Funken Academy
Funken Academy

Robert Verch – presentation and invitation to the project
at WRO Art Center
May 12, 15:30


shaping fungi, DNA and information through art and science
30 Students – Experts, Laboratories, Lecturers, Mentors – 3 month hands on experience with cutting edge technologies

A summer school for artists in collaboration with Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems (Chemnitz, Germany) , Fraunhofer-Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU (Dresden, Germany), as well as Ars Electronica Linz (Austria), WRO Art Center, (Wroclaw, Poland) and Klub Solitaer (Chemnitz, Germany) as the cultural project partners. For the summer school the consortium partners collaborate with each other, triggering European knowledge transfer and cross-sector innovation by collaborating with high-tech institutes, to integrate new technologies with artistic trends in the context of an applied artistic course program. The course results will be internationally exhibited and thus be made accessible, tangible and feasible for a broad public.

The technologies that the research partners provide for the FUNKEN Academy – European Summer School offer artists specific and novel possibilities in working with different matter, such as metal, DNA and fungi. Over the term of the course we use them to expand the media and possibilities of artistic creation and modelling. At the same time, we invite participants to reflect artistically on the technological procedures.

LBPF technology enables the production of delicate solid metal structures in a 3D printing process. In another 3D printing process, self-growing, evolving structures can be produced from mycelium-impregnated substrate. With another technology and in a completely different dimension, DNA strands can be folded on a nanoscopic level.

The FUNKEN Academy will experiment with these technologies and explore the questions:
How does high-tech access to material shape the human and artistic use of resources?
What happens when we embark on a journey into the nanosphere for creative interventions?
What emerges when we design and shape with technical means in collaboration with another species?
Which codes and messages will be more important than their material value in the future?

Key factors of this year’s program:
entrance to high-tech facilities and it’s researchers in a small group
international participants and supervisors
input by experts from science, technology, art and humanitarian work to business and politics
3 weeks on-site in Chemnitz and Dresden
collaboration and co-creation in teams
guided and supported by a group of facilitators
no tuition fee.

Robert Verch – after graduating from Visual Communications at Bauhaus University Weimar; subsequently worked for several years as a freelance artist, then after moving to Chemnitz in 2016 focused on cultural management with a focus to urban development for the association for the Creative Industries in Chemnitz; since 2018 voluntary board of Klub Solitaer e.V.; since 2021 full-time for Klub Solitaer mainly in project management and curation

Funded by the European Union, co-funded by Chemnitz 2025 and the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony