Essay
Deutsch

Welche Bedeutung hat Marcel Duchamps Konzept des Readymade für die zeitgenössische Kunst? Um neue Perspektiven auf die berühmten Werke des Künstlers und Aneignungsstrategien in der Gegenwartskunst geht es beim Symposium „The Readymade Century“ im Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Der Kunsthistoriker Dieter Daniels denkt im Journal als Kurator des Programms über die Wirkungsgeschichte des Kunstkonzepts und dessen Aktualität nach. To article...

In the third part of its tetralogy STAAT 1-4, Rimini Protokoll explores the secrets of Big Data. In the journal the Internet theorist Evgeny Morozov writes about the significance of the digital space for democratic processes, how the Internet plays into the hands of major companies with its alternative participation options, and why business and politics are virtually inseparable in the digital age. To article...

According to the thesis of the curator Adania Shibli, railways and their rail networks do not just constitute infrastructures, they also narrate histories of colonialism and its consequences. The curator invited Philip Rizk to write a piece about his journey from Berlin to the border of Syria, which the writer and filmmaker began in the summer of 2017. In his text Rizk explores the figure of the anarchist Alexander Berkman (1870-1936) who during his lifetime played an important role in the resistance against US and Russian imperialism, and, traveled on the tracks of the Baghdad Railway 100 years ago. To article...

Where does tolerance and Laissez-faire end? When do silence and omissions become violence? The writer Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor summarizes positions by writer Taiye Selasi, cultural theorist Theo Goldberg and historian Achille Mbembe and sketches a range of social phenomena against the background of an increased potential for violence. To article...

How can schools be transformed? 100 years ago the future of education mobilized the imagination of artists and scientists. Today there is often a lack of ideas when it comes to alternative visions for the future. How do schools deal with the changing times, with digitalization, and other challenges? And how can students and teachers develop a new capacity for action? A report on the conference “Schools of Tomorrow”. To article in German...

Multilinguality and diversity are now a matter of course in many schools. However, a relaxed approach to these issues is still far from normal. Between December 2016 and May 2017, young people from ten bilingual European schools in Berlin explored alternative images and narratives which do justice to their complex daily lives in the project “New Experts!”. To article in German...

According to Maik Novotny the large construction site is obsolete. Taking a look at Rimini Protokoll’s “Gesellschaftsmodell Großbaustelle (State 2)” the critic of architecture analyzes the struggle over the control levers of construction between top down and bottom up, problematic or merely simulated public participation, and the latest spectacular failures. A plea for the small building site. To article in German...

Major public construction sites are a phenomenon of our times. The costs skyrocket, politicians stumble, openings are delayed, the “general public” is no longer surprised by anything and is happy when something is actually completed (#Elbphilharmonie). On the occasion of the premier of the second part of the tetralogy series State 1-4 from Rimini Protokoll, “Gesellschaftsmodell Großbaustelle (State 2)”, the American studies scholar Eva C. Schweitzer shares her thoughts on the complex network of relationships and the mythical value of major construction sites. To article...

How could the nation state become the central form of political organization worldwide? Why is it so difficult to conceive alternatives to this relatively young classification system? The program “Die Jetztzeit der Monster. What Comes After Nations?” explored the challenges and limits of the nation state system, the historical connections of its genesis, and alternative models for the reorganization of the international order. To article in German...

In contemporary societies the production of fear often serves as a political strategy designed to legitimize and ultimately normalize states of emergency. The writer Sinan Antoon on the phenomenon “Flying while Muslim”, structural Islamophobia in the USA, and the global interconnections of fear, terror, and trauma. To article...

The nation state has largely established itself as the international organizing principle of modernity. However, what do forms of resistance and alternative models to its conflict-laden demarcations and capitalist motivations look like? The political scientist James C. Scott examines “Zomia”, an upland region extending across South East Asia and the Tibetan Plateau whose indigenous population has resisted incorporation into empires and nation states since time immemorial. An excerpt from his groundbreaking book “The Art of Not Being Governed” (2009). 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...

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...

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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...