Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Tipping Points. Copyright: Josef Luis Pelz & NODE Berlin Oslo
Tipping Points. Copyright: Josef Luis Pelz & NODE Berlin Oslo

Dear friends of »Matters of Activity«,

In this issue, we would like first and foremost to invite you to our 2nd Annual Conference, titled »Tipping Points: Plastic, Contingent and Unstable Matters« on November 16–17th. We look forward to seeing you online! Of course, many other exciting activities are happening before the conference that we would like to make you aware of, such as Berlin Science Week, the Kick-off of the lecture series »Dis/Entangling Perspectives in Material Research« and the workshop »Filtering Legacies«, including another »Talking Matters« session.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue and wish you an excellent start to the week,
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott and Franziska Wegener

Liebe Freund:innen von »Matters of Activity«,

in dieser Ausgabe möchten wir Euch vor allem zu unserer 2. Jahreskonferenz einladen, die unter dem Titel »Tipping Points: Plastic, Contingent and Unstable Matters« am 16. und 17. November stattfinden wird. Wir freuen uns schon darauf, Euch in diesem Rahmen online zu sehen! Natürlich gibt es aber bereits vor der Konferenz viele spannende Aktivitäten, auf die wir aufmerksam machen möchten, wie z.B. die Berlin Science Week, den Auftakt der Ringvorlesung »Dis/Entangling Perspectives in Material Research« und den Workshop »Filtering Legacies«, einschließlich einer weiteren »Talking Matters«-Session.

Viel Freude bei der Lektüre und einen guten Start in die Woche wünschen
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott und Franziska Wegener

 

Tipping Points: Plastic, Contingent and Unstable Matters
Invitation to MoA's Annual Conference 2021
Tipping Points. Copyright: Josef Luis Pelz & NODE Berlin Oslo
Tipping Points. Copyright: Josef Luis Pelz & NODE Berlin Oslo

Event | Annual Conference | Tipping Points This year's MoA Annual Conference is all about matter in motion. We will discuss transition and contingency, processes of acquiring and losing form, and the creative potential of the unfinished and indeterminate.

We live, create and act in a time of tipping points. On a planetary scale, the tipping point is understood as an abrupt and irreversible change that is causing the Earth´s climate and other systems to fall out of their stable state. Such transitional phenomena are particularly significant in climate research, but no less in material, biological, anthropological and aesthetic contexts.

Beyond »points of no return«, the focus of the conference is on multi-stable, ambivalent and dynamic constellations: from adaptive processes of bacterial growth over fluid structures to plasticity in architecture, ongoing Cluster projects will be presented in 13 lectures and virtual lab tours. Between the ambiguities of image and language and the unpredictability of scientific modeling, various tipping points will be explored down a range of emerging interdisciplinary and methodological avenues.

Find all relevant information as well as abstracts of the talks and bios of this year's speakers at ↗ matters-of-activity.de/tippingpoints

The conference will be a hybrid event – for Cluster members on-site and everyone interested as a virtual conference in an exciting new format. If you want to join the virtual conference, please register via the website. We are looking forward to greeting you at the conference! ↗ more

»Prix Liliane Bettencourt pour l'intelligence de la main® 2021«
Cluster Professor Patricia Ribault Member of the Jury for the Prestigious French Prize that Rewards Expertise, Creativity, and Innovation in the Crafts
Prix Liliane Bettencourt pour l’intelligence de la main® 2021, Jury Members and Laureates. Copyright: Olaf Avenati
Prix Liliane Bettencourt pour l’intelligence de la main® 2021, Jury Members and Laureates. Copyright: Olaf Avenati

News On October 5th, 2021, the winners of the new edition of the Prix Liliane Bettencourt pour l'intelligence de la main® (»the intelligence of the hand«)® 2021 were revealed and celebrated together with those of the year 2020 in a ceremony in Paris. MoA member Patricia Ribault was again part of the prestigious international jury chaired by Jean de Loisy, director of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris. The competition for professional craftspeople rewards expertise, creativity, and innovation in the crafts. Since its inception in 1999, the prize has become a label of excellence for French crafts, enhancing their reputation and recognizing the talent of nearly 90 individuals working in a number of different fields whose achievements demonstrate »the intelligence of the hand«. → more

Virtual Cluster Space as Best Practice in Science Communication
Project Introduction at »Forum Wissenschaftskommunikation« 2021
Visual Recording Forum Wissenschaftskommunikation 2021. Copyright: Lorna Schütte for »Wissenschaft im Dialog«
Visual Recording Forum Wissenschaftskommunikation 2021. Copyright: Lorna Schütte for »Wissenschaft im Dialog«

News | Virtual Cluster Space | Science Communication »Matters of Activity« is expanding its activities in science communication and will start the further development of its »Virtual Cluster Space« in October 2021. This aims to present and experience the research work of various MoA projects and topics in an innovative, interactive, fascinating and expandable way in order to make users inside and outside of our research community curious, excited and to engage them in exchange.

