• Herbarium Politicum

    — a talk by Anna-Sophie Springer on the occasion of Uriel Orlow's exhibition at Kunsthalle Mainz

    Uriel Orlow’s moving exhibition “Conversing with Leaves” at Kunsthalle Mainz brings together four of the artist’s major installations from the last years into one institution. In his recent work “Theatrum Botanicum” (2015–18), he tells the story of the garden planted by Nelson Mandela and his fellow inmates planted in Robben Island Prison, South Africa. Departing from these lifelines, my presentation “Herbarium Politicum” is also inspired by the letters and herbarium sheets of Rosa Luxemburg—for whom pressing the leaves of flowers and plants into neat albums was a means for staying grounded and connected to the world during her years as political prisoner. Expanding from Uriel’s meticulous practice, I will then introduce a series of related projects by other artists and activists—many times both—whose work with seeds, gardens, and forests is also inherently political—and often literally a question of life and death. Via the insights of writers such as Robin Wall-Kimmerer, Banu Subramaniam, and Sophie Chao we will reflect on the importance of reciprocity, kinship, belonging, and care—in order to even better understand what is so radical about “plant love” in the face of insect decline, uncontrollable forest fires, and decades-old agrarian anxieties.
    [Photo: “Squirrel's Revenge” (2017), Uriel Orlow. © Uriel Orlow & VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019]

  • Hanna Mattes, "The Lunar System" out now with K. Verlag

    — readings from "The Lunar System," and sounds from outer space,
 with Hanna Mattes and Anna-Sophie Springer

    What could be better than concluding the year with a new publication embracing Love and Cosmic Forces?

 If you are in Berlin, please join me and my fantastic friend Hanna Mattes on Sunday for the release of "The Lunar System"—her new book of poetry and photography—featuring images taken during a total solar eclipse as well as from sites in Chile’s Atacama Desert. We'll have some snacks and drinks there and just look forward to spending some time in this beautiful place together. Hope you can make it!

  • "Best Book Design" award for K. Verlag

    — Ontario Association of Art Galleries selects "The Work of Wind: Land" (2018)

    The K. publication "The Work of Wind: Land,” co-edited last year by Chrisine Shaw & Etienne Turpin—and designed in collaboration with the amazing Katharina Tauer—has won this year’s “Best Book Design Award” in the Canadian OAAG competition of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries !!!
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    The publication is the first volume in a series of three and it was produced in conjunction with Christine Shaw’s radical site-sensitive exhibition "The Work of Wind.” This project itself won the "Exhibition of the Year" award in the same competition cycle as well as further design awards for all other, free publications connected to “The Work of Wind.”
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    Huge congratulations to everyone involved and especially proud since it's the second national design award K. received this year together with Katharina!

  • "Vegetable Teratology Coloring Book" ed. by Nina Canell & Robin Waktins

    — new K. book available for your order !

    The problem with coloring books is that they seem to be more about filling time rather than a page. It’s as if they suggest that there is no negotiation involved in the processes which give shape to things on paper, or the subjects they depict. Shouldn’t geometry, scale and proportion be as wild on paper as they are in the wild? This small book is not about censorship, nor is it explicitly about the colouring-in of vegetables: the full-page figures from Maxwell Tylden Masters’s "Vegetable Teratology: An Account of the Principal Deviations from the Usual Construction of Plants" (1869) are not bound to botany. As abstract illustrations they function as an exploration into morphological occurrences, rejecting the goal-oriented, the figurative, and the categorical. Following a traditional format, the "Vegetable Teratology Colouring Book" (edited by Nina Canell & Robin Watkins) attempts to open up a creative bypass, embracing the multitude of forms that may emerge as a pear or plum. Time then to draw out the possible colors of fruit to come. In the publication, Masters’s botanical illustrations have been contextualized by a glossary, image captions, and a short text by Robin Watkins.

  • Nina Canell, Robin Wakins, and K. Verlag

    — exhibition at Progetto, Lecce, Italia

    Together. To gather. Collate, col-, act, collect. Glue together, colla, collaborate. Collagenate. Coagulate. Colour in, colorarlo, collaborare. Laborare. Labour together.
    To gather together. Colander together.
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    During our collaborative residency hosted by Progetto in Lecce, three practitioners have shared five-hundred hours together exploring Lecce town and the surrounding Salento region. This experience culminates in the launch of the Vegetable Teratology Colouring Book, co-edited by Nina Canell & Robin Watkins, and published by K. Verlag.
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    Based on Maxwell T. Master's "Vegetable Teratology: An Account of the Principal Deviations from the Usual Construction of Plants" (1869), the colouring book examines the morphological potential of vegetables and fruits, plants and flowers. It gathers a selection of full-page botanical illustrations, a glossary, and a short text by Robin Watkins. The historical images once served to outline notions of what was to be considered acceptable growth behaviour; now they take on a new role by subtly embracing the aberration of form in its various colourations and questioning what is normal about normalcy.
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    In Lecce, this new publication is shared with the public in a two-fold launch event, including—on 18 October—a first intervention kindly hosted by the local cultural centre Le Maniffature Knos during the weekly, self-organized organic farmer's market taking place there each Friday night. At Progetto itself, the Vegetable Teratology Colouring Book is also the centerpiece of a one-off shelf structure set up to hold a material archive gathered throughout the time of the residency and laid out alongside a selection of publications from K.'s program.
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    In the light-flooded rooms of the palazzo housing Progetto, this multifarious structure is merely one part of an exhibition opening on 19 October that furthermore includes a series of sculptural assemblages by artist Nina Canell, made on-site with found objects and primary materials such as clay and stone. Often using location-specific conditions, Canell's installations respond to heat or moisture, calling for presence to replace form in sculpture. In the context of the joint residency—focusing on the deviation and contour of things as they come together or fall apart—Canell's assemblages echo themes raised by the Vegetable Teratology Colouring Book by emphasizing material agency and sculptural process.
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    With extra special thanks to Jamie Sneider (Progetto), Enrico Tramecere (Terraje Ceramiche), and Cesare Papaleo.

