In Search of the Pluriverse
Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #7 Finale: Body talk

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #7 Finale: Body talk

September 14, 2022

Imagine a cold, dark and rainy afternoon in November. The group (Dimitrova, Espinosa, Zahn, Wong, Krier and audiotechnician Robert) gathers under an old amusement park bumper-car-roof. We wear silent headphones with discolights. We are in the shadows of Haus der Statistik, that houses artistic and research based projects during its renovation. We use a score by Mia Habib and walk clockwise in circles. Robert stands in the middle, holding the mic. 

A walking, searching conversation that covers most subjects we touched upon these past few days: fluidity, violence, urban capitalism, the relation between body, city and health. The tone of the conversation is committed yet bleak. At the end Sophie lights up the space by quoting Puddles the Pelican: “It’s gonna be alright, even if it’s not gonna be alright”. 

References:

Glossary of Urban Praxis, Werkstätte Berlin, 2022:
https://www.urbanepraxis.berlin/glossary-of-urban-praxis/?lang=en
Modellprojekt Haus der Statistik:
https://hausderstatistik.org
Mia Habib: All, a physical form of protest:
https://www.miahabib.com/?portfolio=all-a-physical-poem-of-protest
Beyoncé, Formation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDZJPJV__bQ
Body of Bodies, Stadterweitern:
https://stadterweitern.de/publication
A pluralistic universe, William James, 1908:
https://journals.openedition.org/ejpap/756
Neue Kreuzberger Kunstverein:
https://www.nbk.org/de
Jeremy Wade aka Puddles the Pelican:
https://showdownpodcast.podigee.io/69-new-episode

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #6 Intermezzo: other voices, other lives

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #6 Intermezzo: other voices, other lives

September 14, 2022

We do realise that outside our hyperfocused Berlin bubble, this city hosts many other lives and voices that deserve to be heared and recognised. And that is why – in this short intermission – we make room for Doreen, Vasille, Fluss Puss and Johanna, Berliners we met while walking the streets. What does fluidity mean to them? What brought them here? Who exactly is Berlin?

Berlin Pigeons:
https://www.exberliner.com/berlin/berlin-pigeons/
Fluss Pluss:
https://soundcloud.com/flusspluss 

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #5 Sabine Zahn: Doing the city

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #5 Sabine Zahn: Doing the city

September 14, 2022

Sabine Zahn lives and works in Berlin. She investigates how choreographic strategies can help understand how urban space can be lived, expressed and transformed. She creates public research projects and processes which are often based on scripts that set something – often bodies – in motion. In 2021, Sabine was appointed a fellow in the DAS Graduate programme in Amsterdam.

We had this conversation at Floating University, a place for learning and experiment in a neglected water basin at the fringe of Kreuzberg. Zahn thrives in places like this, where new ways of living and being – human and more than human – can be tried out and ‘rehearsed’.  A talk at dusk, when the light faded and the cold started to creep in. A conversation about the body as a tool to understand words, and words as the start of a choreography. 

References:

Floating University Berlin:
https://floating-berlin.org/
Fremdgehen:
http://www.lovelabours.net/
Stadterweitern:
https://stadterweitern.de/publication
DAS Graduate Programme:
https://www.atd.ahk.nl/das-research/third/third-cohorts/sabine-zahn/ 

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #4 Tomás Espinosa: The art of cruising

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #4 Tomás Espinosa: The art of cruising

September 14, 2022

Tomás Espinosa is artist and activist. He works in both in Berlin and Bogotá. The tension between the ‘intimate’ and the ‘public’ fuels his work. He installed two hanging mirrors with holes in a Berlin park, where men meet for sex. He filmed the installation and put a soundscape under it in which you hear Espinosa cruising through the greenery, making contact with other male bodies. Is this a disturbance of a secretive meeting place, or an attempt to emancipate? He took this installation to Bogotá where he engages since 2015 with La Red Comunitaria Trans, a trans activist network. Together they develop actions, performances and videos. 

A talk on a crisp, cold morning about fighting violence, having sex in public places, the urgency of protest, the worth of a life and the darker sides of fluidity. 

References:

Tomás Espinosa:
https://www.tomasespinosa.com
La Red Comunitaria Trans:
https://redcomunitariatrans.org
Cruising:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruising_for_sex
Necropolitics, Achille Mbembe:
https://criticallegalthinking.com/2020/03/02/achille-mbembe-necropolitics/ 

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #3  Kornelia Dimitrova: Playbook for healing

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #3 Kornelia Dimitrova: Playbook for healing

September 14, 2022

Architectural researcher Kornelia Dimitrova co-founded Foundation We Are, a collective of nine creative minds and makers. We had a Warming Up Talk in 2020 with Kornelia and her co-founder Bernhard Lenger. Dimitrova’s analytic and bright approach of the built environment and social dynamics stuck with us, so we asked her to join us for our Berlin edition. In her own practice Dimitrova helps care organisations to address spatial and architectural issues by imagining alternative scenarios for use. In the past years she developed a strategic vision for De Grote Beek, one of the largest mental healthcare facilities in the Netherlands. Kornelia published her proposals in the Playbook for Healing Environments. 

A talk – with a blazing fire in the background – about the value of mapping, working with what there is, and the art of proposing the right possibilities at the right time. 

