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Anthea Oestreicher

Anthea Oestreicher

PhD Kandidatin

Plant Drifters (WT)

Supervisor: Dr. Roman Kirschner, ZHdK
Prospective Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Karin Harrasser, University of Art and Design Linz.
PhD Advisors : Prof. Dr. von Zinnenburg Carroll (TBA21), Prof. em. Clemens Posten (KIT Karlsruhe)

Anthea Oestreicher (PhD, Transdisciplinary Artistic PhD Program, Interaction Design, ZHdK) is an interdisciplinary designer and artistic researcher. Holding a diploma in visual communication (h_da Darmstadt, 2017) and an M.A. in Design & Future Making
(HS Pforzheim, 2022), she understands design as exploration and physical storytelling to focus on exploring the entanglements between systems and living beings. By bridging the realms of design, cultural sciences, and biology, she underscores the significance of connections between humans and more-than-humans, organic and inorganic entities. Her projects and research serve as a testament to the implications of these entangled interactions, fostering critical thinking through sympoeitic correspondences. Since the summer of 2023, Anthea has been a fellow at KIT Karlsruhe, Institute of Bioengineering, where she conducts research on art and science collaborations focusing on microalgae. Her work at the intersection of art and bioengineering exemplifies her commitment to advancing our understanding of the symbiotic relationships that shape our world.

The practice-based research project «Mobilis in mobili – Drifting with/in planktonic seas» (WT) (supervised by Dr. Kirschner, ZHdK and Prof. Dr. Harrasser, University of the Arts Linz) delves into the intricate realm of phytoplanktonic entities, unraveling their significance as keystone species within planetary cycles. Focused on Phytoplankton (greek φυτόν [phytó], ‚plant‘; πλαγκτός [planktos],‚drifter‘) as a vital part of an intricately balanced system, the project is indicating effects of climate change and ocean acidification to foster a connected ” plant-thinking“ (Marder, 2013). Through amplifying the importance of these species and its connection to global ecological networks, Oestreicher’s practice of spatial installations including converted oceanographic devices (e.g. drifters as tools, diving regulators as exchange interfaces, „Mesokosmen“ as observators) makes invisible processes perceptible. By attuning and witnessing processes in wet labs, which include both open water environments and traditional biology laboratories, the project seeks to comprehend how assemblages around breathing and becoming-with can point out the effects of oceanic and global changes. This interdisciplinary initiative prompts us to reconsider the intersection of scientific and artistic methods and to develop practices of “care” (de la Bellacasa 2017) —a mindset crucial for navigating precarious times. With immersive, multi-sensorial translations of marine biologists’ tools, the role of the human is transformed from thinking about to thinking and designing with these plant drifters in mobility.

Selected Publications

Oestreicher, A. and Reitschuster, L. (2022); Lynn Margulis: Gelebte Vielfalt zum Ausmalen. Wie durch die Vermittlung mikrobiologischen Wissens ein Perspektivwechsel auf die binäre Ordnung der Geschlechter eröffnet wird., FKW//Zeitschrift für Geschlechterforschung und visuelle Kultur (In press).

Oestreicher, A. (2022) »(B)OTHERING - Algen als Inspiration für Kunst und Design«, 13. Bundesalgenstammtisch, DECHEMA Frankfurt, Poster.

Oestreicher, A. (2022) »(B)OTHERING - substrate of coexistence«, SDN Winter Research Summit: Counterparts: Exploring Design Beyond the Human, Panel Discussion.

Selected Awards

2022 »German Design Award - Newcomer« (Nomination) 2021 LBBW Grant for Production and Publication of (B)OTHERING 2015 »Förderpreis für junge Buchgestaltung« (Shortlist) Title: Plant Drifters. (WT)