Sissel Tolaas

Smell researcher and artist.

Norway, based in Berlin, Germany.

Sissel Tolaas has been working, researching and experimenting intensively with the topic of smell since 1990. She is a pioneer and unique in her approach to smells. She has developed a wide range of revolutionary projects worldwide with smells based upon her own knowledge - organic chemistry, linguistics, and the visual arts. Tolaas established the SMELL RE_searchLab Berlin in January 2004, supported by IFF Inc.

Tolaas has special skills in smell recognition, analysis and reproduction. She has experience with smells in many different and diverse contexts and disciplines.

Her research and projects have won recognition through numerous national and international scholarships, honours, and prizes. She is very capable at collaborating intensively with those of other disciplines across the globe.

Tolaas has shown her projects in many museums and institutions including MOMA, NGV, DIA, CCA, TATE MODERN, VENICE BIENNALE. She has worked with universities such as MIT, Nanyang Technical, Harvard and Oxford. Up till today Sissel has done 55 City SmellScapes research projects since 1996, of, for and with

major cities. She has built up several types of smell archives such as Smell & Language; Smell & Coding, Functional Smell and is currently working on smellmolecule preservation /conservation archives on the world’s oceans, smell artefacts (on heritage) in Detroit, and Australia’s indigenous past. Tolaas’ collections of smell molecules and smell complex structures from 1990 till 2020 include 15,000 samples.

Tolaas actively participate in various start-ups, i.e. in the fields of the senses and education; senses and technology. 2020 is starting the science-based incubator World SmellPlatform.

  • Slot 1

1st slot . 22—27.July

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