warehouse warehouse

Science Without Borders

by Jorge Loureiro and Walter Solon

Bayquartier and Clusterhaus

[excerpt from the Bayernet memo “Bayquartier: A Life-Science Live-and-Work Opportunity”]

Congratulations.

You have been pre-selected to become a resident of Bayquartier — a premium planned neighborhood complex located in the heart of Cologne, Rhineland’s exciting, global metropolis. This innovative housing-office neighborhood, uniting previously existing architectural landmarks and original buildings, was acquired from previous investors at the former Gerling-Quartier area and will harbor offices and apartments for selected employees to work and live in.

Bayquartier will respond to the high demands of a young generation of Bayer’s leaders — urbanites who prefer the home-office model to commuting, value accessibility and unparalleled shopping and nightlife opportunities in immediate vicinity to the place where they live and work. The individually designed single, couple and family apartments come in three “living styles” — the Urban Farmhouse, the Modern Villa and the CityFlat, uniting the fascination of the metropolis with the idyllic countryside. These will be integrated to fully equipped office environments, conference rooms, labs and co-working areas, allowing for unmatched work and research dynamics. Residents will also have exclusive access to a well-being area including gym, sauna and spa, an Olympic-size heated swimming pool and even a soccer court — as well as indoor shopping areas offering a pharmacy, an organic street market and many other stores to be confirmed.

Science Without Borders: Bayquartier and Clusterhaus. Excerpt 1 of 3.

[from Manoela’s last e-mail to Jorge]

The bonsai you gave me was dying, gradually and surely, I tried to make it happy, I placed it next to a Burle Marx inspired micro mineral garden I made with some pebbles I gathered from the Rhine and carved into smaller cuter ones, as if the Bonsai would mistake it for a Zen garden from Japan but which was in fact a fake Brazilian modernist one, and I learned the marimba and played it its favorite songs at regular intervals. Unfortunately this psy-op alone didn’t really work, so what I did was trim but the leaves below and leave a big Lockenkopf on the top so it would feel light and trendy and I think that’s what saved it and it made me so happy : D

I’m looking at it right now on my windowsill, and it does look healthy, it’s standing between the garden and a trio of Pachamama bracelets I found at this Latin shop here and couldn’t decide which one to buy and had to buy them all. I don’t really wear them, but they’ve been protecting me. It’s been getting brighter and brighter everyday now and much later than before, I wonder will we reach the midnight sun. Usually at this time the innocent exhibitionist tourists would be displaying some nudity through their glass hotel room walls from across the street, but now it takes forever for that spectacle to happen.

Things have been changing here! It’s weird that you’re arriving so soon. It’s weird that even though the job only starts next week, I already got my Bayernet account and have been getting weird event invitations like for golf or picnics or hiking, I think it’s something all new interns get. Feels a bit like the first weeks of Science Without Borders but less about exchange and culture and more about some kind of corporate bonding, I think… I wish you could come too.

It’s also weird to be moving out. Köln really ended up feeling like home. I wish I could tell you where I’ll be next but the program won’t let me know, it’s all about moving around, seeing different things… Maybe I’ll be in Leverkusen in the end and I’ll move back and we’ll be together, who knows? I really had been imagining you here, sitting on my bed, but now I fear it won’t be happening so soon. It can’t. I know I promised you a place to stay and I admit, I do feel responsible for you moving here after all, even after you promised me you wanted to do this with your own life. But don’t worry I got it all figured out, my former colleague Annete from BIO:DIY has the keys to our Clusterhaus office. It’s this startup building I used to work in, so write her (annete_wolf@dmx.de) and she’ll give you the keys. The situation in the building is not super clear, the last thing I heard is that they don’t really check who’s getting in or out, so you should be fine. I’ll leave a mattress there so you can at least have a place to sleep for the first days. I hope that’s ok with you ; )

Wow, feels so good to write again. I think that’s enough. No song or picture today.

Science Without Borders: Bayquartier and Clusterhaus. Excerpt 2 of 3.

