YCAM OpenLab is an annual event that introduces a wide range of YCAM (Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media) activities to all people. This composite type event offers visitors the opportunity to familiarise themselves with YCAM’s research and development activities through talk sessions and other events, including exhibitions, live concerts, and workshops. Through presentations from several speakers and discussion, the OpenLab aims to create a platform for a dynamic dialogue, with the expectation to induce new discourse and also raise various essential questions and analyses and try to seek interconnectedness with developments in contemporary art. For the third instalment in 2019, YCAM OpenLab invited guests from cultural institutions around the world that are involved with biotechnology, to discuss and share their visions of “Laboratories and Future Possibilities.”
The Hive Biolab, was invited as the only African Open Lab to participate in the YCAM OpenLab 2019 conference in Yamaguchi, Japan. Harry Akligoh, lead of the Hive Biolab, one of the nodes of the Open Bioeconomy Lab, participated in the conference from November 16-17, 2019 to share the work of the lab through a presentation dubbed “Hacking Biology in a Makerspace Rethinking Social Impact in Africa Using Biology.” Aside from his presentation, he joined contact Gonzo and Oron Catts, a pioneering figure in the realm of biotechnology-based art, and other speakers to discuss possibilities of artistic expression through biotechnology and the roles of bio labs in their respective local communities.