Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Exhibition »After Nature« at Humboldt Lab. Copyright: Michelle Mantel
Exhibition »After Nature« at Humboldt Lab. Copyright: Michelle Mantel

Editorial Dear friends of »Matters of Activity«,

Before we start this well-deserved Summer Break, we would like to inform you about exciting news and events you can look forward to. On the one hand, the Humboldt Lab will finally be physically opened, so you can visit from July 20th and admire various exhibits from »Matters of Activity«.

On the other hand, our Members are already planning many activities directly after the Summer Break, so please save the dates!

We wish you all a hopefully relaxing summer vacation and lots of fun reading,
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott & Franziska Wegener

Liebe Freund:innen von »Matters of Activity«,

bevor wir uns in die wohlverdiente Sommerpause verabschieden, möchten wir euch erneut auf spannende News und Veranstaltungen hinweisen, auf die ihr euch freuen könnt. Zum einen wird das Humboldt Labor endlich auch physisch eröffnet, welches ihr ab 20. Juli besuchen und wo ihr auch diverse Exponate von »Matters of Activity« bewundern könnt.

Zum anderen planen unsere Mitglieder bereits diverse Aktivitäten direkt nach der Sommerpause, die es vorzumerken gilt.

Wir wünschen allen einen hoffentlich erholsamen Sommerurlaub und viel Spaß beim Lesen,
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott & Franziska Wegener

New Website of MoA's Design Lab
Design Lab. Copyright: Matters of Activity
Design Lab. Copyright: Matters of Activity

Design Lab In the Design Lab, all Cluster Members have the possibility to try their hand on the 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills, and CAD workstations under the guidance of the (workshop) team. Here, the independent development and revision of models and prototypes from conception to execution are made tangible for the researchers. From a hammer to a programmable microchip with sensors, the Design Lab provides a fertile ground for trials and experiments while mediating between the various disciplines and projects.

The Design Lab now has a brand new website, where you can also read about all available tools. → more

Towards a Material Basis for Symbols
Cluster Members and Researchers at University of Plymouth Use Novel Network Models for Understanding the Human Ability to Manipulate Symbols and Language

News | Publication The paper »Biological Constraints on Neural Network Models of Cognitive Function« is one of the first key outputs from a recently initiated Advanced Grant funded by the European Research Council called »Material Constraints Enabling Human Cognition«.

In this project and in the Cluster, Friedemann Pulvermüller and his team are now systematically approaching material-based answers to questions such as the following: How can humans learn a vocabulary of 10,000s of words whereas our closest relatives are normally stuck with 10s? How is it possible that little children quickly interlink signs with meanings, upon only one experience in the extreme, although our closest relatives have great difficulty building such links and neural networks require excessive time for learning them? By which mechanisms can we build abstract concepts and what contribution (if any) makes language to this process (… and many others)? → more

New Members
Rhoslyn Coles

Rhoslyn Coles is a mathematician, who is currently completing her PhD under the guidance of Prof. Myfanwy Evans in the project »Weaving«. Within her research, she has created a computational tool that minimizes certain geometric properties of tubular curves under a stochastic process. Her interests are between experimental and applied geometry, in particular, she works from the perspectives of differential and integral geometry and enjoys the challenge of employing generalizations of classical curvature concepts to material models. → more

Maxie Schneider

Maxie Schneider is an architect and Research Associate. She studied Architecture in Dresden (Technical University) and Berlin (Berlin University of the Arts). She teaches in the Department of Textile and Surface Design at the weißensee school of art and design berlin. In the affiliated research facility DXM - Design Experiment Material she investigates adaptive facades through the integration of smart materials. Within »Matters of Activity« she will be working on the project »Architectural Yarn«, bridging the projects »Weaving« and »Material Form Function«. → more

Minimal Machines 1
Final Presentation of MoA Design Research Studio
Copyright: Elaine Bonavia & Elisa Martignoni, weißensee school of art and design berlin, 2021
Copyright: Elaine Bonavia & Elisa Martignoni, weißensee school of art and design berlin, 2021

