Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Active Curtain Project. Copyright: Bastian Beyer and Iva Rešetar
Active Curtain Project. Copyright: Bastian Beyer and Iva Rešetar

Editorial Dear friends of »Matters of Activity«,

Today we have the pleasure of drawing your attention to a film that provides an overview of our Cluster research and will be shown at the Humboldt Lab opening this summer as well as the recording from our contribution »Can Bacteria Spin a Yarn?« at the kick-off event of the new event series »WeSearch« at the Humboldt Forum.

Of the many exciting activities in June, we would especially like to invite you to take a look at the newly launched Cluster lecture series »Talking Matters«, the »On Gestaltung« lecture series at weißensee school of art and design berlin, and the remaining dates of Peter Fratzl's lecture series on biomaterials at Humboldt-Universität – all online, of course!

We would also be happy to meet you at the symposium »Times of Waste – Handling Matter« on June 17th and 18th, where numerous Cluster members will discuss the engagement with (waste) material and bridges between theoretical studies and a responsive, careful handling of materiality in science, art and collections.

Happy Reading!
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott & Franziska Wegener

Liebe Freund:innen von »Matters of Activity«,

heute haben wir das Vergnügen, auf einen Film aufmerksam zu machen, der einen Überblick über unsere Clusterforschung gibt und im Humboldt-Labor zu sehen sein wird, das diesen Sommer endlich seine Türen öffnet sowie auf die Aufnahme unseres Beitrags »Spinnen die, die Bakterien?« bei der Auftaktveranstaltung der neuen Veranstaltungsreihe »MitWissenschaft« im Humboldt Forum.

Von den vielen spannenden Aktivitäten im Juni möchten wir besonders herzlich dazu einladen, einmal in die neu gestartete Vortragsreihe des Clusters mit dem Titel »Talking Matters«, die Vortragsreihe »On Gestaltung« an der weißensee kunsthochschule berlin und die verbleibenden Termine von Peter Fratzls Vorlesungsreihe über Biomaterialien an der Humboldt-Universtität zu Berlin hineinzuschauen – alle online, versteht sich!

Außerdem würden wir uns freuen, viele von Ihnen am 17. und 18. Juni beim Symposium »Times of Waste – Handling Matter« zu treffen, bei dem zahlreiche Clustermitglieder über die Auseinandersetzung mit (Abfall-)Material diskutieren und Brücken zwischen theoretischen Studien und einem reaktionsfähigen, sorgfältigen Umgang mit Materialität in Wissenschaft, Kunst und Sammlungen schlagen werden.

Gute Unterhaltung wünschen
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott & Franziska Wegener

Can Bacteria Spin a Yarn? We Need a New Culture of Materials
Watch the Recording Now!
Still from »Can Bacteria Spin a Yarn?«, Humboldt Forum, 29 April 2021. Copyright: Humboldt Forum
Still from »Can Bacteria Spin a Yarn?«, Humboldt Forum, 29 April 2021. Copyright: Humboldt Forum

Event The notion that the things around us are passive is a grave error: substances conceal inner powers and can interact – with each other and with the environment. In our exploitation of them, however, this potential for interaction has so far been ignored or forcibly suppressed. This is one of the fundamental causes of our current ecological crisis, calling for a complete revolution in the way we think about the relationship between technology and nature.

To this end, »Matters of Activity« is using a holistic approach to pursue a new materials culture. Based on the collaboration of all the disciplines, the goal is no longer finding partial solutions, but rather exploring the question: Do we humans still have a future?

Answers to this question were discussed on April 29th, 2021 at the event »MitWissenschaft/ WeSearch« at Humboldt Forum in Berlin. The full recording with talks from → Christiane Sauer and → Peter Fratzl, → Regine Hengge and → Bastian Beyer, → Alwin Cubasch and → Léa Perraudin and → Claudia Mareis and → Wolfgang Schäffner, moderated by Volker Wieprecht, can still be viewed online. → more

Matters of Activity at Humboldt Labor
Cluster Video Online Now
Still from »Matters of Activity« Film at Humboldt Labor. Copyright: Time Prints 2021
Still from »Matters of Activity« Film at Humboldt Labor. Copyright: Time Prints 2021

News | Humboldt Forum The Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity« is represented with some exciting objects in the exhibition »Nach der Natur« at the Humboldt Laboratory of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. You can now watch an introduction to the Cluster in advance right here on this page. Follow the link to the video in German with either English subtitles or in easy language. → more

The Event of a Fibre
Essay by Regine Hengge and Karin Krauthausen on the Occasion of the Exhibition »Hella Jongerius: Woven Cosmos« Published
Hella Jongerius, Woven Cosmos – Pliable Architecture (2021), Copyright: Hella Jongerius / VG Bild-Kunst 2021, Photo: Laura Fiorio.
Hella Jongerius, Woven Cosmos – Pliable Architecture (2021), Copyright: Hella Jongerius / VG Bild-Kunst 2021, Photo: Laura Fiorio.

