Sip & See at KONTEJNER: Katja Banović (HR/AT) and Xavier Madden (AU/AT) present "Bacteria Babies"

The Exhibition Bacteria Babies: Sip & See by Katja Banović and Xavier Madden presents an installation made of bacterial cellulose, which the authors cultivated for months in Pula and Vienna in collaboration with the local community. The premiere of this work, realized within KONTEJNER’s production platform DIY_ARTLAB, will take place on February 15, 2024, at 7:00 PM, and will be accompanied by a guided tour by the artists and a baby kombucha adoption event. The exhibition is open until February 24, 2024.

The Bacteria Babies: Sip & See exhibition presents a catalogue of bio-material, the result of an experimental research and art project by Katja Banović and Xavier Madden. The project's focus lies at the intersection of decentralized and communal production of the bio-material bacterial cellulose and experimentation with its material properties. Throughout 2023, the authors collaborated with over 60 participants in Pula (HR) and Vienna (AT) with the aim of pushing the material’s growing conditions to their limits. The initial goal was to pose two questions: Firstly, can bacteria cellulose become localized through the use of ingredients for the starting culture? Secondly, can it grow in urban and dynamic spaces such as offices, clubs, or galleries, and if so, to what extent? While these questions were answered, other questions arose regarding the communities' interest, fear, and knowledge, further shaping the project's trajectory. What initially seemed like a simple task began unravelling as complex and intricate layers of interdependencies.

Sip and See parties are traditionally conceived as an opportunity for invitees to meet new-born babies, so the exhibition plays with this tradition to introduce the new-born bacterial cellulose to the audience. LED lamps allow visitors to closely inspect the differences and similarities of each "baby", while a digital archive reveals the individual cities (Pula and Vienna) as decentralized factories, emphasizing the grassroots participation of the community.

Katja Banović (HR/AT) and Xavier Madden (AU/AT) are architects and designers based in Vienna, Austria and Pula, Croatia. As a collective their work focuses on performative structures with social and material implications, which has expanded their interest in the production and use of bio-materials within urban centres. Some of their previous experiences include work within research projects such as Co-Corporeality, as well as the completion of their own projects and installations across Europe, North America and Australia.

  • Opening on February 15, 2024, at 7:00 PM is accompanied by a guided tour by the artists and a baby kombucha adoption event. Free entrance for the opening.
    Duration: 16.2. - 24.2.2024.
    Open hours: Monday to Friday 16 - 20h, Saturday 11 - 15h
  • Exhibition tickets, Adults €3.00, Students – €2.00, Family ticket €4.00, Groups (10 – 30 people) €1.00 per person. Free entry: Children up to 12 years old, Students of art high schools, schools of applied arts and design, Students of art history, museum studies, art academies, and design (with presentation of a student ID card); Retirees; Members of professional associations HDLU, ULUPUH, AICA, ICOM, HMD, DPUH (with presentation of a valid membership card); Media representatives (with presentation of a valid press card); Persons with disabilities (with presentation of a valid document – ID card or a document proving disability); Unemployed individuals (with presentation of a confirmation from the Croatian Employment Service)

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