MA Symposium 2023

8 June 2023, Funkhaus Berlin

How can practice-based and artistic research help develop and deepen our artistic practice? 

At Catalyst, our master’s programmes in music and film are explicitly structured around a practice-based artistic research framework. But what does that really mean, and why is it important? How can research make our artistic work more developed, more powerful, more relevant and more alive? 

Explore new artistic research in the fields of audio and visual arts, presented by our Creative Production MA students. The programme features presentations on a range of ideas, from the role of the artist in AI-generated art, to making music in collaboration with botanical life, to storytelling through soundscaping. Intersecting the worlds of sound and film, our guest speaker is audiovisual artist, filmmaker and curator Kris Limbach, who will take us through his own process to understand how his research impacts his work. 

With each presentation we invite you to discuss the research and ideas. As an audience, your focus, observations and reflections are important and may even go on to contribute to the projects and research ideas. You are part of this dialogue too. Nobody knows the best way to make art or the best way to think about it; we are learning together.

Afterwards, join us for drinks and further conversation, with beautiful views over Berlin from the Funkhaus penthouse.


Admission is free, but registration is required.

Andrea Hoyos | Francisco Javier Henriquez Morel | Gretchen Schadebrodt | John Kean | Kris Limbach | Lenox Lin | Violeta Capella Tubella

When: Thursday 8 June 2023

12:00 - 18:00 presentations
18:00 - 20:00 drinks & discussion

Location: Penthouse, Block A, Funkhaus Berlin

Full programme below

Funkhaus Berlin Penthouse


Thursday 8 June

11:30 - 12:00 Doors open

12:10 - 12:30 Welcome and introduction from Richard Scott, Programme Lead Creative Production (Music) MA

12:30 - 13:00 Violeta Capella Tubella, Creative Production (Film) MA, The role of the artist within the context of AI generated art

13:00 - 13:30 Gretchen Schadebrodt, Creative Production (Music) MA, Poetry, storytelling and soundscaping in spatial audio

13:30 - 14:00 Break

14:00 - 14:30 Lenox Lin, Creative Production (Film) MA Canvas - an experimental short film

14:30 - 15:00 John Kean, Creative Production (Music) MA, Edges: interactive and generative systems with a live band

15:00 - 16:00 Break

16:00 - 16:30 Andrea Hoyos, Creative Production (Film) MA, Recovering the autonomy of a queer heart with functional diversity through erotica in Latin America

16:30 - 17:00 Francisco Javier Henriquez Morel, Creative Production (Music) MA, Botanika

17:00 - 17:15 Break

17:15 - 18:00 Kris Limbach, hosted by Renee Coulombe

18:00 - 20:00 Drink and meet our presenters


Andrea Hoyos

Creative Production (Film) MA

Recovering the autonomy of a queer heart with functional diversity through erotica in Latin America

Those of us who inhabit diverse, “incorrect” or feminised bodies in Latin America are banned from the possibility of having agency over ourselves. We're often dragged into a system that seeks to homogenise us and normativize our desires, casting us away and depriving us information and our right to make autonomous decisions. Challenging these classifications intersects and shapes different spheres of our lives as individuals. For those of us who embody feminised bodies (for social and/or biological reasons), and are functionally diverse, medical discourse often fails to address our experiences. This paper proposes the re-appropriation of the functional diversity of a functionally diverse individual like myself, by repurposing the diagnosis as a tool for creating and subverting their own body through post-pornographic practices. Although these involve manifesting pain or digging into the wound, by placing these two manifestos as the erotic axis, those of us who are accustomed to inhabiting chronic physical pain can continue in search of its re-signification.

/// About Andrea Hoyos

Andrea Hoyos (Hoyos) studied film directing and filmmaking at the Escuela Peruana de la Industria Cinematográfica (Peru) and is studying a Masters in Creative Production (Film) at Catalyst - Institute for Creative Arts and Technology in Berlin. She is a director, screenwriter and film teacher. Her first short film "Arrecifes" won the Peruvian National Short Film Competition. Her debut film "Autoerotica" was funded by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture (DAFO) in which she explores sexual and reproductive rights in the Peruvian context. She is one of the founders of AMA Asociación de Mujeres y disidencias del Audiovisual. She was selected to be part of the Berlinale Talents 2023. Her work focuses on narratives about what it means to inhabit certain bodies, linked to illness and marked by the sex and gender system.

