Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Gestalten mit Cellulose, Wasser und Luft. Copyright: Eva Bullermann, adapted by Matters of Activity

Gestalten mit Cellulose, Wasser und Luft. Copyright: Eva Bullermann, adapted by Matters of Activity

Dear friends of »Matters of Activity«,

As usual, the current issue includes several reports on workshops held and achievements of our members, as well as previews of upcoming events! We are particularly pleased about the publication of the volume »Trazos. Edicion Biomateriales« by MoA Associated Member Heidi Jalkh, which is the first Spanish-language publication on biomaterials and to which several MoA members have contributed. We are excited to see what developments the resulting improved exchange between Spanish-speaking and English-speaking experts will trigger.
We are also very proud that some of our research results are being exhibited at the Futurium and that the previous workshops, in which MoA researchers and guests speculate on the future of materials, were fully booked. So, register quickly for the upcoming events and take a look at the exhibition, it's worth it!

Happy reading!
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott & Franziska Wegener

Liebe Freund:innen von »Matters of Activity«,

die aktuelle Ausgabe hält wieder mehrere Berichte über jüngst durchgeführte Workshops und Erfolge unserer Mitglieder sowie Ausblicke auf bevorstehende Veranstaltungen bereit!
Wir freuen uns ganz besonders über das Erscheinen des Bandes »Trazos. Edicion Biomateriales« von Heidi Jalkh, mit dem erstmals eine spanischsprachige Publikation zu Biomaterialien vorgelegt wird und zu der einige MoA-Mitglieder beigetragen haben. Wir sind gespannt, welche Entwicklungen der dadurch verbesserte Austausch zwischen spanischsprachigen und englischsprachigen Expert:innen anstoßen wird.  
Ebenso stolz sind wir darauf, dass einige unserer Forschungsergebnisse im Futurium ausgestellt werden und die bisherigen Workshops, bei denen MoA-Forschende gemeinsam mit Gäst:innen über Materialzukünfte spekulieren bis zum letzten Platz ausgebucht waren. Also, meldet euch schnell für die noch bevorstehenden Events an und schaut in der Ausstellung vorbei, es lohnt sich!

Viel Spaß beim Lesen!
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott & Franziska Wegener

Critical Times. Part II: Ecologies of Relation
Workshop 11 to 13 April 2024
Workshop »Critical Times. Part II: Ecologies of Relation«, April 11-13, 2024, workshop with Lara Almarcegui at ALBETON concrete plant, Rotterdam. Photo: Rahel Kesselring

Workshop »Critical Times. Part II: Ecologies of Relation«, April 11-13, 2024, workshop with Lara Almarcegui at ALBETON concrete plant, Rotterdam. Photo: Rahel Kesselring

11.4.2024–13.4.2024

Material Form Function | Temporality The workshop »Critical Times. Part II: Ecologies of Relation« brought together Post-Doc’s, PhD’s and advanced MA students from the humanities, social science, as well as arts and design to engage in a discussion about critical times and materialities, postcolonial and posthuman critique, non-European perspectives, and notions of »deep time« of materialities. »Critical Times. Part II: Ecologies of Relation« unfolded a critical conversation, contesting linear conceptions of time, reductionist notions of materiality, and teleological solutionism, by focusing on ecologies and relations. Either term, ecology and relation, has received much attention over the last decade, especially in the arts, design, and humanities. Both emphasize the intersection of different domains of knowledge, media and practice to understand and navigate the challenges of an increasingly complex present. With the workshop, we aimed to critically address and resituate the multi-faceted dimensions of both through in-depth and creative formats. → more

Materialzukünfte besuchen
Matters of Activity und CollActive Materials starten Kooperation mit Futurium Lab
Charlett Wenig, Bark Sphere, 2021. Copyright: Alexander Magerl

Charlett Wenig, Bark Sphere, 2021. Copyright: Alexander Magerl

14.3.2024–31.7.2024

Material Form Function | Cellulose | Collactive Materials | Science Communication | Biodesign | Speculative Design | Climate | Forest | Prototype / Model | Tree Bark | Textiles | Fungi/Mycelium »Matters of Activity« und das Experimentallabor für Wissenschaftskommunikation »CollActive Materials« starteten im März eine neue Veranstaltungsreihe im Futurium Lab. Unter dem Titel »Materialzukünfte besuchen« finden über vier Monate vier Workshops statt, die die Forschung des Clusters mit der Zivilgesellschaft zusammenbringen und in denen gemeinsam über Materialzukünfte spekuliert wird. Begleitet werden die Veranstaltungen von einer temporären Ausstellung im Futurium Lab, die ab 4. Mai besucht werden kann. → more

Multimodal Ethnography Workshop
Maxime Le Calvé Taught at the London School of Economics
Student drawing during the class at London School of Economics, March 2024. CCBY: yiyang Z

Student drawing during the class at London School of Economics, March 2024. CCBY: yiyang Z

