Biomodd Workshop – Angelo Vermeulen

Above a succinct summary of Angelo’s wider Biomodd work and concepts.

Workshop for 8-20 people
In the workshop participants will explore how to connect recycled and open source computer technology with the living environment. A series of second hand computers is disassembled, and new units and networks are being constructed in which diverse forms of small-scale biological life co-exist with the electronics. The participants are invited to come up with novel ways to make both worlds communicate through energy exchange, cooling mechanisms, simple sensors, etc. These hybrid systems are finally used for multiplayer gaming. Participants can learn how to graphically modify existing games, or bring their own software. The workshop draws upon the international Biomodd art project initiated in 2007. More info on the Biomodd community website.

Dates and times
18-21, 24, 25, 27, 28 January, 10am – 4pm, other times by arrangement.
Venue:  SCANZ Central – 109 Devon Street West (next to Kina).
You are welcome to drop by any time.

Tangible skills that participants will acquire: ecosystem building, computer recycling, case modding, open source software usage, game modification, energy management.

Want to participate?
Go to the registration page here [link removed post-event] and tick Biomodd under the ‘Workshops to be held Jan 17-29’ heading.

Result of the Biomodd Workshop at KIBLA in Maribor (Slovenia), 2010.

Testing and reconfiguring used computer parts during the Biomodd Workshop at KIBLA in Maribor (Slovenia), 2010.

Sampling local flora during the Biomodd (ATH1) project in Athens (Ohio), 2007.

Participant testimonies about the Biomodd (LBA2) project in the Philippines, 2009.

This is from an article that appeared on the Philippine ABS-CBN News website: “Leo Olivades, a student at UPOU, has been learning to grow plants with computers. He is part of a group of volunteers that built Biomodd, an art exhibit that uses recycled computers to power an ecosystem, on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Manila. At its core, Biomodd is a network of computers, the excess heat from which has been harnessed to sustain an ecosystem that includes plants and fish. The computers have been equipped with a game that visitors can play. The more the game is played, the more the computers are used, and the more robust the ecosystem grows. For Olivades, Biomodd is not just an art exhibit; it is an experience. “It has some kind of dynamic characteristic,” said Olivades. It sort of encourages people to come out of themselves.” Although he does not consider himself a ‘team player’, usually preferring to work alone, Olivades said that Biomodd changed his perspective on group cooperation. In a personal statement posted on the project website, Olivades notes that the Biomodd experience reminded him of the Filipino concept of ‘bayanihan’, the traditional idea of a volunteer community project.” Continue reading here for the full article.


Angelo Vermeulen is a visual artist, filmmaker, biologist, author, and activist. His research in ecology, environmental pollution and teratology informs his art, which includes bio installations, experimental setups incorporating living organisms and sci-fi references. His projects include ‘Blue Shift’, a Darwinian art project in collaboration with biologist Prof. Luc De Meester, and ‘Biomodd’, a worldwide series of cross-cultural, symbiotic installations fusing game culture, ecology and social interaction. He is currently collaborating with the European Space Agency on the use of ecosystems in future space settlement. Vermeulen exhibits and lectures globally. In 2010 he was awarded a TED Fellowship.

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