OktoLab participant Jayson Semmens

Jayson Semmens

Jayson Semmens is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania. He has studied octopus and the other cephalopods (squid and cuttlefish) his entire research career (25 years). He commenced his fascination with this group, studying the digestive biology of squid at James Cook University, before coming to University of Tasmania in 1999 to study octopus biology and ecology. He has been in Tasmania ever since and still studies Octopus, often as part of student projects.

» Jayson Semmens at UTAS


OktoLab participant Martin Ullrich

Martin Ullrich

Martin Ullrich studied piano at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts and at the College of Fine Arts of Fine Arts in Berlin, as well as aural theory and music science at the College of Fine Arts in Berlin. In 2005 he received his PhD in musicology. His main research topics are the music of Robert Schumann, the theory of popular music and the relation of music and digital media. His particular interest is the role of music in relation to the interdisciplinary field of Human-Animal Studies. He is a member of various interdisciplinary research groups related to research on human-animal relations and of the editorial board of journal Tierstudien. He has published on animal music and the relation between human music and animal sounds.

Martin Ullrich taught music theory and aural theory at the Rostock University of Music and Drama, as well as at the College of Fine Arts in Berlin. From 2005 to 2013 (since 2009 on leave) he was professor for music theory at the College of Fine Arts Berlin. Since 2013 he has been professor for interdisciplinary music research with a particular focus on Human-Animal Studies at the Nuremberg University of Music. As part of this professorship, he is developing innovative theoretical, historical and in particular interdisciplinary approaches at the interface of scientific and artistic research for teaching and works towards establishing an international research network in the field of Human-Animal Studies.

From 2009 to 2017, Martin Ullrich was head of the Nuremberg University of Music and from 2011 to 2017 chairperson of the principle conference of German music universities in the HRK. Since vacating his position as head of the conference he has become full time professor at the Nuremberg University of Music.

» Martin Ullrich on the Hochschule fuer Musik Nuernberg


OktoLab participant Susan Richardson

Susan Richardson

Susan Richardson is a Wales-based poet, performer and educator whose work celebrates and defends animals and wild places, reconnecting our imaginations to them and forging meaningful connections with the more than human world. Her fourth collection of poetry, Words the Turtle Taught Me (Cinnamon Press, 2018), is themed around endangered marine species and it emerged from her recent residency with the Marine Conservation Society. She is currently poet-in-residence with both the global animal welfare initiative, World Animal Day, and the British Animal Studies Network, facilitated by the University of Strathclyde. Susan has performed on BBC 2, Radio 4 and at festivals both nationally and internationally. She co-edits Zoomorphic, the digital literary magazine that publishes work in celebration and defence of wild animals.

» Susan Richardson


OktoLab participant Neozoon


Neozoon is a female art collective founded 2009 in Berlin and Paris. Their work focuses on the relationship between human and animal, and how modern societies deal with both – dead and living animals. Neozoon actions take place in public spaces: city streets, public institutions and the web. Their artistic mediums range from collage to installations and film. Recycling found footage is also a recurring element in their work, where the group often employs amateur videos from YouTube. Amongst other their work has been shown at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the HKW in Berlin, at the IFFR in Rotterdam and at Rooftop Films in New York.


OktoLab participant Burton Nitta

Burton Nitta

Based in London, Burton Nitta is an transdisciplinary art and design studio collaborating with science and technology to investigate our future world and human evolution.

Previous works such as After Agri, Algaculture, The Algae Opera, The Republic of Salivation and The Instruments of the Afterlife are published and exhibited internationally from MoMA, New York to the V&A Museum, London.


OktoLab participant Hörner/Antlfinger


Ute Hörner and Mathias Antlfinger have been Professors of “Transmedial spaces/Media art” at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne since 2009. Their installations, videos and sculptures deal with the relationship between humans, animals and machines and the utopian vision of fair terms of interaction between these parties. Following their exploration of the social constructs that dictate human-animal relationships, their current focus is on how these constructs can be changed. Two protagonists who advise them on this question are the grey parrots Clara and Karl with whom they have carried out the interspecies collaboration CMUK since 2014.

Their works have been shown at international exhibitions and festivals including Museum Ludwig Cologne, ZKM Karlsruhe, Shedhalle Zuerich, National Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan, Ars Electronica in Linz, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Werkleitz Biennale Halle, Kadirga Art Center (European Capital of Culture) Istanbul, Transmediale Berlin, NGBK Berlin, CCA Center for Contemporary Art, Tbilisi. Awards and grants include: Honorary Mention, Prix Ars Electronica, Linz (2012), production grant from the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Arts, Oldenburg (2010), 5. Marler Video-Installation-Award (2008), production grant Kunststiftung Sachsen-Anhalt, 7th Werkleitz-Biennale (2006), ars viva 00/01 – award for visual arts, Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft im BDI (2001) and Kunststiftung NRW (1998). Hörner/Antlfinger have presentend at numerous conferences and symposia on both human-animal studies and media art. Since 2016 they are members of the Minding Animals Network.

