The brainstorming sessions are designed to engage the public and the symposium speakers in a conversation and stimulate the sharing of views and expertise.

Fri 27 January


1. Transdisciplinary Studio & Curriculum

This session will reflect on contemporary practices of creative work in the post-post-studio age, i.e. architectural offices, artists’ studios, think tanks, laboratories and their transformation into transdisciplinary studios. As a special guest, Sofia Lemos, will introduce Studio Tomás Saraceno as a specific case study, an example of how artists, designers and architects no longer feel limited by their discipline but are engaging in a fluid practice, moving between the genres of architecture, research, science, music, art and design to address matters of the Anthropocene. Can we argue that these extra-institutional agents and think tanks are units that are paving the way to a transdisciplinary curriculum?

lead by:

Füsun Türetken

Füsun Türetken is an architect and visual artist. Her Studio ft. (features) is a platform for critical, collaborative artistic research and work. She is Head of Visual Culture and lectures at the Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy. Füsun Türetken is a fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut (HNI). Her PhD work at Goldsmiths is a reading of conflict and capital based on the planet’s most powerful catalyst, namely metal. Türetken’s previous roles and work include Director of the German Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale Venice; co-author of essays and exhibitions exploring potential counter-geographies of the contemporary city, i.e. ‘Shrinking Cities’; work at Venice Architecture Biennale and Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art. She recently curated Opening, Opening, Opening, Rotterdam 2016. Her latest essays are ‘Breathing Space: The Amalgamated Toxicity of Ground Zero’ in Forensis. The Architecture of Public Truth (Sternberg Press, 2014) and ‘To Encounter the Contemporary’ and ‘Modern Love’ in Volume Magazine, 2016.

Sofia Lemos

Sofia Lemos is a Berlin-based researcher. Lemos has been involved in the organisation of exhibitions and public programmes in various not-for-profit institutions including Contour Biennial 8 (Mechelen), PRAXES (Berlin), and the David Roberts Art Foundation (London). Previously, she worked as a researcher at MACBA (Barcelona). She is editor and researcher for the artist Tomás Saraceno, and assistant editor at Drawing Room Confessions. Lemos is a graduate of the Independent Studies Program (PEI), MACBA and a member of SYNAPSE–International Curators’ Network of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin). She has contributed to several publications and journals, including Art-Agenda, …ment, Volume Magazine, Thresholds and Near East.

2. Transdisciplinary Research & LABs. Tools to Hunt for Tools: The Artist/Designer as Contemporary Hunter/Gatherer of Vital Alternatives?

Humanity seems unable to overcome its basic tendencies to destroy the planet. In a hostile socio-political climate we are in a continuous state of reinvention to try to prevent this. Can artists and designers provide alternative structures, memes and practices that allow man to change course and reassume a balanced position with respect to ecology? And what would constitute such a practice? Is the situation so urgent that it can’t be solved by a single discipline? Can artists and designers spark these alternatives in a LAB by experimenting together with people from other disciplines? Is the contemporary role of the artist/designer a manifestation of the hunter/gatherer, or rather a researcher/gatherer, providing an alternative way of living in direct confrontation with relevant disciplines, while creating knowledge to share with the community? The intention of this brainstorming session is to create a better understanding of the mental and physical tools needed by the contemporary hunter/gatherer-researcher/gatherer and to give shape to new ideas by deconstructing, constructing and abstracting them in clay.

lead by:

Arne Hendriks

Arne Hendriks is an artist, historian and exhibition maker. His recent research projects try to establish new foundations for the relationship between man and the planet. They include FATBERG (What is fat and what does it want?), Value Beach (How to predict the present from a beach in Venice), Evacuation (The ramifications of the movement of the total human population to a single point on Earth) and KankerCel (A speculative dialogue between cancer and the economy). For The Incredible Shrinking Man, Hendriks received the Dutch Design Award for Future Concepts. Icon Magazine listed him in the Future 50, a selection of 50 makers and thinkers designing the future. Hendriks teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Design Academy Eindhoven.

Annemarie Piscaer

Annemarie Piscaer is a designer, researcher, and lecturer in the field of product design. She graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven with the project ‘beauty of the insignificant’, a series of rugs made from wool dust. Since then she has been fascinated with dust. With her Studio Dust, she operates within the circular economy, working on assignments to develop materials/products from the waste object ‘dust’. She is also part of the ‘Stadslab Luchtkwaliteit’, a transdisciplinary lab that conducts research on solutions for the poor air quality in Rotterdam. Currently she is conducting research as a student at the Master of Education in Arts at the Piet Zwart Institute.

