Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Objects and their shadows in the exhibition »Stretching Materialities«. Copyright: Matters of Activity, Franziska Wegener
Objects and their shadows in the exhibition »Stretching Materialities«. Copyright: Matters of Activity, Franziska Wegener

Dear friends of »Matters of Activity«,

With the end of the exhibition »Stretching Materialities« in sight, the makers have put together an extremely varied program of events for the closing week, from today's artist talk to recital evenings and a lecture to the finissage with performances next Friday. See the whole program → here and register early to attend there on-site! In addition, we are very pleased to bring to your attention the latest publications by our members.

Happy reading,
Antje, Carolin & Franziska

Liebe Freund:innen von »Matters of Activity«,

mit dem Ende der Ausstellung »Stretching Materialities« in Sichtweite, haben die Macher:innen für die Abschlusswoche nochmal ein äußerst abwechslungsreiches Programm zusammengestellt, das vom heutigen Artist Talk über Liederabende und einen Vortrag bis zur Finissage mit Performances am kommenden Freitag reicht. Das gesamte Programm gibt es → hier, um vor Ort dabei sein zu können, empfehlen wir sich frühzeitig anzumelden! Darüber hinaus freuen wir uns sehr, auf die jüngsten Publikationen unserer Mitglieder aufmerksam machen zu dürfen.

Viel Spaß beim Lesen
Antje, Carolin & Franziska

Solidarity with Ukraine

Facing the dramatic situation in Ukraine, the Cluster strongly supports the ↗ statement of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. HU condemns Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and is deeply concerned for the country's inhabitants. »Our thoughts are with our colleagues, fellow students and their families«, says Prof. Dr. Peter Frensch, Acting President of the HU. The HU will make effort to support academics and students within the framework of sponsorship programs so that they can complete their training and advance their research projects in Berlin.

The Cluster stands in solidarity with its colleagues in Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.

MoA Co-Director Peter Fratzl Co-Leads New Max Planck Center in Brisbane
Official Kick-Off of International Research Cooperation on Materials Science of Extracellular Matrices
Copyright: Michelle Mantel, Matters of Activity
Copyright: Michelle Mantel, Matters of Activity

News On February 3rd, the virtual inauguration of the Max Planck Queensland Center for the Materials Science of Extracellular Matrices (MPQC) took place. Together with Distinguished Professor Dietmar Hutmacher (Queensland University of Technology), MoA Co-Director → Peter Fratzl (Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces) leads the first Max Planck Center on the Australian continent. The MPQC will explore extracellular matrices and their importance for medicine, ecology, and technology. »With this, we are putting a new field on the research map, focusing not only on biomedical applications, but also on technical ones, such as in architecture,« says Peter Fratzl. → more

Michelangelo Nominated for the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair 2022
Horst Bredekamp's Biography of the Divine Artist Among 15 Nominations
Horst Bredekamp, Michelangelo. Copyright: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach
Horst Bredekamp, Michelangelo. Copyright: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach

News | Publication Our warmest congratulations to Cluster Co-Director Horst Bredekamp whose monumental biography of Michelangelo was recently nominated for the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair 2022 in the category »Non-Fiction/Essayistic«.  15 authors and their works have been nominated for the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair, therefore 5 in the category Non-Fiction/Essayistic. → more

Award for Cluster Member Joseph Vogl
Günther Anders Prize for Critical Thinking 2022
Copyright: Michelle Mantel, Matters of Activity
Copyright: Michelle Mantel, Matters of Activity

News | Achievements We congratulate Joseph Vogl on the honoring of his scientific and journalistic oeuvre. The philosopher, literary and cultural scholar holds a professorship at the Institute of German Literature at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and is Regular Visiting Professor at Princeton University. He will be awarded the Günther Anders Award for Critical Thinking 2022 (Günther Anders-Preis für kritisches Denken) on May 8th, 2022 at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Joseph Vogl is Principal Investigator at »Matters of Activity«.

  → more

Why and How Do We Age?
Answers in the Latest Episode of the Science Podcast »Exzellent erklärt«
Podcast »Exzellent erklärt«, Episode 7: »Altern«. Copyright: CECAD Cologne & Exzellent erklärt
Exzellent erklärt episode 7. Copyright: CECAD Cologne & Exzellent erklärt

News | Exzellenz erklärt Why and how do we age? And what can we do to prevent diseases and age healthily? Answers and tips are provided by members of the Cluster of Excellence ↗ Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases Cologne (CEDAD) in the new episode of »Exzellent erklärt – Spitzenforschung für alle«.

