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The culture and media theorist Benjamin Steininger from the group Beauty of Oil explains the fusion of coal chemistry and petrochemistry since the 1920s and sketches their far ranging consequences from the Second World War to the present. To article...

Environmental concepts have their own time. The media historian Orit Halpern describes the engineering-driven transformations of architecture and design since the middle of the 20th century and how they led to ideas of a technological habitat. To article...

1948 – a visionary moment in which anti-genetics, ideology, and the exploration of life in other worlds mutually inspired one another. The historian of biology Luis Campos casts light on the “avant-garde” of breeding biology, on their ideas for the creation of new organisms and habitats. Is it just a question of time before visions of the future from back then become reality? To article...

Sometimes words do what they want, and no one knows this better than Herta Müller. For decades the Nobel Laureate for Literature has explored the recalcitrance and permeability of language. In the coming edition of the talk series “Dictionary of Now”, together with the writer Marcel Beyer, she discusses when language becomes an expression of resistance and when an instrument of the exercise of power. On this occasion, we reproduce here a text from an anthology of the literary magazine Akzente. To article...

What meaning does Marcel Duchamp’s concept of the readymade have for contemporary art? The symposium The Readymade Century at Haus der Kulturen der Welt will explore new perspectives on the artist’s famous works and appropriation strategies in contemporary art. In the journal the art historian Dieter Daniels, curator of the program, reflects on the history of the art concept’s influence and its contemporary relevance. To article...

What connections are there between art forms and political systems? Rabih Mroué’s works revolve around the social situation in Lebanon and the Eastern Mediterranean. For “Why Are We Here Now?” he examines, together with representatives from the post-civil war art scene, Lebanese concepts of identity and the special role of the lecture performance. To article...

What form of theater can reflect changed realities? The journalist Katja Petrowskaja and the artist and playwright Mohammad Al Attar discuss Noam Chomsky and the international left, migration and military conflicts as lived experience, and theater as a political tool. 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...

What is the relationship between the October Revolution of 1917 and concepts such as “cosmos” and “immortality”? No one formulated this as clearly as Nikolai Fedorov (1829-1903): In his “The Philosophy of the Common Task” (1906) he called for the abolition of death, the physical reconstruction of all the dead and – as a logical consequence – the expansion of mankind into the cosmos. Is it even possible to describe the entire soviet experiment as a form of applied Cosmism? With his exhibition at the HKW the media theorist and philosopher Boris Groys takes a look at one of this epoch’s rather neglected movements. A debate on the overcoming of death, revolutionary new beginnings, and the limitations of current body technologies. To article in German...

More than virtually any other place, the Syrian city of Aleppo is associated with war and destruction. The artist Mohammad Al Attar resists such media codifications. A talk on intimate narratives, cherished places, and resilient memory. To article...