions under which objects become visible in culture, and in what manner are such visibilities characterized as “science” or “art?” (…) What much of this focus on “art” and “science” as discrete products ignores are the commonalities in the practices that produce them. Both are regimes of knowledge, embedded in, but also constitutive of, the broader cultures they inhabit. — Caroline A. Jones & Peter Galison, Picturing Science, Producing Art, 1998.
This article is the first in a series, where we unpack and explore a set of methodological tools and approaches developed while working on Primer. Primer is a platform for artistic and organizational development, housed in the context of Aquaporin, a global water technology company. With Primer we are exploring the potentials of developing a new artistic platform, in parallel with an emerging research-driven technology company. We, Diakron, have been developing Primer since late-2016, and went public mid-2017.
This article will explore questions around impact, or more broadly put effect, as it relates to the development of Primer and our processes.
When invoking the word impact or effect, one is quickly led to thinking of external actors demanding solid answers to the efficacy of projects, before they are even commenced. In this text we want to explore the notion, that thinking through the effects of projects is not an afterthought or secondary scaffolding, but part and parcel of their development, execution and afterlife. This is what we term a systems approach to effects.
We understand effects as any kind of interaction (e.g. a meeting, a visitor to Primer/Aquaporin, a conversation during lunch, a loose association triggered by a work on display, co-writing of an application across Primer and Aquaporin). Some of these interactions, emits signals, through which we, Primer, gain access to them and some of them are entirely inaccessible to us.
Given this view, our focus has been to develop adequate learning processes, and tools to assist a diverse set of interactions, that allow for a wide spectrum of effects to be sensed, experienced and collected, and either fed back into future processes or avoided. This understanding of effects is what we will attempt to concretize in what follows. We will do so by describing a set of learning processes and tools that we have created to learn about Aquaporin’s and Primer’s possible roles and functions in relation to each other.
Our interest in this question, began when we first arrived at Aquaporin. We were initially invited by art consultant Christina Wilson. She transformed the challenge of entering the organization, from displaying finished works of art, to being a platform for developing new forms of artistic practice. The conversations then started with CEO of Aquaporin, Peter Holme Jensen, about how to introduce artistic practices into the organization. The invitation included no expectations of specific formats or timeline, but rather a challenge to do what we ourselves deemed the most ambitious. In order to do so, we deemed it necessary to develop a set of processes and tools that would allow us to grasp the complexity at hand. What we did know at the time, was that we wanted to operate with a differentiated model, that did not settle on any one specific format or type of relationship, but the purpose of which was to initiate experiments and learn from them. Therefore an ongoing question of ours, is which models and formats from the field of art we import into Primer and why. Because we are interested in the possibilities for developing entirely new processes across Aquaporin, Primer, and the fields they are part of developing, the models and formats we use are of central importance.
The headquarter of Aquaporin, is a former plastic factory, converted into a modular 7000 square meters landscape, spanning laboratories, offices, storage, r&d lab, production facilities and a cantine. The sheer scale of the open space, with functions deployed as a topology of cubes, can be somewhat dizzying. When faced with the challenge of introducing artistic practices, one can quickly over-identify with the space itself, while ignoring numerous other components making up the context.
Aquaporin, the protein
The first component is the crux of the research Aquaporin has been carrying out for the past 15 years (founded in 2005) and its subsequent use-cases. Aquaporin is the name of a membrane protein found in all living organisms. Its function is to allow for H2O molecules to move in and out of cells. They allow for water to be drawn from the soil, up into the roots, branches and leaves of trees, or for liver and kidneys in mammals to separate and concentrate bodily fluids. 1 gram of aquaporin protein can transport approximately 700 liters of water in 1 second. Aquaporin grows the protein, harvests it and immobilises the proteins onto a polymeric multilayer structure in a flat sheet (imagine a coffee filter type carrier), hollow fibers (think of very thin hollow straws) or a tubular geometry (like a thick straw).
The protein is used in Reverse and Forward Osmosis applications. Forward Osmosis water filtration, — an almost energy neutral process, — is “the use of a semi-permeable barrier or membrane, where water diffuses across that membrane from a lower solute concentration to a higher solute concentration until both sides are at equilibrium.” The simple passage of water through the aquaporin proteins, to establish equilibrium between different salt levels, is enough to separate water molecules from everything else.