Cluster Member Antje Nestler presented the »Virtual Cluster Space«, as a best-practice example of a virtual exhibition and conference format at this year's »Forum Wissenschaftskommunikation«, the largest symposium for science communication in Germany. → more

Stretching Materialities
Your Chance to Book an Individual Tour
MoA Exhibition »Stretching Materialities«. Copyright: Offshore Design
MoA Exhibition »Stretching Materialities«. Copyright: Offshore Design

Exhibition | Object Space Agency | Stretching Materialities Matter is dead? Objects are lifeless? Think again! In the exhibition »Stretching Materialities,« which was opened on September 16th, the liveliness and activity of matter can be experienced in a completely new way. The Tieranatomisches Theater becomes an interactive playground. With knowledge from the research of the Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity«, an interactive laboratory space has been created that allows completely unexpected insights into thinking about matter – and makes it tangible how active the world around us really is.

The exhibition is curated by multidisciplinary researchers and designers of the project → Object Space Agency under the direction of → Prof. Dr. Claudia Blümle and → Clemens Winkler. You can visit the exhibition until January 21st, 2022, Mon–Fri from 2–6 pm.

Don't miss your chance to register for an individual on-site tour, a public tour, or book a tour for a larger group via stretching-mediation-tat [​at​] hu-berlin.de.

We look forward to your visit! → more

New Members
Michaela Büsse

Michaela Büsse currently works as a Research Associate at the Institute of Cultural History and Theory, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and has held position at the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures, FHNW and the Institute for Design Research, ZHdK. Michaela Büsse is interested in the interplay of material practices, technologies, and geological processes. Her dissertation project analyses land reclamation projects in Southeast Asia and the Netherlands. Michaela Büsse is an Associated Investigator in the project »Material Form Function«. → more

Prof. Judith Glaser

Judith Glaser is a trained goldsmith and  holds a master's degree in product design with a focus on interaction design from weißensee school of art and design berlin. Since 2018, she has been working for Studio NAND, a Berlin-based design studio specializing in data-driven user interfaces and interactive technologies. She is currently pursuing this in a doctoral thesis at Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle. Since October 2021, she has been a visiting professor in KHB's Product Design Department. Judith Glaser is Associated Investigator in the project »Cutting«. → more

Dr. Anke Gruendel

Anke Gruendel is a Research Associate in the Institute for Cultural History and Theory at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and part of the international research collective Governing Through Design. She holds a MA in Design Studies from Parsons, The New School for Design and a PhD in Politics from the New School for Social Research. Her research interests include technopolitics, political and technical infrastructures, modern forms of political rationality, as well as theories of democracy and the political. Anke Gruendel is an Associated Member in the project »Material Form Function«. → 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

Event | Lecture Series 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, focuses 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 connects to discourses on material/political and power/knowledge relations. → more

Variety of Viewpoints
MoA Member Karin Krauthausen in Conversation about Paul Valéry on the Occasion of the Philosopher's 150th Birthday
The desk of Paul Valéry with a cahier (workbook), ca. 1935. Copyright: Laure Albin-Guillot / Roger-Viollet; Centre Pompidou
The desk of Paul Valéry with a cahier (workbook), ca. 1935. Copyright: Laure Albin-Guillot / Roger-Viollet; Centre Pompidou

Event | Weaving In a special broadcast by the Austrian radio station Ö1 on the occasion of the 150th birthday of Paul Valéry on Tuesday, October 25th, 5:05 pm, MoA member Karin Krauthausen, together with other experts, provides insights into the rich oeuvre of the writer-philosopher. The science broadcast with the title »Ich denke mich, also bin ich.« (»I think me, therefore I am.«) edited by journalist Nikolaus Halmer is part of the series »Dimensions« and will be in German. → more

Open Access Week
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Again Contributing to the International Initiative
Screen Shot Open Access Week 2021, Copyright Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Screenshot Open Access Week 2021. Copyright: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Event This year's Open Access Week will take place from October 25th to 31st. Once again, institutions around the world are participating to raise awareness of free access to knowledge and information from science and research – including Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

With »Coffee Lectures«, Humboldt-Universität offers insights into various topics related to Open Access. In two workshops, researchers have the opportunity to gain deeper insights into two topics in an interactive and practical way. Open office hours will also offer space for further concerns and individual publication advice.
In addition, this year's Open Access Prize, which was established last year and awarded for the first time this summer, will be announced. Once again, prize money totaling 5.000€ will be awarded for outstanding achievements by Humboldt-Universität researchers in the field of Open Access.

