Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Workshop on Biocalcification led by Bastian Beyer and Daniel Suarez at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs Paris, March 2022. Copyright: Daniel Suarez, adapted by Matters of Activity
Workshop on Biocalcification led by Bastian Beyer and Daniel Suarez at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs Paris, March 2022. Copyright: Daniel Suarez, adapted by Matters of Activity

Editorial Dear friends of »Matters of Activity«,

We hope you enjoyed a bit of holiday or free time during the Easter Break. This very rich new issue of our CZ# will keep you updated on what's happening in the new semester. We are happy to invite you to lecture series, such as »Dis/Entangling Material Futures« and »On Gestaltung«, organized by our Cluster Members Claudia Mareis and Patricia Ribault as well as other interesting events at Mall Anders or Tieranatomisches Theater. Please don't miss the conversation and workshop »Materials Matter« this week – our first public event at Humboldt Lab!

Happy reading,
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott & Franziska Wegener

Liebe Freund:innen von »Matters of Activity«

wir hoffen, dass Sie in den Osterferien ein wenig Urlaub oder freie Zeit genießen konnten. Die neue Ausgabe unserer CZ# hält Sie auf dem Laufenden über die nächsten Veranstaltungen im neuen Semester. Wir freuen uns sehr, Sie zu den Ringvorlesungen »Dis/Entangling Material Futures« und »On Gestaltung« einzuladen, die von Claudia Mareis und Patricia Ribault organisiert werden sowie zu anderen interessanten Veranstaltungen, zum Beispiel in der Mall Anders oder im Tieranatomischen Theater. Nicht verpassen sollten Sie zudem nicht unsere erste öffentliche Veranstaltung im Humboldt Labor – die Paneldiskussion und den anschließenden Workshop »Materials Matter«!

Viel Spaß beim Lesen
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott & Franziska Wegener

Tendons as Strong as Wire Ropes?
A Team of MPICI Researchers Discovers New Properties of Collagen
Collagen fiber bundle after mineralization with bone mineral calcium phosphate under an electron microscope. Copyright: Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces
Collagen fiber bundle after mineralization with bone mineral calcium phosphate under an electron microscope. Copyright: Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces

News | Publication A team at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPICI) has discovered new properties of collagen: During the intercalation of minerals in collagen fibers, a contraction tension is generated that is hundreds of times stronger than muscle strength. »This universal mechanism of mineralization of organic fiber tissues could be transferred to technical hybrid materials, for example, to achieve high breaking strength there,« says Prof. Dr. Peter Fratzl, Director at the institute and Co-Director of »Matters of Activity«. → more

What are Futures Made of?
The Experimental Laboratory for Science Communication »CollActive Materials« Started
CollActive Materials Workshop. Copyright: CollActive Materials
CollActive Materials Workshop. Copyright: CollActive Materials

CollActive Materials In the experimental laboratory → CollActive Materials, society and science are speculating together about the materials of tomorrow: What might they look like or feel like? Could they be more active or more intelligent than the materials of today? By trying things out together, the speculators develop new future scenarios, stories and objects and invite discussion of various conceivable futures.

In workshops and events, participants are invited to think about new material futures. Therein, current debates about ecological and geopolitical challenges play just as much a role as new developments in robotics and collective intelligence.

The experimental lab is a joint project of the Berlin Clusters of Excellence »Matters of Activity. Image Space Material» and ↗ Science of Intelligence and is funded under the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder by the Berlin University Alliance.

Project Leader
→ Léa Perraudin
→ Martin Müller

Coordination
→ Kristin Werner
→ Eva Bullermann

Principal Investigators
→ Claudia Mareis
→ Wolfgang Schäffner
↗ Oliver Brock
→ Antje Nestler
↗ Solveig Steinhardt

Find our first event, happening at Mall Anders, below!

How do Tumors in the Motor System Affect the Structural Connectome?
New Findings by MoA Researcher Lucius Fekonja and Colleagues Published in »Communications Biology«
Distribution of the patients’ lesions. Copyright: Lucius Fekonja
Distribution of the patients’ lesions. Copyright: Lucius Fekonja

News | Publication | Cutting How do tumors in the motor system affect the structural connectome? Tumors and their location distinctly alter both local and global brain connectivity within the ipsilesional hemisphere of glioma patients. This study, led by Cluster Member Lucius Fekonja, links the complex relationships between function and the underlying matter, the brain's white matter, and demonstrates how tumor activity affects the cerebral network using graph analysis and network-based statistics. The work was done in the framework of »Cutting«/»Adaptive Digital Twin« and initiates its new Cluster phase by enriching our understanding of structural characteristics of active materials, their functional and scientific implications in clinical and translational medicine and neuroscience. The publication in »Communications Biology« further highlights the interdisciplinary aspect of the study. → more