Sat 28 January


1. Anthropocene as Necessary but Evil Media Environment
1995: Every object in your home has a clock & it is blinking 12:00
2025: Every object in your home has an IP address & the password is Admin
- Andi McClure

Examining the Anthropocene as an emerging scientific construct (as opposed to a post-human approach), the Dutch atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen describes a sense of human responsibility and requisite human agency towards our environment. This responsibility means that information technology will play a crucial role in overseeing our increasingly managed landscape. The often naively utopian ideas of ‘smart cities’ and ‘smart buildings’, which are actually nightmarish, sensor-controlled surveillance landscapes, might simply be a necessity in order to improve energy and resource efficiency in a constrained world. In other words, opposition to technological change will not be an option in the Anthropocene. What scenarios and visions can we imagine for such a world? How do we need to rethink our use of various media for this purpose? Will the Anthropocene force us to use them as human extensions (to paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, see instead of mere communication devices?

lead by:

Florian Cramer

Florian Cramer, Dr. Phil. in Comparative Literature (Freie Universität Berlin), reader in 21st Century Visual Culture at Research Center Creating 010 and the Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. Recent publications include Anti-Media: Ephemera on Speculative Arts (NAi010 Publishers, 2013), ‘What Is Post-Digital?’ (APRJA research journal, 2014) and ‘Crapularity Hermeneutics’, in a book on the politics of network analytics, with Wendy Chun, Hito Steyerl and Clemens Apprich (forthcoming in 2017).

Michelle Kasprzak

Michelle Kasprzak is an artist, writer and curator pursuing her doctorate on a full fellowship at the University of Porto and Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute, supervised by Chris Csíkszentmihályi. She has developed and delivered curriculum for the Open Design BA minor, Willem de Kooning Academy, and is currently course tutor of Digital Cultures at the Master of Education in Arts at the Piet Zwart Institute. She has written essays for HOLO, C Magazine, Volume, Mute, and several online journals on a wide range of subjects in the realm of contemporary culture. Her most recent academic papers were presented in 2016 at STS Italia and 4S/EASST.

2. Staying with the Trouble of Dark Ecology

As a kick-off to this brainstorming session, Arie Altena will discuss the approach of the Dark Ecology Project (2014–2016), several of the works that were realised as part of it and Timothy Morton’s idea of ‘dark ecology’. Taking a cue from Donna Haraway’s recent book, Staying with the Trouble, Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016), this session will start by questioning whether the task or prime characteristic of art is to ‘stay with the trouble’, insisting on complexity. In a world damaged by financialised capitalism, extractivism and brute exploitation, this could be regarded as one of the most important tasks of art in the Anthropocene. It requires making strange relations with human and nonhuman actors (‘making oddkin’ in Haraway’s terms). So do we agree with Haraway that this is crucial? What is the value of ‘staying with the trouble’ in an activist sense? How does art develop attachments with others, human and nonhuman?

lead by:

Arie Altena

Arie Altena works as an editor and curator for Sonic Acts and is an editor at V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media. He studied Literary Theory and writes about art and technology. He is co-editor of several Sonic Acts publications, such as, most recently, The Geologic Imagination (2015), The Dark Universe (2013) and Travelling Time (2011). In the past he was the editor of Mediamatic Magazine and Metropolis M, and he taught at the Frank Mohr Institute (Groningen). His writings have been published in Metropolis M, Open, De Gids, Gonzo (circus), Neural, Mediamatic Magazine, various catalogues and the publications of Sonic Acts.

Marina MG

Marina MG is a designer and an educator. She graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven in 1998 and co-founded the design studios 24h living® and Do24, both based in Madrid. Involved in design education for over 15 years, she has been lecturing at design schools in Spain and the Netherlands. Her commitment to sustainable development motivates her aim of educating a conscious community of designers. She is the initiator of collaborative projects between design academies and international institutions, as for example ‘Visualizing Peace & Justice’, a collaborative project between DAE and international institutions in The Hague. She is currently project tutor at Design Academy Eindhoven and is conducting educational research at the Master of Education in Arts at the Piet Zwart Institute.