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Foto: Hana Yoo

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


4 November 2022, 10am - 8pm

5 November 2022, 10am - 6pm

designtransfer | Georg-Neumann-Saal | Room 203

Einsteinufer 43, 10587 Berlin


free entrance


with Valentina Berthelon, Óscar Escudero, Annika Haas, Nik Haffner, Cigdem Issever, 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, Yalda Younes and Tsingyun Zhang




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 a discussion on artistic research at the UdK, 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

with Rima Najdi and Lilli Kuschel


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

with Valentina Berthelon & Tsingyun Zhang, Jan Verwoert, Raphael Sbrzesny, Belenish Moreno-Gil & Óscar Escudero


Saturday 5 November 2022

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

with Britta Wirthmüller, discussion with Nik Haffner and Annika Haas


14:00 - 18:00 interdisciplinary panel and artistic contributions in Room 203

panel with Cigdem Issever, Arlette-Louise Ndakoze, Ann Noël and Norbert Palz 
artistic contributions by Filipe Guilherme Pirl, Hamed Soleimanzadeh and MengXuan Sun


Herausgeber: Universität der Künste Berlin, Der Präsident
Verantwortlich: Lena Loose
Mitarbeit: Magdalena Weidemann
Texte/ Redaktion: Ariane Jeßulat, Jasmina Samssuli
der Universität der Künste Berlin
Postfach 12 05 44
10595 Berlin

Einsteinufer 43, Raum 207

Telefon +49 / (0)30 / 3185 2105
Telefax +49 / (0)30 / 3185 162 713
Email: graduiertenschule@udk-berlin.de


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