The first time I realized that there is a word for the atmosphere I intend to provoke through my multimedia installations, was when I came across the word uncanny. The uncanny as in a certain moment when something familiar becomes strangely unfamiliar to us. A split second in which we perceive something we thought we knew, yet its old meaning has temporarily been lost. I think this is when time stands still, yet we feel so much alive. After that, something might have changed in us. Or not.
 Developing these types of atmospheres, I moved to the literal sense of touch. Armed with sensing technology and silicone, I created haptic interfaces that mediated light and sound. Through the interplay between vision, touch and audition, I invited people to sense and question (non)live.
 Through these works I acknowledged that the material used for touch and interactivity has something to say as well. That there might even be a chance that the material we interrelate with says it all. I went on a hunt for material. A material that, without any technological addition, provokes something. A material that ‘touches’ in another way, beyond the sense of touch we generally refer to.
 The search led to an extraordinary encounter with a mighty (living) material on a random Monday morning. Its gorgeous brownish translucency, its undefinable smell and asymmetrical textures with an almost skin-like touch provoked strong ambivalent sensibilities. Somewhere along the line between repulsive attraction and attractive repulsion.
 They say that, to follow the material is entering a true maze of meanings. Equipped with solid research methodologies that are significant for my artistic work, I guide the visitor through a magic microcosm of multi-sensory revelations and intellectual stubbornness of organic, living matter.
On a random Monday morning, somewhere in March 2019, I had an encounter with a extraordinary type of material. The gorgeous brownish translucency, the undefinable strong smell, the asymmetrical patterns with a skin-like touch, the irregular thickness yet the strength it later seemed to have, provoked strong ambivalent sensibilities.
This cross-modal encounter, in which multiple senses were triggered, has been the starting point of an extensive research that took place from the 24th of December 2019 until the 15th of May 2020. A material research of the (living) material of microbial cellulose. During this mentioned period, I parallelly linked five consecutive cycles of the growing process of this mighty material to my own thinking and learning process. While a batch of 16 sheets of cellulose grow each cycle in a experimental installation (upper photo), I simultaneously write, think, act, feel, record in the same spatial, domestic, context.
Through the written text, the beautiful recordings of the fermentation process and the result of two installations, I invite you into the magic world of smelly domestic (cross)fermentation, the touch of cellulose, of visible growth and death, of audible time, speed and slowing down. A magic world in which 100 liters of different teas, 10 kilograms of organic sugar, 10 liters of vinegar, 10 liters of the living culture and 1 kilo of 'mothers' have led to the production of 25 kilo of wet microbial cellulose material. And, of course, to 80 dried Pages of my Research. The metaphorical substrate of my transformed thinking.
**My writings and my visual work for this project are considered to be one and the same work. You can scroll through my thesis, photos and videos by copy pasting this link (https://www.liannevanroekel.com/pagesofmyresearch)