  • Collaborative residency with Nina Canell & Robin Watkins at Progetto in Lecce (Salento, Southern Italy)

    For much of this year, I've been daydreaming about an "escape" to Southern Italy at the end of the summer and was planning to go to Matera in Basilicata, where dear friend and collaborator Armin Linke was going to have his exhibition as part of the European Capital of Culture program. Such joy then when Nina Canell and Robin Watkins invited me to embark on a joint artist residency at Jamie Sneider's beautiful art space Progetto in Lecce (Puglia). We spent some weeks meeting and learning from local artisans and organic agriculturists and food activists—in between exploring the many fantastic beaches of course and the endless indulgence in dishes and wines.
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    At the end of the time, we launched a publication we produced together and which I published through K. Verlag: Robin & Nina's "Vegetable Teratology Coloring Book" appropriating the scientific illustrations of Maxwell Tylden Masters’s "Vegetable Teratology: An Account of the Principal Deviations from the Usual Construction of Plants" (1869). Fittingly to our themes and experience, we first presented the publication by mingling with the sellers of the weekly, self-organized organic farmer's night market at Lecce cultural center Le Maniffature Knos. But it also became the centerpiece of a K. Verlag library installation at Progetto itself (see post above). And, in the end, I even traveled to Matera where I was delighted to see many of the photographs Armin Linke and Giulia Bruno took on our trips through Borneo and Sumatra in 2016 as part of the truly phenomenal exhibition "Blind Sensorium."

  • A FOREST FOR THE WORLD & THE BOOK AS FOREST

    — a two-day seminar with students from the architecture, design, and art degree programs of Institut Kunst, Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Basel

    While forest fires have been raging in Amazonia, Indonesia, the Arctic, and many other regions worldwide, my two-day seminar will focus on the archetypal role of plants for life on earth. We will discuss the concept of the "forest" philosophically and biologically as a concept for multiplicity, diversity, and reciprocity. Unpacking the meaning of the "Anthropocene" as a species concept with limited ability to capture the capitalist-extractivist dynamics that have produced the current ecological crisis, we will explore alternative terminologies centering specifically on human-plant relations—including the "Plantationocene" as suggested by Donna Haraway, Jason Moore, and Anna Tsing and the "Planthroposcene" as suggested by Natasha Myers and colleagues. Throughout the seminar, we will counterpoint our theoretical work with examinations of curatorial, editorial, artistic, and writerly methodologies dealing with our subject matter in a manner of lived, ethico-aesthetic practices. ** The photo shows a pack of Birch leaf tea I brought from Finland the week before and which we were drinking together throughout the seminar

  • K. Verlag at Editions Showroom of art berlin art fair

    This September, K. Verlag is among the 12 invited publishers presenting their work in the Salon of the art berlin in the building of the former Tempelhof airport.

  • "Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities" in Helsinki

    — invited to attend the program organized by Frame Contemporary Art Finland

    Within the curatorial field, the question of hospitality is such a crucial one. I felt immensely honored to receive an invitation to travel to Finland for the first time and, "quite simply," be a guest of the Gathering and attendant program put together with great care by the team around Jussi Koitela and Yvonne Billimore of Frame. Excited for a dense week of events and meeting new and old friends!

  • K. Verlag awarded for one of the "25 Most Beautiful Books Made in Germany"

    — with "On Reconciliation / Über Versöhnung," edited by Dora García

    This winter, I submitted for the first time a book to Stiftung Buchkunst’s annual competition for the “25 most beautiful books” made in Germany. I chose the bilingual volume, "On Reconciliation / Über Versöhnung," edited by Dora Garcia, on the love relationship and intellectual friendship of Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt. In June, the jury selected our book and today we will celebrate together with other publishers, designers, authors, etc. at the Museum for Applied Arts in Frankfurt. Really looking forward—and congrats to everyone involved in the book: Simon Asencio, Rebecka Katz Thor, Nikola Mirković, Mark Thomas, Yuliya A. Tsutserova, Etienne Turpin, and Adriano Wilfert Jensen; and especially, Dora García and designer Katharina Tauer!

  • The Whole Life: Academy

    — a workshop conceived and convened together with Assaf Gruber

  • Des-Habitat by Paulo Tavares (K. Verlag, 2019)

    — new K. publication in English and Portuguese editions

    I am proud to publish Paulo Tavares contribution to the exhibition Bauhaus imaginista, "Des-Habitat"; the project is a graphic-textual intervention by Paulo Tavares into Lina Bo Bardi's magazine "Habitat" that reads like a thriller. Realized by the Brazilian agency for spatial research and intervention, autonoma, the publication was first presented at Bauhaus imaginista, São Paulo (2018) and will be launched in Europe at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, on 14 March 2019. Texts include an essay by Paulo Tavares and a preface by curator Marion von Osten. More info over at K. (-:

  • Radical terrestrial

    — a week-long Theoriewoche seminar at Institut Kunst, FHNW Basel

    In early March, I'll be returning once again to the BFA students of the Art Institute in Basel. Last time, some in my group found they had learnt quite enough now about the eco crisis... which means that this time I am going to try to focus and bridge more thoroughly the political economic dimension of nature and the ways in which climate breakdown currently drives contemporary politics. On the reading list: Naomi Klein, Bruno Latour, Geoff Mann, and Alexis Shotwell. Looking forward!

