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Lab 4 Team

Born in Ankara in 1970, Aslı Kışlal has been living in Vienna since 1990. She studied sociology at the University of Vienna and Drama at the Schubert Konservatorium, graduating from the latter in 1995. Since 1991 she has had engagements at Theater der Jugend, Akzent Theater, Kosmos Theater and Theaterhaus Stuttgart, to name just a few. She has also worked as a director at Landestheater Linz and Staatstheater Mainz, among others. She has held various kinds of theatre workshop in the cities of Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Vienna and Rome, and in Finland as well as other locations. In 2004 she founded the arts and culture association daskunst in Vienna, with which she won the Spectrum Theatre Festival’s ‘best of Austria’ prize in 2007. In 2008 she was the joint initiator of Kunst am Grund, and from 2009 - 2010 she was the artistic director of the  Theater des Augenblicks. From 2011 – 2012 she was the initiator and curator of the Viennese post-migrant project series PIMP MY INTEGRATION. In 2014 she received the MiA Award for her commitment to the arts and culture. In 2013 she founded diverCITYLAB, a project in the field of arts policy masquerading as an academy for drama and performance. From 2022 the academy disestablished itself in order to realise a wide range of projects on the basis of what had been learned.

Studies of cultural and social anthropology at the University of Vienna with a focus on migration, religious studies, Jewish studies and Islamic studies. Graduation in 2012.

From 2015-2018 coordinator of the lecture series Transculturality_mdw at the Department of Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology.

Since 2018 administrative assistant at the artistic research project Creative (Mis)Understandings: Methodologies of Inspiration at mdw.

Since 2021 administrative assistant at the RAPP Lab Vienna.

Félix Blume (France, 1984) is a sound artist and sound engineer. He currently works and lives between Mexico, Brazil and France.

He uses sound as a basic material in sound pieces, videos, actions and installations. His work is focused on listening, it invites us to a different perception of our surroundings. His process is often collaborative, working with communities, using public space as the context within which he explores and presents his works. He is interested in myths and their contemporary interpretation, in human dialogues both with inhabited natural and urban contexts, in what voices can tell beyond words.

His sound pieces have been broadcasted in radios from all over the world. He has been awarded with the “soundscape” prize for his video-piece Curupira, creature of the wood and the “Pierre Schaeffer” prize for his work Los Gritos de México at the Phonurgia Nova Awards

Golnar Shahyar is a vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, music educator, and activist based in Vienna and Berlin. Her work introduces a new approach to the art of songwriting, improvisation, vocalisation, and composition with many integrated elements from the rich musical cultures of East Asia, northwest Africa, Contemporary jazz, European contemporary, electroacoustic, and chamber music. Her singing practices are integrative to a wide range of human vocal and emotional spectrum. She is not only at home in the microtonal music traditions of the MENA region but also finds new terrains by her contemporary interpretations of those traditions. Shahyar s music, educational approach, and activism both challenge and offer opportunities on how we practice, perceive and reproduce music. Shahyar has a bachelor in Biology from York University as well as a bachelor in vocal studies/music pedagogy and guitar performance from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. 

Shahyar is the bandleader and lead singer of her previous bands SORMEH (Austrian World Music Nominee, European World Music Charts, NASOM selection), CHOUB (NASOM selection), SEHRANG as well as her currently active bands GABBEHGOLNAR & MAHAN TRIO  (WOMEX 2020 Selection, NASOM selection) and GolNar. Her dedication to continually creating new cultural and musical dialog in her work brought her many collaborations with various internationally renowned musicians such as Erkan Ogur and Alain Perez, both on stage and in music productions as well as solo performances with ORF Radio Symphonie OrchestraTONKÜNSTLER-ORCHESTER and Trickster Orchestra.

Being for more than a decade in the field of performance, music production, and education, Shahyar has proved to be a multifaceted musician who has put quality, dialog, personal expression, storytelling, and advocacy at the core of her artistic work.

Horacio Curti studied the shakuhachi in Japan where he got his shakuhachi shihan, master’s degree. He later completed a PhD thesis with the title ‘Aesthetics of sound in Japanese hōgaku. Ethnomusicology and Artistic Research in dialogue.' He works on artistic research with a focus on the transdisciplinary and the audio-visual as a tool to create and communicate knowledge. He has performed and taught in North and South America, Europe and Japan and currently is associate professor at Catalonia College of Music (Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya) in Barcelona. His activities had included performing as soloist with the Spanish National Orchestra, the edition of the book “Eolssigu”, the publication of two solo albums, the curation of the yearlong exhibition on South Korean musical practices and the production (with Ariadna Pujol) of over a dozen audio-visual pieces including ‘Eolssigu’ which got best short film prize at Kathmandu 8th International Folk Music Festival. 


Summary reel of his artistic projects:

Johannes Kretz is a composer, electronics performer and artistic researcher. He is teaching computer music, composition, music theory and artistic research at mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, were he is also heading the Artistic Research Center (ARC). He is project leader of “creative (mis)understandings”, a 3-year artistic research project funded by FWF-PEEK.

