By Christy Gast

SphagnumLAB is a functional scientific experiment within Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol that builds on research undertaken at the Greifswald Mire Centre (GMC), the world’s leading peatland research institution.

SphagnumLAB consists of a 60-square-metre field of Sphagnum palustre that was harvested from a paludiculture (wet peatland utilization for agriculture and forestry) research field at Hankhausen Moor in Lower Saxony, Germany. Within the pavilion, the field is installed in a pond with a water filtration system and appropriate lighting to ensure that the Sphagnum can thrive. Data regarding Sphagnum growth (length, height, weight) will be collected during the exhibition.

As part of SphagnumLAB, Christy Gast of Ensayos spent three weeks in Greifswald and Hankhausen, Germany, as artist in residence at the Greifswald Mire Centre. During the residency, Gast worked with GMC scientists and Turba Tol collaborators to design the aesthetics and methodology of the SphagnumLAB experiment.

The Greifswald Mire Centre partners with the company Moorkulture Ramsloh to grow and harvest living Sphagnum moss for use in agriculture production. This decreases the use of harvested fossil peat and re-wets previously drained peatlands, stopping them from emitting CO2 into the atmosphere. When the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia closes, the Sphagnum moss will be donated to a group of local grassroots organizations working in conservation ecology, regenerative agriculture, and environmental activists.


Susanne Abel, Nicolás Arze, Christy Gast, Matthias Krebs, Jan Peters, Anja Prager, and Greta Gaudig.


Moorkulture Ramsloh, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien2, Caspar-David-Friedrich-Jubiläum, and the Universitäts- und Hansestadt Greifswald.

Harvest volunteers and crew

Tom Behrendt, Keno Gerwing, Oliver Jähnichen, Arne Roenisch, Merle Schalla, Landelin Winter.

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