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The division of Korea has far-reaching consequences to this day – for the people both sides of the border in every imaginable area of life. The artist Minouk Lim speaks about how the traumata of the South Korean population has (not) been addressed in the media, about collective memories resulting from shared television experiences, and her own engagement with media technologies. To article...

Men are power, children mean power. Taiye Selasi, celebrated author of “Ghana Must Go”, opens up glimpses into inescapable gender hierarchies. Through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl “The Sex Lives of African Girls” tells the story of a fateful day in a village in Accra, on which male dominance unfolds in all its harshness, the more so as it is supported by women. The girl Edem has no mother, her auntie Khadijeh can’t have children of her own, both don’t stand a chance: “In the peculiar hierarchy of African households the only rung lower than a motherless child is a childless mother.” An excerpt from this story accompanying the Violence edition of the Dictionary of Now. To article...

Neurons living in a Petri dish perform duets with human musicians: Australian-based artist Guy Ben-Ary had his cells extracted and grown into a culture of 100,000 living neurons. Lined with electrodes, these neurons form output via an analog synthesizer, cellF, allowing them to “jam” with human musicians. Ben-Ary talks about the blending of art and science, joint ventures, and non-human consciousness. To article...

100 years ago educational reformers worldwide attempted to establish the foundations for new learning and teaching. In the long-term praxis project “Schools of Tomorrow“, which examines these past approaches from today’s perspective, artists, pedagogues, and scientists experiment with new learning formats. The curator Silvia Fehrmann and Daniel Seitz from Jugend hackt discuss alternative approaches, the complexities of the daily life of the new generation, and independently minded children. To article in German...

According to widespread demands, school instruction needs to comprehensively change in order to prepare young people for a future knowledge-based society. The present is characterized by geopolitical conflicts: climate change, exploitation of resources and neo-nationalism. Social inequality is growing. What skills are needed to open up future perspectives? How can we imagine schools that take part in shaping a desirable tomorrow?  Keri Facer, Professor of Educational and Social Futures at the University of Bristol, examines the challenge of rethinking the relationship between schools, society and the future. To article...

Today a global quantification industry is engaged in the measurement of learning achievements. However, the education of self-determined, empowered subjects cannot be expressed in figures. What alternatives are there to a concept of teaching as the exercise of control? In his contribution the educational theorist Gert Biesta focuses on the role of teachers in an emancipatory education program. To article...

Who has the sovereignty of interpretation over history? What new perspectives and approaches to it are possible? The artist, filmmaker, and theater creator Ho Tzu Nyen on the tiger as a metaphor for the historical entanglements between man, nature, and culture in Malaysia and Singapore, the meaning of language and song in his work, and the uncertainties generated by engaging with (colonial) history. To article...

How to develop a non-essentialist conception of identity? What strategies are conducive to decolonize the imagination? Anselm Franke and Hyunjin Kim, the curators of the exhibition 2 or 3 Tigers, discuss the colonial beginnings of worldwide surveillance, the dangers of nationalism in history and today, and the possibilities for emancipation from understandings of tradition in both East Asia and the West. To article...

In this interview the editors Katrin Klingan and Christoph Rosol discuss the contents of HKW’s online Technosphere Magazine. In a series of dossiers aimed at an international readership, artists, designers, and scientists explore the concept of the Technosphere, embracing the breakdown of the categorical divisions between man, technology, and nature. To article in German...

The Mexican-American composer Conlon Nancarrow (1912–1997) lived in relative isolation in the suburbs of Mexico City, where he created an extremely innovate œuvre on a player piano. It was only at a late age that he gained international recognition with his scores that, to this day, are almost too complex for modern music technology. Some of his works will now be performed on an original player piano at the festival Free! Music. A rare treat. To article...

From “Freedom Now” to “White Zulu”: Writer Max Annas spent several years at the University of Fort Hare in East London, researching South African jazz. In this interview, he speaks about the political importance of jazz for the history of the country, from Freedom Now to White Zulu. To article in German...

In an interview with Max Dax, the curators of the HKW’s Free! Music program, Detlef Diederichsen and Björn Gottstein, discuss their selection of music and its capacity to express liberational impulses – both musical and political. From the music of Conlon Nancarrow and Harry Partch – pioneers who freed compositional music from the restrictions of traditional instruments and tonality – to the musical freedom fighters under South Africa’s Apartheid regime, by way of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison concert, Free! Music explores the diverse experiences of “freedom, emancipation, delimitation, resistance, and protest” in music. To article in German...

The political theorist Sandro Mezzadra on “globalization from below,” labor mobility, and nations’ double-bind with capital. To article...

The writer Rana Dasgupta questions sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos about the state organizing its own erosion and the lack of alternatives to protect our societies from the consequences. To article...

The historian Cemil Aydin about the effects of breaking up multi-ethnic societies and the Ottoman Caliphate as a symbol for Cosmopolitanism. To article...

A conversation with the curators of Now is the Time of Monsters and the writer and journalist Slavenka Drakulić about national narratives, international law, and the obstacles of “official history”. To article...

Class, race, and Pop: How a marketing professional in the USA invented the racial division between “black” and “white” music. The musician Dom Flemons, himself affected by this pigeonhole thinking, speaks about a little known aspect of American Folk music. To article...

Deep Learning with Trevor Paglen

How is an artificial Intelligence being trained? Trevor Paglen fathoms systems of intelligence and control and challenges our understanding of the distance between us and them: he is making visible the obscure and restricted infrastructures of massively data-driven state surveillance through long-distance telephotography of military sites, scuba diving into the depth of the ocean to the sunken fiber optic cables of the internet and their NSA wiretaps, and discovering the social implications of image generators like Google’s DeepDream. Paul Feigelfeld met him in his Berlin studio. An extract from the new HKW publication “Nervöse Systeme.” To article...

Whether it’s heavy metal or pop, doesn’t really matter: Tore Tvarnø Lind, music anthropologist at the University of Copenhagen, researches the methods of “modern” music torture. His work shows how, through structural violence and cruelty, music’s intended purpose is perverted and employed for human torture. An excerpt from his contribution to the newly published book “Krieg singen. To article...

What could be a contemporary definition of public benefit housing? For the 100 Years of Now. Journal, architectural historian Anne Kockelkorn explores central issues of social housing construction in West Germany. In an interview on the core question of the new publication “Wohnungsfrage,” she describes a paradigm shift from housing quantity to housing quality in the 1970s, and develops scenarios that could lead to an improvement of the living situation of many: away from housing as a commodity to an understanding of housing as a use-value. To article...

The international controversy of the housing question, cultural transfers and the Bauhaus: A conversation between HKW director Bernd SchererClaudia Perren and Franziska Eidner. To article...

For the 100 Years of Now. Journal Sarah Bay-Cheng attended the US premier of “Top Secret International (State 1) in New York. Beyond the Rimini Protokoll production itself the professor of theatre studies turns her attention to cyber attacks, fake news, and the image of the intelligence services. An exploration of the vulnerability of the algorithms and the contemporary crisis of democracy – in the theatre and in real life. To article...

Alexandra Kollontai (1872–1952) was one of the most significant Russian revolutionaries and feminists. Through her engagement with class struggles in the wake of the Russian Revolutions of 1917, she came to the conclusion that the working class could not be successful in realizing its program without the active participation of women or without adopting the issue of women’s rights. She spoke up for equal rights for women, free love, and an end to the bourgeois structures of marriage and family. The social scientist Gisela Notz shows how Kollontai fought for these throughout her life. In her essay contribution to the current cooperation between the HKW and HAU Hebbel am Ufer “Utopian Realities – 100 Years of Now with Alexandra Kollontai” she points to how these struggles continue today. To article in German...