How Sensors Shape Our Everyday Life
Chris Salter's Latest Publication »Sensing Machines«
Cover Chris Salter, Sensing Machines 2022. Copyright: The MIT Press
Cover Chris Salter, Sensing Machines 2022. Copyright: The MIT Press

News | Publication | Object Space Agency In his new book »Sensing Machines«, Chris Salter, Associated Member to the »Object Space Agency« project, examines how we are tracked, surveilled, tantalized, and seduced by machines ranging from smart watches and mood trackers to massive immersive art installations. There are more of these electronic devices in the world than there are people — in 2020, thirty to fifty billion of them (versus 7.8 billion people), with more than a trillion expected in the next decade. Sensing technology turns our experience into data; but the book’s story isn't just about what these machines want from us, but what we want from them — new sensations, the thrill of the uncanny, and magic that will transport us from our daily grind. → more

Materials of the Future
MoA Member Bastian Beyer and Daniel Suarez led Workshop on Biocalcification hosted by Aurélie Mossé at École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs Paris
Workshop on Biocalcification led by Bastian Beyer and Daniel Suarez at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs Paris, March 2022. Copyright: Daniel Suarez
Workshop on Biocalcification led by Bastian Beyer and Daniel Suarez at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs Paris, March 2022. Copyright: Daniel Suarez

Teaching | Weaving The workshop at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs Paris with students of the course »matérialités futures« led by Aurélie Mossé aimed to further explore intersections of biology and textiles. The course centred around the topic of biocalcification, a biochemical process very common in nature where calcite is formed through an enzymatic process involving specific strains of bacteria. Previous research done by cluster member Bastian Beyer and Daniel Suarez provided the conceptual and material framework for the workshop. → more

Microbiomes - Microorganisms in (Im)Balance
Latest Episode of the »Exzellent erklärt« Podcast Highlights the Work of the »Balance of the Microverse« Cluster in Jena
Podcast »Exzellent erklärt«, Episode 10: »Mikrobiome«. Copyright: Balance of the Microverse Jena & Exzellent erklärt
Podcast »Exzellent erklärt«, Episode 10: »Mikrobiome«. Copyright: Balance of the Microverse Jena & Exzellent erklärt

News | Exzellent erklärt Microbial balance is the basis for healthy life - whether in humans, animals or plants. Even waters and soils, and thus entire ecosystems, depend on it. If this dynamic equilibrium of bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms becomes unstable, this can have serious consequences. Research into the microverse is all about the communication and interaction of the tiny creatures with each other and with their environment. After all, they have often been living together for millions of years and are rarely found in isolation. Axel Brakhage, Director of the ↗ Microverse-Cluster at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena tells us that the next antibiotic agent may be waiting to be discovered in our front garden.

57 Clusters of Excellence, 1 podcast. ↗ Exzellent erklärt reports regularly from one of the research networks that are funded within the framework of the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder. The journey goes right across the country, and the topics are just as diverse as the locations: From A for African studies to Z for the future of medicine.

You can also vote for »Exzellent erklaert« for the Audience Award of the German Podcast Award until May 8th with just ↗ one click.

Nelli Singer Awarded Two Reputable Prices for her Master Thesis »Living Beings«
Nelli Singer working on the knitted active structures. The design and geometry of the stitches within the knitted structure are responsible for the different reactions at increased moisture content Copyright: Nelli Singer 2020
Nelli Singer working on the knitted active structures. The design and geometry of the stitches within the knitted structure are responsible for the different reactions at increased moisture content Copyright: Nelli Singer 2020

News | Awards Our warmest congratulations to Cluster Guest Researcher Nelli Singer who has been awarded two prestigious prices at once for her Master Thesis »Living Beings«. The Materialica Award 2021 of Munich Expo and the ein&zwanzig Design Newcomer Award of the German Design Council. »Living Beings« explores the performative properties of wood through textile techniques and enviromental humidity and was supervised by Cluster Member Christiane Sauer. → more

Viral Theatres: Pandemic Past/Hybrid Futures
Exhibition Organized Together with ExC Temporal Communities
Poster »Viral Theatres: Pandemic Past/Hybrid Futures«. Copyright: Francesca Sciarmella
Poster »Viral Theatres: Pandemic Past/Hybrid Futures«. Copyright: Francesca Sciarmella

