OPEN CALL – Residency @ LabMET


Budafabriek, UGent, LabMET & R2T

Gluon invites you – artists, designers and creative technologists – to submit proposals for the development and production of new work in collaboration with LabMET, faculty of Bioscience Engineering at the University of Ghent. The result and the process of the collaboration will be integrated in the exhibition ‘WATER.WAR’ from 10.03 till 26.06.2016 at the Budafabriek, Kortrijk (BE). 

Gluon offers a two-month residency at the research labs of LabMET (Laboratory of Microbial Ecology & Technology). The goal of the residency is to create a new work and/or prototype which recounts the relationship between human beings and the element most essential for their survival: water. People are physically and mentally dependent on this blue gold. And yet we do not have a sustainable approach to water and this presents a risk for human life. Reckless water consumption, overfishing, industrial waste and melting polar ice caps are major global problems which can lead to an end to the life on earth as we know it today. Not a pretty outlook for a world population that is forecast to reach 10 billion by 2050.

All of this demands change. Therefore we invite you – artists, designers and creative technologists – to develop, in collaboration with the researchers from LabMET, a new work that refers to these problems and/or seeks solutions for a sustainable relationship between human beings and water.

For the creation of an art work, which integrates innovative technological and scientific developments, you have the opportunity to collaborate with the experts of LabMET. LabMET is specialized in the study and application of mixed microbial cultures or communities. LabMET focuses on the optimal management of these microbial resources (Microbial Resource Management, MRM) enabling us to develop novel products and processes to improve our environment or human health in the most sustainable way.

Focus areas :

  • Microbial electrocatalysis 

Electrocatalytic microbial reaction: reactions where in this case bacteria mediate the transfer of electrons to molecules, synthesizing new molecules. This is usefull to make or synthesize high value organic (carboxylates, alcohols, …) or inorganic (NaOH, H2O2,…) molecules from low value waste streams such as wastewater, biorefinery effluents and more.

→chemical synthesis by bacteria and electricity

  • Treatment and resource recovery of water and waste

Both in drinking water production and  wastewater treatment, microbial communities or products are frequently applied. A proper management of the microbial communities in reactors will not only lead to stable, sustainable processes with few greenhouse gas emissions and high pollutant removal efficiencies, but in some cases also to recovery of valuable products. LabMET’s key expertise technologies include energy recovery from wastewater by anaerobic treatment, removal of nitrogen and phosphorus recovery, biodegradation of recalcitrant pollutants like pesticdes and disinfection of wastewater.

→ wastewater treatment with bacteria

  • Biometallurgy 

This expertise groups all technologies to extract critical metals from the wastewater or the wastewater treatment process and concentrate these metals. Examples are palladium, silver, gold, and platina. Other aspects are the use of metallic nanoparticles (very small particles) to mediate chemical reactions like treatment of wastewater and removal of pollutants like PCB’s, chlorinated compounds etc.

→ bacteria and metals for detox and recovery

For more information, check

In a first phase you will get the opportunity to develop your ideas and a prototype together with LabMET. This can be an application, a maquette, mock-ups, code or 3D-visualisations. In a second phase we expect you to develop your prototype further into a working media installation.

For further development of the installation the workshops of Gluon’s partners are at your disposal (Fablabs, Medialabs). The result will be integrated in the exhibition ‘WATER.WAR’ at the Budafabriek, Kortrijk (BE).

For the development and production of the installation Gluon will grant up 5000 EUR to maximum one resident.

Application procedure: 

  • Submit your proposal before December 11, 2015, 11:00 (GMT+1) PM. Applications are only accepted via the online application system. Applications received after the deadline of December 11, 2015, will not be accepted.
  • Complete applications must include the following information:
    • Contact information
    • Biography – Max. 500 characters, spaces incl.
    • CV – Max . 1500 characters, spaces incl.
    • Project pitch – Max. 1 A4 page
    • Images – Max. 3
  • This call is open to national and international candidates.


  • The application deadline is December 11, 2015, 11:00 (GMT+1) PM
  • Applicants will be informed of their application status by December 21, 2015
  • The residency will run from January 4 until March 10, 2016
  • The presentation of the installation will run from March 10 till June 26, 2016 at the Budafabriek, Kortrijk (BE)


  • For the development and production of the installation Gluon will grant up 5000 EUR to maximum one resident.
  • The selected resident will be accommodated at the guest studio of Budafabriek in Kortrijk (Belgium). The resident will be offered a well-equipped individual room, but share the kitchen and lounge with other residents.
  • Gluon will work closely with the artists and researchers to see their projects realized by offering technical and artistic guidance.

More information: 

  • For specific questions, please contact Gluon on
  • For general information, check


Photo copyright: The Ocean Cleanup (Credit: Crew aboard Between The Sheets)