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]
HKW – Haus der Kulturen der Welt
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!
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!
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
Bik Van der Pol
Shannon Lee Castleman
Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen
Radjawali Irendra / Akademi Drone Indonesia
Armin Linke with Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi
Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu
Robert Zhao Renhui / The Institute of Critical Zoologists
autonoma / Paulo Tavares
Zoologisches Museum, Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak) Universität Hamburg
21 November 2017, 10h00–12h00
alongside presentations by David Chambers and Etienne Turpin
AHA! Festival 2017 "Autonomy"
Chalmers Conference Centre
Chalmersplatsen 1, Göteborg
Second floor of the Kårhuset near RunAn
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.
Edited by Angela Rui, Maja Vardjan and Cvetka Požar, with contributions by Nabil Ahmed, Andrea Branzi, Tony Côme, Brendan Cormier, matali crasset, Domitilla Dardi, Odo Fioravanti, Didier Fiúza Faustino, Studio Formafantasma, Thomas Geisler, Rory Hyde, Alexandra Midal, mischer’traxler studio, Dimitrij Mlekuž, Point Supreme Architects, Emanuele Quinz, Renata Salecl, Anna-Sophie Springer, Studio Folder, James Westcott, Elia Zenghelis and many others, as well as an extensive photo documentary essay of the episodes by Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti.
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!
FAHRBEREITSCHAFT – Werkstatt 4
[in Brandlhuber’s “bar building”]
Herzbergstr. 40–43, 10365 Berlin
Fri, 15/09, 19h00–21h00
Sat & Sun, 16–17/09, 12h00–18h00
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!
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.
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!
13 July 2017
19h00 (tour begins at 19h15, please arrive on time)
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.
Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
Chausseehof / Leibniz Association
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.
University of Edinburgh
School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
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.
With 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 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.
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.
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.
Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst
[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."
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.
Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst
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.
It's a Books, It's a Fair,
It's a Room Built to Share
Independent Publishing Fair
Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst
Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig
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.
Contributors include Sandra Bartoli, George Beccaloni, Kevin Beiler, Shannon Castleman, Iwank Celenk, Lucy Davis, Matthias Glaubrecht, Dan Handel, Katie Holten, Radjawali Irendra, Geraldine Juarez, Eduardo Kohn, Silvan Linden, Abel Rodriguez, James Russel, Mark von Schlegell & Slave Pianos, Suzanne Simard, Anna-Sophie Springer, Zenzi Suhadi, Paulo Tavares, Rachel Thompson, Etienne Turpin, and Satrio Wicaksono.
in Exercises in Autonomy, ed. Joanna Sokolowska. Lodz: Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi, 2017. 164–78 (Polish & English).
Museum exhibition catalog for Tamás Kaszás & Anikó Loránt with texts by Maya & Reuben Fowkes, Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway, Mark von Schlegell, Joanna Sokolowska, Marek Styczynski.
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.
The German Federal Cultural Foundation (KSB) has confirmed a grant to fund a new exhibition cycle entitled "Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest" that I co-curat with Etienne Turpin in partnership with three German university collections of natural history and in cooperation with the Schering Stiftung. Artists TBA.
_ Centrum für Naturkunde, Universität Hamburg / Fall 2017
_ Tieranatomisches Theater, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin / Spring 2018
_ Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg / Fall 2018
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.
Joint Research Centre
Via E. Fermi 2749
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.
Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst
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.
With 18 selected participants: Turenko Beça, Blanca Botero, Adriá Juliá, Daniel Kukla, Barbara Marcel, Emmy Mikelson, Marcelo Moscheta, Guto Nóbrega, Thiago Rocha Pitta, Simone Fontana Reis, Tina Ribarits, Anna-Sophie Springer, Stahl Stensile, Gustavo Torrezan, Kyle Tryhorn, Markus von Platen, Pedro Vaz, and Rihards Vitols.
Hardcover | $24.95 Trade | £18.95 | ISBN: 9780262035200 | 160 pp. | 5.125 x 8.25 in | 30 color illus., 15 b&w illus.
With contributions by Erin Kissane, Hammad Nasar, Megan Shaw Prelinger, Rick Prelinger, Anna-Sophie Springer, Charles Stankievech, Katharina Tauer, Etienne Turpin, Andrew Norman Wilson, Joanna Zylinska.
in response to Isabell Lorey & David Lyon’s “Anxious to Secure” keynote session at transmediale 2016 for the “Anxious to Organize” blog
L'internationals Online, No. 3 "Ecologising Museums," July 2016.
Stedelijk Studies, No. 04 "Between the Immersive and the Discursive: Curating Research in 21st-Century Art Museums," July 2016.
as part of the series "Library Residencies"
as part of the exhibition "Emergent Ecologies: NYC Edition"
curated by Eben Kirksey and others
Kilroy Metal Ceiling
283 Greene Ave
—Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin in conversation with Daisy Nam
Carpenter Center for Visual Art,
Cambridge, MA, USA
as part of the curatorial lab "Theater, Garden, Bestiary: A Materialist History of Exhibitions" organized by Vincent Normand & Tristan Garcia
as part of the Art, Culture, and Technology program's Spring 2016 Lecture Series, "Agencies & Urgencies"
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Wiesner Bldg (E15-001)
20 Ames Street
Cambridge, MA, USA
in Publishing as Artistic Practice, edited by A. Gilbert. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2016. 134–52.
Anthology with texts by Hannes Bajohr, Paul Benzon, K. Antranik Cassem, Bernhard Cella, Annette Gilbert, Hanna Kuusela, Antoine Lefebvre, Matt Longabucco, Alessandro Ludovico, Lucas W. Melkane, Anne Moeglin-Delcroix, Aurélie Noury, Valentina Parisi, Michalis Pichler, Anna-Sophie Springer, Alexander Starre, Nick Thurston, Rachel Valinsky, Eva Weinmayr, and Vadim Zakharov.
for the Anthropocene Curriculum,
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
as part of the exhibition "Emergent Ecologies"
curated by Eben Kirksey and others
in response to Dr Paulo Tavares in the Visual Culture Department's 10th-anniversary lecture series, "Permissions: The Way We Work Now"
Stuart Hall Lecture Theatre
"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.”
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).
Berlin Museum für Naturkunde
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.
About Trees, Katie Holten (ed.). Berlin: Broken Dimanche Press, 2015 & 2016.
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.
Some posts are going to be longer, some shorter, but all of them are going to address the more-than-human relationships of life. I will also usually include aspects of art or curatorial practice as well as trying to bring in themes from the sciences and humanities. The first post is a short essay inspired by my recent visit to Jakarta where in early March we also launched the "intercalations: paginated exhibition" series. This essay was originally intended as an introduction to a different post, an interview with the ethnographer Eben Kirksey who founded the Multispecies Salon. But as my writing became longer I decided to split it off and make two separate posts, the little essay “A Cat is a Lion in a Jungle of Small Bushes,” and then, for next week, “Art as Multispecies Entanglements?” the conversation with Eben. I do believe that both pieces have mutual resonance. But, please see for yourself!
An older essay on fluid cartographies that I still enjoy very much and which ends with these words:
If the curator acts as a cartographer, then mapping becomes her technique, and the map can be understood as the product of her work. This would not be limited to floorplans, didactics, or curatorial statements; such a method is inclusive of the curatorial practice as a mode of knowledge production. In other words, the curator as cartographer establishes an attitude to wards the world that partakes in making the world. Like a voyage through interminably moving islands, curatorial practice, to be effective as a navigational practice, would necessarily become vulnerable to physical contact, improbable exchange, and collaborative experimentation; such vulnerabilities would undoubtedly lead the curator far from the safety of the illusory horizons of representation, which is all the better for her construction of fictions, both real and imagined.