» Hörner/Antlfinger


OktoLab participant mOwson&M0wson


mOwson&M0wson comprises of the sculptor lynn mowson and sound/installation artist Bruce Mowson. This is their second project together, their first project speaking meat was initially shown at the exhibition ‘Why Listen to Animals?’ in Melbourne in 2016, and remains in progress. speaking meat presented three 'cuts of meat', modelled in wax, that produced three different bovine voices/personalities in conversation.

lynn mowson is a sculptor whose practice is driven by the entangled relationships between human and non-human animals in particular agricultural animals and those animals we consume. Her sculptural research is featured in Animaladies, Bloomsbury Press, 2018, The Animal Studies Journal, 2018, Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, 2018 and The Art of the Animal, Lantern Books, 2015. lynn is currently vice-chair of The Australasian Animal Studies Association.

Further information can be found at her » blog.

Bruce Mowson's practices are founded on the experiences of sound and the body. Participation and the experience of the audience have been important to his explorations and research. In 2018 he created the participatory music experiment Three Twilights into Darkness, and in 2016 he produced a collaborative performance for Polyphonic Social and series of performative assemblages for the Festival of Live Art.

Further information can be found at » webpage.


OktoLab participant Pony Express

Pony Express

Pony Express is a collaborative body led by playwright and performance maker Ian Sinclair and transdisciplinary artist Loren Kronemyer. Through their pandrogynous collaborative process, Pony Express work across platforms of media art, live art, group devising methodology and an antidisciplinary approach to create immersive alternate realities. Their work reflects themes of environment, apocalypse, and the future.

They are currently touring the world’s first Ecosexual Bathhouse, a multi-chamber walk through labyrinth that plunges participants into the world environmental eroticism, testing the boundaries of evolution and inhibition.

Ecosexual Bathhouse has been part of Next Wave Festival 2016, Liveworks Festival 2016 at Carriageworks, Reckless Acts 2017 at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Dark Mofo 2017 at MONA, Santarcangelo Festival 2017 (Italy), and Forum of the Future 2017 (Portugal).

Pony Express are currently developing the large scale works Epoch Wars and Raft of the Medusa, and have recently presented several site-responsive works including Tentaculum and Sixth Wave.

» website » Pony Express on Instagram


OktoLab participant Jane Bamford

Jane Bamford

Jane began studying ceramics in Japan 1993. She subsequently completed a BFA, majoring in Ceramics at the Tasmanian College of the Arts, Hobart. Jane was selected as an Associate at the Jam Factory Craft and Design Centre in Adelaide in 1997 and has since exhibited in Australia and internationally. In 2018 she was selected as a finalist in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize with a work examining climate change’s impact on Tasmanian marine environment and successively undertook an Art/Science residency at UTAS School of Creative Arts. She works from her studio at her coastal home south of Hobart, Tasmania.

Jane creates work over a range of ceramic processes including slab formed, hand built, slip cast and weaving. Much of her work is functional and highly designed and she also produces sculptural pieces, often incorporating an element or texture taken from, or observation of, the natural environment. Predominately made from porcelain clays, her work is primarily informed from research and observation of the coastal, marine and alpine landscapes of Tasmania. Her observation, connection to place and environmental awareness has led her to produce work on issues like climate change’s impact on Tasmanian marine environments and the reestablishment of Spotted Handfish spawning habitat.

In 2018 Jane began a commission with the CSIRO to design and make ceramic artificial spawning habitat (ASH) for the spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus). These installations of ASH were SCUBA deployed to support this critically endangered marine species. Creating ceramic ASH is a significant project which intersects her ceramic art practice with current scientific research and practice. In September 2018 there is news of the spotted handfish’s first wild spawning of the spotted handfish around ceramic ASH. It is rare that an arts practice has the opportunity to engage so directly with the natural environment in a manner that is beyond interpretive and has very real achievable positive ecological outcomes.

Image credit: Charles Chadwick


OktoLab participant Alexander Ziegler

Alexander Ziegler

Following a career in hotel management (1996-2000), Dr Ziegler studied Zoology, Botany, and Ecology at the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany (2000-2005), where he also conducted his PhD studies (2006-2008). After the conclusion of postdoctoral positions at the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin (2009-2010), at Harvard University (2011-2012), and again at the Charité (2013-2014) he has been appointed group leader at the Universität Bonn. Since February 2015 he and his team have been working on the large-scale application of non-invasive imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging and micro-computed tomography to a broad spectrum of zoological specimens. His current research foci include invertebrate anatomy and taxonomy, additive manufacturing, and correlative imaging using classical as well as digital imaging techniques.