The more energy intensive option, reverse osmosis, “uses that same semi-permeable barrier or membrane, but instead of allowing fresh water or lower-saline water to move across to a higher concentration to dilute that side, you do the opposite. You have to overcome that osmotic pressure by using hydraulic pressure to essentially force water through the membrane, leaving the salt behind.”
The function of the protein, which is to separate water from x, by either extracting water from x (FO), or pressing water from x (RO) through an aquaporin, allows for innumerable use-cases. From standard household and large-scale industry appliances, to concentration of liquids of either hazardous or edible quality, to closed-loop systems such as astronauts drinking their filtrated pee again and again to large-scale seawater desalination.
In understanding Aquaporin, it has been crucial for us to grasp the interdependence of the basic research outlined above, the possibility space of applications and the organizational model developed to actualize those potentials.
Aquaporin, the company
The second key component, is Aquaporin the company. Aquaporin’s headquarter is located in Denmark, where research and development (r&d) and production is included. An r&d hub is located in Singapore, and recently a US subsidiary has been set up in preparation for an r&d hub. Aquaporin operates an Open Innovation model, meaning that on top of their core technology, the majority of the applications are carried out through collaborations with external partners, be they states, companies, NGOs or universities, or combinations of them. This can either take the form of Business to Business (b2b) projects or Public Private Partnerships (PPP), where public and private partners, collaborate around shared missions over several years. Aquaporin has since its beginning accrued 70 million € in funding, and of that 25 million € (approximate number), comes from PPPs. At the time of writing, Aquaporin has 10 active projects, with a total funding of close to 4.5 million € for the company.
When Aquaporin enters into a collaboration with a partner, the partner is often free to claim significant parts of the IP space, especially relating to the specific processes the partnership has developed using the company’s membranes.
The aggregate image of this, is a number of concrete financial and business tools, geared towards developing technological components and infrastructures in an open ecosystem. The set of choices taken on part of how to develop the business model of Aquaporin, are crucial in terms of how, where and why the potential of the core technology, is actualized. What this points towards, is a mode of collaboration and technology development, which operates in an open and networked knowledge economy. In a longer term view, this is a move from seeing Aquaporin (and similar projects) as a company, to seeing Aquaporin as a custodian of an emerging technology. This perspective is something we will develop at length in an upcoming article.
In addition to this more functional understanding of Aquaporin, we understand Aquaporin as a suggestive, associative set of vectors, pointing towards a set of possible futures. This concerns an interest of ours, which is how you track and co-develop emerging fields of practice, rather than treating them as already-settled historical processes to be studied from afar. In short, we see the future, as a space of manipulation and construction, and through understanding the processes of an entity and its environments, one can to some degree foresee where it is heading, how and why (this is the theme of a project, which will launch at Primer May 29th, 2019).
How do you map, track and sketch an emerging field? What are the futures Aquaporin imagines, plans for and operates in? What is the emerging field Primer wants to co-create? What are the fields they draw from, and where and how are they transforming them? What are the key vectors through which said organizations and fields reproduce and stabilize themselves? What are the emerging conditions in a networked mode of knowledge and technology development?
Hybrid Organizations and Emerging Communities
To give an example, in our project on ‘Hybrid Organisations and Emerging Communities’ from 2017, we interviewed around 40 thinkers and founders of organizations, all of which revolved around an interest in emerging organizational forms and a wide spectrum of new rationalities, fueling their orientations, desires and worldviews. The project explored how and why people are finding new ways of engaging in widespread systemic crisis and often develop new technologies in the process.
This project was a test-bed for us, in exploring how one might grasp an emerging field, through diagnosing a set of conditions the organizations react to, active stances they have taken in terms of modes of organization and their specific applications and ways of working. In short, we were interested in the worlds they were co-constituting.
A few years prior to initiating the project, we had begun collecting and analysing emerging organizational forms, all of which shared the traits of an (1 orientation towards emerging widespread systemic problems (e.g. loss of biodiversity, climate change, migration, institutional inertia, etc.), (2 transformation of their educational resources and pathways, (3 development of novel organizational forms and (4 strategic communication about their activities.
