Theresa is the initiator and curator of this event and will be sharing her posthuman thoughts and practise throughout the event in various ways.
Theresa Schubert is an artist and curator and has a Ph.D. in Media Arts from the Bauhaus University Weimar. A key element in her artistic practice is the experiment, whereas she exceeds traditional boundaries of the visual arts by including new technologies and life sciences. She is the co-publisher of “Experiencing the Unconventional. Science in Art” (2015), curator of the interdisciplinary event “Inoculum – Connecting the Other” (2016) and has been recently awarded with a residency of the STARTS initiative by the European Commission (2018/19).
In her lecture Désirée Förster will give us in insight into her research on the topic of “Hybrid Art: on performative materialities and the mediality of embodiment” (Hybride Kunst: Von performativen Materialitäten und der Medialität der Verkörperung).
Désirée Förster MA is a doctoral student and academic assistant at the Institute of Arts and Media, University of Potsdam. She studied philosophy, comparative literature and media culture analysis in Bochum and Düsseldorf, worked among other things as program assistant at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (2013-2016), mainly in the projects “A Matter Theater” and “Technosphere”. Furthermore, she curates and organizes events in collaboration with Berlin’s independent project scene. Her research interests lie in the experimental exploration of the relationship between humans and the environment, the testing of new perspectives on humans in connection with nonhuman others – as interwoven into hybrid, biotic and abiotic milieus – as well as the socio-political fields of action that are possible and necessary. Fields of research include: Art and Architecture, Phenomenology, Embodied Cognition.
A Ritual for Floral, Cybernetic and Neuronal Intelligences
A live audiovisual performance that builds a temporary direct interspecies communication bridge between beings from the plantae, cybernetic and human kingdoms. By embedding a cybernetic Machine Intelligence to mediate the biosensory readings of a succulenta plant via the Pulsum Plantae circuit developed by Interspecifics and the artist’s own neuronal EEG readings; this ritual will speculate on a world where the distinction between natural and artificial intelligences are blurred.
ℌEXOℜℭℑSMOS (born Moisés Horta Valenzuela)
(México/USA, 1988) is an electronic musician, composer and sound artist currently based in Berlin. Taking inspiration from the binational socio-cultural context of growing up in borderland Tijuana (MX/USA) and being part of a generation exposed to the consumption of information via the Internet, his work deals with the ways in which the mind is continuously transformed by the flow between the virtual/physical dichotomy. His sound works and compositions are also characterized by exploring the aesthetic tensions arising from the juxtaposition of opposing concepts such as cultural tradition and global hypermodernity, dystopia and utopia, low resolution and high definition confronted from a critical post-colonial historical context and crafted using new technologies for electronic music and arts, both software and hardware.
“An artistic exploration into the world of analog computation and analog pattern generation, a world that is governed by self-organization, emergence, chaos and pattern formation. Randomness comes for free in this world and is integrated into any process. The artists use the unpredictable as raw material framed into stable emergent patterns. These patterns are oscillations that are made audible and visualized by tracing temporal activations. In this laboratory, the artists not only work with strange attractors but also with strange sounds and visuals that are highly autonomous and out of control, but open to modulation. Analog computation is characterized by an openness towards subtle changes. For example, historical analog computers might compute different results at different temperatures. While in technological applications this was seen as a drawback, from an artistic point of view this renders analog computation extremely interesting, because it exactly allows autonomous processes to be modulated and played with. These are modulatory networks of analog circuits that will produce an ever-changing ensemble of oscillations.”
In his work, he is interested in what enables autonomous behavior and how complex autonomous behavior may result from the interaction of very simple units and from the dynamics of interaction between such units. In his artworks and performances, he tries to convey insights about theoretical concepts such as emergency or embodiment along an aesthetic dimension. He considers his artworks, workshops and performances to be in the tradition of philosophical toys as they combine the mediation of scientific concepts with pleasure and amusement.
is an Austrian-German visual artist based in Berlin. His work includes interactive installations, miniature-slide-paintings and performances of light & sound. His art explores the field of analog and digital media and focusses on both their contradiction and their correlation. Thus he is also specialized in re-appropriated and re-purposed electronic technologies. He teaches at the Professional Association of Visual Artists in Berlin (BBK-Berlin) and is associated lecturer at the University of Paderborn, Department of media studies as well as at the University of Oldenburg, Department of art and visual culture.
“The project Wombs looks at my own female body, whose leaky materiality and fleshy becoming confront myself with fears, desires, and negotiation regarding sexuality and pregnancy.
The artwork comprises a series of organ-like laboratory glassware hosting enclosed ecosystems: a bacterial culture produces flesh-like microbial biofilm in an environment polluted by hormones metabolites and residues extracted from my own urine.
Wombs explores the absence of maternity as a physical and political experience. The possibility of pregnancy is part of my everyday experience through simple gestures, such as taking oral contraceptives and gynaecological controls. These gestures accompany my own sexuality, as well as the desires and fears behind it. Moreover, these gestures inscribe my experience into a biopolitical sphere, for, once released into the ecosystem through urine, hormonal contraceptives can become pollutant. By doing so, the project prompts a critical re-thinking of the discourses on pregnancy and contraception as a female-only, human-only experience enclosed in one’s own body.”