The German science podcast ↗ Exzellent erklärt (»Excellent Explained«) on current science topics reflects the research diversity of Germany’s leading research institutions and Clusters of Excellence: from Africa Studies to Quantum Physics. In each episode, listeners can expect insights into the interdisciplinary work of one research network. The researchers of the clusters of excellence, funded by ↗ DFG talk to podcaster Larissa Vassilian about how they want to find scientifically sound answers to relevant topics of our time – for the society of tomorrow. ↗ more

The Possibilities of the Game
MoA Member Thomas Lilge Featured in New Episode of HU Podcast Series
Logo Humboldt Hören. Copyright: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Logo Humboldt Hören. Copyright: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

News | Object Space Agency Our society follows countless explicit and implicit rules. So do games. That's why scientists use classic board games and modern game apps to bring people into dialogue and renegotiate rules. So-called game techniques are interesting, for example, to bring experts and scientists from different disciplines to a common language - through gaming. In the latest episode of the HU podcast »Humboldt Hören«, MoA member and CoHead of the research and development platform gamelab.berlin Thomas Lilge and resource economist Klaus Eisenack (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) explain in conversation with radio journalist Cora Knoblauch which cultural techniques can be found in modern video games. → more

Sound Symbolism in Humans
MoA Member Friedemann Pulvermüller Involved in Significant International Study
Kanzi, a bonobo (Pan paniscus), performing a match-to-sample task at his home Ape Initiative<br />
in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. Print-screen from: Margiotoudi K et al., Proc. R. Soc. B, February 2022 (https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.1717) [see online video materials].
Kanzi, a bonobo (Pan paniscus), performing a match-to-sample task at his home Ape Initiative
in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. Print-screen from: Margiotoudi K et al., Proc. R. Soc. B, February 2022 (https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.1717) [see online video materials].

News | Publication | Symbolic Material Is the ability to perceive connections between words that »sound round« and things that »look round« specific to humans? Or can other animals, including our closest living relatives, the great apes, also infer that a meaningless speech sound is ›sharp‹ or ›round‹ and refers to a curved or spiky shape? An international and multidisciplinary team of researchers, including MoA member Friedemann Pulvermüller, has now been able to answer this question using a new experiment with a language-competent bonobo. The results of the collaborative study by multidisciplinary researchers in Europe and the United States, led by Konstantina Margiotoudi, was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B on February 2nd, 2022. → more

What Role Does Speech Melody Play in the Listener's Processing of Information?
New Investigations on Speech Act Understanding by MoA Members Published in Cerebral Cortex
Copyright: The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press
Copyright: The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press

News | Publication | Symbolic Material During conversations, speech prosody provides important clues about the speaker’s communicative intentions. In many languages, a rising vocal pitch at the end of a sentence typically expresses a question function, whereas a falling pitch suggests a statement. In their latest publication entitled »Instantaneous Neural Processing of Communicative Functions Conveyed by Speech Prosody«, Rosario Tomasello, Luigi Grisoni, Isabella Boux, Daniela Sammler, and Friedemann Pulvermüller investigated the neurophysiological basis of intonation and speech act understanding with high-density electroencephalography (EEG) to determine whether prosodic features are reflected at the neurophysiological level. → more

Digital:Sovereignty
Review Interactive Exhibition of the Project »Coding IxD«
From left to right:

KIM | Milda Benjes, Nik Naumov, Aljoscha Peters, Alexia von Salomon<br />
Doc-U | Anton Wille, Jonathan Rex, Una Preuß, Yiawen Yao<br />
Discus | Antonios Hazim, Johannes Schmidtner<br />
Bubble+ | Sarah Leicher, Ran Zhang, Alpaslan Inceismail <br />
Cookie.Jar | Luis Günther, Benny Christian Henning, Meret Sonnenschein<br />
CO2NLINE | Julia Mellert, Simon Sasse, Youran Song 

Copyright: weißensee school of art and design berlin
From left to right: KIM | Milda Benjes, Nik Naumov, Aljoscha Peters, Alexia von Salomon
Doc-U | Anton Wille, Jonathan Rex, Una Preuß, Yiawen Yao
Discus | Antonios Hazim, Johannes Schmidtner
Bubble+ | Sarah Leicher, Ran Zhang, Alpaslan Inceismail 
Cookie.Jar | Luis Günther, Benny Christian Henning, Meret Sonnenschein
CO2NLINE | Julia Mellert, Simon Sasse, Youran Song  Copyright: weißensee school of art and design berlin

Event | Coding IxD What is digital sovereignty, and how can it be enabled by design? Students from the Department of Computer Science at Freie Universität Berlin and the Department of Product Design at weißensee school of art and design berlin explored these questions as part of the interdisciplinary course »Coding IxD« by means of Neo-analogue artefacts, i.e., products that represent a synthesis of the virtual and the material in form and function. The results of this project has been showcased in an interactive exhibition at the Weizenbaum Institute Berlin in February. → more

How Can Dynamic Immersive Experiences Serve for Research and Educational Matters?
New Publications present Findings of Stretching Senses School at TA T Berlin
3D printed prototypes by B. Pekcagliyan, W. Rybakova, N. Vega, & P. Greta for »Subterranean Matters« Project, in »Stretching Senses School«, Matters of Activity.
3D printed prototypes by B. Pekcagliyan, W. Rybakova, N. Vega, & P. Greta for »Subterranean Matters« Project, in »Stretching Senses School«, Matters of Activity.