Teaching | Graphic Anthropology Cluster member Maxime Le Calvé was invited to teach a workshop on his graphic multimodal ethnographic practice at the historical and prestigious Anthropology department of the London School of Economics. He edited a radical open-access publication with the material generated by the students during the workshop. »Together that day, we spoke about the reverb effect of multimodal anthropology, about the possibility of what we describe to be only our projections, about atmospheres as a middle ground, about how much art we can put into our anthropology practice, about loops and attunements, about trying new things on the field, about what we bring with us from fieldwork to fieldwork, about chaos in drawing, about looking serious on the picture. The diversity of the outputs of such a simple exercise shows so much richness. Probing the room by drawing it brought a very pleasant congenial atmosphere.« Thank you to Andrea Pia from the Public Anthropology program for this wonderful invitation and to all the students for their witty engagement. The digital publication is available there: ↗ more

Trazos
Pioneering Publication on Biomaterials Launched in Buenos Aires
Copyright: Sistemas Materiales

Copyright: Sistemas Materiales

11.4.2024

Material Form Function | Bacteria | Biofilm | Cellulose | Publications | Tree Bark | Fungi/Mycelium »Trazos« is a pioneering publication in Spanish in the interdisciplinary field of biomaterials developments. The book is divided into three sections which explore, interrogate, shape, and reflect on these scientific and creative advancements. This book encourages interaction between the Spanish-speaking community and provides access to a topic predominantly discussed in English. It seeks to stimulate dialogue and amplify the reach of the Latin American biomaterials field to a broader audience. Likewise, it aspires to foster collaborations that transcend language barriers, promoting enriching exchanges of ideas and knowledge. The book, edited by MoA Associated Member Heidi Jalkh and Gisela Pozzetti, and designed by Paula Rodríguez, includes contributions by MoA researchers Bastian Beyer, Johanna Hehemeyer-Cürten, Wolfgang Schäffner, Daniel Suárez, Charlett Wenig and by Rodrigo Martin Iglesias, Coordinator of the Master Open Design. → more

Absolute Relativity
Workshop and Participatory Concert
Non-trivial music instrument at Boch Digital Vorspiel, 2 February 2024. Copyright: Maxime Le Calvé

Non-trivial music instrument at Boch Digital Vorspiel, 2 February 2024. Copyright: Maxime Le Calvé

18.4.2024

Cutting | Brain | Graphic Anthropology | Haptics | Performance The NTMI (NonTrivial Musical Instrument) embodies the idea of making complex sound worlds playable by intuition. It enables children and laypersons to explore many sound synthesis processes playfully and allows expert musicians to realize their sonic imagination by adapting/expanding its open-source architecture. In the workshop on April 18th, organized by MoA member Maxime Le Calvé and conducted together with Alberto de Campo, Professor for Generative Art / Computational Art (Berlin University of the Arts), sound researcher Nico Daleman, and the Speculative Realities Lab,  the team explained and demonstrated the central concepts, then dedicated time to hands-on playing, experimenting, and improvising, first on individual setups, and finally as multiple sources of influence on a single NTMI environment. → more

Workshop Absolute Relativity, 18 April 2024. Copyright: Matters of Activity

Workshop Absolute Relativity, 18 April 2024. Copyright: Matters of Activity

New Members
Prof. Dr. Homi K. Bhabha

Homi K. Bhabha is the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous works exploring postcolonial theory, psychoanalysis, cultural change and power, contemporary art, and cosmopolitanism. His works include »The Location of Culture«, the edited volume »Nation and Narration«, and forewords to Frantz Fanon’s major works. Homi K. Bahbha is AM in »Material Form Function«. → more

Photo: Lucie Berthold, edited by Matters of Activity
Kathrin Linkersdorff

Kathrin Linkersdorff, originally trained as an architect, has been working as a artist since 2012, devoting herself to the subject of transiency, which she investigates with flowers and their pigments in complex series of experiments. Her work has been shown in Berlin, Hamburg, London, Paris, Miami and New York, among others. She is an Associate Member  in the project Weaving. Created as part of the cooperation with Regine Hengge her latest works »Microverse I« and »Microverse II« deal with biological transformation processes caused by bacteria. → more

Prof. Dr. Viktoria Tkaczyk

Viktoria Tkaczyk is Professor of Media and Knowledge Technologies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and PTF of the International Max Planck Research School »Knowledge and Its Resources: Historical Reciprocities.« She has published widely on the history of early modern and modern aviation, architecture, acoustics, neuroscience, experimental aesthetics, and sound media. Viktoria Tkaczyk  is AM in »Symbolic Material«. → more

Shaping Water
MoA Design Research Studio at weißensee school of art and design Enters New Round
Key Visual, MoA Design Research Studio, 2024. Copyright: Matters of Activity

Key Visual, MoA Design Research Studio, 2024. Copyright: Matters of Activity

16.4.2024

Filtering | Teaching | Water | Prototype / Model In the »Shaping Water« project, starting in the summer semester of 2024, Prof. Carola Zwick, design researcher Dominic Eger Domingos, and design students want to examine and challenge civilizational standards, usage patterns, and experiences to rethink the medium of water and how we experience it. Through this exploration, we aspire to develop new interaction concepts and product ideas, brought to life in prototypes and exhibits that resonate with users on a tangible level. The project is part of the Design Research Studio within the Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity« (Filtering) and is constantly supported by eLAB (Laboratory for Interactive Technologies of KHB) throughout the project starting with a hands-on workshop delving into physical computing as expression of design. → more

Drawing as Digestion: Spatial Knowing Processes
Report of the First »More than Human Sketching« Workshop at Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin
Workshop »More than Human Sketching 1«, Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, May 2024. Copyright: Maxime Le Calvé.

