At the beginning of the 17th century, the era of alchemy reached its end, making way for modern science. The tradition of over 4,000 years old got dismissed as being a mystical, irrational pseudoscience. An inscrutable method of gathering knowledge, documented in mystical symbols, coded recipes and tables.Nowadays, however, the academic world once again entertains a central role for practices of alchemy: it appears to be an unmistakable interdisciplinary predecessor of modern science and the development of our material knowledge.

Simultaneous to this reassessment of alchemy, PRIMA MATERIA sees interesting connections to the contemporary culture. All elements offer speculative perspectives on our relation with synthetic, digital and natural materials. They experiment with the relationships between our human ways and artificial life; the irrational black boxes of algorithms, bots and artificial intelligence. Just like the alchemists did.Which transmutations are we capable of? What position does mankind have in the dynamics of the earth, cosmos, and the relentless whirlwind that is the digital revolution?