• 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
    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


    — 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.


    —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.


    —essay by Anna-Sophie Springer

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


    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.


    —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


    —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"


    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: