Jill Scott & Marille Hahne

Dr. Jill Scott is Professor for Art and Science Research in the Institute of Cultural Studies in the Arts, at the Zurich University of the Arts. Founder of the Artists-in- Labs Program and Vice Director of the Z-Node Ph.D. program on art and science at the University of Plymouth, UK.
Her artwork spans 38 years of media art production about the human body, behavior and body politics. More recently on neuroscience, ecology and sensory perception. Her most recent artworks involve the construction of interactive media and electronic sculptures. Based on studies she has conducted in residence in neuroscience labs at the University of Zurich, called Neuromedia. Her publications with Springer include Neuromedia: Art and Science Research with Esther Stoeckli (2012), Transdiscourse 1: Mediated Environments (2011) and Artists-in-labs: Networking in the Margins (2011).

Prof. Marille Hahne is a professor in Filmmaking. For 25 years she has been teaching at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and is the director of their Master’s education program. She also lectured at the HFF, Munich and at the Goethe Institute, India. Since 1983, she has directed documentaries in Germany, the US and Australia. Hahne now specializes in films about Art and Science Collaborations (AIL Productions and Neuromedia).

Selected artwork: Aftertaste 


Aftertaste and the Chicory Plant(cichorium intybus).

•an interactive media-art work
•a public event
•a documentary video/film

From Neuroscience and ecology to Aftertaste

What happens to chicory once it is eaten?
How does chicory affect your health or well being?
How does the sensation of chicory linger in the mouth so one can smell it and register a flavour out of it?
Taste and smell combined to register flavour in the brain.

Prof. Marille Hahne, Documentary short film
Research Mode
Process oriented

• Collection of robust knowledge
• Highlighting research results
• Making conclusions traceable for others

Interviews are based on sociological surveys

• Provide access for other researchers and public
• Trace the personal experiences
• Know-how transfer: art-science-art

The Aftertaste project

The Aftertaste project is based on research about the flavor, molecular behavior and health benefits of the chicory plant (cichorium intybus). Here the public can learn about the specific healing properties of its roots, seeds, and leaves in an engaging way

Aftertaste is an interactive media series that is based on the flavor of the chicory root, seeds and leaves for the consumer to learn about the plant and some of its healing properties.

Taste and smell combine to register flavor in the brain. Hence the working title “Aftertaste”. Aftertaste consists of four parts: a prototype, an interactive artwork, an event and a short documentary film.

The interactive artwork would consist of two scaled up abstract models based on the duel levels of the sensory perception of flavor.

The Interactive Artwork is a central component:

In Aftertaste, the first model is based on taste (the gustatory system) and the second model is based on smell (the olfaction system). The taste model is represented by the tongue while the smell model represents the olfactory bulb. These models are inspired by 3D segmentation from isotropic MRI volumes and images from SEM scans.

The visitor takes a molecule based on the chicory root from the olfactory bulb and places it on the model of the tongue (using magnetics). This creates a trigger point for a projected film on the tounge and a sound loop from the molcule to occur. Each molecule tells a different story. Various triggered film loops will appear projected on the tongue.

For Example:

Inulin and its subgroup OblioFrutose

  • The Gut: How can media art present potentials of how inulin
  • Other Health benefits of inulin.
    The artist is particularly interested in how inulin and oligofructose might be introduced into classic protocols of human cancer treatment as a new, non-toxic and easily applicable adjuvant cancer therapy without any additional risk to patients.

Lactucopicrin (Intybin)

The central nervous system.

What kinds of sedative and analgesic effects can lactucopicrin produce on the central nervous system?

What is the difference to dandelion coffee?

How do they effect neurotransmission?

How is this tested in vitro for malaria?

Phenolics and other substances also found in the leaf, flower and seeds

  • Caffeoylquinic acids: How do they improve glycemia, atherogenic index and antioxidant status in various lab experiments?
  • Chicoric acid: Learn through vivo and en-vitro studies about the effects on the immune defence system, including phagocytosis, T-cell production, interferon, immunoglobulin and other chemicals.
  • Quercetin glucuronide: How does this bioflavonoid cause growth inhibition in a variety of human cancer cells?

Film: Chicory Unpacked

The film which is a documentary film on the process with interviews from the scientists and other stakeholders would be the final report. In this film the artists interview the scientists about their research and they discuss the art and science interaction as well as the traditional and modern methods of usage.

Audience outreach

It is well known in Science Museum analysis that the audience benefits from interaction. Interaction allows them to explore information in their own space and time. For example, through an animated film loop, one can show not only how inulin is extracted, but how these prebiotic polymers are not digested in the upper gastrointestinal tract Here they stimulate the growth of intestinal bifidobacteria. In Aftertaste, the artist can conduct surveys about the feeling on the tongue of the food. Perhaps also discussing about oligofructose with its sweet flavor or about how they feel about genetically manipulated improvements in other foods, fortify foods with fiber, or improve the flavor and sweetness of low calorie foods or the texture of fat-reduced foods. Perhaps even the smells from the plant can be built into the molecules.

As an artist who can work with the potentials of combining cultural information,  she would also like to explore the different cultural and historical aspects of the use of chicory, particularly in Europe. Here the seeds, the leaves, the roots and the flowers have a long cultural history of useful by-products, which the artist would be eager to learn about.

Prof. Dr. Jill Scott and Prof. Marille Hahne conclude that interactive media-art will be a catalyst to open up discourses about the ethical and social side of the CHIC research results and processes in the future.

Read more:

Jill Scott

Marille Hahne

Read more:

CHIC Consortium

Strategic objectives CHIC

Activities CHIC

CHIC Impacts