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Strangeness in Paradise? The Attractions of Otherness – Collaborative Practices & Generativity in Research

source: Hana Yoo

with Valentina Berthelon, Homi K. Bhabha, Óscar Escudero, Ismail Fayed, Annika Haas, Nik Haffner, Çiğdem İşsever, Be Körner, Lilli Kuschel, Belenish Moreno-Gil, Rima Najdi, Arlette-Louise Ndakoze, Ann Noël, Norbert Palz, Filipe Pirl, Cord Riechelmann, Raphael Sbrzesny, Hamed Soleimanzadeh, MengXuan Sun, Alexandra Toland, Jan Verwoert, Britta Wirthmüller and Tsingyun Zhang

University of the Arts, Einsteinufer 43-53, 10587 Berlin

Contributions in English and German

The event will be streamed live on udk/stream (on both days from 2pm)

Programme: schedule, projects, participants


Experiencing the strange or the ‘other’ can allow us to transcend our habitual perception and deactivate our ordinary reflexive responses. Strangeness or ‘otherness’ can also be found in things that are familiar to us when regarded from a critical distance, perhaps inspiring new directions of inquiry. Indeed what exactly is strange or ‘other’ soon comes to be seen in very relative terms in a different context, for example if we collaborate in diverse groups. That’s what often makes ‘otherness’ come to be seen as artistically desirable because it helps us develop creative processes that aim to produce surprises. How then could we incorporate ‘otherness’ into the context and structures of institutional research? What might the outcomes be, and would approaches of this kind be likely to lead to greater generativity?

Wherever we look in contemporary artistic practice we see inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration. The results of this go far beyond a mere meeting of different disciplines. On a conceptual level, our thoughts and reflections are refocused in ways that makes the ‘attractions of otherness’ apparent. Is it then repulsion or attraction that occurs when artistic disciplines and their traditions are critically deconstructed through multimedia art forms? Is it proximity or an unbridgeable distance that explains why models used to represent the world in contemporary natural science and in philosophy seem to be converging ever more both in their subject matter and their general approach, despite the fact that their respective cultures and specialist terminology barely permit this?

Issues around the ‘attractions of otherness’ crucially call for critical revisioning of seemingly self-evident ideas and values, including conceptions that a university always acts as a forum to break down social hierarchies, or that artistic practice necessarily provides opportunities to bring social processes of inclusion and exclusion into creative focus.

We will explore these questions in a two-day hybrid event with presentations, debates and artistic contributions, in order to sharpen our understanding of the nature of research and the importance of collaborative practices at arts universities today. 

We will employ an interdisciplinary panel of artists and scientists from multimedia design, architecture, philosophy and the natural sciences to try to model ‘otherness’ as interfaces for new research paradigms that can bridge the gap between the arts and the sciences.

As part of the event, the cross-faculty colloquium Kunst / Gestaltung / Forschung with contributions by Lilli Kuschel, Rima Najdi and Britta Wirthmüller will take place for the second time on both days at Einsteinufer. Continuing last year's conversations, there will also be the discussion Artistic Research at UdK? A discussion on the potentials and needs of artistic associates at the University of the Arts, to which we invite everyone interested and, explicitly, people who are currently working on their artistic/design or artistic-scientific qualification projects.


Friday 4 November 2022

10:00 - 13:00 colloquium Kunst / Gestaltung / Forschung at designtransfer/ foyer Einsteinufer

10:00 - 11:30 screening of Observing observers observing - filming birds by Lilli Kuschel (artist present)

11:30 - 13:00 Lilli Kuschel & Cord Riechelmann: Observing observers observing - filming birds (GE)

13:00 - 14:00 lunch break

14:00 - 20:00 keynotes and artistic contributions at Georg-Neumann-Saal 

14:00 - 15:00 Valentina Berthelon & Tsingyun Zhang: Symbiogenesis

15:00 - 16:30 Jan Verwoert: Seen this face before?

16:30 - 17:15 coffee break

17:15 - 18:30 Raphael Sbrzesny: My Heart will go on or - What remained of the polyphonic workshop

18:30 - 20:00 Belenish Moreno-Gil & Óscar Escudero: An interface for otherness


Saturday 5 November 2022

10:00 - 13:00 colloquium Kunst / Gestaltung / Forschung at designtransfer/ foyer Einsteinufer

10:00 - 11:30 Britta Wirthmüller: to imagine an archive where there is none – A lecture performance (EN)

11:30 - 13:00 Artistic Research at UdK? A discussion on the potentials and needs of artistic associates at the University of the Arts with Annika Haas, Nik Haffner, Be Körner and Alex Toland

13:00 - 14:00 lunch break

14:00 - 17:30 interdisciplinary panel and artistic contributions at designtransfer/ foyer Einsteinufer

14:00 - 16:00 panel with Homi K. Bhabha, Çiğdem İşsever, Arlette-Louise Ndakoze, Ann Noël and Norbert Palz 

16:00 - 16:20 MengXuan Sun: Taì Chū 3030

16:30 - 16:40 Hamed Soleimanzadeh: Creative forms of women's protests in Iran, a reflection of the 'other' for totalitarian governments

16:50 - 17:20 Filipe Pirl: Becoming One


admission 30 minutes before start of event

entry free