Alongside that, we were reading a wide variety of authors, on new understandings of and roles for technologies in societies, alternative imaginaries around socio-technical formation, speculative approaches to reality and its constitution. See this concept topology for examples.
Pattern recognition and knowledge architectures
This is a mode of intelligence gathering, that operates at a number of levels. At a macro level, this concerns mapping emergent and historical systems of thought and practice, across philosophy, consulting, r&d, innovation and adoption processes, governance forms and processes across states and private actors, etc. It is not concerned with prioritizing any of these modes over others, but rather developing a knowledge architecture, that allow us to see how all of them co-constitute emerging fields. At a more micro level, this concerns understanding the world of a specific practice, and how it manifests and transforms more general tendencies.
Pattern recognition implies recognizing already known patterns, but inherent to pattern recognition, is the construction of new patterns, in response to emergent systems, dynamics and tendencies. You are thus looking for something, that might not have a name or will ever get one.
What this allows for in aggregate, is a resilient practice, capable of comparing and knowing a vast diversity of perspectives and modes of thought and practice, placing them in relation to each other and understanding the current, historical and future conditions they are navigating with, creating new patterns through which to grasp them.
Accurately representing what is outlined above here, would be difficult, as this practice is spread across conversations from 2014 and onwards, shared practices of reading, discovering and translation, leveraged by platforms such as Gdocs, Evernote, Are.na, and more. Our way of thinking about it, is as a shared and at times invisible collective intelligence, we build and nurture.
Two examples of what this looks like, are these two lists. The first, is an open-ended list of emerging disciplines and concepts, which Morgan Sutherland initially shared with us and which we then built out from, and the second is a list of topics, with authors that somehow inform them.
Another example is a working document from 2014, when we first started working together. This was an exercise, where we wrote down a topics of interest and then attempted to list the diversity of ways we were interested in working with x topic. Looking back, the formulation of interests around general topics such as practices, technology, organizing, death/birth, and subjectivities/agencies, was the beginning of crafting a collective intelligence we carry with us today. The modes of thinking we each brought to this work has at some later stages been slowly internalized without any force or mutual direction. This has made us think about the relationship between knowing, conceptualizing and building intelligence as a gradual sinking of cooperatively produced language into group-based habits of mind.
Learning processes, tools and temporal cycles
What follows here, are examples of learning processes we have initiated and tools which have grown out of and support them in the context of Primer.
The first tool is what we call an Impact Schema. It is best viewed if opened in your browser, where you can zoom and navigate around as you please.
Impact Areas covers departments and processes of Aquaporin as well as the broader artistic, scientific, technological and business fields. Impact Types outlines effects projects might generate. Impact Questions unpacks and outlines questions that are considered relevant to a given Impact Area.
We developed the schema as a reaction to finding ourselves in a new territory, without any expectations of specific effects or impacts. The schema has taken on a navigational quality during our discoveries of possible impact areas and effects, allowing us to gradually facilitate and operate projects with more diverse effect chains and spectrums. After a type of activity has run a cycle, the grid can be utilized for tracking and grasping the where, how and when of projects. Furthermore, it is a tool we now use to design and plan future processes before they are fully developed and operationalized. One might imagine specific projects and processes, generating Impact Cycles across a variety of Impact Areas, Types and Questions. Impact Cycles may occur over a few days, to several years or even decades, but they all require a certain commitment or engagement to not simply falter and dissipate. For now the schema functions as a memory and imaginative push to think about the impact of our work, but might in time become a strategic apparatus for legitimizing the capacities of Primers organizing processes beyond an art project operating in an industrial context.
Commitment and presence
The question of commitment of time and attention has been central to the development of Primer. Since late 2016, we have spent considerable time getting to know the everyday lives and practices of the employees of Aquaporin, the specific technological and organizational processes they foster, as well as the broader context in which they operate. Dedicating time and attention to this process is crucial when talking about a more complex spectrum of effects. Being present and building solid relationships, has both been important in understanding our early-stage effects, as well as a key component in building the foundation upon which we will carry out activities now and at a later basis. Apart from regular meetings with management and scientists, close work with facilities management and security, regular introductions to laboratories and new equipment, we have been a part of daily lunch conversations, informal gatherings and parties. This slow, gradual and mutual process, is a direct response to the often time-limited project-based interactions, that have characterized many collaborations across art, science and technology.
