Sustaining Fecundity. „Artistic“ creation as care for life

Dr. Andreas Weber
Sustaining Fecundity. „Artistic“ creation as care for life

Block seminar, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
4 sessions on Tuesdays, 17-20:30 h: 18.4., 25.4., 2.5., 9.5.2023, Hardenbergstr. 33, room 101
2 sessions on Saturdays, 10-18.30 h: 22.4. & 6.5., Hardenbergstr. 33, room 101

Registration on Moodle starts on the 17th of April / Anmeldung auf Moodle beginnt am 17.4.2023:
Moodle Enrollment Key / Einschreibeschlüssel: aliveness

“Artistic“ creation is as old as human culture. As such it has emerged from a practice beyond class designation – and even beyond the human-non human binary which is so characteristic of occidental cultures and serves as a model for further binaries creating social classes. For most time, what we today classify as “art“ was part of an exchange between humans and the cosmic order. “Art“ was meant as a gift to the overarching fecundity in order to keep the life forces flowing. “Art“ was communication with the “spirits“ – the invocation of a “poetic space“ from which creation entered the material realm. In the seminar we will explore this power of tapping into the invisible productive forces of reality. By the means of “art”, humans have a capacity to nourish life in ways which are parallel to how productivity unfolds from the unseen into the embodied domain. This might still be understood as source of all “artistic” creation, and as a means of how to participate in a life-giving cosmos. In the current global crisis of life I suggest it is crucial to remember the potential of art not only to show, but to actually contribute to aliveness. In the seminar, the participants will learn about various – animistic and occidental – traditions of art for life. They will also have the opportunity to develop their own practical approaches in terms of artistic sustenance of life-creation and are asked to present their works as part of the required work for the course. The seminar will be held in English language.

Gregory Bateson, Angels Fear: Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred, New York: Macmillan, 1987.
John Berger, Steps Towards a Small Theory of the Visible. London 2020.
Robert Bringhurst, The Tree of Meaning, Kentville, NS, Canada, 2006.
Lewis Hyde, The Gift. Creativity and the Artist in the Modern WorldBoston 1986.
Tyson Junkaporta, Sand Talk. How Indigenuous Thinking Can Save the World. London, HarperOne, 2019.
Wassilij Kandinsky, On the Spiritual in Art. New York 1946. Online:
Paul Klee, Beiträge zur bildnerischen Formlehre, Basel 1979.
Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think, Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 2013.
Susanne K. Langer, Philosophy in a New Key. New York, 1941., Online:
Suzanne K. Langer, Feeling and Form, New York 1953.
Deborah Bird Rose, "Shimmer. When all you love is being trashed". In: Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan, Nils Bubandt, eds., Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet. Univ. of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, 2017.
Enrique Salmón, “Kincentric Ecology: Indigenous Perceptions of the Human-Nature Relationship”, Ecological Applications, Vol. 10, No. 5 (Oct., 2000), pp. 1327-1332.
Sophie Strand, The Flowering Wand. Rewilding the Sacred MasculineRochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 2022.
Andreas Weber, Matter and Desire. An Erotic Ecology. White River Junction: Chelsea Green, 2017.
Andreas Weber, Sharing Life. An Ecopolitics of Reciprocity. New Delhi & Berlin: Boell Foundation, 2020, online at:

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credits: Regular and active participation, regular preparation of course-related small works (artistic or narrative), preparation and presentation of final assignment.

Andreas Weber is a biologist, philosopher and writer. His work focuses on a re-evaluation of our understanding of the living. He proposes to view – and treat – all organisms as subjects and hence the biosphere as a meaning-creating and poetic reality. Andreas teaches at Berlin University of the Arts, is Visiting Professor at the UNISG, Pollenzo, Italy, and holds an Adjunct Professorship at the IIT, Guwahati, India. He contributes to major German newspapers and magazines and has published more than a dozen books, most recently Enlivenment. A Poetics for the Anthropocene, MIT Press, 2019 and Sharing Life. The Ecopolitics of Reciprocity, Boell Foundation, 2020. More information on