  • Compensatory Postures: Natural History, Necroaesthetics, and Humiliation

    — essay co-written with Etienne Turpin in "Theater, Garden, Bestiary: A Materialist History of Exhibitions," edited by Tristan Garcia & Vincent Normand

    Very pleased to be a contributor to Tristan Garcia & Vincent Normand's forthcoming edited publication "Theater, Garden, Bestiary: A Materialist History of Exhibitions" with contributions by Etienne Chambaud, Elitze Dulguerova, Anselm Franke, Tristan Garcia, Fabien Giraud & Raphael Siboni, Dorothea von Hantelmann, Yuk Hui, Pierre Huyghe, Jeremy Lecomte, Stéphane Lojkine, Sami Khatib, Rafael Mandressi, Vincent Normand, Peter Osborne, Filipa Ramos, Juliane Rebentisch, Joao Ribas, Pamela Rosenkranz, Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin, Lucy Steeds, Olivier Surel, Kim West, and Charles Wolfe. Berlin: Sternberg Press, forthcoming in April 2019.

  • Prototype for a Museum of Man

    — Seminar project at the (Un)-Learning Place: The New Alphabet School, HKW, Berlin

    During the Opening Days of the Haus der Kulturen’s new long-term project “The New Alphabet” in January 2019, HKW offers a five-day curriculum for gathering, discussion and workshops—entitled the “(Un-)Learning Place” curated by Boris Buden and Olga von Schubert. Here, eight Berlin-based collectives from the scenes of art, culture, and activism work with more than 80 international participants to develop transdisciplinary, decolonial, and anti-hegemonic strategies in relation to data-based knowledge, translation, archives, and embodied infrastructures. The seminar that we will offer in this context is entitled “The New Education: Denaturalizing the Cultural Pedagogy of Museum Technologies” and critically explores the traditional belief in human exceptionalism as one of the foundational principles of museum traditions. The outcome of this collaborative research process will be a global yet partial taxonomy of the technologies of human exceptionalism in museological culture past and present. The taxonomy will be presented under the title “An Incomplete Museum of Anthroposupremacism” and displayed as a web-based, annotated, searchable digital museum.

  • Atelier lecture at the École de Recherche Graphique, Brussels

    — class visit to "Pratiques artistiques et complexité scientifique"

    Looking forward to my invitation to the interdisciplinary MA studio class by Giampiero Caiti and Kobe Matthys. I will speak for about two hours about the methodologies and research questions driving the exhibition cycle "Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest," which is finally coming to a close this upcoming Friday, 14 Dec in Halle/Saale. All welcome, I think, but event starts at 9 AM!

  • On Networks & Colliding Voices – On Air with Tomás Saraceno

    — a one-day discursive event at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris

    I look forward to co-moderating the one-day discursive event “On Networks & Colliding Voices” with a keynote by Bruno Latour that we developed in collaboration with Studio Tomás Saraceno on the occasion of Tomás’s current carte blanche exhibition “ON AIR” at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

    With talks and performances by d’bi.young anitafrika, Albert-László Barabási, Fernando Ferroni, Vincenzo Napolano, Lisa Randall, Bronislaw Szerszinski, and Estelle Zhong Mengual. Moderated by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin

  • ECOLOGY: Sessions on Territory, Urbanism and the Anthropocene

    — invited lecture at ETH Zurich, Design and Architecture Faculty

    "Session on Territory" is a series of public debates on the political economy of architecture and territory. Focusing on how the epoch of the Anthropocene reframes our conceptions of the urban and shapes new ecologies, the seminar’s objective is to unravel contemporary forces at work in the formation of the built and natural environment, and, as importantly to spur debates that challenge the status quo. Every intervention by a guest speaker is followed by a panel discussion with invited respondents. In my session I will discuss a series of recent research and projects including the exhibition "Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest." Looking forward to a discussion moderated by the wonderful Dubravka Seculic.

  • Species of Exchange: Dickering for Emperor Birds and Macho Ferns

    — invited contribution to the panel "More-Than-Human Imperial Legacies in the Capitalocene" at Max-Planck-Institut Göttingen

    "Scientific expeditions were crucial to projects of colonial expansion and contributed to accruing imperial prestige. The aspiration to dominate nature was intrinsic to imperial demonstrations of power that, as evidence of their superiority, sought to conquer and tame far away landscapes inhabited by exoticized humans and non-humans. The impressive amount of ethnographic objects, plants and animals collected—or rather, amassed and appropriated—over the centuries built the foundation for natural history museums as well as botanical gardens and zoos across Europe. This panel sets to explore how imperial ecological legacies and narratives reverberate in the Capitalocene. Moving beyond imperial (hi)stories that centre on the human experience, we find it crucial to contextualize imperial trajectories in environmental destruction and violence by extending our attention to the increasingly precarious livelihoods of nonhuman actors. The panel stimulates debate on how 'nature' remembers and provides us with rich archives that may enlighten our understanding of how institutions, practices, and ethics that originated under imperialism (e.g. natural history museums, forest management, hunting rights, and animal diplomacy) still figure today." Very excited to spend two days at this workshop at MPI Göttingen organized by Annika Kirbis and colleagues and contribute with a short presentation based on exhibition-related research; more info on program and other participants below.

  • Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest

    — opening of the third part at the Natural History Collections of Martin Luther University, Halle/Saale

    The third iteration of the exhibition is approaching fast! Save the date for the opening of Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald [Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest] in the Natural History Collections of Martin Luther University in Halle/Saale, which will be installed throughout the entire building—that is normally not open to the public in this way. With artworks by Maria Thereza Alves, Ari Bayuaji, Bik Van der Pol, Ursula Biemann, Shannon Lee Castleman/Migrant Ecologies, Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen, Mark Dion, Radjawali Irendra / Akademi Drone Indonesia, Armin Linke with Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi, Barbara Marcel, Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu, PetaBencana.id, SHIMURAbros, Paulo Tavares / autonoma, Robert Zhao Renhui / The Institute of Critical Zoologists

  • The Work of Wind: Land

    — K. Verlag book launch

    As part of a dense program of the contemporary arts festival "The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea," organized by The Blackwood Gallery at University of Toronto/Mississauga, we are launching the first volume in the attendant three-volume book series with a conversation on “this land of forces.” The event is hosted by editors Christine Shaw, Anna-Sophie Springer, and Etienne Turpin. Seven contributors will speak about their work in the book: performance scholar Allen Weiss on the history of art as an itinerant, speculative exhibition; artist duo Pejvak on the border work of Armenian political economic realities; artist Tania Willard on Indigenous land practices born out of a lived connection to the land; and activist Tom Keefer and lawyer Adrienne Telford with D.T. Cochrane on Indigenous solidarity work and the struggle for justice.
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    "The Work of Wind: Land." With contributions by Rouzbeh Akhbari & Felix Kalmenson, d’bi.young anitafrika, Amy Balkin, Jesse Birch, D.T. Cochrane, Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Anna Feigenbaum, Macarena Gómez-Barris, Ilana Halperin, Tom Keefer, Barbara Marcel, Mimi Onuoha, Tomás Saraceno, Christine Shaw, Juliana Spahr, Adrienne Telford, Etienne Turpin, Allen S. Weiss, Tania Willard, and Eva Wilson. Design by Katharina Tauer.
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    Edited by Christine Shaw & Etienne Turpin
    English
    336 pages
    18.5 x 24 cm
    62 Color images
    Hardcover, thread-bound
    ISBN 978-3-9818635-8-1
    28.00 Euros

  • New K. book "On Reconciliation / Über Versöhnung" edited by Dora García

    — Book launch at Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid

    A new K. project was born at the end of June: The bilingual, edited volume and artist's book "On Reconciliation / Über Versöhnung" by Dora García. Developed in the aftermath of Martin Heidegger's posthumously published "Black Notebooks," "On Reconciliation / Über Versöhnung" centers around the letters exchanged between Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger from 1925 to 1975 as a departure for a series of essays and conversations aiming to encourage a public debate on a difficult and incredibly timely subject: the question of ethics and intellectual production in the context of personal and/or politically untenable convictions. Dora and I launched the book on the occasion of her solo exhibition "A Second Time Around" at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, where Simon Asencio and Adriano Wilfert Jensen also performed a reading of a selection of the Arendt/Heidegger letters. Find out more about the book via the link below!

  • Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald - Teil 2

    Disappearing Evidence: The World as Forest - Part 2

    If you’re in or near Berlin, please join us on 26 April for the opening of the second iteration of "Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald" in the former animal anatomical theater of Berlin’s Humboldt-University, the Tieranatomisches Theater. One-hundred sixty years after the publication of the theory of evolution by natural selection, this ambitious exhibition departs from the expeditions of naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in the 19th century to examine the current destruction of rainforests in Southeast Asia and South America. The artistic positions and curatorial assemblages renounce a romantic image of untouched nature, and instead critically inquire into the legacies resulting from the relentless destruction of highly complex ecosystems. In addition to contemporary art, zoological and botanical objects from the collections of the Humboldt-University and the University of Hamburg can also be seen.
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    With artworks, documents, and positions by
    Maria Thereza Alves
    David Attenborough
    Ari Bayuaji
    Bik Van der Pol
    Shannon Lee Castleman
    Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen
    Mark Dion
    Katie Holten
    Radjawali Irendra / Akademi Drone Indonesia
    Armin Linke with Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi
    Barbara Marcel
    Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu
    PetaBencana.id
    Ed Scholes & Tim Laman
    SHIMURAbros
    autonoma / Paulo Tavares
    Robert Zhao Renhui / The Institute of Critical Zoologists
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    For details on our discursive program "How on Earth?" see below!
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  • HOW ON EARTH?

    Discursive program accompanying the exhibition Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald at TA T

    Many inherited images of nature are no longer adequate given the realities of mass extinction, anthropogenic climate change, and deforestation. Have current forms of land use transformation, ecological disturbance, and species extermination produced a troubled new natural history? The discursive program "How on Earth?" addresses this and other urgent questions about nature, colonialism, and care in the Anthropocene through a series of lectures, discussions, screenings, and guided tours.
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    24/08 from pulp and paper
    19h30 Publication talks with Dubravka Sekulic, Milica Tomic (GAM, TU Graz), Leah Whitman-Salkin (Harvard Design Magazin), Armin Linke, Doreen Mende, and others [en]
    >>>> detailed program here reassemblingnature.org
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    25/08 thinking with the earth
    During the Long Night of the Museums:
    18h00 Exhibition guided tour [de[
    19h30 Lecture by Hannah Meszaros-Martin (Goldsmiths) [en]
    20h15 Lecture by Kenny Cupers (Universität Basel) [en]
    21h00 Screening of "Thinking Like A Mountain," 2018 [de with en subtitles] followed by a Q&A with the director Alexander Hick and a closing panel with all guests and exhibition curators [en]
    23h00 Exhibition guided tour [de]
    >>>> detailed program here bit.ly/2rQuQzh
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    28/04 inhabiting nature
    15–16h00 Curators’ tours [de/en]
    16–19h00 Artists’ talks by Barbara Marcel, Crystelle Vũ, and others; followed by lectures by Shannon Mattern (New School) and Birgit Schneider (Potsdam University) [en]
    >>>> detailed program here bit.ly/2jdkLrZ
    ****************************************
    09/06 imaging & imagining nature
    During the Long Night of Science:
    19h00 Curators’ tours [de/en] and artist’s talk by Maria Thereza Alves [en]
    23h00 Exhibition guided tour [de]
    ****************************************
    26/06 consuming a planet
    20h00 Lectures by researcher Seth Denizen, Max Haiven (Lakehead University), and Shela Sheikh (Goldsmiths) [en]; followed by a screening of "Europium," 2014 [en with de subtitles] and a panel discussion with the artist/director Lisa Rave [en]
    ****************************************
    03/07 becoming extinct
    19h30 “Provisioning Crows: Ecologies of Hope in the Mariana Islands,” lecture by environmental philosopher Thom van Dooren (University of Sydney); followed by a screening of "Point of No Return," 2015 [en with de subtitles] and a panel discussion with the artist/director Antje Engelmann [en]
    ****************************************
    12/08   replicating nature
    10–19h00 Daytrip excursion with Bik Van Der Pol to the artificial Vesuvio at Schloß Wörlitz and the Naumann Ornithological Collection at Museum Köthen
    ****************************************