Event | MoA Design Studio »Minimal Machines«  is an MoA Design Research Studio Project investigating the development of machines for non-augmented and augmented spinning on an architectural scale. The machines are to be used as devices in conjunction with a designed material. Given that one of the core paradigms of designing matter is the abolition of machines in favor of matter’s own inner activity, these machines are to be minimal. This can imply tools that are designed to perform the bare minimum required in the assembly of a designed material. Still, it can also mean that matter is designed to become operational—or machinic—itself. Come and see for yourself at the virtual final presentation on July 13th. → more

Scaling Fiber: Experimental Yarn
Final Review on 13 July 2021
Scaling Fiber: Experimental Yarn. Copyright: weißensee school of art and design berlin
Scaling Fiber: Experimental Yarn. Copyright: weißensee school of art and design berlin

Event | MoA Design Studio The MoA Design Research Studio »Scaling Fiber: Experimental Yarn« explored the upscaling of fiber into yarns as structural elements for the architectural scale and context. It was carried out as a transdisciplinary exchange between architecture, textile technology, materials science and cultural studies aiming at new concepts for sustainable design technologies. Join its final review on July 13th, 2.00pm. → more

Being Material – A Short History of Mattering Matter at MIT and Beyond
Media Theorist Marie-Pier Boucher at Next »Talking Matters« Event
Poster Online Lecture Series »Talking Matters«, Copyright: Cécile Bidan and Salif Sawadogo, adapted by NODE Berlin
Poster Online Lecture Series »Talking Matters«, Copyright: Cécile Bidan and Salif Sawadogo, adapted by NODE Berlin

Event | Talking Matters On July 13th, we are happy to welcome media theorist Marie-Pier Boucher from the University of Toronto at our last »Talking Matters« event before the Summer Break. Boucher will introduce us to »Being Material«, a curated collection of essays and artefacts which resulted from a symposium held in 2017 by the Center for Art, Science and Technology at MIT, where she was invited as co-editor and author on the project – a journey that brought her to explore the legacy of this institution in a different light. → more

Humboldt Lab Finally Open to the Public
Exhibition Opening »After Nature« on 20 July 2021
»Stone Web« (Design: Idalene Rapp and Natasha Unger) at the exhibition »After Nature« at Humboldt Labor. Copyright: Matters of Activity, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Research Wall »Scripts«. Copyright: schnellebuntebilder | Exhibition Architecture. Copyright: Inside Outside | Petra Blaisse
»Stone Web« (Design: Idalene Rapp and Natasha Unger) at the exhibition »After Nature« at Humboldt Labor. Copyright: Matters of Activity, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Research Wall »Scripts«. Copyright: schnellebuntebilder | Exhibition Architecture. Copyright: Inside Outside | Petra Blaisse

News | Humboldt Lab After a long wait and numerous postponements, the time has come: The Humboldt Forum, a place for culture and research, for exchange and debate, opens its doors to the public and with it the Humboldt Lab – the event and exhibition space of Berlin's Universities and Clusters of Excellence. From July 20th, visitors will be able to admire exciting exhibits and projects. The Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity« will also be represented with various contributions. → more

MoA Contributions at Humboldt Lab
Open to the Public from 20 July 2021
»Adaptive Digital Twin« at the exhibition »After Nature« at Humboldt Lab. opyright: Matters of Activity, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
»Active Curtain Project« at the exhibition »After Nature« at Humboldt Lab. Copyright: Matters of Activity, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
»Stone Web« (Design: Idalene Rapp and Natasha Unger) at the exhibition »After Nature« at Humboldt Lab (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). Copyright: Matters of Activity, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
»Orobates pabsti« by John Nyakatura at exhibition »After Nature« at Humboldt Lab. Copyright: Matters of Activity, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Lender: Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein Gotha
MoA contributions at »After Nature« at Humboldt Lab. Copyright: Michelle Mantel

News | Humboldt Lab The Humboldt Lab in the Humboldt Forum presents research by all the Berlin Clusters of Excellence, the Berlin University Alliance, and other cutting-edge institutes and faculties at the Humboldt-Universität. It aims to become a living workshop of ideas where top-level research enters into a dialogue with the public on pressing issues of our time. The Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity« contributes to this discourse with various exhibits, opening up diverse insights into its research projects starting July 20th.

Thus you can soon finally take a close look at the »Active Curtain Project«, an ongoing experimental setting, which brings together various disciplinary skills for the rediscovery of adaptive textile techniques – crafted and grown – in the quest to create an active basis for our relationship with our environment, the »Adaptive Digital Twin«, that works on generating adaptive holographic models of the human brain as well as »Stone Web«, a spatial module system made from basalt fiber at weißensee school of art and design berlin or the Orobates Pabsti.

Please find an introduction to all our exhibits following the link. → more

Bacteria as Architects
Interview with Bastian Beyer and Skander Hathroubi
Still from Interview with Bastian Beyer and Skander Hathroubi showing the making of parts of the »Active Curtain Project« shown at the exhibition »After Nature« at Humboldt Lab. Copyright: Anne von Petersdorff (info@annevonpetersdorff.com) for Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Still from Interview with Bastian Beyer and Skander Hathroubi showing the making of parts of the »Active Curtain Project« shown at the exhibition »After Nature« at Humboldt Lab. Copyright: Anne von Petersdorff (info@annevonpetersdorff.com) for Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

News | Humboldt Lab The Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity. Image Space Material« investigates materials that are built by bacteria. Architects and biologists work together to explore new, sustainable materials. Some of these bacterial structures are on display at the Humboldt Lab. In the interview with Cluster Members Bastian Beyer and Skander Hathroubi, parts of the development of the »Active Curtains Project« are presented in more detail. → more

Matters of Activity Film at Humboldt Lab
Cluster Video Online Now
All 7 Berlin Clusters of Excellence are represented with a film at the foyer at Humboldt Lab. Copyright: Matters of Activity, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
All 7 Berlin Clusters of Excellence are represented with a film at the foyer at Humboldt Lab. Copyright: Matters of Activity, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

News | Humboldt Lab 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 also watch an introduction to the Cluster right here. Follow the link to the video in German with either English subtitles or in easy German language. → more

Extended Reality – Code and Materiality in Art and Culture
Interactive Exhibition in Cooperation of University of Applied Sciences Berlin (HTW) Media Theater and »Matters of Activity«
Flyer of Exhibition »Code & Materiality in Art and Culture«. Copyright: University of Applied Sciences Berlin
Flyer of Exhibition »Code & Materiality in Art and Culture«. Copyright: University of Applied Sciences Berlin

Event | Exhibition What does materiality mean for art and culture from today’s perspective? How can materiality be understood in our post-digital age, where digital technologies permeate creative work from start to finish, both in terms of tools and materials and conceptually?

The exhibition »Extended Reality – Code and Materiality in Art and Culture,« September 3rd to 30th, 2021, illuminates various aspects of (digital) materiality through selected works from design, art, literature, music, performance and science that have been created with Extended Reality technologies (Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality). → more

Exhibition »Stretching Materialities«
Hidden Activities in Objects and Spaces at Tieranatomisches Theater
Save-the-date »Stretching Materialities«. Copyright: Offshore Design
Save-the-date »Stretching Materialities«. Copyright: Offshore Design

Event | Object Space Agency | Stretching Materialities Matter is dead? Objects are lifeless? Think again! In the exhibition »Stretching Materialities,« which was opened on September 16th 2021, the liveliness and activity of matter can be experienced in a completely new way. The Tieranatomisches Theater has become an interactive laboratory space that allows completely unexpected insights into thinking about matter – and makes it tangible how active the world around us really is. The exhibition curated by multidisciplinary researchers and designers of the project »Object Space Agency« under the direction of Prof. Dr. Claudia Blümle and Clemens Winkler can be visited until January 22nd, 2022, Mon-Fri, 2–6 pm.

  → more

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↗ Public Bricolage Session on Wed 7th July 2021: »The Labyrinth of Multimodality: World-making with WorkAdventure, a virtual environment for low-tech digital encounters«
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↗ Assisted Writing and Writing Assistants
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↗ Design Research Studio Project »measuring/counting/weighing«: Presentation on July 7 from 4–6 pm online
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↗ Ferment-activity Club #3: Jumpstart Drinks: Water Kefir, Kvass and Dandelions
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