Workshop »More than Human Sketching 1«, Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, May 2024. Copyright: Maxime Le Calvé.

29.5.2024–30.5.2024

Cutting | Graphic Anthropology | XR The first event of the »More-than-human Sketching« series was a great success. Not only were the workshops fully booked, but the SpecLab team also spent two days developing a new immersive performance for the museum's visitors using augmented reality glasses and spatial drawing software. The performance, »Drawing as Digestion: Spatial Knowing Processes,« will be presented to the public soon. Short lectures and activities by Elaine Bonavia, Paulina Greta Stefanovic, and Maxime Le Calvé provided an unusual framework for participants to engage with the embodied and transformative power of tracing lines and being traced by them. Save the date for the next workshop on June 20th/21st! → more

Cultures of Regeneration
On 11 July, David Jeevendrampillai Speaks about Extra-Terrestrial Anthropology: Design Thinking for a Post-Planetary Social Life
Poster Lecture Series 2024, Photo: Charlotte Linton. Copyright: Matters of Activity.

Poster Lecture Series 2024, Photo: Charlotte Linton. Copyright: Matters of Activity.

2.5.2024–11.7.2024

Material Form Function | Teaching | Biodesign | Textiles Rapidly increasing socio-ecological damage and the urgent need for care, repair, and recovery have led to renewed calls for regenerative design as a means of wayfinding towards new forms of just and sustainable life on earth, prompting critical questions concerning the reconfigured pasts they invoke to the possible futures they open up. Aiming to (re)design the way we live to support our interdependence on natural ecosystems, regenerative systems thinking is being applied to fundamental fields of human activity, from food production and agriculture to medicine, textiles, architecture, rural revival, and the urban built environment to other-worldly materialities. The lecture series organized by Lucy Norris, which started on May 2nd, will, among other things, explore how traces of former ways of being in the world and concepts such as ›indigenous knowledge‹ are referenced as ways to move forward and ask what futures are being imagined by whom and for whom, and how some forms of living are enabled while other possibilities are negated. → more

Käte Hamburger Kolleg »inherit. heritage in transformation«
Opening Lecture and Call for Applications for 2025/26 Scholarships
Screenshot Website inherit, April 2024. Copyright: inherit. Käte Hamburger Kolleg | Centre for Advanced Study- Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Screenshot Website inherit, April 2024. Copyright: inherit. Käte Hamburger Kolleg | Centre for Advanced Study- Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

29.4.2024–8.5.2024

Call The Käte Hamburger Kolleg | Centre for Advanced Study »inherit. heritage in transformation«, based at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and led by Eva Ehninger and MoA member Sharon Macdonald, invites applications from experienced and early career post-doc researchers for fellowships to begin in October 2025. The application deadline is April 29th, 2024. Applications for scholarships for 2025–6 should address questions of inheritance – such as its legal, economic, material, and biological dimensions and implications; its articulation with generation(s) and related concepts and practices, as well as with certain conceptions of time and space; its mobilization for constructions of identity and, or justifications for exclusions; its visualization or other multimodal renderings; and alternative (›inheritance otherwise‹) or overlapping notions and practices. For more information about the call, see ↗ https://inherit.hu-berlin.de/open-call.

Moreover, you are kindly invited to join the Opening Lecture and Reception of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg on May 8th, 2024, 4.00–6.00 pm at the Tieranatomisches Theater. ↗ more

Magic Machines aus Bio-Plastik
Nächster Open Lab Abend der Reihe »Materialzukünfte besuchen« im Futurium
Gestalten mit Cellulose, Wasser und Luft. Copyright: Eva Bullermann

Gestalten mit Cellulose, Wasser und Luft. Copyright: Eva Bullermann

9.5.2024

Material Form Function | Robotics | Cellulose | Water | Collactive Materials | Speculative Design | Science Communication In diesem Workshop geht es um flexible Materialien wie Cellulose, Bio-Plastik und Silikon als mögliche (neue) Materialien für Soft Robotics oder gar biologische Maschinen. Soft Robotics ist ein relativ junges Forschungsfeld, das sich mit alternativen Ansätzen zur Gestaltung der Maschinen von morgen beschäftigt. Wie können wir Maschinen bauen, damit sie sensibler und anpassbarer werden? Können wir dafür adaptive vielleicht sogar nachhaltige Materialien nutzen, statt immer mehr Metall, Plastik und Energie zu verbrauchen? Mit den Design-Forscherinnen Anna Schäffner und Eva Bullermann spekulieren wir darüber, wie die Maschinen der Zukunft gestaltet sein könnten. Wie sieht deine Magic Machine aus? → more