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The research team “Ecodata–Ecomedia–Ecoaesthetics” consists of the head of the project and senior researcher and lecturer Yvonne Volkart (art and media theory), Marcus Maeder (sound ecology), Rasa Smite (art, science, and technology), Aline Veillat (artistic research), Dominik Mendelin (art education), Zita Strübi (art education), Julia Sommerfeld (curating), and Peter Burleigh (text editing and translation).

Dr. Yvonne Volkart

Lectures art and media theory at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW and the Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK. In collaboration with Sabine Himmelsbach (HeK, Basel) and Karin Ohlenschläger (LABoral, Gijon) she co-curated the exhibition and book project Eco-Visionaries. Art, Architecture and New Media After the Anthropocene Anthropocene (2018). She co-organized the conference seeds & soil at Centre Culturel Suisse Paris (with Claire Hoffmann, 2019). Completed SNF-research projects include: Times of Waste (2015–2018). From 2009 to 2012 Volkart was co-curator at the Shedhalle Zürich. She writes regularly for Springerin.

Marcus Maeder

Marcus Maeder (born 7 December 1971, Zurich) is a sound artist, researcher and composer of electronic music. As an author, Maeder has written on a number of topics in the fields of sound art, artistic research and digital media.
Maeder currently pursues his PhD in Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zürich. He runs the music label domizil, which he co-founded in 1996 with Bernd Schurer. Maeder has worked as an editor and producer for the Swiss radio station SRF and has been working as a curator and researcher at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) of the Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK since 2005. In his research at the ICST, Maeder is working on data sonification of ecophysiological and climatic processes and studying the acoustic and aesthetic requirements for making them perceptible. Maeder contextualises his scientific and artistic work in the fields of Acoustic and Soundscape Ecology.
On an invitation by French President François Hollande, Maeder presented his sound art installation trees: Pinus sylvestris at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21.
In 2017 Maeder presented his installation AmazonFACE: Ocotea at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington - the same year where he and Roman Zweifel received an honorable mention from the STARTS Prize by the European Commission at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz/Austria for their works under the moniker treelab.

Dr. Rasa Smite

Rasa Smite is an artist and researcher, working on the edge of art, science and emerging technologies. She is co-founder of RIXC Center for New Media Culture in Riga, and co-curator of RIXC Art and Science festivals ( She holds a PhD; her thesis “Creative Networks” (2011) has been published by the The Amsterdam Institute for Network Cultures. She lectures on topics of networked media art, science and techno-ecologies at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW in Basel, Liepaja University in Latvia, HfG in Karlsruhe, and MIT ACT in Boston.
In her artistic practice, Rasa Smite works together with Raitis Smits creating visionary and networked 'techno-ecological' artworks, such as “Talk to Me” – human-plant communication, and “Biotricity” – exploring a poetics of green energy have been shown in HeK, Ars Electronica, ZKM, Venice Architecture Biennale, Futurium Museum in Berlin, and other venues in Europe, US, Canada.

Dr. Aline Veillat

Dr. Aline Veillat was born in the Réunion island, Indian Ocean, and grew up in Rabat, Morocco. Since many years she works and lives as an artist-researcher in Basel. Beyond her occupation for Ecodata-Ecomedia-Ecoaesthetics, she is an associate researcher at IMéRA, Foundation for advanced studies, University Aix-Marseille, France. She holds MA and PhD degrees in Aesthetic, Sciences and Technologies of Arts from Paris 8 University, and Post-Diploma in Digital Media from ECAL Lausanne Cantonal Art School.
Actual interest: ecosystem as systems of interactions between organic and inorganic agencies, transforming the world and producing signs.

Dominik Mendelin

Zita Strübi

Zita Strübi (Aotearoa New Zealand / Switzerland) is an artist and art educator working with multi-media installation. Her current installations, made from hand-pinched ceramics, living ferments and audio-visual elements, explore contemporary discourses of agency, materiality, posthumanities, coexistence and multi-species co-habitation, storytelling, and the act of making as a form of growth. Zita also teaches art at secondary school level in Zurich.

Julia Sommerfeld

Julia Sommerfeld *1987, is an independent cultural and environmental communicator based in Basel. In 2020 she founded the NGO Zentrale für Umweltausstellungen and curated the exhibition "Plan B. Trees as partners for a climate-friendly urban future".
Prior she worked as a curatorial assistant for the exhibition "Nomadic Furniture 3.0. New Liberated Living" (2013) at the Museum of Applied Arts - Contemporary Art in Vienna. As a freelance writer, Julia published from 2016-2018 in form Design Magazine as well as Vitra Design Museum's Atlas of Furniture Design. Julia worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Fashion Design at the HGK FHNW in Basel from 2017- 2019, where, together with Nina Paim, she organized the program "Building Platforms" within the conference "Beyond Change. Questioning the role of design in times of global transformations". From 2018 to 2021 she worked as an event manager at the environmental NGO "UP" (Umwelt Plattform) in Basel, including collaborations with the Amt für Umwelt und Energie and the sun21 Ziel Zukunft Biennale. She is currently working on an exhibition focused on insects and urban biodiversity. Julia’s NGO Zentrale für Umweltausstellungen is a nominee of the Swiss Cultural Challenge HGK FHNW.

Peter Burleigh

Peter Burleigh studied Electronic Engineering at Exeter University, Linguistics at Oxford University and Communication at Goldsmiths, University of London. His interests lie in aesthetic theory, the politics of aesthetics, and material culture: he orients readings of cultural artefacts and processes from a Deleuzian perspective: specifically he is interested in the experience of the photogenic as an event of multiplicities in signalisation versus photography as the symbolic inscription of signification.

Peter also teaches English language in the ISEK II program of the FHNW at BA and MA levels, and contributes biannually to the Language Acquisition in the in Speech and Language Therapy BA program.

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