Lauryn Mannigel is an artist-researcher, and curator. Since 2015, she has been based in Berlin, but Lauryn has also worked and studied abroad in a number of countries (France, Canada, Netherlands, Great Britain) over an eleven-year period.
Lauryn holds an 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.
Lauryn’s artistic practice is both experimental and interdisciplinary. Since 2005, she has been mainly interested in tackling the issue of the Western cultural dominance of visual aesthetics and epistemology by exploring primarily non-visual modalities and perception. Inspired by narratives of empowerment and resistance, she has previously examined the influence of the physical and socio-cultural dynamics of space on body perception through site-specific interventions (e.g. Occupation Sonore, 2007) and tactile-sound installations (e.g. Internal Earthquake, 2014).
Since 2016, Lauryn has been investigating the aesthetic potential of the politics of body scent by unveiling feelings and assumptions that people have pertaining to experiences of others’ smell and body odor. Lauryn creates performance-based experiments combined with interdisciplinary surveys. From a feminist perspective, she critically draws from laboratory practices of human olfactory (smell) perception in psychology and neuroscience. In this line of work, she recently presented her projects Love Sweat Love (2016), Eat Me (2018), and Smell Feel Match (2019). In addition, she showed the first results of her research into people’s felt perception towards others’ body scents at the interdisciplinary Human Olfaction conference (2017).
Between 2018-2019, she has been co-supervising a Master of Science thesis project on consumer science of body odor in food at Wageningen University (NL).
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 Spektrum (Berlin, July-Dec 2015) and to organize the Smell Lab Spektrum 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 aspects concerning the role of society and culture of the historically repressed sense of smell, touch and taste through a variety of readings.