Bodies in the City

Prof. Sophia New & Prof. Daniel Belasco Rogers
Bodies in the City

Online block seminar, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Thursday – Sunday, 19.-22.11.2020, 10-18 h,
mixture of video sessions and self-/group-work: please keep the entire time slot free for the seminar.

What is it that cities allow us to do with our bodies? What is possible in public space now?
Outside public spaces have become more important this year due to the COVID-19 measures. Parks that have historically been described as the ‘lungs’ of a city have become vital outlets for social interaction. plan b’s workshop Bodies in the City explores how cities accommodate and resist human (and non-human) bodies. There are many factors, which influence and determine how and where we spend time. From a city government deciding to play high-pitched sound to drive young people away from certain central urban locations to the unintentionally uncomfortable wind corridors created by empty plazas in front of tall buildings, cities shape human behavior in more or less obvious and intended ways. Feeling safe or endangered in different spaces is also greatly influenced by the way race and gender are dealt with in our societies having deep effects on our cities.

How can we use artistic and creative strategies to explore, reflect upon, critique and perhaps push the envelopes of these urban and social affordances and prohibitions? Through a mixture of online discussions, examples of artists’ works and assignments in the city, we will explore methods of examining, exploring and augmenting the role of the body in the city.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credits: regular and active participation.

The British artists Sophia New and Daniel Belasco Rogers have been based in Berlin since 2001 and working together under the name plan b since 2002. They start a guest professorship at the Studium Generale in the Autumn 2020. “Our work crosses the boundaries between visual art, new media, performance, installation and socially engaged practice. It has been shown in festivals, exhibitions, theatres and on the streets of many different cities. We consider what we do to be site specific and relationship specific. Alongside participatory and performative projects we also have developed strategies to share our practice in educational contexts on a number of different courses in Germany and abroad.” More information on