News | Publication | Object Space Agency | Stretching Materialities Playful approaches can directly affect our sensory faculties beyond the realm of power and knowledge. The »stretching senses school« is an education-as-research project at the Tieranatomisches Theater Berlin (TA T) attached to the exhibition »Stretching Materialities«. This workshop-based contribution to the exhibition was framed as a collaboration between anthropology and immersive interaction art. Cluster members engaged with creative coders and digital artists in experimental curation work, with the intention to raise awareness of the public on the multiscale and embedded interconnections between humans and other earthly beings. Four new publications by MoA members and participants now introduce the method and implementation of the workshop which was carried out last fall in the Tieranatomisches Theater and discuss the experimental testing in three specific projects. → more

New Members
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Petra Ritter

Petra Ritter is a full professor for Brain Simulation. She heads the Brain Simulation Section with an interdisciplinary team of developers, engineers, scientists and medical doctors at the Berlin Institute of Health and the Dept. of Neurology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Her research focuses on integrating multi-level data in computational models of the brain to discover multi-scale mechanisms of brain function and dysfunction. Petra Ritter joined the project »Cutting« as an Associated Investigator. → more

About Clouds, Robots and the Sea – Thoughts on the Aesthetics of Metabolic Formations, Biodiversity and New Ecologies in Art and Design
Lecture and Artist Talk Now Online
Anne Duk Hee Jordan, »Making Kin 3.0«, 2021, KIOSK, Ghent, Belgium<em>. </em>Site specific Installation, with works included »Atmospheres of Breathing«, 2020-2021, »Singing Saw«, 2018, »I am so ashamed«, 2020, »Staying<em> </em>with the trouble«, 2019. Curated by Simon Delobel. Photo: Paulius Sliaupa
Anne Duk Hee Jordan, »Making Kin 3.0«, 2021, KIOSK, Ghent, Belgium. Site specific Installation, with works included »Atmospheres of Breathing«, 2020-2021, »Singing Saw«, 2018, »I am so ashamed«, 2020, »Staying with the trouble«, 2019. Curated by Simon Delobel. Photo: Paulius Sliaupa

Event | Object Space Agency | Stretching Materialities Are there aesthetic links between clouds, robots and the sea? The lecture by Babette Marie Werner, the performative talk with visual artist Anne Duk Hee Jordan and artistic and design researcher Clemens Winkler explored relations between visual interpretations of metabolic formations, biodiversity and new ecologies in art and design. This event was part of the exhibition »Stretching Materialities« by »Object Space Agency«. Follow the link to watch the full artist talk online. → more

About Microbes, Stones and Orbits – Thoughts on Haptic Knowledge, Circulating Narratives, and Transitions Between the Organic and the Inorganic
Performance, Conversation, Lecture in the Exhibition »Stretching Materialities«
Foto: Lena Dues. Design: NODE Berlin Oslo
Foto: Lena Dues. Design: NODE Berlin Oslo

Event | Object Space Agency | Stretching Materialities Where are the boundaries between living and dead matter? This evening of performance, artist-curator conversation, and lecture explores experiences and narratives between the organic and the inorganic associated with artifacts, natural objects, and the interior of our own bodies. This event is part of the current exhibition by MoA project »Object Space Agency« at Tieranatomisches Theater »Stretching Materialities. Hidden Activities in Objects and Spaces«.  → more

Un-learning Histories of Resilient Futures
MoA Co-Director Claudia Mareis Gives a Talk at the New European Bauhaus Conference
Poster New European Bauhaus Conference 2022
Poster New European Bauhaus Conference 2022

Event | Talk From 5-6 March 2022, the digital conference »Re: New European Bauhaus. For A Just Design of Climate Politics« will take place. It will navigate critical perspectives on the European Green Deal and the New European Bauhaus. The virtual program of talks, discussions, and workshops aims to explore institutional, artistic, and designerly strategies to utilise the creative fields’ response-ability and agency for climate justice in European politics. MoA Co-Director Claudia Mareis will give a lecture within the Panel »Art, Architecture, Design, and the Climate Crisis: Old Bauhaus Politics« on March 5th, 3-5 pm. → more

Doctoral Position in Physics Available Immediately - Reference Number AN/006/22
75 % of Regular Working Hours - Limited for 4 Years - E 13 TV-L HU

Jobs The Institute of Physics of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is looking for a research associate in the field of Topological phononics at interfaces in close collaboration with the Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity«. → more