Event | Exhibition How hybrid is the future of theatre? In what ways has the pandemic changed how we work in theatre and gather in it as a public space? The opening symposium »Viral Theatres: Pandemic Past/Hybrid Futures« explored these questions. In three days of events, it took stock of how pandemic time has moved from a state of exception to new normality between viral outbreak and containment and what that means for theatrical production. You can visit the accompanying exhibition in the Tieranatomisches Theater (Veterinary Anatomy Theater) in Berlin until June 3rd.  → more

New Members and Roles
Dominic Eger Domingos

Dominic Eger Domingos is a Pre-Doctoral Researcher within the projects »Filtering« and »Cutting«. After training as a carpenter, Dominic Eger Domingos studied product design at weißensee school of art and design berlin. During his studies, he first explored the design approach of hand-held cutting tools and the interaction with them. Since his MA, his focus has been on digital cutting. He searches concepts of digital materiality and physical interaction with haptic feedback by creating tangible prototypes for the interaction with surgical robots. → more

Anna Schäffner

Anna Schäffner is Pre-Doctoral Candidate in the project »Filtering«, and a practice-based PhD Candidate in the SACRe doctoral program at École nationale superieure des Arts Décoratifs. She studied Product Design in France and in Berlin at the weissensee school of art and design berlin, where she graduated with a Master in 2021. Her research focuses on soft robotics, and the design of deformation as a vector of movement, as a capacity for dynamic material adaptation and expressiveness. → more

Photo: Regula Bearth, edited by MoA
Rasa Weber

Rasa Weber is a designer with a focus on bio-based materials and interdisciplinary research. She is a researcher at Zürich University of the Arts and as Pre-Doctoral Researcher part of the project »Material Form Function«. In her thesis »Growing Matter» she researches on the process of underwater mineral accretion and its symbiotic potential for the ecological formation of reef architectures. At the Cluster she brings sustainable material development from the closed system of the laboratory to the open system of the ocean via interdisciplinary field methods. → more

Dis/Entangling Material Futures
Lecture Series by Cluster Co-Director Claudia Mareis Continues
Dis/Entangling Material Futures. Copyright: Claudia Mareis
Dis/Entangling Material Futures. Copyright: Claudia Mareis

News | Dis/Entangling Material Futures The lecture series takes up the ambiguous role of materials in future-making practices along with the possible geo and bio-political precarity they may generate. Different materials from sand, water, or air to living cells and whole ecosystems are the objects and interface of a range of technologies that generate images of the future. Their probabilistic methods prepare the ideational and physical ground for large and small-scale design interventions (e.g., climate-resilient infrastructures). Register now and take part in the lecture series that continues until July 18th, every Monday 4.15 pm. → more

On Gestaltung
Lecture Series at Weißensee School of Art and Design Continues
Poster »On Gestaltung«. Copyright: weißensee school of art and design berlin
Poster »On Gestaltung«. Copyright: weißensee school of art and design berlin

Event | On Gestaltung Our modes of giving form evolve and hybridize more and more, but they are also inhabited by common and timeless questionings that have to do with our demiurgic tendencies. This lecture series, initiated in 2021 by Patricia Ribault and Jörg Petruschat, will question the processes of formation and transformation of the material world we live in through various concepts: constraint, function and dysfunction, formativity and performativity, visualization and representation, activity, bricology..., all of which constitute the inseparably mental and material set of operations that lead to the genesis of a thing. → more

Materials Matter
Conversation and Workshop about Central Cluster Anthology »Active Materials«
Poster Materials Matter. Copyright: Matters of Activity
Poster Materials Matter. Copyright: Matters of Activity

Event | Publication | Humboldt Lab On the occasion of the publication of the central Cluster anthology »Active Materials« (De Gruyter 2021), a public panel discussion and workshop was held at the Humboldt Laboratory on May 4th and 5th. The organizers of the event, co-editors Karin Krauthausen and Michael Friedman, were particularly pleased that, in addition to many of the contributing researchers to the volume, they were also able to win historian of science Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent for the event to present central theses of the volume and to engage in a cross-disciplinary conversation about them with the interested participants. → more

Mastering Digital Cutting in Robot-Assisted Surgery
Dominic Eger Domingos Presents His Research at the Berlin Cluster of Excellence Event at Mall Anders
Flyer »Meet the Scientist« at Mall Anders. Copyright: Mall Anders
Flyer »Meet the Scientist« at Mall Anders. Copyright: Mall Anders

Event | Science Communication What does the work of scientists actually consist of? At the casual »Meet the Scientist« event in the »Mall Anders« in the WILMA Shopping Center, a broad public will have the opportunity to meet researchers from the Berlin Clusters of Excellence. For »Matters of Activity«, Dominic Eger Domingos will give insights into his research work on digital cutting in robot-assisted surgery. → more

CollActive Materials at Mall Anders
Join the Pop-up Materials Lab in Wilma Shopping Mall on May 20th and 21st and Bring your Kids!
Flyer CollActive Materials at Mall Anders. Copyright: CollActive Materials
Flyer CollActive Materials at Mall Anders. Copyright: CollActive Materials

Event | CollActive Materials With the experimental laboratory »CollActive Materials« just starting, its first ever event is already around the corner: On Friday and Saturday, May 20th and 21st, the science communication lab hosts two days for science and public to get together and (re-)negotiate the futures of materials. You are invited!