When we talk at a general level of art, science and technology, the concretized version is often bracketed into specific time frames, formats and/or types of intervention. In our case, we are able to stay with the specific people and their specific histories, interests, drives, desires, concerns and orientations indefinitely. It is these people, who transform the technological fields over years and decades contribution, and it is with them that new processes might emerge across otherwise disparate practices. While having an interest in the century-long historical processes that have brought us to a point where art, science and technology, has the particular sets of relationships, institutional representations, societal signifiers, and modes of output they do, there is no need to be tied down to simply reproducing them, but striving towards actively reengineering them. The former enables the latter.
A more formal version of this interaction, is the Employee Group that are called into meetings occasionally to discuss the development of Primer. The group comprises five employees from five departments in the company. To begin with, the focus of the meetings was to get concrete feedback on the projects taking place in the building. After a while it became clear, that the group was not comfortable with this somewhat passive role, where they were only capable of articulating what they thought of a given project. Given that, we have altered the focus towards discussing upcoming projects and new formats with the group, in order to, in a more active manner, involve them in shaping our activities.
Public Private Partnerships
The latest addition to our formats for working with Aquaporin, is specific collaborations on the company’s own projects with single or smaller groups of employees. This is still in its early stages, but for our purposes here it is worth mentioning, that Primer will be written into Public Private Partnership applications developed by Aquaporin, as well as co-funded longer term employment at Aquaporin with external partnerships. These collaborations signal a type of collaboration, which allows for development of new processes, languages, ideas and methods. In general the company is currently participating in partnership projects that aim to further systems integration of their technology, generate political legitimacy and propagate experience and knowledge of working with and developing bioreactive water purification. This involves both regional and global collaborative networks and several different types of applications and stages of experimentation. Our roles in these processes are still under development in dialogue with internal Aquaporin staff and external feedback from our peer network and Aquaporins partner networks.
Since June 2017, we have worked with the six Danish artists Rasmus Røhling, Fredrik Tydén, Søren Andreasen, Michala Paludan, Nanna Abell and Kristine Kemp, to develop projects in Aquaporin (see primer.dk for documentation). In each their own way, they have entered the situation with their orientations, interests and desires and worked with us to develop work and curate an exhibition in the headquarters. For us, these projects, have been crucial in inviting more external people in, to carve out a space of interest and manipulation, bringing in aspects, questions and concerns that we wouldn’t have been able to introduce ourselves.
The exhibitions have also been occasions for us to learn from visitors that come to see the projects, in a space highly determined by technology. By working each artist’s project into the context, a slightly different network of audiences from Denmark and abroad has been drawn into the space each time. These visits often take between one to three hours, and go through both Aquaporin, the specific exhibition and Primer.
The digital platform Are.na, has been crucial throughout these collaborations. In Diakron we both use Are.na internally for a wide range of purposes, and for each collaborative project, we have a dedicated channel. Here any kind of material is shared for consideration, as inspiration, something to be directly included in the exhibition, or any number of other reasons. This has supported the ongoing dialogue with the artists, about their projects and their development. An example of what this looks this, can be viewed here. It stems from our collaboration with Fredrik Tydén. The open-ended quality of are.na has allowed us to continuously build and rebuild hierarchies and groupings of content, based on how conversations and conceptualizations with artists changed over one or two years.
Before going into a set of the main vectors around which we speculate about the future of Aquaporin and Primer, we wanted to briefly outline some of the challenges we see in crafting new processes across art, science and technology. These are the result of either experiences from our own work, conversations with peers or analysis of historical examples of similar projects to the one we are developing.
In analysing historical examples of art, technology and science collaborations, a majority of them stumble and fall in the early stages due to a number of factors. This may be anything from failing to establish shared horizons, misunderstandings of each others worlds and desires, over-identification from either side, not knowing where to strive for common ground and where to allow for deep difference, lack of sustained commitment on the parts involved in a project or sticking to goal-oriented expectations in projects that generate altogether unforeseen outcomes.