As artist he is founding member of NewTonEnsmble Vienna, of the European Bridges Ensemble, the international composers group PRISMA, and of and co-curator of aNOther festival Vienna together with Wei-Ya Lin.

Scholarships and Awards: e.g. Austrian Federal Grant 1997, Stiftung Delz (CH, 2001), Theodor Körner Prize 2004

Commissions of work & performances at/with National Theater Hall, Taipei, Wien modern festival, Festival Ars Electronica, Konzerthaus Wien, Eclat festival Stuttgart, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble On Line, Vienna Flautists, quartett22, Internationale Lemgoer Orgeltage, Haller Bachtage, Triton Trombone Quartett, Wiener Kammerchor.

Performances in Austria, Germany, Poland, France, Czechia, Hungary, Turkey, Latvia, Lithuania, Argentinia, Mexico, Canada, USA, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Uzbekistan, Iran, India.

Together with his team he designs Lab 4 in Vienna.

Katalin Erdődi is a curator, dramaturg and researcher based in Vienna and Budapest, who works across disciplines, in the fields of contemporary art and performance. Interested in socially engaged art, experimental performative practices and interventions in public space, she realizes projects in different formats, ranging from performance through exhibition-making to more site-specific and collaborative approaches that explore the possibilities of art as social practice and as a tool for knowledge production. Her most recent work explores processes of rural change and post-socialist transformation in Central and Eastern Europe, through collaborative artistic and curatorial practice, with a particular focus on Hungary. In 2020 she received the Igor Zabel Award Grant for her locally embedded and inclusive curatorial practice. 

Erdődi has worked as a curator for art institutions and festivals, such as steirischer herbst (Graz), Impulse Theater Festival (Düsseldorf/Köln/Mülheim), brut/imagetanz festival (Vienna), GfZK - Museum of Contemporary Art (Leipzig) and Trafó House of Contemporary Arts (Budapest). She is the co-founder of PLACCC Festival (Budapest), an international festival for site-specific performance and art in public space that she co-curated from 2008 to 2011. As a dramaturg Erdődi collaborates with various artists, including Philipp Gehmacher, Sonja Jokiniemi, Igor and Ivan Buharov, Gin Müller, Amanda Piña, Oleg Soulimenko, Sööt/Zeyringer and Doris Uhlich. 

Recent curatorial projects include Watermelon Republic, a collaborative 'village play' co-created with artist Antje Schiffers/Myvillages, actress Orsolya Török-Illyés, documentary filmmaker Máté Kőrösi and local inhabitants of a watermelon producing region in Southern Hungary (Thealter Festival Szeged, 2021), which forms part of a larger international cooperation Rural Productive Forces, co-conceived by Erdődi and Schiffers; News Medley, in collaboration with artist Alicja Rogalska, folk singer Réka Annus and the Women’s Choir of Kartal, presented in the form of an exhibition and a performance in urban public space (OFF Biennale Budapest, 2020-2021); I like being a farmer and I would like to stay one with artist Antje Schiffers and three farmers from Hungary (Ludwig Museum Budapest, 2017-2018). This research forms part of her PhD-in-practice in Curating at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and the University of Reading (2016-on-going), dissertation title: Working Towards a Rural Agonistics - Curating Critical Rural Art Practices as Counterpublics.

Mahan Mirarab is an Iranian/Austrian guitarist, composer, arranger and music producer based in Vienna and Berlin. 

He has spent years learning about Persian traditional music as well as the indigenous sound and cultures of the country such as Arabic, African, Turkish, Kurdish, etc., while refining his skills in Jazz, western classic and popular music. Notably using fretless guitar, he specialises in blending the microtonal systems with jazz and improvised music. 

He is among some of the most innovative minds in Iran who has redefined music in their culture despite the challenges facing musicians after the Iranian revolution. His work throughout 21 years is creating a new generation of musicians, who are being inspired and influenced by his guitar playing and compositions. 

His dedication to expand his musical vocabulary brought him to Europe in 2009 where he met and collaborated with numerous musicians from all over the world such as Anthony Braxton, Erkan Ogur, Alain Perez, Hadar Noiberg, Johannes Berauer, Omar Klein, András Dés, etc. His approach to composition and arrangement introduces a unique blend of rhythms and harmonies that showcases his rich musical vocabulary as well as his depth of knowledge in many different music styles. As a result, his compositions avoid so brilliantly cliche and expands the understanding of how each style can be interpreted. Mirarab is composing, arranging and performing in many jazz, experimental, acoustic/electronic, folk and traditional projects as well as film, dance and theatre. 

His aim is to introduce a new narrative through music in regards to middle eastern cultures and jazz and in doing so he has succeeded to create his complex yet approachable style. 

He represents a generation of young migrant musicians in Europe who are changing the sound boarders in the music industry and are pushing for more diversity with respect to quality, dialogue and creativity.

María do Mar Castro Varela is Professor of General Education and Social Work at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin. She holds a degree in psychology, a degree in education, and a doctorate in political science. Among other positions, she was a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Science of Man (IWM) in 2015/16 and held the Sir Peter Ustinov Visiting Professorship at the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna in winter 2021/22.