  • On the Sociality of Birds – Reflections on Ontological Edge Effects

    — announcing Anna Tsing evening lecture on the occasion of Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald

    During the final week of the exhibition, we have the privilege to host Anna Tsing for an evening lecture inside "The World as Forest" in Hamburg! Inspired by her recent travels to the Raja Ampat islands of West Papua in Indonesia, Prof. Tsing has proposed to share new reflections animated by the birdwatching she did together with foreign ornithologists and locals in "the land of the birds of paradise" as Wallace described the area. In the abstract of her talk she asks, "How might quite different kinds of people appreciate birds? And in what ways do birds appreciate (or refuse the attentions of) people?" Responding to anthropologists' worries whether studying nonhuman socialities might fall in line with Western imperial mindsets, she rejoins that "to ignore nonhumans as social beings blithely ignores Anthropocene destruction, which haunts our species too." Thus exploring "overlapping—but non-identical—forms of curiosity" and various economies at play in these birdwatching constellations, Anna Tsing will discuss the potential of "new forms of collaboration across the humanities, arts, and natural sciences: collaborations we may need to survive the Anthropocene." She suggests that "[t]o recognize the dance of more-than-human sociality requires attention both to varied agendas people have with birds and to those birds have with people." Coincidentally, in February we also just returned from a trip to these islands, with many (very) early morning hikes to special spots under special trees in thick forests. Anna Tsing's lecture "The Sociality of Birds: Reflections on Ontological Edge Effects" promises to be a memorable evening and no doubt a highlight of this first iteration of the exhibition before we will take it to Berlin (opening 26 April). [Photo: Red birds-of-paradise, Waigeo Island, Indonesia. By Yulia Bereshpolova, December 2017.]
    ****************************************
    The event will be held in English with simultaneous German translation.
    Doors of the exhibition open at 17h00.
    ****************************************

  • Under Construction: Natural History Futures

    — a keynote presentation for Timespan's "Practicing Deep Time" event

    "Practicing Deep Time" is a two-day event focusing on Deep Time in arts and heritage: a one-day multi-disciplinary symposium based at the arts organization Timespan in Helmsdale, Northern Scotland, followed by a field day, exploring Deep Time concepts across East Sutherland and Caithness. On Friday, Timespan will host a day of talks and workshops. Here, Anna-Sophie Springer will present a keynote drawing on recent work that aims to create sustained conversations about the future of “natural history” through exhibition-led enquiry bringing together natural history collections and contemporary art. A cross-disciplinary roundtable session will consider particular issues associated with the communication and interpretation of Deep Time subjects – what methods can we employ to overcome the perceived unknowability of distant pasts and futures? Other presenters include Gavin McGregor, Nashin Mahtani, and Sam Nightingale; plus a new solo exhibition by artist Gair Dunlop and a screening of the film "Trace Evidence" (2016) by Susan Schuppli. On Saturday, participants can engage with the land through field trips dealing with the region's nuclear infrastructures, peatlands, and deep time archaeology, respectively.

  • Fantasies of the Library: A Bibliophilic Ecology of Mind

    — keynote lecture at the 21st Leeds Contemporary Artists' Book Fair

    Each edition of the annual Leeds artists book fair takes place under the motto of a specific theme. In 2018, this overarching theme is "The Library." The curatorial program accompanying the book fair at the Tetley Gallery includes exhibitions by Madiha Aijaz and Mahbub Jokhio as well as a new iteration of Nick Thurston's publishing studio "The House that Heals the Soul." Moreover, I was invited to give the keynote lecture on Saturday evening by drawing upon my work in Fantasies of the Library (MIT Press, 2016). Echoing the visual essay "Reading Rooms Reading Machines," I wrote a new performance lecture leading through a selection of “library fantasies” from the real world we'd do well dreaming with in 2018.

  • Françoise Vergès: Politics of Forgetfulness

    — moderating this keynote lecture at transmediale

    Ever since I heard Françoise Vergès speak for the first time in Berlin a couple of years ago, I've been reading her pieces with genuine excitement. Thus, I am really delighted to begin the year in Berlin after a stimulating holiday in Cambodia, Laos, and Eastern Indonesia by engaging in a conversation with Françoise Vergès at the upcoming transmediale festival "Face Value." In her keynote lecture "Politics of Forgetfulness," Vergès will discuss old and new forms of dispossession and colonization, reconnecting past, present, and future. Turning to anti-capitalist, anti-racist, and anti-capitalist methodologies, she will highlight the need for a new politics of the possible and a politics of lives that matter. See you there! [Photo by Etienne Turpin, Vientiane/Laos, 2017]

  • Verschwindende Vermächtnisse – Curator's tour

    — 14h00 at Zoologisches Museum Hamburg

    One more time before going on holiday until the new year I will give a tour of the exhibition at CeNak. Join me at 14h00 in the foyer of the museum!