Content warning: this presentation contains material that addresses topics such as chronic disease, ableism and sexual relationships.

Andrea Hoyos, MA Film

Francisco Javier Henriquez Morel

Creative Production (Music) MA


Humanity faces the menaces and challenges of anthropocentrism, profound environmental and social catastrophes. The consequences and impact of our decisions bring enormous concern for what the future holds. As a result, dialogue and questioning arise within ourselves, our existence, our environment and our actions. New perspectives and world-views flourish to deepen our knowledge in the quest for answers. How can we draw inspiration from nature’s creation to acquire insights that will allow us to overpower the current situations and intelligently move toward the world we want to reside in? Plant biology (cognition): how does plant bio data exploration redefine our perception and relationship with nature? Are plants sentient? Intelligent? Do they have consciousness? My objective is to enable dialogue between arts, science and technology. Exploring different approaches & techniques to music composition in collaboration with botanical life, while deepening in nature's unique design that embodies, exhibits and manifests a true enigma.

/// About Francisco Javier Henriquez Morel

Francisco (Morel) is an interdisciplinary sound artist born in Santiago de Chile during the 80s. Passionate about drums and cello, Morel was able to perform classical orchestral music during his primary education, developing a solid skill set in analog, classical and electroacoustic music. Morel's approach & techniques toward sound design and music composition are driven by pure intuition, exploring sound as a phenomenon. This never-ending curiosity fuels his creativity with ideas that resonate with one concept: "Immerse the audience into a profound soundscape that triggers our instinct in the most primitive way.”

Morel, Music MA

Gretchen Schadebrodt

Creative Production (Music) MA

Poetry, storytelling and soundscaping in spatial audio

This project explores composition and narrative through sound and space in a multi-speaker system. Spatial audio has a profound ability to invoke an audience into the act of listening. This project explores how to maximise that ability, and engage an audience through storytelling and soundscaping. The inspiration for this project is the rescue of 2200 Spanish civilians after the Spanish Civil war, in 1938. The Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, wrote “Spain in our hearts” to find solace while seeing the destruction and tribulations Spain was experiencing. He considered Spain his second motherland, and losing friends and fellow poets motivated him to use his power as Chilean Consul to rescue, and give asylum in Chile, to 2200 Spanish refugees. This project aims to narrate this story as a sonic cinema piece, through immersive multichannel composition techniques.

/// About Gretchen Schadebrodt

Gretchen Schadebrodt, aka Grettch, is a singer-songwriter and Berklee College of Music alumna based in Berlin. Raised within the landscapes from the Northern Patagonia of Chile, her music journey started with learning classical piano performance. Her music is a blend of powerful and ethereal sounds influenced by the nature and landscape from the south of Chile, rock music and classical piano. Her curiosity in culture and music exploration has led her to perform song arrangements from different music traditions including Brazilian, Hindustani Indian classical, music from the Balkans and contemporary classical music. Grettch has participated as a singer in performances with Grammy-winning artists and has credits as a singer for Grammy-nominated album Shuruaat, in the category of best global music album ‘23 as part of BIE. Grettch currently is an MA student from Catalyst - Institute for Creative Arts and Technology and continues to explore her creativity with sound and technology.

Gretch, MA Music

John Kean

Creative Production (Music) MA

Edges: interactive and generative systems with a live band

Edges explores interactivity with generative systems and a live band in studio recordings. I will demonstrate the technical parameters and musical consequences of a live band interacting with computer-based generative systems. In the words of Brian Eno, generative systems help to explore the “edges of one’s taste envelope” by relinquishing musical control to an external source working within set rules and guidelines. The aim is to allow for a wide range of musical possibilities within a song arrangement. I also explore how the generative systems can be used to create sonic landscapes through which songs can provide a narrative. By utilising algorithms and probabilities found within nature, the generative systems can serve as a metaphor for the world we live in, while the band represents the human narrative and the direct effect it can have on the environment around us.

/// About John Kean

John Kean is a Berlin-based music producer, studio engineer and co-founder of Alt-Indie outfit, Melodiva. His musical career started with blues rock band Loose Joints as a guitarist before finding a passion for music production that led him to Spirit Studios in Manchester. During his studies, he encountered the concept of generative music. This discovery steered him to explore generative composition and ambient music further. Now, for his master’s degree, John is combining his previously separate streams of band performance, songwriting, studio engineering and generative composition into one.