With a visceral fascination for organic processes, Margherita Pevere is an artist and researcher investigating leakiness and transformation of biological and technological matter. Her practice employs a unique constellation of visual works, performances, collections of plant and animal relics, workshops, and collaborations with bacterial cultures. Based between Berlin and Helsinki, Pevere is PhD candidate (Artistic Research) at Aalto University, Helsinki. She is founder member of the Berlin advocacy group AG21c and member of the Finnish Bioart Society. Most recent exhibitions include ArtSci Salon | Emergent Form, the Fields Institute, Toronto (CA); Non-human agents, Art Laboratory Berlin.
wesen / being, entity
“ i was concerned as an artist particularly with models of post-evolutionary organisms and my vision of “active” evolution, that is, evolution controlled by humans. my motivation for modelling biological bodies and creating prototypes of future organisms stems from the conviction that the rapid advances in the modern life sciences will have dramatic consequences for the process of biological evolution, as well as for art.
as a non scientific artist-scientist i created organic sculptures and proposed “future lifeforms”. they are made of soft plasticine. the material is used to keep the sculptures changeable all the time. they serve the purpose of a model. scientists and parts of the society are ment to discuss the design of these future lifeforms. the sculptures can only work like this because the material never hardens. thus the process of deciding about strategies and shapes may start whenever life science is advanced enought to make these proposals become real. ”
Reiner Maria Matysik is a Berlin based artist and Professor at the University of Art and Design in Halle (Burg Giebichenstein) for three-dimensional design.
He studied fine arts at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Braunschweig and at the Ateliers Arnhem. He works in manifold ways with concepts for future landscapes and organisms, like postevolutionary life forms. Through the specific adoption of object, installation and video he developed a dynamic scenario of future landscapes and organisms. In this way he creates an area of conflict between promise and failure in a potential future. Both the visual implementation and their linguistic form can be recognised here as the essential artistic strategies which he uses as his own interface between the worlds of scientific research and pseudo-scientific fiction.
In 2004 he directed the artistic development project Institute of Biological Sculpture at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Braunschweig. He was a lecturer at the Institute of Visual Arts, Faculty of Architecture, Technical University Braunschweig; 2008–2009 visiting professor of sculpture at the Fachhochschule Kunst Arnstadt. He has exhibited his artworks in institutions such as the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus, Bremen; Centre Pasquart, Biel, Switzerland; Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin; Projektraum deutscher Künstlerbund, laboratoria moskau; Museum Koenig, Bonn; Georg Kolbe Museum and Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; Fondación Cesar Manrique, Lanzarote; Kunstverein Hannover; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland. He is the recipient of grants from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, Kunstfonds e.V., DAAD, KfW Bank, Stiftung NORD/LB Öffentliche, and the Berlin Senate.
Dust Blooms investigates the ability of flowers to not only provide beauty but to help filter atmospheric particulate matter (PM), otherwise known as dust, from natural sources such as pollen and anthropogenic sources such as industrial and vehicular emissions and tire abrasion. PM presents a huge threat to human health, especially in cities where there is relatively more pollution and less vegetation to filter it. Dust Blooms juxtaposes the beauty and function of urban flora using a synthesis of artistic and scientific methods to create awareness about the every-day importance of ecosystem services in cities.
Alexandra R. Toland develops research narratives in artistic ecology. She is a visual artist and environmental planner with a doctorate degree from the TU-Berlin Institute for Ecology.
The Lives Beneath
Bianca Kennedy and Felix Kraus depict a world in the year 4000. Plants, animals and human beings form a worldwide super-network of consciousness. The few remaining non-hybrid humans have become obsolete for nature’s plans and are being forced to live underwater in floating shiplike cities. Humans try to convince nature that they are still valuable, using songs, meditation and yoga. The Lives Beneath examines the downfall of a society that refuses to live with nature in harmony.
On Friday evening there will be a special screening of their trilogy “Life 3.0”. The exhibited film “The Lives Beneath” is the third part in this trilogy:
After evolution has never come to a standstill, new hybrids are now living next to humans: mixed creatures of plants, animals and humans. In their trilogy, media artists Bianca Kennedy and Felix Kraus examine a future world in which technology no longer plays a role.
Bianca Kennedy and Felix Kraus are both artists working in Berlin and Munich. When collaborating they are interested in the intelligence of plant life. They are asking questions about human role in a destructive environment and phantasize about natural utopias.
Computers Watching Movies shows what a computational system sees when it watches the same films that we do. The work illustrates this vision as a series of temporal sketches, where the sketching process is presented in synchronized time with the audio from the original clip. Viewers are provoked to ask how computer vision differs from their own human vision, and what that difference reveals about our culturally-developed ways of looking. Why do we watch what we watch when we watch it? Will a system without our sense of narrative or historical patterns of vision watch the same things?
Computers Watching Movies was computationally produced using software written by the artist. This software uses computer vision algorithms and artificial intelligence routines to give the system some degree of agency, allowing it to decide what it watches and what it does not. Six well-known clips from popular films are used in the work, enabling many viewers to draw upon their own visual memory of a scene when they watch it. The scenes are from the following movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey, American Beauty, Inception, Taxi Driver, The Matrix, and Annie Hall.
Video Still “Computers Watching Movies” – Matrix
Benjamin Grosser creates interactive experiences, machines, and systems that examine the cultural, social, and political implications of software. Recent exhibition venues include Eyebeam in New York, Arebyte in London, Museu das Comunicações in Lisbon, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, and Galerie Charlot in Paris. His works have been featured in The New Yorker, Wired, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Washington Post, El País, Libération, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Der Spiegel. The Chicago Tribune called him the “unrivaled king of ominous gibberish.” Slate referred to his work as “creative civil disobedience in the digital age.” Grosser’s recognitions include First Prize in VIDA 16, and the Expanded Media Award for Network Culture from Stuttgarter Filmwinter. His writing about the cultural effects of technology has been published in journals such as Computational Culture, Media-N, and Big Data and Society. Grosser is an assistant professor of new media at the School of Art + Design, and co-founder of the Critical Technology Studies Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.