  • Touching Nature

    — a presentation on the occasion of Tejal Shah's exhibition Unbecoming at Kunsthaus Hamburg

    On Friday evening, I will head from CeNak to the Kunsthaus Hamburg where I was asked to respond to Tejal Shah’s current solo exhibition Unbecoming by giving a little talk on the theme “touching nature.” If you are free and nearby on Friday, would be great to see you there at 19h00!

  • Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald

    Opening at the Zoological Museum of CeNak, University of Hamburg

    It’s been 160 years since Alfred Russel Wallace understood the principles of species evolution in the course of his travels through Amazonia and the Malay Archipelago. From 10 November 2017 to 29 March 2018, the exhibition Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald confronts the destructions of these tropical ecosystems in the context of the Anthropocene and mass extinction. A hybrid between thematic exhibition and art exhibition, this intervention in the Zoological Museum Hamburg at Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak), University of Hamburg, Verschwindende Vermächtnisse presents 13 contemporary works of art—including 8 new commissions—alongside a selection of rare zoological and botanical objects. We’re pleased to announce the names of the participating artists with whom it was a great honor and pleasure to work over the past year!
    ******************************
    Maria Thereza Alves
    Ursula Biemann
    Bik Van der Pol
    Shannon Lee Castleman
    Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen
    Mark Dion
    Radjawali Irendra / Akademi Drone Indonesia
    Armin Linke with Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi
    Barbara Marcel
    Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu
    Robert Zhao Renhui / The Institute of Critical Zoologists
    SHIMURAbros
    autonoma / Paulo Tavares
    ******************************

  • AHA! Festival 2017 “Autonomy,” Gothenburg

    — presenting Reassembling the Natural

    21 November 2017, 10h00–12h00
    alongside presentations by David Chambers and Etienne Turpin

  • "ON COEXISTENCE"

    — essay in Faraway, So Close, the book accompanying the 25th Ljubljana Biennial of Design (BIO 25)

    The book, published by MAO and Motto Books, works to explore ways of changing the goals of design culture. By presenting the seven investigative episodes developed within BIO 25 and their interchange with both local archives and broader paradigms, the project aims to turn away from the urgent need to solve problems, and instead open up new frontiers for observation and experimentation. It seeks to consider our inhabited and habitable world for what it is and what it is becoming, and not simply what we think it should, ideally, be.

  • Open Studio during Berlin Art Week

    Come say hi at the new studio on the FAHRBEREITSCHAFT compound in Lichtenberg! Etienne Turpin, Wolfgang Hückel, Katharina Tauer and I will be there working and happy to have a chat about our various projects happening at the moment!

  • Vdrome Interview with Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

    Set in a former US Navy base in Puerto Rico, Ojos para mis Enemigos [Eyes for my enemies] by Beatriz Santiago Muñoz observes how multiple introduced and indigenous species—plants and crops, but also animals, humans and not—share this terrain and together constitute a new space, offering poetic as well as very concrete scenarios of the anthropocene, its devastation but also modes of recuperation. Vdrome asked me to do a short interview with Beatriz to introduce the work. Have a read/look!

  • Landscape and Memory

    — a review of The Word for World is Still Forest by Jason Groves

    Perfectly timed for our book launch-walk in Berlin’s Tiergarten last night—which was so magical thanks to Sandra Bartoli kindly guiding us to some of the oldest trees—Jason Groves also composed a beautiful reading of intercalations 4 which he published on the Feedback Blog of Open Humanities Press. A scholar of German literature, Jason contributed some excerpts by Walter Benjamin and Franz Hessel about the Tiergarten and even the Amazon on Horseback sculpture where we departed from.

  • take the books outside

    —a launch walk for intercalations 3 & 4 in the Tiergarten

    Please join me and Etienne for a guided tour of the various natures of the Tiergarten—including its oldest trees—with Berlin-based architect Sandra Bartoli. During the tour, visitors will also encounter special guests Richard Pell, director of the Center for Postnatural History; Jason Groves, co-editor of the open access blog Feedback; and, Katharina Tauer, designer of the intercalations: paginated exhibition series. Dress for a walk in the park!

  • Contesting the Necroaesthetics of the Anthropocene

    —invited presentation of Reassembling the Natural at the conference Art/Nature: Contemporary Art in Natural History Museums and Collections, Berlin Museum für Naturkunde

    This international conference by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes pilot project, Art/Nature: Artistic Interventions at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin convenes a series of presentations and panel discussions to reflect on the collaboration between protagonists from the worlds of contemporary art and natural history museums. The conference addresses the expectations, potentials, values, and possible limitations of such interactions and interventions from the perspective of curators, artists, and researchers. Together with Etienne Turpin, I will present our Reassembling the Natural project in the closing session “Difficult Legacies” on 27 June. Other conference speakers include Tal Adler, Claude d’Anthenaise, Bergit Arends, Ariane Berthoin Antal, Yara Castanheira, Tony Clark, Michael John Gorman, Gaby Hartel, Petra Lange-Berndt, Janet Laurence, Susanne Schmitt, Thomas Schnalke, Barbara Stauffer, Frank Steinheimer, Ulrike Stottrop, D’Arcy Wilson, and Laurie Young.

  • Postcards from the Anthropocene

    —chairing Session 5 on June 23rd

    As I am accompanying Etienne for his keynote lecture at this symposium, I feel quite flattered to have been asked to participate a little, too, by chairing a session in the morning of the second day. Presentations are by Marianna Tsionki, Alexandra Halkias, and Mark Peter Wright and deal with rare earths, toxicity, biopolitics, and infrastructure—apparently from a curatorial perspective. Excited to meet these speakers and look forward to other keynotes by Nigel Clark, Mark Dorrian, Jussi Parikka, Joanna Zylinska as well as my Ph.D. supervisor Susan Schuppli.

  • Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago

    intercalations 03

    Following the earlier fourth (!) volume, the third volume of the intercalations: paginated exhibitions series has also arrived from the printer! Reflecting and refracting on the role of colonial science in the tropics, Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago gathers contributions by Akademi Drone Indonesia, George Beccaloni, Iwank Celenk, Lucy Davis, Fred Langford Edwards, Christina Leigh Geros, Matthias Glaubrecht, Geraldine Juárez, Radjawali Irendra, James Russell, Mark von Schlegell, SLAVE PIANOS, Anna-Sophie Springer, Zenzi Suhadi, Paulo Tavares, Rachel Thompson, Etienne Turpin, and Satrio Wicaksono, with design by Katharina Tauer. intercalations is co-published by K. Verlag and Haus der Kulturen der Welt and was made possible by the Schering Stiftung.

  • Graham Grant Awarded to Reassembling the Natural

    With a current rate of extinction estimated at over one hundred species per day, the anthropogenic extermination of non-human forms-of-life on Earth is rightly a cause of serious alarm. Such a rate of extinction is made even more troubling when one considers that with the disappearance of each species, the planet not only loses one of its constituent actors, but also greatly diminishes the processes of planetary evolution, as the potential for species’ adaptability rapidly decreases with each and every loss. Following several years of commissioned field work in the global biodiversity hotspots of Nusantara and Amazonia, as well as extensive archival research in major natural history collections, this edited volume weaves together voices and narratives, from science and documentary, to philosophy and poetry, to ask how the concept of “nature” might be meaningfully reassembled against the backdrop of mass extinction.

  • ON MAKING RESEARCH PUBLIC

    —invited guest lecture in the Ph.D. Seminar at EnsadLAb / Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts décoratifs, Paris

    This year's Ph.D. seminar at the Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts décoratifs, Paris, is focused on strategies of “publication.” Here, the main guiding questions are how to make research (in art and design) public? And how can media such as the book, the library, and the exhibition be mobilized as research tools in this process? As guest lecturer in the seminar, I was invited to respond to these questions based on some of my recent projects including Fantasies of the Library, intercalations, and Reassembling the Natural.

  • Speed-Reading Science Fictions

    —some remarks on intercalations 3 & 4

    As a last-minute addition to the speaker's list of the symposium “On Nature, Race, and Gender: The Politics of the Contemporary Debates around Art, Culture, and Research,” I will present a speed-reading through the third and fourth volumes of intercalations. Looking forward to contribute among other presentations by Chus Martinez, Filipa Ramos, Tejal Shah, Trevor Paglen, Ingo Niermann, and Natascha Sadr Haghighian.

  • Fantasies of the Library

    —reviewed by Jussi Parikka in Leonardo On-Line

    [Excerpt] "Fantasies of the Library is a useful book in adding to the recent art and library projects some well–articulated thoughts. It resonates with the writing done recently by such scholars as Shannon Mattern and offers a particularly artistic take on similar concerns. This comes out well in [Springer's] visual essay 'Reading Rooms Reading Machines' that moves from contemporary arts of the book and its forms of organisation to the situations where it is staged and visible, addressable and usable; from practices and technologies of reading to the imaginaries, the forms and materials of organisation knowledge that are the entry point to contemporary discussions of data and organisation. Indeed, as Springer puts it, this all reveals how the book is to be considered 'a situation and a practice,' just like the library itself."

  • The World as Forest

    —a week-long Theoriewoche seminar with Anna-Sophie Springer

    Using the new intercalations publication, The Word for World is Still Forest, as a starting point, my second seminar at Institut Kunst in Basel will combine readings and discussions with excursions behind the scenes of the city's Tropenhaus of the Botanical Gardens, the Museum der Kulturen, and the Natural History Museum. Traversing through the archives of institutions that collect natural and cultural material—books, artworks, artifacts, and scientific specimens—we will reflect on how these institutions organize what is considered knowledge and explore strategies and practices with which we can activate and connect these spaces in ways in which they are not normally viewed by dominant, colonial cultures. The seminar is an introduction to applied critical thinking with a focus on more-than-human entanglements and ecological urgencies of our times.

  • "Volumen: Bände – Räume. Das Buch als Ausstellung"

    —reprint of the German translation of my 2012-essay "Volumes: The Book as Exhibition"

    in the publication "it's a book..." accompanying the Leipzig Independent Publishing Fair 2017 organized by Peter Cornicius, Anne Dietzsch, Michael Dikta, Markus Dreßen, Albrecht Gäbel, and Jenny Schreiter. With my thanks to Inga Seidler.

  • intercalations 03 & 04

    —forthcoming volumes in paginated exhibition series

    In 2017, HKW und K. Verlag continue their collaboration within this six-part publication series with two volumes: "Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago" reflects on the changing role of colonial natural history collections in the current ecological crisis; "The Word for World Is Still Forest" is an homage to the forest as a turbulent, interconnected, multinature. The series is made possible by the Schering Stiftung.

  • "To Look Around Rather Than Ahead: On the PRESENT FUTURE IN THE ART OF TAMÁS KASZÁS AND ANIKÓ LORÁNT"

    —essay by Anna-Sophie Springer

    in Exercises in Autonomy, ed. Joanna Sokolowska. Lodz: Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi, 2017. 164–78 (Polish & English).

  • INDEX FINGERS

    A lovely little review of Fantasties of the Library (MIT Press, 2016), edited by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin, by Gill Partington in the Times Literary Supplement, 18 January 2017: 33.