An interesting example in terms of unforeseen outcomes, is the project of Artist Placement Group, which from the late 60s up until the mid 80s, placed artists in, firstly, industry, and later on, government agencies, in the UK. The project is introduced here in depth. What we found interesting about a majority of the placements undertaken, was that they didn’t exit the initial stage of research, where artists operated with an ‘open brief’, entering industry or government, with an open mind towards what might make sense to set in motion. Instead, what they did do, was to generate alternate or unforeseen consequences, among which was acting as a blueprint for management consultants, entering into industry or government, with an open approach to surveying what was taking place and why.
For us, these 2nd, 3rd or 4th degree effects, are part of the effects of a project, while they for the artists at the time, may have been entirely invisible or unknown. The questions discussed in this article, is a part of ‘training’ ourselves to allow for such coincidental or unforeseen effects to be cultivated and expressed alongside more known and visible ones.
Artistic practices are often positioned as the only creative, subjective or abstract vector, and handed the role of visualizing or communicating scientific practices and technological artefacts. At the same time, engineers, business developers, HR and finance employees, are portrayed as rational and rule-governed. None of these generalizations and stereotypes are true nor helpful in actually understanding how specific practices transform themselves through models of abstraction, creativity, repetitions, path-dependent operations and deviations therefrom. If you have an interest, in what a practice or organisation does and wants to do in the future, you have to learn about it and engage it, with an attempt to bypass whatever expectations you might have about it. What are the conditions of the world it constitutes? What are the material, semiotic, ideational and financial procedures through which it reproduces and alternates itself? What are the models of abstraction specific to it? How does it envision a past and a future?
What interfaces, collaborative formats and institutional procedures, allow for ideas and influences to move across disciplines? How it is possible to grasp and understand how certain ideas and concepts, travelled and transformed themselves over disciplinary divides? And what vital infrastructural components allow for transgressive knowledge ecologies to emerge?
Artistic, scientific and technological practices, inform each other in a myriad of ways, ranging from intense close proximity to fragile or incidental connections over vast distances, be they geographical or temporal. Such processes, can be grasped via thorough historical analysis of specific processes of proximity and collaborations. See fx. Peter Weibel’s study of Austria and Hungary, from 1918 to the present day, exploring how scientist and artists, interacted. In our experience, interactions occur (where practices interface, via an image, a model, a sentence, a personal meeting, a pedagogical setting or any other number of ways in which systems of thought and practice are disseminated and spread), through active explorative processes, where people are allowed to slowly get acquainted with each other and co-create the next steps through which to proceed. To allow for such processes to emerge, we have focused on preparing an environment, where a set of practices can become more proximate, encounters can be organized, and resources can be allocated to emerging forms of work. In short, we are attempting to slowly fold two worlds of practices onto each other. From those initial conditions, we then facilitate a process whereby all parties co-create and discuss the following steps.
Narratives about art, science and technology, often posit what Galison and Jones terms a ‘binary economy’. They write; “What much of this focus on “art” and “science” as discrete products ignores are the commonalities in the practices that produce them. Both are regimes of knowledge, embedded in, but also constitutive of, the broader cultures they inhabit.” While there are many good reasons for treating and institutionalizing outcomes of scientific and artistic practices very differently, both fields are historically indebted to each other, in terms of working through small adjustments of experimental set-ups, meticulously calibrating ideas and associations to signals coming from materials, living processes and ecologies that are accessed, but not totally controlled by specific types of apparatuses, observation and attention.
What we conclude from this, is that the narratives we do tell and create about interactions between the practices and fields, are crucial for all steps of the process. In planning the interactions, in navigating them, and in narrating their afterlife. This could also be called rationales or intelligences, that govern the selective constitutive process whereby practices interact, transform and generate new processes. A continued narrative, positing the fields as entirely separate, aren’t what is needed presently, where we are trying to develop entirely new processes, vocabularies, financial models and collaborative formats. The historical analysis is needed, of course, given that artists and synthetic biologists, in the abstract and in the concrete, are different in many regards, but what we are looking for, are those slight interfaces or points of interaction, where something suddenly allows for a new third thing to evolve. These points of commonality, might for example emerge at a methodological level, where the experimental approach across the practices share many qualities, albeit mobilized for altogether different ends.
