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Van Wier tot Waar - Klarenbeek en Dros


Klarenbeek en Dros

Klarenbeek and Dros are showing the status of a four-year research project into the possibilities for making bio-plastics from seaweed. The raw material for these new plastic substitutes is grown or “farmed” in the sea. As it grows, seaweed binds a lot of CO2and in the end the final product is wholly circular. The process thus encourages biodiversity and the resulting material is an alternative to fossil-fuel plastics.

Due to a shortage of farmland to grow plastic substitutes, the duo are investigating the options for using biomass from the sea. The aim is a circular partnership in which the exchange of knowledge, education and culture is paramount. Klarenbeek and Dros do this by visualising the different parts of the process, demonstrating the possibilities and diversity of seaweed.

For S.E.A., Klarenbeek and Dros drew inspiration from the collection at the Kaap Skil museum. They present their processes and material studies in order to create a reproduction of an object from the permanent Kaap Skil exhibition.

Location of artwork: Museum Kaap Skil
Heemskerckstraat 9
1792 AA Oudeschild, Texel
Location number 11 (see map)

Professor Klaas Timmermans 

Professor Klaas Timmermans, experimental marine biologist: 
‘Seaweed is the future. If we want to continue feeding the growing world population in a sustainable way in future, we will need to find alternative sources of protein. Seaweed is an alternative. With my colleague Alexander Ebbing, I study how seaweed functions. Using this information, seaweed farmers, for example, can grow it all year round.’

‘By collaborating with artists Maartje Dros and Eric Klarenbeek, we are also identifying other applications for seaweed. They are showing that, once the valuable protein has been extracted, the residue can be used to create beautiful things such as a 3D-printed bowl made from seaweed fibre.’

Seaweed on a plate made of.. seaweed
When exactly it will happen, experimental marine biologist Professor Klaas Timmermans doesn’t dare predict, but he is convinced that it will: at some point, seaweed will appear on Dutch menus. And if it’s up to artists Maartje Dros and Eric Klarenbeek, we might as well eat our seaweed from a bowl that’s made of seaweed as well!

Ferns in the sea
‘With my colleague Alexander Ebbing, I study the biology of seaweed. For example, we are currently investigating its sexual reproduction. Seaweed is a plant, but doesn’t reproduce like most plants do on land, with flowers and pollen. Seaweed is more like a fern that reproduces by means of spores.’ Alexander studies in minute detail the conditions of light and temperature under which brown seaweed reproduces best. Using this information, seaweed farmers will soon be able to produce new plants all year round.’

Sustainable protein
While Timmermans and colleagues provide the basic information about seaweed growth and reproduction, other people – seaweed farmers for example – will have to implement it in practice. ‘If we want to continue feeding growing numbers of people in a sustainable way in future, we really need to look for alternative sources of protein. And the nice thing about this meeting of art and science is that it also yields practical solutions to that problem. After all, once you’ve extracted the protein from the seaweed, the residue can be used to produce “low-grade” biogas, for example. But Dros and Klarenbeek have also shown that seaweed fibre can be used to create all kinds of “high-value” products using a 3D printer, right down to the bowls for seaweed salad.’ 

More information about Klaas’ research can be found on the NIOZ website

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Science Encounters Art

SEA Texel

Ruim 70 procent van onze aarde bestaat uit zee. Een onuitputtelijke bron van inspiratie. S.E.A brengt een ode aan de zee, door kunstwerken geïnspireerd op wetenschap op Texel te realiseren.

Contact informatie

Project SEA
Pontweg 19
1797 SN Den Hoorn, Texel