Her research interests include queer studies, postcolonial theory, critical migration and education studies, trauma, and conspiracy narratives. María do Mar is also a member of the research group "Radiating Globality" led by Gayatri C. Spivak, founder and member of bildungsLab* (, Chair of the Berlin Institute for Counterpoint Social Analysis (BIKA) and Principal Investigator of the research project DigitalerHass (IFAF).

Nina Kusturica is a film and theatre director. She works as an artistic investigator of the artistic research project „Confrontig Realities“ at the Film academy Vienna. 

She has released numerous feature and documentary films for cinema; Ciao Chérie (2017), Little Alien (2009), Auswege (2003), 24 Wirklichkeiten in der Sekunde – Michael Haneke im Film (2004), Draga Ljiljana (2000) as well as the short films Der Freiheit (2001) and Wishes (1999). Her films participated and won awards at numerous film festivals, which include: the Berlinale Forum des Jungen Films, Mar del Plata, Rotterdam, Max Ophüls Preis, Duisburger Filmwoche, Premiers Plans Festival d’Angers, Mostra Internacional de Cinema Sao Paulo, Mumbai Film Festival, Leeds Film Festival and many others. 

Nina Kusturica’s retrospectives and films have been shown in various artistic contexts and distributed internationally.

In addition to her work as a director, she holds seminars, workshops and lectures in Austria and internationally at various universities and institutes for film, directing and acting.

She studied directing and film editing at the Film Academy Vienna, University of Music and Performing Arts.

Philipp Tyran is a musician and music teacher. Born in 1986 in Vienna, the Burgenland Croat studied musical education, singing, classical and jazz piano at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien and the Collective School of Music New York as well as Slavic studies at the Universität Wien.

As a musician and teacher, Philipp is fluent in different musical tongues.
 Deeply rooted in the traditional music of the Burgenland Croats, trained in classical music, influenced by jazz, pop music and various other contemporary music styles, he calls many places his musical home: He sang for the Wiener Kammerchor, the contemporary opera choir of Neue Oper Wien, he sings and works as a composer for the vocal group Basbaritenori, as a musical director he leads the Folkdance ensemble of the Burgenland Croats Kolo Slavuj and the crossover ensemble Blue Danube Orkestar, he is keyboarder and vocalist for the band Coffeeshock Company and various other pop and rock projects. Apart from his activities as a musical stage performer, studio musician and musical director, he works as a highschool teacher and in different educational programs.

Philipp Tyran lives and works in Vienna.

Sakina was born into a Kurdish Alevite family in the small town of Varto in Turkey. As a teenager she started singing with Turkish choirs and bands, but it wasn’t until she entered university that she became acquainted with Kurdish musical traditions and set out to defy cultural assimilation. In 1991 she joined the Mespotamian Cultural Centre in Istanbul, a proponent of Kurdish culture, as a vocalist. Like many other Kurdish musicians, she was forced to literally go underground to practise her music and soon she had to choose political activism over art.

It wasn’t until Sakina arrived to Austria as a political refugee in 2006 that she took to singing as a full-time pursuit again. The first fruit of her concentrated creative efforts were released in the form of her first solo album ROYÊ MI, globally distributed by ARC Music.

Sakina joined forces with pianist Nazê Îşxan and violinist Nurê Dilovanî to form the all-female TRIO MARA, drawing on traditional Kurdish songs mainly sung by and handed down from woman to woman, enrichening the material with Western classical and contemporary approaches. In 2013 the trio released their first album DERI / BEHIND THE DOORS, recorded live at the Rudolf Ötker Hall in Bielefeld. The album was distributed by AHENK MÜZIK and earned the trio a wider acknowledgement. They were included in the portfolio of the Secretary of Culture of North-Rhine Westfalia and publicly commissioned to tour a number of venues in the region.

Since 2013 Sakina works with another group, the ANADOLU QUARTETT, touring Austria and Germany. Their first tour is successfully documented in the form of the live album KÖPRÜ/THE BRIDGE (Ahenk Müzik), a recording that reached a large audience and garnered the group critical recognition.

On top of all that, Sakina has established the Vienna-based ensemble “Sakina & Friends” featuring musicians from Iran, Spain, Austria and Turkey. They regularly perform throughout Austria, where Sakina appears on a lot of album projects and concert bills, never tired to support other artists.

Sandeep Bhagwati is a multiple award-winning composer, theatre director and media artist [Studies: Musikhochschule Salzburg & Munich, IRCAM Paris]. His compositions and comprovisations (including 6 operas/music theatre works) are performed worldwide. He has curated several festivals and long-term inter-traditional projects with Asian musicians. A Canada Research Chair for Inter-X Art at Concordia University since 2006, he directs matralab, a research/creation node for live arts. Since 2013, he is artistic director of the trans-traditional ensembles Extrakte Berlin and Sangeet Prayog Pune, leads TENOR, an international network for notation technologies and is co-editor of TURBA - Journal for Global Practices in Live Curation. More