Focus Related Research

Further information on INTRA projects can be found here:
Angewandte Programme for Inter- and Transdisciplinary Projects in Art and Research (INTRA)

Digital and social Transformation
This projects take place within the framework of “Digitale und soziale Transformation“ as a selected digitization project at public universities.

Projects are added on an ongoing basis.

A World of Blue

A World of Blue - Dialogues in Indigo 
Arts-based research on the potentials of natural indigo dyeing

Contact: Karin Altmann
Indigo extraction and indigo vat dyeing, which have been used for over 6,000 years, are among the earliest cultural biotechnological processes. Indigo is the only natural dye that can produce a permanent blue on textile materials, and the dyeing process over time has fascinated and inspired artists all over the world. However, since the synthesis of indigo by A. Baeyer and the beginning of commercial production in 1897, synthetic indigo as well as reducing agents such as sodium dithionite or hydrosulphite have increasingly met the requirements for ever faster production; without taking into account that it has proven to be catastrophic for the global production of natural indigo and poses many ecological and economic problems.

This arts-based research project investigates how natural indigo dyeing can be carried into the future in sustainable, innovative and socially relevant ways. In light of indigo’s multiple applications and practices and a growing awareness and demand for ecological responsibility – including the need to preserve human and environmental health and ensure the traceability of production processes – the project places its research focus on exploring how knowledge, artistic skills, handicraft skills and forms of practice that have disappeared or are slowly being lost can be preserved and transformed in a way that can contribute to ensuring a solid basis for contemporary, sustainable processes of design and innovation.
The project builds on intercultural collaborations and artistic dialogues to highlight the social and environmental relevance and impact of sustainable practice, to support the use of natural indigo dyes for individuals and small communities as well as demonstrate possible ways of sustainable indigo dyeing and community engaged farm-to-trade practices for the 21st century.
Various platforms for transmitting knowledge, sharing experiences and strengthening networks (between project partners, dialogue partners, practitioners and relevant communities) will contribute to share the knowledge not only within the Central European indigo community, but also to incorporate and apply it in the IBIKASO indigo & farming project in Siby/Mali.