References:

Kornelia Dimitrova:
https://www.kodimitrova.com/
The Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, Berlin (1919-1933):
https://magnus-hirschfeld.de/ausstellungen/institute/
Sectie C Eindhoven:
https://www.sectie-c.com/site/
Stock photography:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_photography 

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #2 Vertical field trip: sensing Fischerinsel

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #2 Vertical field trip: sensing Fischerinsel

September 14, 2022

We start every pluriversal trip with a joined experience: a vertical fieldtrip, or an ‘acupuncture of place’ as Sophie Krier calls it. Guided by participant Sabine Zahn we (Tomás Espinosa, Kornelia Dimitrova, Benoît Verjat, Sophie Krier and Erik Wong) attempt to ‘feel’ one of the oldest, but now quite nondescript parts of Berlin: Fisherinsel. Sabine invites us to use our whole body and all our senses. We start at motor ship Heimatland that houses Hošek Contemporary, a residency/studio space that functions as our home base. 

We walk, jump, stumble, roll, smell, touch, listen and observe. At the end you can listen to some personal audio notes. A very physical start of our fluid trip.

References:

Fisherinsel:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischerinsel
Hošek Contemporary:
https://www.hosekcontemporary.com
Bei Lydia:
https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Restaurant_Review-g187323-d15036865-Reviews-Bei_Lydia-Berlin.html 

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #1 Daan van Kampenhout: Fucking with the Gods

Fluid selves, fluid Berlin #1 Daan van Kampenhout: Fucking with the Gods

September 14, 2022

Although in time it was our last conversation, we decided to start this string of talks with Daan van Kampenhout. His take on fluidity is inspiring and a perfect introduction to our series ‘Fluid selves, fluid Berlin’.

Van Kampenhout’s interest in shamanism started after having vidid dreams during a malaria infection. He graduated from art school with a series of costumes and rituals. After a life of travel, learning, publishing and teaching, Van Kampenhout still combines his ritualistic, systemic practice with designing costumes and performing. A talk on a quiet winter day about antidotes for hate, mediating between matter and spirit, a queer ancestors ritual and the importance of Berlin’s KitKatClub as a fun, fluid techno temple. 

References:

Daan van Kampenhout:
https://daanvankampenhout.com/
Bert Hellinger:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bert_Hellinger
Stretch Festival/Village:
https://www.stretch.berlin/
Radical Faeries:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_Faeries
KitKatClub:
https://www.kitkatclub.org/ 

Thriving on Mull Detour Talk - With Mae-Ling Lokko & Henriëtte Waal (Accra/Arles/The Hague)

Thriving on Mull Detour Talk - With Mae-Ling Lokko & Henriëtte Waal (Accra/Arles/The Hague)

April 21, 2022

Ghanaian-Filipino architectural scientist Mae-ling Lokko is active in the field of biomaterials. A recent work discussed in this talk is Thresholds of Return, a gate made of waste from the Ghanian coconut industry. It is a reconstruction of the Door of No Return in Elmina (Ghana), through which the enslaved were led out of Africa. Wong & Krier got to know about Lokko’s work in Mull through Tom Morton (Arc Architects), with whom she designed an ‘open air classroom’ for the Future by Design Cove park residency in the lead up to COP26.

Designer and researcher Henriëtte Waal co-initiated Atelier Luma, an experimental design laboratory in Arles, France, in 2016. Among other programs, Waal helped set up a residency programme there for designers, which is how she first met Lokko. Waal’s system-level projects integrate design, community and ecology and involve collaborations with scientists, communities, an international network of makers, and students.

In this joyful and at times technical Friday afternoon talk, Lokko and Waal share memories and insights about food as a community binder and talk about practices of hardscaping versus ‘mounding’ (contouring permeable earth) to resolve water circulation problems in cities. Mae-ling introduces the idea/theory of generative justice (the bottom up creation, translation and circulation of value) and very vividly describes her recent installation Thresholds of Return. Henriette chimes in when ‘bioregional design’ come to the table: localty and Co2 footprint are easily overlooked in biobased design. Let’s start from the feet up. 

https://henriettewaal.com/about/
www.z33.be/en/programma/mae-ling-lokko/

Thriving on Mull #13: Bonus: sounds of Mull

Thriving on Mull #13: Bonus: sounds of Mull

April 21, 2022

Just before we left we handed all the sounds we recorded along the way, over to sound engineer Martin Low. He mixed it into this soundscape. The last pearl of the string. Thank you Martin, Mull and everyone we’ve met along the way. <3

We were inspired and overwhelmed by Mull and everything the island contains and shared with us.  This is one of 13 talks. We edited it like ‘a string of pearls’ It works best to jump from one pearl to the next, starting at the beginning… Enjoy! 

For more context and information about our search for the pluriverse and the upcoming exhibition we are curating: go to pluriverse.hetnieuweinstituut.nl

Thriving on Mull #12: Aslı Hatipoğlu on microbes, food and community.

Thriving on Mull #12: Aslı Hatipoğlu on microbes, food and community.

April 19, 2022

Aslı Hatipoğlu is weaver, researcher and cook. “By cooking in specific environments, and engaging with people from different cultural backgrounds, I run into stories, which lead me to subjects such as history, psychology, spirituality, ecology and science. I translate these stories into textiles or printed edible materials, and curate dinners around these topics, making use of the social interaction that takes place when we eat together.” Sadly enough Aslı could not join us on Mull, so Erik looked her up in Maastricht where she was a participant at Jan van Eyck Academie, a post graduate programme for art, design and reflection. A talk about cooking, recipes, the locality of food and culture, our relationships with microbes and the deeper understanding of life they provide. 

We were inspired and overwhelmed by Mull and everything the island contains and shared with us.  This is one of 13 talks. We edited it like ‘a string of pearls’. It works best to jump from one pearl to the next, starting at the beginning… Enjoy! 

For more context and information about our search for the pluriverse and the upcoming exhibition we are curating: go to pluriverse.hetnieuweinstituut.nl

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