John Kean, Music MA

Kris Limbach

Guest Presenter

/// About Kris Limbach

Kris Limbach is an audiovisual artist, filmmaker and curator residing in Berlin. Thinking of audiovisual art as coming from experimental sound, he is also heavily involved in film projects, constantly exploring formats and aesthetics of cinema. In his sound art work he uses film-editing techniques, prepared drums, tape manipulation, no input mixing and a vast amount of raw and processed field recordings.

He has released on labels such as Richard Garet’s Contour Editions, Staaltape, Modisti, Framework Radio, Agxivatein and collaborated with artists like John Bock, Pierce Warnecke, Hopek Quirin, Jochen Arbeit, Rinus van Alebeek, Rieko Okuda, Juan Antonio Nieto aka Pangea, Lisa Müller-Trede and more. His experimental feature films “Music for Dysfunctional Airports” and “The Lost Color” were shown internationally at film and media art festivals alike. In his film works he wanders between highly abstract live film and video manipulation, and feature-like experimental cinema.

His long term work in set-recording, composition and scoring, especially for performance artist and filmmaker John Bock, influenced his unique process oriented approach to filmmaking. He curates, together with Pierce Warnecke and Seiji Morimoto, the emitter micro label and emitter micro festival, a biennial experimental sound Festival in Berlin. He curates evenings of experimental music and performance in various places, ranging from an emitter night at the Kontakte19 festival at Akademie der Künste to the experimental streaming series T.A.T.V. at Ausland Berlin. He is frequently collaborating with the artist collective Aktuelle Architektur der Kultur (AADK).

At the moment he is finishing his third experimental feature film “Ohnmacht” that will premiere in mid 2023.

Kris Limbach, Catalyst Symposium

Lenox Lin

Creative Production (Film) MA

Canvas - an experimental short film

How does the artistic process interact with performance and suffering, and in what ways does this operation relate to one’s identity and existence? This is the driving question of my ten minute long experimental short film, Canvas. This film is a self-adaptation of a short story which I’ve written, where we follow a young aspiring artist, who encounters a painter, to then becoming the painter’s canvas. The key imagery revolves around the body, evoking both the literal and metaphorical intertwinement of art and the body. By employing this key imagery, the film explores the artist’s complex relationship with art, while uncovering the elements of sex, violence, and nihilism in the process. In my film, the creative process imitates a sacrifice or a performance, in the way that the artist is making an attempt at a theatrical sacrifice which would eventually allow their artistic geniuses to transcend into another height.

/// About Lenox Lin

Wenzhi Lenox Lin is a writer from Hong Kong, born and raised in Shanghai. She graduated from University College London in 2021, after completing her degree in Comparative Literature. She produces mainly short stories and poetry, mostly exploring themes such as identity, sexuality, and violence alongside aesthetics. She is currently based in Berlin, and is interested in making experimental films, as well as drama, psychological thriller, and science fantasy.

Lenox Lin, Film MA

Violeta Capella Tubella

Creative Production (Film) MA

The role of the artist within the context of AI generated art

I will mainly explore two aspects of A.I. as a phenomenon: the political and the aesthetic. On the one hand, from a political perspective, I aim to problematise the subconscious collective fear regarding the fate of art in the face of this new paradigm, encouraging experimentation that leads to an alliance between A.I.s and artists, to then expand or reimagine the following concepts: originality, authorship, collectivism, collaboration and expression. And on the other hand and through an aesthetic optic, I hypothesise around a new aesthetic field opening up as a result of the introduction of these devices. To unfold and argue in favour of it I will try to stipulate and organise certain common elements that can characterise an aesthetic that is representative and proper to this generation. "Rarely has reality needed so much to be imagined", Jon Rafman.

/// About Violeta Capella Tubella

Violeta Capella Tubella is an emerging young filmmaker, photographer, musician and interdisciplinary artist from Barcelona, graduated in philosophy in 2022. She has worked in the art department in minor projects and debuted as an art director in Ces’t toi: a feature film produced in Barcelona. Currently working on her masters at Catalyst - Institute for Creative Arts and Technology to pursue her aim of becoming a filmmaker, the context of her thesis investigation is broadly A.I. artistic tools and applications, and more specifically the role of the artist in a gradually growing A.I. intervened environment.

Violeta Capella Tubella, Film MA