  • Curating Environmental Imaginaries

    —a Roundtable at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission organized by Dehlia Hannah, Cynthia Selin, and Angela Pereira

    as part of the workshop "A Year without a Winter: Fictions and Policy." Considering how creative interventions can unlock new ways of thinking about our relationship to the environment and our political agency within it, the workshop interrogates new narratives of climate and climate change emerging in the context of the arts and transdisciplinary scholarship. As an invited speaker in the Roundtable "Curating Environmental Imaginaries," I will introduce some of the core concerns and strategies of "Reassembling the Natural." Also presenting at this Roundtable are Ken Eklund, Jacob Lillemose, and Carolina Sobecka.

  • SHAPESHIFTING FACT & FICTION

    —a week's workshop with Anna-Sophie Springer

    where we will critically interrogate books, exhibitions, archives, and collections, attending to how they record and disseminate knowledge, experimenting along the way with traversals, shape-shifting, fact and fiction.

  • Lab Verde

    —a research trip and workshop on art, nature, and science in the Amazon, Brazil

    that explores contemporary environmental issues of Amazonia as well as its role for the planet's ecological balance with interlocutors from the arts, humanities, biology, ecology, and natural sciences. My journey to Manaus (as well as thereafter to Sao Paulo) is generously funded by a Goethe-Institut Research Travel Grant for Curators.

  • “Anxious Instantiations”

    —essay by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin

    in response to Isabell Lorey & David Lyon’s “Anxious to Secure” keynote session at transmediale 2016 for the “Anxious to Organize” blog

  • "Necroaesthetics: Denaturalising the Collection"

    —essay by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin

    L'internationals Online, No. 3 "Ecologising Museums," July 2016.

  • "Vestiges of 125,660 Specimens of Natural History"

    —photo essay by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin

    Stedelijk Studies, No. 04 "Between the Immersive and the Discursive: Curating Research in 21st-Century Art Museums," July 2016.

  • Libraries : Exhibitions : Libraries

    —a lecture by Anna-Sophie Springer

    as part of the series "Library Residencies"

  • A Taxonomy of Palm Oil

    —an installation by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin

    as part of the exhibition "Emergent Ecologies: NYC Edition"
    curated by Eben Kirksey and others

  • "Reading Fantasies & Other Fantasies of Reading"

    —Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin in conversation with Daisy Nam

  • NECROAESTHETICS —Life and Death of Natural History

    —a lecture & workshop by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin

    as part of the curatorial lab "Theater, Garden, Bestiary: A Materialist History of Exhibitions" organized by Vincent Normand & Tristan Garcia

  • A Palimpsest of Species and Spaces: Curating the Anthropocene

    —a lecture by Anna-Sophie Springer

    as part of the Art, Culture, and Technology program's Spring 2016 Lecture Series, "Agencies & Urgencies"

  • "Inter Folia Aves: Reading Bird Books as Curatorial-Editorial Constellations"

    —essay by Anna-Sophie Springer

    in Publishing as Artistic Practice, edited by A. Gilbert. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2016. 134–52.

  • "Filtering the Anthropocene: A Visual Montage as Proxy"

    —essay by Anna-Sophie Springer

    for the Anthropocene Curriculum,
    Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

  • A TAXONOMY OF PALM OIL

    —an installation by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin

    as part of the exhibition "Emergent Ecologies"
    curated by Eben Kirksey and others

  • Few Straight Lines in A Forest: A Ligneous Constellation

    —a lecture by Anna-Sophie Springer

    in response to Dr Paulo Tavares in the Visual Culture Department's 10th-anniversary lecture series, "Permissions: The Way We Work Now"

  • 12 CONTRIBUTORS, 5 PUBLICATIONS, 5 YEARS

    Eva Weinmayr recommends FANTASIES OF THE LIBRARY:

    "I went over this book again and again: It’s such a rich read about the power of the library, in history or contemporary, institutionalized, private or revolutionary (for example Occupy, Gezi Park). This book makes clear that the library’s power lies not only in being a container of knowledge, but in the experiences and connections it creates amongst its users. Drawing on intriguing examples, the authors discuss the implications of spatial arrangements, the politics of collecting and cataloging, as well as accessibility. Most of all, it brings back to mind a revolutionary function of the library today: “it turns marketable goods into public goods.”

  • Little Birds / Little Machines

    —a workshop for the 2015 SYNAPSE International Curators' Network of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin in collaboration with Sylke Frahnert & Frank Steinheimer

    As part of the 2015 gathering of the SYNAPSE International Curators' Network of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, together with Etienne Turpin I organized the workshop Little Birds / Little Machines, which included a visit to the Ornithological collection of the Museum für Naturkunde for a presentation by ornithologists Sylke Frahnert and Frank Steinheimer on elements of the collection for further development in the annals of minor ornithology (forthcoming in intercalations 06—These Birds of Temptation).

  • The Library as Idea and Space

    — contribution in ABOUT TREES by Katie Holten

    When we found out that we were both working on books "about trees," Katie Holten and I decided that we must trade pieces: She published an excerpted chapter from Fantasies of the Library in her amazing anthology About Trees while I included her Tree font in The Word for World is Still Forest.

  • Blogging for the SYNAPSE International Curator's Network

    —a writing commission on more-than-human themes in resonance with the HKW's APE CULTURE exhibition

    A SYNAPSE member since 2013, I am very excited that the Haus der Kulturen der Welt has invited me to produce a series of blog texts in the months surrounding the upcoming exhibition APE CULTURE and the 2015 SYNAPSE workshop in July.

  • The Museum as Archipelago

    — essay in Scapegoat Journal "Excess"

    An older essay on fluid cartographies that I still enjoy very much and which ends with these words: