Self-repair: Monitoring Urine. Biolaboratory with Alessandro Volpato at Autarkia, Vilnius

2017 11 11
Author Echo Gone Wrong
Published in Events in Lithuania

DIYspectrometerMonitoring and understanding our health status is nowadays a possible task, thanks to appositely designed equipment, extensive public documentation and collaboration of medical staff. This workshop is about measuring biomarkers in own urine and understanding the meaning of the results. Biomarkers are biological indicators of a condition. Test strips will be used to read the values. These paper strips have different chemical pads, that react and change color when in contact with urine. From the comparison of the obtained color with its reference, it is possible to evince the result in numerical values.

During the first part of the workshop every participant will check 10 parameters of their own urine and understand the meaning behind the results. The parameters to test will be: proteins, glucose, ketones, haemoglobin, bilirubin, urobilinogen, acetone, nitrite, leucocytes and pH. In a second part, participants will evince the absorption spectrum of urine with a DIY spectrophotometer and test the OD (optical density) with a DIY photometer. This will give an idea of the results that can be reached by homemade approaches to science.

Alessandro Volpato is a biologist working on lab automation and designing systems for open and accessible science. He is interested in bridging communities and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration to valorize each other’s work.


All content of this workshop was created for information and art purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have learned through this workshop. The organizers do not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned during the workshop. Reliance on any information provided by the organizers is solely at your own risk.


The workshop is part of a Self-repair project, conceived and realized by Mindaugas Gapševičius. Self-repair is a reference to non-traditional cases where social considerations are excluded under existing circumstances, or a reference to the contexts of malfunctioning systems, especially of those related to one’s own body. Self-repair is about an ability to identify and to fix one’s own systems, by studying the available knowledge and consulting qualified specialists. Self-repair is also about experiments that might not be yet tolerated by society and that might instead be yet considered unethical.

Biolaboratory will take place on the 11th of November 2017, between 7–10 pm.
Location: artist day care centre “Autarkia” (Naugarduko Str. 41, Vilnius)
Free entry. Please register by email by 11th of November.

Please bring samples of your own urine to work with.

 This event is organized by Institutio Media and is kindly supported by Vilnius City Municipality.