Lauryn Mannigel is an artist-researcher, and curator born in East Germany and based in Berlin. She earned her M.A in Contemporary Art and New Media from Université Paris 8 (2009). For her master’s thesis she investigated the aesthetic experience of 20th and 21st century process-oriented, contextual and relational art practices by pointing towards a consequence that modern (abstract) theoretical discourse poses on aesthetic experience: a gap between artist, artwork, and observer.

Western cultural dominance of visual aesthetics and epistemology, Lauryn’s artistic practice primarily explore non-visual modalities and perception. She has previously examined the influence of the physical and socio-cultural dynamics of space on body perception and affect through site-specific interventions, such as Occupation Sonore (Montreal, 2007) Hotel California (The Hague, 2010) and tactile sound installations, for instance Internal Earthquake (Berlin, 2014).

Recently, Lauryn shifted her focus on the affective, aesthetic and social potential of human body scent through installations and performances that draw from scientific experiments. By scrutinizing perceptions of peoples’ scent, her work intends to raise awareness about the diversity of body scent, and to counter moral judgements. This series started with the olfactory dating performance Love Sweat Love ( co-production: Mediamatic, Amsterdam, 2016). At the Creative Innovation: Art meets Science program (WUR, 2018), Lauryn developed Eat Me—a performative experiment that asks how body scent makes us feel if we were to eat it.

Currently, Lauryn conceives the olfactory performative experiment—Smell Feel Match for “Experiment Zukunft” at Kunsthalle Rostock (Spring 2019). Smell Feel Match will create matches based on concordances, suggesting new potential friends sparking an exploration of existing friendships through olfactory perception and evaluation of others’ body scent.

WUR_2018_Sven Menschel

Smelling a body scent sample, Creative Innovation Art meets Science residency program, Wageningen University, 2018, Photo: Sven Menschel

In addition, Lauryn has been developing curatorial projects that foster discussions on art processes, presentation formats, and interdisciplinary collaborations, such as the Think Tank (Montreal, 2007) and the Think&Action Tank (Berlin, 2014-2015). She is interested in creating non-visual sensory experiences in experimental exhibition settings. In this regard, she co-curated the site-specific non-visual exhibition The Ability to Fail in Public (Berlin, 2014)—an attempt to explore the role of failure in creative processes through sound installations. Recently, her passion for smell led her to co-found the Smell Lab (Berlin, July-Dec 2015) and to organize the Smell Lab reading group (Berlin, Oct-Dec 2015) which explored smell through various angles such as art history, aesthetics, curating, and sociology. Since 2016 she organizes the Sensory Culture Club reading group (Berlin, 2016-) which tackles with the role of society and culture in sense perception, cognition and contemporary sensory aesthetics through a variety of readings. Moreover, Lauryn developed and led public workshops at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal, 2011-2013).