OktoLab participant Erin Hortle

Erin Hortle

Erin Hortle is a Tasmanian-based writer of fiction and essay. Her writing has been featured in many publications throughout Australia, and in 2017 she won the Tasmanian Young Writer’s Fellowship as a part of the Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes. An ongoing concern of her academic and freelance writing is the cultural inscription of the more-than-human world, and her work explores the ways in which creative and experimental writing might facilitate new ways of imagining the non/human. She recently completed her PhD through the University of Tasmania, for which she wrote a novel called The Octopus and I.

» 'The Octopus and The Eyes' by Erin Hortle


OktoLab participant Mike Singe

Mike Singe

Born in Perth Western Australia, Mike Singe received a Bachelor of Fine Art from Curtin University in 1990 and established a prominent profile within the Perth art community before moving to Tasmania in 2009. His work is represented in major institutions including the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Murdoch University, Curtin University and the Kerry Stokes Collection. Singe has also been the recipient of multiple development grants through ArtsWA. In 2009 he was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award to undertake his Master of Fine Arts at the Tasmanian School of Art. The focus of this research, completed in 2011, into the shifting human behaviour and cultural systems in response to the climate change debate continues to inform his practice.


OktoLab participant Madison Bycroft

Madison Bycroft

Coming soon.


OktoLab participant Natalie Ryan

Natalie Ryan

Natalie Ryan's practice explores themes that surround the aesthetic representation of the cadaver and natural sciences throughout Western history and their inclusion in contemporary art. Drawing from existing methodologies used for displaying these elements, she is interested in the process of imaging the natural world and the exchange between science and art that has allowed this. Ryan has worked with anatomical collections held in the Veterinary Department at the University of Melbourne and lectured in Anatomical Drawing working with human cadavers at Monash University. Ryan holds a PhD at Monash University Imaging the Dead: The Cadaver in Western Culture and Contemporary Art.

Recent exhibitions include Imaging the Dead at Linden New Arts, Curious and Curiouser at Bathurst Regional Gallery, Second Nature presented with Blackartprojects at Second Space Projects, Shifting Skin at China Heights Sydney, Mortem in Imagine curated by Michael Brennan at LUMA and the VAC Bendigo, MAF Platform Pop Up: Cutler and Co curated by Barry Keldoulis at Melbourne Art Fair, Imaging the Dead at MADA Gallery, Lorne Sculpture Biennale, Unnatural Selection, curated by Simon Gregg at Gippsland Art Gallery and Pretty in Pink at Linden New Art. Recent residencies and grants include, ArtStart Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria VICARTS GRANTS, Artist in Residence at The University of Melbourne Veterinary Department, Bundanon Studio Residency, Linden Studio Residency Program, Medical and Art Residency at Monash University Gippsland, APA - PhD at Monash University Caulfield and The Pratt Family Scholarship Award. Media and publications include Artist Profile Style No Chaser Magazine NYC, My Learned Object: Collections and Curiosities Ian Potter Museum of Art, Art Nation ABC National Australian Television, New Romantics: Darkness and Light in Australian Art by Simon Gregg and Trunk Books Volume 1:Hair by Suzanne Boccalatte and Meredith Jones.


OktoLab participant Tanja Böhme

Tanja-Kristine Böhme

After working as a firefighter and chemical engineer in the pharmaceutical industry, Tanja Böhme redefined her lifestyle to fully devote herself to her passion for animal research. She has collaborated with a sea turtle rescue station and mahouts and their elephants in Sri Lanka; completed a safari guide training and elephant research in South Africa; and interned with the Pacific Whale Foundation in Hawaii.

Since 2014 Tanja Böhme has pursued studies in fine arts, philosophy and art history at the University of Kassel, with a particular focus on animal subjectivity and communication. Performance, video and audio are her chosen methods of studio practice. Her current research focuses on the reactions and replies of zoo elephants when listening to recordings of whale songs.

During documenta14 in 2017, Tanja Böhme performed with international artists Otobong Nkanga and Pope.L. She was selected as a lecturer and participating artist at the Living With Animals conference in Richmond, Kentucky in 2017. A selection of past group exhibits featuring her work include the Fridericianum in Kassel, the Folkwang Museum in Essen, the documentary film festival Kassel DokFest and a guest performance at the Museum for Modern Art (MMK) in Frankfurt.


OktoLab participant Rachel Bailey

Rachel Bailey

Coming soon.