Bartaku is the artist name under which Bart Vandeput (b. 1970, lives and works in Brussels and Helsinki) operates since 1998. As researching artist with a background in Social Sciences and drumming Bartaku has a transdisciplinary and often collaborative practice consisting of installations, interventions, open labs, writing and talks.

A first node in Bartaku's work explored the essence and aesthetics of fibers and threads, inspired by pre-Colombian knowledge systems. Since 2009 he investigated the relation between light, plants, human/non-human body and electrical energy with a critical lab series featuring edible solar cells ('temp. Photoelectric Digestopians'). This was a series of public labs where people experimented with the entanglement of energies of light, food and body, 'questioning mankind's eternal struggles for energy'. Since 2009 Bartaku has lectured and collaborated intensively with Future Textiles Department of Central St. Martins College of Arts and Design, London. He is a member of transdisciplinary lab FoAM and co-founder of artist collective r-ohm.

In recent years, Bartaku's work has been centered around 'Aronia Melanocarpa' (lat.) or 'the choke berry'. This dark bluish-purple berry is a proficient light converting agency that is increasingly entangling with Bartaku's work. It has recently fused new art/science investigations involving the morphing of Aronia’s name, shape and metabolistics, and its expression through (morphing) humans. Bartaku has researched the political and cultural history, the plant taxonomy and the biological characteristics of Aronia, and among many other artistic actions, renamed it as 'Baroa Belaobara'. This on-going project has reached a moment where the berry, according to the artist, is operating through him, and not the other way round. This work continues under the title Aronia BaBe, an inquiry which in Spring 2016 brought Bartaku to Helsinki on a more permanent basis, as Aalto University invited the artist to continue his entangled investigations within a doctoral research programme connected to the university's Biofilia Laboratory. 

Originally, Bartaku's participation in the Frontiers in Retreat project was initiated by his long-term research base, Interdisciplinary Culture Group SERDE (Latvia), where he first found the Soviet-era aronia plantations.

– Jenni Nurmenniemi, ​Curator, Frontiers in Retreat; HIAP