The over-emphasis on the semiotic register found in artistic contexts prioritizes human-centric efficacies, while deprioritizing material, financial, ecological and other more than human registers. This is not to put forth a simple claim, that art historically has been a purely humanist endeavour, and now is the time to reorient our faculties to other qualities, but to say that artistic practices generate and have more effects, than what most semiotic registers guide our attention towards. This could open for a broader attention to what art does in its full-fledged spectrum, be it semiotic, operational, material, financial, ecological etc., rather than solely dealing with what art means. The example of APG’s indirect contribution to methodologies for studying workplace dynamics, is one such surprise effect.
The set of challenges briefly outlined above, are too deep to unravel in this text. But for our purposes it has been important to try and think and act without committing to top-level semiotic registers that govern how we see the value and efficacy of either artistic, scientific, technological, business, HR or any other practice present at Aquaporin. By being present we have tried to guide our attention to what they do, through which means and towards what ends and with what types of affiliations, conflations and overlaps the operate. Following from that, we might begin to be able to have a new set of conversations and processes emerge.
Vectors / anticipation model / scenario spread
Towards the end, we would like to introduce a set of vectors, which are conditioning how we view Aquaporin, Primer and their futures. The selected set of topics listed, are culled from this working document, and are to be read as a loose grid of orientations, that guide our thinking and practice. In the working document, they are categorized using the following taxonomy:
Epistemologies / conceptual and mental models
Ways of seeing or knowing and the attunement, training and conditioning of those resources.
Conditions / environmental triggers
Large-scale societal conditions. Anthropogenic climate change, loss of biodiversity, financial crisis, water scarcity, resource scarcity, inequality, institutional inertia, etc.
Strategies / entry points / processes
The ways in which Aquaporin and Primer operate, the projects we launch, the strategies that guide them. The set of projects, strategies and modes of operating in a milieu.
Trends / paradigms / shifts in practice
A third field, Open Innovation, Network Markets / Effects, Systems Literacy / Stacktivism, Mission-oriented Innovation, Systems Change, Worlding, Transdisciplinarity.
A third field
Exploration of the relationship between artistic practices and scientific, technological and research-driven practices. This includes the relationship between aesthetic machines and functional machines, as well as an interest in synchronic, asynchronic and diachronic influences and collaborations across artistic, scientific and technological practices and their methodological or operational common grounds. Scientific epistemology and ontology vs artistic epistemology and ontology. An interest in co-existence and proximity across forms of practice. Socio-cultural conditions inflict on technological development which in turn conditions emergence of novel socio-cultural formations. This theme explores translational processes where they directly intersect or indirectly affect each others development or disintegration.
Consequences of abstractions
A theme that explores tools and methods for production characterized by a high degree of abstraction and translation, whether it concerns aesthetics, theory, modelling or technological apparatus’. This theme operates between what one can’t sense immediately and it’s obvious effects — a space radically different to the one we as humans normally occupy — which nonetheless, or maybe directly because of this, generates unexpected and felt consequences.
From environmental protection (modern environment, to be protected) to acceptance of ecological devastation (navigating collapse / anticipating types thereof).
Open Innovation / Technology companies as custodians / stewardship
A shift from proprietary business models, to as-open-as-possible innovation models, where companies are custodians on behalf of a technology and the diverse communities of co-creators, be they citizens, state-representatives or private actors.
Scales & semiotics
This theme orients us towards the interdepencies across radically divergent scales, from nano-, organizational-, bodily-, infrastructural-, national- or global scales and their varying conditions for mutual influence and visibility. And in addition, the invisible material, sign- and cognitive processes they are made up of. Concretely Aquaporin is a context for operations that isn’t visible without use of complex apparatus’ and measurement instruments and therefore an occasion to rethink the relationship between visibility, sensibility and circumference
Waters parallel narratives
This theme explores relationships across fx. drought, floods, tsunamis, pollution, astrobiology, resource-optimization, bodies, cultural phenomena, ecosystem, textural effects and manipulative material.
Across fx. drought, floods, tsunamis, pollution, astrobiology, resource-optimization, bodies, cultural phenomena, ecosystem, textural effects and manipulative material.
Thanks for reading along. We hope this brief overview of our work with Primer up until now, will attract new ideas and connections to people with similar interests, in emerging ways of working across artistic, scientific, technological and other practices. Feel free to get in touch.
This article was made possible with support from The Bikuben Foundation.