Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Opening »Stretching Materialities«. Copyright: Matters of Activity

Opening »Stretching Materialities«. Copyright: Matters of Activity

Dear Friends of »Matters of Activity«,

In this issue we present a review of the well-attended and in all respects enjoyable opening of the exhibition »Stretching Materialities« on September 16th at the Tieranatomisches Theater. If you couldn't make it last week, the exhibition runs until January 2022. And of course, there are more exciting Cluster events taking place in October such as the virtual symposium »Material Negotiations« and the lecture series »Dis/Entangling Perspectives in Material Research« that you can read about in this issue. Furthermore, we keep you updated on current job openings and new publications.

Last but not least we are pleased to introduce the new cohort of our binational Master »Open Design« on our MoA website. It is currently completing its second (digital) semester before starting its third semester on-site in Berlin in April 2022.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue,
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott and Franziska Wegener


Liebe Freunde von »Matters of Activity«,

diese Ausgabe des Newsletters blickt zurück auf die gut besuchte und in jeder Hinsicht erfolgreiche Eröffnung der Austellung »Stretching Materialities« am 16. September im Tieranatomsichen Theater. Wer es nicht geschafft hat, zu kommen: die Ausstellung läuft noch bis Januar 2022. Im Oktober finden außerdem weitere spannende Clusterveranstaltungen, wie das virtuelle Symposium »Material Negotiations« oder die digitale Vorlesungsreihe  »Dis/Entangling Perspectives in Material Research« statt, zu denen ihr Euch in dieser Ausgabe informieren könnt. Desweiteren halten wir Euch auf dem Laufenden über aktuelle Stellenausschreibungen und neue Publikationen.

Last but not least: endlich können wir die neue Kohorte unseres binationalen Masters »Open Design« auch auf der MoA Webseite vorstellen. Sie startet zur Zeit in ihr zweites (digitales) Semester, bevor sie im April 2022 ihr drittes Semester vor Ort in Berlin absolvieren wird.

Viel Freude bei der Lektüre wünschen
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott und Franziska Wegener

Exhibition »Stretching Materialities« Opened in the Tieranatomisches Theater
Opening of the exhibition »Stretching Materialities«. Copyright: Matters of Activity
Opening of the exhibition »Stretching Materialities«. Copyright: Matters of Activity
Opening of the exhibition »Stretching Materialities«. Structural textile project: Natalija Miodragović, Nelli Singer, Daniel Suarez and Christiane Sauer (KHB weissensee); Michaela Eder (MPIG), Lorenzo Guiducci (MPIG); Philipp Mecke. Thanks to: Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V. STFI, Bauhaus 4.0 weißensee kunsthochschule berlin; Regine Hengge (Microbiology, HU Berlin), Karola Dierichs (KHB weissensee). Copyright: Matters of Activity
Visitors on the elevator platform with the cloud above them, selecting new levels to lift to. Copyright: Matters of Activity
Opening »Stretching Materialites«. Copyright: Matters of Activity

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 21st, 2022.

Current dates for tours of the exhibition by members of the curatorial team can be found on the → exhibition website.

Bredekamp's Biography of the Divine Artist Enters its 2nd Edition After Just One Month
Horst Bredekamp, Michelangelo. Copyright: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach

Horst Bredekamp, Michelangelo. Copyright: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach


Symbolic Material | Publications Only a few weeks after the monumental comprehensive account of the artistic genius Michelangelo by our Cluster Co-Director Horst Bredekamp was published by Klaus Wagenbach, the magnificent volume with almost 900 illustrations on almost as many pages was already entering its 2nd edition. In »Michelangelo« Bredekamp takes a look at his life from the point of view of the work and understands the œuvre as a stimulus for the vita. As sensitively as precisely, he examines each individual work of art by Michelangelo's hand in the context of contemporary history and art history, as well as within the development of the artist. → more

Brain Networks and Language Function
Latest Research Results by MoA Members Published in the Renowned Journal »Cortex«
Lesion overlay map of brain tumor patients, Copyright: Lucius Fekonja

Lesion overlay map of brain tumor patients, Copyright: Lucius Fekonja


Cutting | Symbolic Material | Brain | Publications MoA researchers have succeeded in determining more precisely the relation between certain brain networks and language function. The interdisciplinary team investigated language dysfunction on a voxel level using the voxel-lesion-symptom-mapping method in glioma patients. Among the contributors are MoA members Lucius Fekonja (Scientific Visualization) and Thomas Picht (Digital Neurosurgery) from the Image Guidance Lab at Charité Berlin and Friedemann Pulvermüller (Neuroscience, Linguistics, and Psychology) and Felix Dreyer (Linguistics and Brain Research) from the Brain Language Laboratory at Freie Universität Berlin. → more

New Members
Chloé Lee

Chloé Lee is a Master of Fine Arts student in Integrated Media Arts at Hunter College (New York City). Chloé uses color, collage, and drawing to create densely layered, moving and still images which explore where digital and analog worlds meet. Her most recent fascination has been with 3D and virtual reality environments and how these new spaces can be used to explore memory, identity, and how we make meaning. As an Associated Member in »Object Space Agency« she will be working with the Cluster from September 2021 to July 2022 to continue her exploration of virtual reality. → more

