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Workshop | How Mobilities Matter: Materializing Mobilities in the Arts

Oct 26, 2023 - Oct 28, 2023

Organised by Torsten Jost and Friederike Schäfer, Research Area 2: "Travelling Matters". In cooperation with Ramona Mosse, Head of Theatre at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).

The workshop "How Mobilities Matter" explores the production, reception and understanding of material mobilities in the arts. It focuses on how art practices and processes activate the mobilities afforded by different human and non-human materials, thus contributing to the emergence of material mobilities that operate in different dimensions: sensory, affective, temporal, spatial, ethical, epistemic and political.

The workshop seeks to explore material mobilities in the arts by focusing on the pressing challenges associated with the notion of the "Anthropocene", which refers to the destructive effects of our current environmental state that are unevenly distributed across the globe. These challenges require significant changes in material practices and processes. They call for the activation of other possible material mobilities in the arts. In order to think about both the possible media and the possible effects of material mobilities, in their interrelatedness, the workshop proposes two specific focus areas: "Digital Materializations" and "Mobilizing Epistemologies".

The first focus area, Digital Materializations, centers on the influence of digital technologies on materiality, mobility and art. It acknowledges the expanding scope of reality shaped by digital technologies and explores the impact of digital materialities on transforming and facilitating social encounters. In light of the challenges addressed with the term Anthropocene, this focus area prompts workshop participants to reflect on how digital matters travel and how they reshape social encounters and modes of knowledge acquisition. 

The second focus area, Mobilizing Epistemologies, deals with the knowledge-related aspects and effects of material mobilities. On the one hand, it acknowledges the indispensable, active role of non-human materials and things in artistic practices and processes of (re)generating knowledge. On the other, the workshop brings into focus an important tendency in the arts today to frequently (re)activate and combine diverse ways of knowing in order to critically engage with the destructive effects of our environmental state today. In short, this focus asks workshop participants to reflect on how material mobilities activated and shaped in the arts might foster a diversification of ways of knowing, thus potentially contributing to the emergence of new models of action––not least in relation to the globally unequal challenges addressed with the term Anthropocene.

For further information and registration please contact: Friederike Schäfer, f.schaefer@fu-berlin.de.


Thursday evening: Open to the public with registration

Friday and Saturday: Internal Workshop

Thursday, 26 October 2023
at Alex, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 11/13, 10178 Berlin – 1st floor (access via escalator)

15:00-17:00 | Internal Preparatory Meeting (Workshop speakers only)

17:00-18:30 | Convivial Gathering
Friederike Schäfer, Torsten Jost, Ramona Mosse
Welcome by nGbK
House of Kal: Aziz Sohail, Aziza Ahmad, Promona Sengupta, Suza Husse
Radio Kal & We Are Born Free Radio: Bino Byansi Byakuleka
Women* in Exile: Kalsoom Ahmed, Grace Ng`ang`a, Salima Hakami, Caroline Wamboi

18:30-20:30 | Food & Drinks at the House of Kal-Kiosk by Women* in Exile
with Antonia Schui, Elizabeth Ngari, Kenan Darwich, Sami Ruston

Friday, 27 October 2023
Freie Universität Berlin

Opening & Introductions

11:00-12:00 | Mobilities in and of the Anthropocene
Friederike Schäfer, Torsten Jost, Ramona Mosse

12:00-13:00 | Helen Gilbert (Royal Holloway, University of London): Terraqueous Epistemologies, Performance Praxis and the Anthropocene Concept

13:00-14:30 | Lunch Break (Eßkultur, Dahlem)

14:30-16:00 | Focus I: How does digitality reshape artistic and social encounters in the Anthropocene?
Anna Street (Le Mans Université / Performing Water Platform)
Promona Sengupta (House of Kal, Berlin) & Aziz Sohail (House of Kal, Berlin / Monash University, Melbourne)
Ilja Mirsky (Residenztheater München)

16:00-16:15 | Coffee Break

16:15-17:30 | Focus II: How can material mobilities in the arts change how knowledge is aquired?
Yvonne Schmidt (EcoArtLab, Bern Academy of the Arts)
Suza Husse & Aziza Ahmad (House of Kal, Berlin)

17:30-17:45 | Short Break

17:45-18:30 | Introducing the "Living Handbook"
"Living Handbook of Temporal Communities", Rebecca Hardie (Freie Universität Berlin)

Saturday, 28 October 2023
Freie Universität Berlin

Gathering Insights

10:00-11:00 | Concluding Discussion

11:00-11:10 | Coffee Break

11:10-13:00 | Next Steps: Workshop Session "Living Handbook"

Time & Location

Oct 26, 2023 - Oct 28, 2023

nGbK at Alex
Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 11/13
1st floor (access via escalator)
10178 Berlin

Friday & Saturday:
Freie Universität Berlin