“Recording in Progress” is a sound installation by Julia Tieke that translates German-language media reports on migration and flight into the languages spoken by those who are being reported on. It confronts the audience with the situation of not understanding on the one hand, but on the other, it also presents German-language commentary by the translators and speakers about the political background on misunderstanding language. The Radio moderator and author Julia Tieke talks to Elisabeth Wellershaus in an interview about discoveries, pitfalls, and newly created words in the complex field of translation. To article in German...

Is democracy dead? For the launch of the program series STAAT 1-4 (2016-2018) from Rimini Protokoll to post-democratic phenomena and the gaps in the system, the philosopher Boris Buden illuminates the historical “truth” of modern democracy. Focusing on the purification of the idea of democracy against the background of a “dirty” history he explains the reasons for history’s contemporary return from ideological repression. A look beneath the cloak of the sublime instance of democracy. To article...

The Film “And-Ek Ghes documents the arrival of the Roma family Velcu in Berlin. The filmmaker Philip Scheffner and co-director Colorado Velcu develop perspectives on the arrival in Germany and the self-determination of migrants and refugees in aesthetic production. On the surface, the second installment of the three-part project series “Tonspuren”, curated by Nanna Heidenreich, shows the every day life of the Velcu family who emigrated from Romania. The documentary, which is nominated for the Grimme Award 2017, addresses various ideas of (self-) presentation and offers an unusual contribution to critical revisions of the representation of migrants and refugees in film and the arts. To article in German...

How should today’s European societies deal with the damage of the colonial era? With the consequences of the destruction of places, bodies, and identities? And what forms of “reparation” for contemporary injustices would be appropriate? Within the framework of the event BODY the artist Kader Attia and the philosopher Françoise Vergès addressed old and new collective wounds, amputations and their associated phantom pain. Hannah Gregory attended the film and discussion evening for the journal and discusses here their complementary positions. To article...

The Ethnological Museum’s time in Dahlem is coming to an end, its move into the Humboldt Forum is imminent. A theme evening organized by HKW with lectures and a concluding discussion in the museum addressed one of the core questions of museology: The complexity of the term thing. Museal things are removed from their original context, their “migration history” takes them to different locations, establishing new relationships. The media theorist Arjun Appadurai, the cultural theorist Tony Bennett, and the museologist Sharon MacDonald went in search of alternative ideas of things. They explored the protagonists and circumstances of migration, placing migrating objects in relation to migrating people, juxtaposing the immutability of objects with the mutability of their meaning. Ana Teixeira Pinto listened in and has drawn her own conclusions. To article...

Artist Kader Attia – observes the film maker and composer Manthia Diawara – has a special gift: He can talk about alterity and the traumas caused by the colonial “Other” without lapsing into antagonisms. Attia’s “Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures” provides a clear demonstration of this. The work shows familiar looking masks and sculptures from Africa and Europe, all of which are damaged and disfigured and in need of repair. Perhaps it is the trauma that Attia alludes to which generates a sense of commonality: The shared longing to be restored, to be repaired. The carnage of modernity – the guilt of colonialism and the First World War – is the starting point for the relationship between the self and the “Other”. Even if they are only relationships between damaged identities which Attia so emphatically postulates in his work. To article...

What happens to objects, to things, in a museum? In his essay “Civic Laboratories”, published in 2005, the English cultural and social theorist Tony Bennett examined the simultaneous mutability and immutability of objects in museum contexts. To this end he focused on questions of identity formation, taking his readers on a journey from European theory and Baldwin Spencer’s staging of Aborigines in Australian museums to Franz Boas’s life groups at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. How do objects change as a result of their embedding in different regimes of objecthood? What forms of interiority do they trigger in the observing subject? And what forms do they require? To article...

