Symbiotyczność tworzenia VOL.2 (Symbioticity of creation VOL.2) [Self Cells Portrait] is a laboratory incubator designed and constructed to grow microorganisms, created by Polish artist associated with Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts – Elvin Flamingo/ dr Jarosław Czarnecki, in cooperation with Jowita Nowakowska-Gołacka, doctoral student at the Department of Medical Biology and Genetics of the UG Faculty of Biology. The world of microbiology co-authors the work at the same level as the artist and the scientist. Project originators have been selected among 50 winners of ‘Gdańsk 2020’ Institute for Urban Culture competition, out of 437 submissions. The exhibition will be available online from 3 June 2020 on the Institute for Urban Culture website.

The subject of ‘Gdańsk 2020’ exhibition is the state of affairs during crisis, uncertainty, isolation that we face, threats but also opportunities, feelings, concerns. The exhibition will be an interdisciplinary collection in a form of on-line work presentations, which comment on the new situation we are at,  or situation where pandemic added the new dimension to it. The collection includes visual, audiovisual, musical, performative and literary work submitted by individual authors, teams, or art collectives.

The project authors explain, INKU incubator emphasizes that we as people cannot be certain of anything – least of all our world domination. The world of microorganisms is not separated from the people’s world- we have only one, shared reality, where definitely we are not gods. In this perspective, the world of microbiology is the co-author of the work of art. The piece is not an artefact put into an art gallery. It is a living, symbiotic organism working regardless of the place it is located at. It might be a laboratory, scientific conference, as well as a space for art exhibition. Microorganisms, viruses, human cells and proteins are actors being at the same level as ‘we’ are. ‘We” means exactly the same as microorganisms, viruses, human cells and proteins. The project includes references to Bruno Latour Actor-Network Theory (ANT).

-INKU Incubator is an invitation, to change the way of thinking about biological objects like cells we study, or proteins we research. They are part of the symbioticity. Thereby contribute to extend our knowledge on ourselves. Incubator is made of transparent materials, we can look inside without opening it. I consider it an interesting reference to the idea of transparency and integrity of scientific research and transparency of publishing research findings. The incubator currently grows microorganisms acquired from various environments, that being an continuation of the other Elvin Flamingo project that I participate in.  The project is called ‘Newbioteryt-E60’, its description and outcomes are available on the artist’s homepage and Facebook page. First cultures we grew in the incubator were human cell cultures in special purpose containers and growth mediums. All those works intend to re-acknowledge the uniqueness of biological objects, which we, as researchers, deal with on a daily basis – explains Jowita Nowakowska-Gołacka of the University of Gdańsk.

The incubator, which currently runs at one of the UG Faculty of Biology labs , is presented at the exhibition in a form of a video. The recording was made in March for a submission to Ars Electronica festival in Linz, Austria, just before the pandemic restrictions were introduced.

-The movie was created in two versions. In the first version we say precisely what is in the subtitles. Second version is dubbed with music from my project “Symultaniczna Hybryda Muzyki Improwizowanej z Bioartem” {SHMIB} (Simultaneous Hybrid of Improvised Music with Bioart), that we recorded together with Ireneusz Wojtczak and Kamil Pater. Second version turned out to be more powerful, the music fit perfectly. Moreover it is a good reference to my project from 2014, Symbiotyczność tworzenia (The symbioticity of creation), our incubator being the continuation of it. For clarification, SHMIB is an ‘orbit’ of the first part of Symioticity project and through using its music for second part, a metaphoric and significant triangle was created, which validated the premise of the projects. The most current project continues the way of thinking about shared creation and shared reality. The world of microorganisms is not separated form the world of people. Symbiotyczność tworzenia VOL.2 realizes manifestos of abandoning the artist-demiurge and  all-powerful researcher stances – adds dr Jarosław Czarnecki aka Elvin Flamingo of the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts.

Movie available under the following link.

Project authors: : Elvin Flamingo and Jowita Nowakowska-Gołacka

Recording, cinematography and editing author: Michał Popczyk

Music from the project: „Symultaniczna Hybryda Muzyki Improwizowanej z Bioartem {SHMIB}”, Elvin Flamingo, 2016-2017, in cooperation with Ireneusz Wojtczak and Kamil Pater.

Information regarding the competition and exhibition:…

Facebook event

The exhibition will be available online from 3 June 2020 on the Institute for Urban Culture website, under the following link: (the link will be unlocked on the day of exhibition).

Elvin Flamingo website:




Monika Rogo, The Spokesperson’s Office of The University of Gdańsk

Translation: Adam Myzyk

Biuro Rzecznika Prasowego Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego