Hello, world. Welcome to my site.
My name is Anna-Sophie Springer and I am an exhibition maker, writer, editor, and publisher. Since 2011, I direct and manage the small press and publishing atelier K. Verlag in Berlin, advancing new forms of the book-as-exhibition. In my research-driven practice as an exhibition maker, I work internationally with artists, cultural and scientific archives and collections to produce complex ecologies of attention with a focus on difficult conversations about ecopolitical economies and the image of nature. With Etienne Turpin, I am principal co-investigator and co-curator of the international exhibition-led inquiry Reassembling the Natural, which opened its most recent iteration, ponds among ponds, at Shanghai’s Institute for Contemporary Arts in March 2021. With support from Germany’s Stiftung Kunstfonds, we are presently consolidating a decade of field work and archival research on the colonial histories and possible futures of natural history collections in the forthcoming book-as-exhibition project, Productions of Nature.
My projects are usually very collaborative; early exhibitions include the series EX LIBRIS (exploring relationships between the book, the library, and the exhibition, DE/2013) and Ha Ha Road (a touring group exhibition on the subversive power of humor, UK/2011). 125,660 Specimens of Natural History (2015) investigated the role of the natural history exhibition in the contemporary context of transformed, postnatural ecologies; this exhibition involved 13 emerging artists from Indonesia and was realized in cooperation with the Indonesian Institute of Science, the Schering Stiftung, and the art space Komunitas Salihara in Jakarta. The project was an early episode of Reassembling the Natural. In 2016–18, funding from the German Federal Cultural Foundation enabled us to realize the three-part exhibition cycle Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald [Disappearing Legacies: The Word as Forest], on view at the Zoological Museum, CeNak, University of Hamburg (2017–18); the Tieranatomisches Theater (TA T), Humboldt-University Berlin (2018); and the Natural History Collections at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg in Halle/Saale (2018). This extensive research-led exhibition revisited the work of Alfred R. Wallace, the British specimen collector and co-discoverer of evolution, in both Brazil and Indonesia. We invited more then 15 international artists, many of who with new commissions, which were installed alongside a number of curatorial assemblages. A follow-up exhibition entitled Naturecolony was planned to take place at The Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto/Mississauga, in the fall of 2020. This project again addressed ecocritical concerns, but focused on histories of colonial transactions in the Northwestern hemisphere. Sadly, the show was cancelled due to Covid-19; however, one position by Martina Pozzan emerged as a solo installation. In parallel to these ambitious international projects, the volumes of the intercalations: paginated exhibition series have provided an intimate space for discourse, stories, and other reflections. I co-edit the series together with Etienne Turpin since 2015; it was commissioned as part of “Das Anthropozän Projekt” at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and is realized by K. Verlag.
Although my practice is emphatically an ongoing process of undisciplined discipline, I did complete two M.A.s—one in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London (2007), and one in Curatorial Studies from the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig (2013). Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, with a thesis entitled “Investments in Nature: Beyond the Ecocidal Gaze of Natural History Museums.” Over the years, I have given numerous seminars, workshops, and public lectures at art & design schools and museums & galleries worldwide. The four most notable academic invitations so far: Back in 2014, I was invited as the Craig-Kade Visiting Scholar-in-Residence at Rutgers University, New Jersey. In 2015, I offered a remote-teaching seminar on the history and culture of natural history museums for the New Centre for Research & Practice. From 2016–19, I was a Visiting Lecturer at the Institut Kunst in Basel where I regularly taught intensive seminars on ecology and feminism to the BA and MA students of art and design. In 2022, I was invited to join the MA Artists’ Film & Moving Image at Goldsmiths as a dissertation tutor.
In addition the intercalations series and other written work, my scholarly research on libraries and books as curatorial constellations is published in books such as Art Writing in Crisis (B. Haylock & M. Patty, eds., Sternberg Press, 2021), Fantasies of the Library (A.-S. Springer & E. Turpin, eds., The MIT Press, 2016), and Publishing as Artistic Practice (A. Gilbert, ed., Sternberg Press, 2016), among others. In 2020, I was ecstatic to be a recipient, for my work with K., of a special prize by the Kurt Wolff Stiftung for Independent Publishing and to receive one of the prestigious Deutscher Verlagspreis [German Publishing Prize], which is awarded annually to honor outstanding publishers by the Federal Ministry of Culture.
For open-access publications, as well as selected public talks and selected exhibitions, see the summaries on this site; for a complete Curriculum Vitae, a portfolio of previous artistic and curatorial work, or for individual publications, please contact me via email.