Constanze Fischbeck’s video project Terra Nova documents the delicate tapestry of hopes and expectations that occurs when two Berliner initiatives invite people in the asylum application process for ‘guerilla gardening’ in an unused corner of the Jerusalem Cemetery in Berlin Neukölln’s highly gentrified Schillerkiez. To article in German...

The migration scholar Nanna Heidenreich talks about her three-part project “Soundtracks”. Discussing the works by Constanze Fischbeck, Philip Scheffner, and Julia Tieke that make up this project, Nanna Heidenreich illustrates how listening is politicized, which narratives and voices are perceived in and by today’s media landscape and which are not, and how to avoid victimization and exploitation of projects “about,” but not “made by” immigrants and refugees. To article in German...

War and displacement go hand in hand. The author Stefan Zweig describes what the historian Jörn Leonhard underlines in his analysis of the First World War – the anonymizing and bureaucratizing of violence – using the example of the individual fate: The person who is destined to lose as a pawn in the game played by unnamed and merciless forces. To article in German...

The First World War was by no means “the war to end all wars” it was conceived to be: Anonymous killing and the total removal of boundaries on a technological and bureaucratic war machine are mortgage debts that remain unpaid to this day. According to Jörn Leonhard in his contribution to the project Tatort Schlachtfeld “The victor wasn’t a nation, a state, or an empire, and the First World War’s result wasn’t a world without war. The real victor was war itself.” To article in German...

Does truth exist? And do we still need it? Taking the concept of Négritude as their point of departure Nobel laureate in literature Wole Soyinka and film theorist Manthia Diawara talked about a universal idea and it’s relevance today. A short survey of edition #3 of the Dictionary of Now. To article...

In the second edition of the Dictionary of Now Eyal Weizman, architect turned intellectual activist, meets social historian Dipesh Chakrabarty to talk about the FORUM. Vague concepts of morality are useless in dealing with climate change. An efficient FORUM, as Chakrabarty maintains, needs to take up a planetary perspective. To article...

Anthropocene Campus: The Technosphere Issue was an eight-day teaching and learning experiment in which new forms of knowledge production and dissemination were tested. Art and cultural critic Brian Holmes who participated as an instructor reflects on the exemplary model course and its outcomes. To article...

Thoughts in the aftermath of “Technosphere X Knowledge”

A new component of the Earth system is emerging today, comparable in scale and function to the bio- and hydrosphere: the Technosphere. It is being driven by the intertwining of natural environments with vast socio-technical forces and increasingly diverse technological species. The “Technosphere X Knowledge” event brought together scientists and artists in cross-disciplinary settings. In the aftermath of this encounter, the writer Adania Shibli reflects on the techniques and practices of knowing, sensing, and experiencing concurrently shaping the Technosphere. To article...

The dystopian video series “The Common Sense” is about “the patch.” Adhered to the palate, this prosthesis transfers the emotions and physical sensations of other people. Leaping through time and space, the video series reveals the far-reaching social changes that the gadget causes – from absolute surveillance at the workplace to a pornographic economy. In this interview artist Melanie Gilligan talks with Bert Rebhandl about devices, TV series and neurosciences. To article...

A conversation with the gramophone expert Ralf Schumacher about buried treasure and fascination with non-electric technology. To article in German...

The Berliner Congress Civil Society 4.0 brought together activists and experts from (among others) Refugee Emancipation, Chaos Computer Club Berlin, metroZones, Refugee Hackathon, United Action, Women in Exile, Refugee Empowerment, and The Voice to ask what happens when “civil” is not limited to citizens, but all those who act politically and publicly: on the street, in institutions, in the media. When we are the state. Not based on nationality, but based on our humanity. To article in German...

A genuine exchange within society is not wanted, this is evident in the treatment of refugees. However, we need a culture of open dialog which accommodates difference and opens up time-spaces for the development of sustainable political strategies. Only the opportunity for active participation in society can prevent the excluded from retreating into particularist communities. To article...