News | Publication Regine Hengge's and Karin Krauthausen's essay »The Event of Fibre« has been published in the volume accompanying the exhibition »Hella Jongerius: Woven Cosmos« which will be shown in Berlin's Gropius Bau from April 29th to September 15th, 2021.

Whether in DNA interactions, bacterial biofilms or city architectures, weaving can be a model for different and relational »ecologies of life«. Ranging across artistic practices, cell biology, and human forms, molecular biologist Hengge and cultural historian Krauthausen (both Project »Weaving«) examine what we can learn from nature's enmeshed processes. → more

Imagining the Heavens
Stefan Zieme's Article about Adam Elsheimer Published in the Journal for the History of Knowledge
Adam Elsheimer, The Flight into Egypt, 1609, oil on copper, 31 × 41 cm. Copyright: Alte Pinakothek, München.
Adam Elsheimer, The Flight into Egypt, 1609, oil on copper, 31 × 41 cm. Copyright: Alte Pinakothek, München.

News | Publication In his article »Imagining the Heavens: Adam Elsheimer’s Flight into Egypt and the Renaissance Night Sky«, the historian of science and knowledge Stefan Zieme (Project »Symbolic Material«) proposes a revisionist interpretation of Elsheimer’s most famous artwork based on an analysis of the technical and cultural practices of discerning and imagining the night sky around 1600. → more

Supporting Mental Health During Pandemics
Platform for Early Career Researchers and PIs

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of scientists in many ways. Although many aspects of day-to-day life are more challenging, it has also provided the opportunity to explore new ways of positively shaping research culture. Together, the QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research of the »Berlin Institute of Health at Charité Berlin« and community partners have developed guides for promoting the mental health of early career researchers (ECRs – graduate students and postdocs) written for (1) PIs and supervisors who want to support their colleagues, and for (2) ECRs themselves. The guides can be found ↗ here.

Both guides were produced as part of a virtual brainstorming event in together with ECRs, lab leaders, mental health advocates, representatives from student services, graduate programs and other community partners. The resulting guides provide practical resources and solutions for members of the academic community, and will hopefully help lead to a supportive culture of research in these challenging times. 

We hope that these resources may help support you, and promote a supportive research culture. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with ecr-event@charite.de.

New Members
Prof. Carlos-Andres Palma

Carlos-Andres Palma is Professor of Physics at the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and leads a Joint Lab at IRIS Adlershof, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He is a new Associated Investigator in the project »Filtering« where he works on vibrational topology alongside the team, laying the foundation for thermal diode and filter design. → more

Clara Schmelter de Escobar

Clara Schmelter de Escobar studied Transformation Design at Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam and is now doing her Bachelor in Product Design at UdK Berlin. Clara supports the Science Communication Team at the Cluster. She is currently testing experimental science communication formats and takes care of events and public image. → more

Talking Matters
Online Lecture Series of the Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity«
Poster Online Lecture Series »Talking Matters«, Copyright: Lucius Fekonja, Bastian Beyer, Iva Rešetar, adapted by NODE Berlin
Poster Online Lecture Series »Talking Matters«, Copyright: Lucius Fekonja, Bastian Beyer, Iva Rešetar, adapted by NODE Berlin

Event | Talking Matters On Tuesday, May 18th, 2021, »Matters of Activity« has launched the online lecture series »Talking Matters«, in which external speakers from various disciplines are invited by the six cluster projects to provide insights into their research, which is related to central issues of »Matters of Activity«. In addition to researchers and students from various disciplines, the lecture series is open to anyone interested in our research. → more

The Superviscous Body
Ingolf Sack Holds Second Lecture at »Talking Matters«
Poster Online Lecture Series »Talking Matters«, Copyright: Lucius Fekonja, Bastian Beyer, Iva Rešetar, adapted by NODE Berlin
Poster Online Lecture Series »Talking Matters«, Copyright: Lucius Fekonja, Bastian Beyer, Iva Rešetar, adapted by NODE Berlin

Event | Talking Matters On Tuesday, June 1st, 2021, the second talk of the new online Cluster lecture series »Talking Matters« will occur. Ingolf Sack, professor for Experimental Radiology and Elastography at Charité Berlin, will speak on the invitation of the project »Cutting« about »The Superviscous Body – Imaging the Mechanical Behavior of Organs and Tissues by Shear Waves«. → more

On Gestaltung
New Online Lecture Series at weißensee school of art and design berlin
Circular processes and feedback loops in additive manufacturing processes, Babette Wiezorek 2016, porcelain, 3D printing (detail). Copyright: Babette Wiezorek 2016.
Circular processes and feedback loops in additive manufacturing processes, Babette Wiezorek 2016, porcelain, 3D printing (detail). Copyright: Babette Wiezorek 2016.

Event | Lecture Series On Tuesday, May 11th has started »On Gestaltung«, the new online lecture series initiated by Cluster members Jörg Petruschat and Patricia Ribault at weißensee school of art and design. This lecture series is conceived in two parts: »Theories«, which complements Jörg Petruschat’s seminar »Theories of Gestaltung«, and »Actions«, which is an extension of Ben Lignel’s seminar »Performing Research: Being with / Learning with / Speaking with an Object«. The next speaker on June 8th will be Glenn Adamson, curator and writer, previous director of the Museum of Arts and Design (New York), head of research at the V&A (London), and Curator at the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee. → more

Interdependence of Structure and Function in Biological Materials
Peter Fratzl holds Lecture Series for an Interdisciplinary Audience at HU
Biological materials are built with a limited number of building blocks, based on polysaccharides, proteins, and minerals. Copyright: Julia Blumenthal 
Biological materials are built with a limited number of building blocks, based on polysaccharides, proteins, and minerals. Copyright: Julia Blumenthal 

Event | Lecture Series The lecture series takes place every second Tuesday 4:15–5:45 pm and will be addressed to a pluridisciplinary audience, including sciences, design and cultural studies. All required basics from biophysics and biochemistry to mechanics will be provided. The lecture series introduces relevant structural features from molecular to macroscopic scales using examples for materials based on proteins or on polysaccharides, in particular cellulose and chitin. → more

Times of Waste – Handling Matter
Symposium Conceptualized and Curated by the Research Team »Times of Waste« at FHNW Academy of Art and Design Basel, in Collaboration with MoA and Kunstgewerbemuseum
Banner »Times of Waste«. Copyright: Rory Witt
Banner »Times of Waste«. Copyright: Rory Witt

Event | Material Form Function | Object Space Agency The symposium taking place June 17th – 18th provides a platform to discuss the engagement with (waste) material and bridges between theoretical studies and a response/able, careful way of handling materiality in sciences, arts, and collections. The event is conceptualized and curated by the research team Times of Waste at FHNW Academy of Art and Design Basel and realized in collaboration with the Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity« and the Kunstgewerbemuseum der Staatlichen Museen Berlin. → more

Two Students Assistants (m/f/d) for Project »Filtering« wanted
Application Deadline: 7 June 2021
Semantic Encodings of YouTube Comments Clustered and Visualized in Two Dimensions. Copyright: Michael Tebbe
Semantic Encodings of YouTube Comments Clustered and Visualized in Two Dimensions. Copyright: Michael Tebbe

Job The project »Filtering« is currently looking for two student assistants, one for the subproject »Digital Filtering: Co-Adaptive Sensemaking Filters« in the field of Computer Science, Media Informatics, Data Science, Mathematics or similar and the other one for the subproject »Molecular Filtering« in the field of Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Chemistry or similar. Both vacancies are for 40h per month and supposed to start July 2021. We're looking forward to your applications! → more

Freelance/ Scientific Assistant in Computational Design (m/f/d)
Application Deadline: 1 June 2021 – Start of Employment: July 2021 at the Earliest
Copyright: Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces/Mason Dean
Copyright: Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces/Mason Dean

job The Excellence Cluster »Matters of Activity« (MoA) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPICI) are looking for a freelance / scientific assistant in computational design. → more

New Blog Posts
blog.matters-of-activity.de

Blog ↗ Ferment-Activity Club #2: Kimchi Party
by Maxime Le Calvé

↗ Podcast Contribution »Der Blick«
by Mareike Stoll

↗ Theory of Filtering
by Alwin Cubasch