The events are held online using the Zoom video conferencing software. The »Coffee Lectures« and talks can be attended spontaneously and at short notice; registration is not required. For the workshops on October 28th and 29th, prior registration is required. ↗ more

Berlin Science Week 2021
MoA Members Contribute to the International Science Festival in Early November

News | Science Communication From November 1st to 10th, Berlin will once again host the Berlin Science Week, a 10-day international festival that brings together the world's most innovative scientific organizations in Berlin and online to celebrate science and facilitate an open and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and knowledge. The Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity« will provide insights into its research at two locations: Firstly, at the Humboldt Lab in the Humboldt Forum, which opened its doors this summer, and secondly, at the Tieranatomisches Theater on the North Campus of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin withing the exhibition »Stretching Materialities«. → more

Filtering Legacies – Filtering Wasted Environments
Workshop on 11–12 November
Poster »Filtering Legacies«. Copyright: Sandia National Laboratories, Michel Brill, 1993 & NODE Berlin
Poster »Filtering Legacies«. Copyright: Sandia National Laboratories, Michel Brill, 1993 & NODE Berlin

Event | Filtering Filtering Technologies are at the center of many current processes of our transformational age as they can alleviate the impact of industrial societies in their planetary dimension. We understand the process of filtering as a scalable environing technique that differentiates and maintains symbolic and material environments alike. Filtering is a process that matters in a twofold way: It is a material process and a symbolic activity. Applying filters means negotiating between the wanted and the unwanted, between the polluted and the untouched environment, and between what is considered dangerous or safe.

The workshop organized by Alwin Cubasch, Vanessa Engelmann, Ronja Quast, Heike Weber and Verena Winiwarter aims for a better understanding of the ecologic economy of wastes, sinks and waste legacies which resulted from the hope to unmake the adverse byproducts of filtering activities. What have been the challenges and pitfalls of the past – and what can we learn for the future design and technology of filters? → more

Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials: A Borderline Case
Environmental Historian Verena Winiwarter Guest at MoA Lecture Series

News | Talking Matters Our next »Talking Matters« contribution has a special feature: the talk by environmental historian Verena Winiwarter from Universität für Bodenkultur Wien is also the keynote of the »Filtering Legacies« workshop that »Matters of Activity« is co-hosting with Technische Universität Berlin on November 11th and 12th. So please note the difference in time and day from our usual schedule!

Verena Winiwarter's talk will focus on naturally occurring radioactive materials that are »technologically enhanced« (TENORMs) and play a role in numerous processes when people exploit natural resources, such as fracking. As long as the material was naturally occurring deep in the earth, it had little effect. But once concentrated and brought to the light of day it presents a borderline case. The talk aims to use the borderline case of TENORMs as a lens through which to view the greater question of human interventions into natural systems and their consequences for society. → more

Student Assistant in the Project »Cutting | Sensing Knife« (m/f/d) for the Field of Physics/Biophysics
80h per Month, Limited until 31/12/2022 – MoA_08_2021 – Application Deadline: 30 November 2021 – Start of Employment: January 2022
Scanning force microscope (topography) image of single dendronized polymer chains deposited onto Muscovite Mica crystal and Cut of the polymer chain by applied shear force using scanning probe microscope sharp tip. Magnification of 357000x. Copyright: Mohammad Fardin Gholami
Scanning force microscope (topography) image of single dendronized polymer chains deposited onto Muscovite Mica crystal and Cut of the polymer chain by applied shear force using scanning probe microscope sharp tip. Magnification of 357000x. Copyright: Mohammad Fardin Gholami

job The Project »Cutting | Sensing Knife« is looking for a student assistant who supports the project e.g. with experiments with scanning probe microscopy. Please consider applying if you would enjoy working in an interdisciplinary team and have an interest in experiments in biological and bio-medical research. → more