New Cohort Master »Open Design«

From left to right: June Audirac Kushida, Pilar Cebey, Wenni Wendi Chua, Agustina Creta, Javier Deyheralde, Daniel Disitzer Serebrenick, Frank Feider Irigoyen , Andres Felipe Gatto, Magdalena Botana, Maria José Greloni, Cintia Guerrero, Joaquín Guillermo Jamilis , Alexandre Nicolet, Barbara Niveyro, Camilo Andrés Rico Calderón, Jean-Maxime Rivière, Lucila María Sarasola, Ilkin Tasdelen, Izem Yilmaz

The master’s degree program ↗ Open Design/Diseño Abierto para la Innovación is jointly organized by the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) and the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) since 2015. It is an international and interdisciplinary double-degree program that focuses on the »design turn« in interdisciplinary research.

With the second semester in full progress and students from Argentina, Brazil, Switzerland, Mexico, Singapore, India, Turkey, Kosovo, Germany, Ecuador, Poland and Colombia meeting in our virtual classroom three days per week for synchronic classes for more than half a year by now, we thought it was time to present them to the Cluster. We can't wait to welcome the group to Berlin for their third and fourth semester in 2022/2023. But of course, we are also looking forward to them getting more and more involved in the Cluster's research and projects and your participation in teaching and supervision activities of their projects and theses. We will also be organizing some opportunities for meeting and getting-together already virtually before the next semester starts.

Master Open Design Cohort 2021

→ June Audirac Kushida
     Fatma Betül Avci
     Aurela Berila
→ Magdalena Botana
→ Pilar Cebey
→ Juan Pablo Ceresa
→ Wenni Wendi Chua
→ Agustina Creta
     Elizabeth Davis
→ Javier Deyheralde
→ Margarita Maria Dias Casas
→ Daniel Disitzer Serebrenick
→ Dominique Esterl
→ Frank Feider Irigoyen
→ Andres Felipe Gatto
→ Maria José Greloni
→ Cintia Guerrero
→ Joaquín Guillermo Jamilis Ricaldoni
     Julia Kostyra
     Esteban Manzioni
     Weronika Marzantowicz
→ Alexandre Nicolet
→ Barbara Niveyro
     Sofi Orti
     Belén Palacios
→ Camilo Andrés Rico Calderón
→ Jean-Maxime Rivière
→ Lucila María Sarasola
→ Ilkin Tasdelen
    Anthony Jacob Thottungal
    Ana Vila
→ Izem Yilmaz

Material Negotiations: Practices of Biodesign
Virtual Symposium on 8 October
Poster virtual symposium »Material Negotiations«. Copyright: Julia Lohmann, adapted by NODE Berlin

Poster virtual symposium »Material Negotiations«. Copyright: Julia Lohmann, adapted by NODE Berlin


Material Form Function | Science Communication | Biodesign In search of non-extractive production models, biological systems became a central interest for the design practice for 10 years. Designers embraced growing strategies rather than shaping technologies, transient organisms rather than stable materials, environment-sensitive assemblages rather than resistant and passivated objects. How this ›biological turn‹ is questioning the methods, tools, attitude and political role of designers today? The virtual symposium »Material Negotiations« gathered design practitioners to discuss and understand the scope, challenges and interest of such a shift. The symposium was hosted by Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis and Dr. Emile de Visscher as part of the »Material Form Function« group. → more

Dis/Entangling Perspectives in Material Research
Online Lecture Series Starting on 25 October 2021, every Monday 4:15 pm–5:45 pm (CEST)
Poster »Dis/Entangling Perspectives in Material Research«. Copyright: Matters of Activity | Image: Michaela Büsse

Poster »Dis/Entangling Perspectives in Material Research«. Copyright: Matters of Activity | Image: Michaela Büsse


Material Form Function | Teaching | Circular Economies Materials such as water, sand, coal or crude oil are essential resources for industrial production, technological and infrastructural development. Although they are omnipresent in everyday life, their genealogies, epistemologies and ontologies are rarely called into question. This lecture series, organized by Cluster Co-Director Claudia Mareis, focused on the ecological, sociopolitical and symbolic interrelations that unfold around the industrial utilization and commodification of materials. A critical historical perspective shows, among other things, that materials are often the result of and object to precarious geopolitics and biopolitics as well as unsustainable modes of production and consumption. As such the lecture series connected two discourses on material/political and power/knowledge relations. → more

Administrative Employee Science Communication (m/f/d) - E 3 TV-L HU
With 1/4 part-time, Limited until 31/08/2024 – AN/205/21 – Application Deadline: 14 January 2022 – Start of Employment: March 2022

job The Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity« is looking for an administrative employee for the Experimental Laboratory for Science Communication »When matter comes to life«. As one of six Experimental Laboratories for Science Communication funded by the Berlin University Alliance, it is invested in fostering novel ways of knowledge exchange.  Researchers from the two Clusters of Excellence »Matters of Activity. Image Space Material« and »Science of Intelligence« will publicly discuss the activity and ›intelligence‹ of materials in order to make them graspable in the Experimental Laboratory. Materials that, following the example of nature, become ›intelligent‹ participants in society through their self-activity, fundamentally change our relationship to nature and technology. → more