Under the headline »What is your future made of?«, »CollActive Materials« will start its conversation about material presents and futures: Which personal routines and values play a role when we interact with materials in our everyday lives today? Which materials are yet to be created, discovered, or rethought? What role could active and intelligent materials play in possible futures, and how could these look like?

Register now and join the pop-up materials lab on May 20th, 2:00-8:00 pm and May 21st, 10:00 am–6:00 pm or drop by for any of the scheduled activities. → more

Hello Artwork, What is Your Nationality?
Discussion and Book Launch with Sebastián Eduardo, Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Susanne Leeb, Nina Samuel, Abhijan Toto and Raul Walch
Colourful Revolution 1, »paintballing« of the refurbished building of the Government of Macedonia, Skopje, 1 May 2016. Copyright: Sašo Stanojkoviќ
Colourful Revolution 1, »paintballing« of the refurbished building of the Government of Macedonia, Skopje, 1 May 2016. Copyright: Sašo Stanojkoviќ

Event | Publication | Object Space Agency On May 29, 11:30 am–01:30 pm, Cluster member Nina Samuel and co-editor of »Museums, Transculturality, and the Nation-State. Case Studies from a Global Context« will present, together with colleagues and guests, the recently published anthology in the Hamburger Bahnhof. The multiauthor book examines the contradictions and tensions that arise when contemporary demands for transculturality and decoloniality meet the institutions of the nation-state. → more

Premiere of the VR Dance Film »Paar«
On June 9th in the Tieranatomisches Theater
Paar. Copyright: Gamelab Berlin
Paar. Copyright: Gamelab Berlin

Event | Gamelab | Tieranatomisches Theater On Thursday, June 9th, at 7 pm, the premiere of »Paar« takes place in the Tieranatomisches Theater. »Paar« is a VR dance film split between a physical world and a virtual world, using 360° video together with motion capture technology, to dance the theater to life in VR. The virtual environment of the Veterinary Anatomy Theater (Tieranatomisches Theater, TA T) is created from the 3D photorealistic rendering of the theater, making for 180° of the virtual world and 180° of the physical world. In Paar, the dancers’ movements are tracked via motion capture technology. This recorded movement data will be mapped into the virtual environment of the TA T through avatars. → more

stretching senses school festival
VR Worldings for Planetary Emergency at Tieranatomisches Theater
Poster Stretching Senses School Festival. Image »Subterenaen Matters« Baris Pekcagliyan, Warja Rybakova, Nayeli Vega, Paulina Greta, adapted by NODE Berlin. Copyright: Matters of Activity

 
Poster Stretching Senses School Festival. Image »Subterenaen Matters« Baris Pekcagliyan, Warja Rybakova, Nayeli Vega, Paulina Greta, adapted by NODE Berlin. Copyright: Matters of Activity  

News | Object Space Agency | Stretching Materialities Feeling limestone grow from the inside and seeing its dispersion as urban landscape; experiencing an amphitheater through vibrations of willow branches; reaching out to the hidden electrical energies of things around us; touch the surface of cellular tissues. The »stretching senses school festival« exhibits site-specific virtual reality artworks from ongoing research at the Cluster at TA T, in the continuation of the »Stretching Materialities« exhibition. → more

The Interdisciplinary World of Tangling
Conference Organized by Cluster Members Myfanwy Evans and Rhoslyn Coles
Poster »The Interdisciplinary World of Tangling«. Copyright: Myfwany Evans
Poster »The Interdisciplinary World of Tangling«. Copyright: Myfwany Evans

Event | Conference This week–long conference from 12-16 September 2022 will bring together scientists from various backgrounds who spend a reasonable amount of time thinking about tangles, tubes, knots, filaments, fibers and other entangled structures, from the perspective of physics, material science, mathematics, chemistry or biology. Tangling is a key structural motif of a multitude of natural systems, from molecules to polymers, and has a distinctive relationship to functionality. Understanding tangling itself and the role that it plays in material properties is a complicated web of different disciplines and perspectives, and we hope to create a deep scientific exchange on this topic. → more