Raphael Perret / Andreas Zingerle
TOXIC STORIES


Audio Guide Narration
Continuous, Foyer, 1st floor
and
Toxic Stories Talk/Lecture/Workshop
Sat, 11. Sept. 15:00-16:00, Foyer, 1st Floor

'Toxic Stories' addresses hyperaccumulators and phytomining. Stories, events and encounters of the processual research journey are documented.
Hyperaccumulators are plants that grow on soils with a high heavy metal content and are able to store minerals such as copper, nickel, zinc or cadmium in their biomass. They have found an evolutionary niche in volcanic soil, industrial heaps or former mining and open-cast mining areas, in which they do not simply ignore or bypass the problematic substances, but instead absorb a large proportion of them. The stored heavy metals can be extracted and reused, which turns the plants into biological ore mines and soils can be rehabilitated over the years. This is also the case in industrial areas and landfills, which are located in the Austrian Altlastenatlas, an index for contaminated sites in Austria.

Sofar the theory. As early as the 1960s, a process was developed to extract ore from plants and to enable plant ore mining. However, this basic research was funded by an investment firm that secured the patents for commercial use but did not pursue them any further. The research went on cautiously and even if the patents have now expired, the current inefficiency of the processes calls the research into question.

In their artistic work “Toxic Stories”, Raphael and Andreas immerse themselves in the topic and present stories, events and encounters that they document during the process-b\\ased research trip, e.g. in the form of an audio guide.
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In addition to the continuous presentation, there will also be a Lecture on Saturday, where Andreas Zingerle and Raphael Perret will speak together with Tiziana Centofanti and Markus Puschenreiter, two researchers in the field of phytomining and hyperaccumulators.

The project takes place in cooperation with servus.at and is part of the servus.at Research Lab 2021.



For years, Raphael Perret and Andreas Zingerle have focused in their artistic work on digitization and the resulting effects on humans, the environment and nature. In previous work, Andreas analyzed e-waste from West African dumps with the Kairus collective, Raphael undertook several research trips to India to document recycling routes and working conditions, both research projects were already presented at the Art Meets Radical Openness Festival 2016. Her artistic research is continuously published, e.g. “Machines of Desire” (2014, Amsel Verlag, Zurich) or “Behind the smart world” (2015, servus.at) and “The Internet of other people’s things” (2018, servus.at). https://raphaelperret.ch/, http://www.andreaszingerle.com/

Tiziana Centofanti is an environmental scientist and project manager at alchemia-nova. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Agricultural Science (with honors). She is an expert in the field of metal hyperaccumulator plant research, with numerous scientific publications and documented skills in soil-plant environmental research. Tiziana has developed, led and managed several projects in green technologies and nature-based solutions for water and soil contamination. https://www.alchemia-nova.net/de/team/tiziana-centofanti/

Markus Puschenreiter works as a soil ecologist at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU) and is also self-employed through the Burgenland-based engineering company Natur-Umwelt-Nachhaltigkeit. At BOKU, his research interests include the interaction of plant roots and soil, as well as an unusual plant group, metal-accumulating plants. This group of plants stores metals in their leaves in extraordinarily high concentrations and is therefore of interest both for the purification of polluted soils and for metal extraction. https://puschenreiter.at/, https://boku.ac.at/personen/person/D20014CF730A8B47/