[from one of the many e-mails Jorge wrote to Manoela in the first three months]

it’s kind of spooky how this whole thing seems like an alternative reality rendering, in time and space, tridimensional even, of that episode of black mirror, the one where the guy wants to record of all of his dead lover’s memories into a computer and have it replicated

and no, i’m not the kind of guy, at least i don’t wanna be the kind of guy, who would be happy with your appearance or the replication of a surface of predictable behaviors and things to say. by now i must say i’ve hacked into your account and saw you haven’t read basically anything i’ve sent you recently. and the messages from the last two weeks not at all, untouched, unseen, unknown…

which kind of justifies this extreme thing i’m doing now. and i know you won’t read it, unless you’re super creepy and know you have a stalker and mark everything unread. in fact I do believe you haven’t been reading ANYONE’s messages or writing ANYONE and it’s freaking me out a bit. i know it’s weird that your ex-(?)boyfriend has to play antihero here and do some unethical shit because he worries about you and starts believing his paranoia might be more than paranoia and really think something sketchy has happened to you. like, should I write to your parents? I did write your sister already and she didn’t write me back, which is kind of a relief, in a way… (also tried your friends but they either hate me or think I’m crazy anyways and are also ignoring me)

or maybe it’s just some big secret research project they quickly got you into once they realized how brilliant you are, so they need you isolated, completely focused on some new flu-resistant life form you and your team are about to create… i knew it would happen one day… and I hope it does, but i just wish i’d arrived earlier, before this whole thing went this way… or at least let us spend a couple of hours together, i need to see you, know you’re fine, you must have breaks at work and weekends and days off…

Science Without Borders: Bayquartier and Clusterhaus. Excerpt 3 of 3.

[from Jorge’s unsolicited application for an internship at Bayer]

My biggest expectations in relation to a corporate immersion internship in Bayer with concentration in digital marketing include the responsible learning of many insights, discovering chemistry in all of our lives’ dimensions, where nothing is impossible, learning the social skills that challenge the status quo, always thinking and acting with the customer in mind, getting involved in real projects that utilize themselves of social skills, getting new perspectives in an international environment that is hungry for innovative discoveries, bringing theory to life by means of new mentoring, in a culturally contrasting and challenging working atmosphere, where the challenges of day-to-day life lead to novel ideas and eventually to a career kickoff, creating value for all of the stakeholders and advancing the life sciences on a global scale.

My personal relationship with Germany. I attended a German school in Brazil and my family has German backgrounds from 19th century dispossessed farmers that migrated to Rio Grande do Sul state. My father is an economist who has worked for multiple German companies in Brazil in leadership positions, also thanks to our German heritage. My girlfriend is currently doing an internship at Bayer under the co-tutelage of Brazilian academic exchange program Science Without Borders and she’s my biggest inspiration and drew my attention towards the company at the first place.

I have a deep personal link to different areas of expertise of Bayer. Take for example medication: my mom is a doctor and worked in social projects in slums and took me there to learn and help; or farming: my uncle is a distributor of Bayer agrochemical products in the state of Mato Grosso. I have spent many long periods in his plantations getting close access to farmers and their daily struggles, especially against fungi and other plagues.

Right now I’m in the process of establishing myself and have been applying for jobs in companies I respect and know well. I have already moved to Germany and have been working at a startup company BIO:DIY for so-called “biohacking” products for retail online. I consider myself as part of a trans-humanistical group of those who think that the scientifical and technological advances are the keys to humanity’s evolutionary goals and should be fostered regardless, with respect and ethics that are the keys to this humanism. I believe Bayer’s LIFE key values of leadership, integrity, flexibility and efficiency deeply share these goals and the possibilities of research will be enriching for my developing, with a possible future career within the company’s ranks.

To conclude, let me add some illustrational examples of how I see myself as a champion of each of these goals: Leadership: in high school I was the captain of our club’s volleyball team and led our team to the Latin American finals; Integrity: I’ve moved to a new country leaving everything behind; Flexibility: I have worked as an industrial designer, stage designer, bartender, waiter, limousine driver, advertising agency assistant, web-designer, high school trips guide and have followed e-courses at digital marketing simultaneously with my industrial design degree; Efficiency: I can learn fast, and my german is almost fluent after only 3 months living here. I can also make friends very quickly.

Or as Carlos Drummond de Andrade, the most important Brazilian poet, once wrote: “The machine of the world suddenly started to open up before my eyes; circumspect, totally majestic, it opened with no sound impure, no glare too blinding that human eyes wouldn’t bear…” And also: “look, observe, examine – all these riches beyond the priceless pearl, this hermetic, formidable and sublime science, this total explanation of life.”

Science Without Borders is a developing video-installation project by Jorge Loureiro (Porto Alegre, 1991) and Walter Solon (São Paulo, 1992). They thank the collaboration and support of Nizzy Feez, Jürgen Wesser, Katharina Storz, Stephanie Tröster, Clara Wolf, Iren Tonoian and Margret von Medem (Clusterhaus), Jan Kryszons and Akademie der Künste der Welt, Anna Kindermann, Andrey Ustinov and Lilian von Philippovich.