From radio propaganda in Rwanda to torture in Guantanamo Bay, bloodshed accompanied by a soundtrack of reggae during the civil war in Sierra Leone to the calls to battle of the Marseillaise: What does music have to do with war? The cultural anthropologist Angela Dreßler explores this question, and in the process discovers how music is supposed to put fears of another military putsch to rest in war-torn Guinea-Bissau. To article in German...

On conceptions of time and accelerated Capitalism: Guo Jinniu used to be a migrant worker in South China, where he worked at the Foxconn factory for some time. His poems reflect the massive transformation China undergoes since opening up to economic liberalism. To article...

On the autonomy of technology

Can we say that Technology as is exists today competes in its global impact with Nature and Society? Media theorist Erich Hörl and geoscientist Peter K. Haff discuss the Technosphere: how did technology turn into a semi-autonomous ecosystem? To article...

About the festival "Singing the War"

The connections between war and music are as diverse as they are many. 100 years after the First World War, the project “Singing the War” looks at these relationships in their manifestations since: from technologies developed for use in war that would later take on a central role in music (radio, loud speakers, recording, etc.) to music as war propaganda, as a form of resistance, as a means of processing, etc. „Singing the War“ draws an arc over the century to draw attention to just how close war is to Europe today. A Discussion with Bernd Scherer and the curators of the project Detlef Diederichsen and Holger Schulze. To article in German...

Introductory speech from Bernd Scherer, Director of the HKW, on the occasion of the kick-off to 100 Years of Now on 30/09/2015.

Emergency administration of the moment versus history as a space of possibility: How can our society develop new models for action instead of just continually reacting to unexpected challenges? In order to answer this question Bernd Scherer has thrown a wide net—from contemporary history to military and technological history. Capitalism, technology and acceleration have given rise to an explosive amalgam whose composition urgently requires analysis: the present. To article...

Thomas Meinecke, front man of the band F.S.K. talks about music in an age of mobilization and propaganda. To article in German...

An interview with Jihan El-Tahri

Documentary filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri takes a close look at modern Egyptian society in the shadow of the three “Pharaohs” Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak. A discussion about her planned trilogy. To article...

Helga Nowotny’s keynote speech for the kick-off to 100 Years of Now on 30/09/2015

What is time? And what does acceleration on the one hand and big data on the other do to people? As early as 1989, the sociologist Helga Nowotny addressed the decisive question of how changes in society affect our sense of time: Her book Eigenzeit hit a nerve, advancing to become a classic with translations into French, English and Italian. Now she has taken up the theme again: What is our sense of (our own) time today? To article...

The so called “refugee crisis” is not a crisis of the refugee, it’s a “crisis of society.” Starting from that simple insight Andrew Herscher connects the “housing question” (Friedrich Engels) of the 19th century to the “refugee crisis” of the 21st. The “humanity-mongers” of the 19th century addressed the working class’s housing problem rather than the underlying social problem itself. Today’s humanitarian endeavors of “digital shelter,” on the other hand, provide refugees with debit cards to seek a dwelling rather than supplying housing in the form of architectural efforts. To article...

It is in the experiment that we are closest to time’s traces, and time can always, only be grasped up to a point. In Time’s Attack on the Rest of Life, a diverse palate of artists and scholars such as molecular biologist and science historian Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, composer Sandeep Bhagwati, and installation artists Evelina Domnitch and Dimitry Gelfland reflected on the constant shifting and multiplicities of the shaping of time in the context of the opening of 100 Years of Now. To article in German...

Without an eye for the breaks, continuities, and ellipses of the past, the crises and conflicts of the present cannot be read. The project series 100 Jahre Gegenwart traces the powers of WWI in the digital present with an understanding of time that allows a perception of history as a space of possibilities. In a series of performances and lectures by the likes of artist collective Slavs and Tatars, ensemble zeitkratzer, or historian Jörn Leonhard time is demonstrated as a key to understanding. To article in German...