UdK Berlin Rundgang 2021

Context Filter

Taking the shore of an island as a boundary, it represents a conflict zone, an uncertain boundary, both geographically and psychologically. Being separated by the water shapes a limit and a definition. However, the space can be utilized and function as an active and connecting space. Two border-drawing-robot arms are placed on two different islands: Valentinswerder and Taiwan. The drawn line gets washed away by the water in a never-ending play. Both portray an individual story of the island and its connection to the mainland. Valentinswerder is a remote island that has a strong connection to Berlin due to its size and distance. Using the space as a connecting element. Despite forming an own system and home to the islanders the connection with the mainland is indispensable. Taiwan is separated from the mainland of China by the Taiwan strait, the shortest distance is only about 130 kilometers. For some people, the strait is a natural barrier that protects their independence. For others, it is just a gap, which cuts them off from the past. The relationship between Taiwan and China is still changing. As islanders, we can only constantly redefine our identity in the floating spectrum, like drawing lines in front of where we stand. To draw lines on the ground is a strong statement, sometimes it even looks like a rejection. The lines are our boundary, our defense, and our definition. In the intertidal zone, lines are wiped away by waves. Even though we all know this will happen, we still keep drawing.

Drawing Borders

Zoe Spehr

This project arises from the eviction of an antique store called KUNST UND CHAOS. The experience of its gradual disappearance, along with some other stores in the area, triggered questions and reflections about space-time, emptiness, uncertainty and distance. In times of confinement and pandemic, space-time notions have been the object of discussion and have fought not only in their physical interpretations, but also in their emotional dimensions. This sensitive character has opened the way to new ways of relating to dichotomies such as inside-outside, day-night or light-darkness. And it is due to these recurring concerns that have appeared rethinking about time and its configuration thanks to the perception of movement, a movement that thanks to its restriction has taken on other nuances. The current state of the project is presented as a three-channel video installation. The images of the installation show an experimental montage of the performative reading action that I carried out in front of the antique store. My voice is transmitted by means of a laser device that sends audible waves through the empty warehouse and is amplified on the other side of the showcases by means of another device that receives light waves. This action was carried out as a poetic gesture of reflection on space and the paradox of a confinement that brought with it the increase of emptiness. The performance is a reading of notes made during the time of confinement and the devices used are a project of transmission and reception of sound waves by means of laser light (light amplified by emission of stimulated radiation) that I have been developing as part of my research project on affective specialties and temporalities in my program of arts and media studies at the UdK.

Friction that doesn't stop

Juan Pablo Gaviria Bedoya

These spirals represent the trajectory of the artist's life and your life. All of these drawings were created during the pandemic of Covid-19 and related to the lockdown in Berlin. The emotional, spiritual and mental well-being can be on a positive trajectory to be nurturing and enabling. It is all about movement, recommencement, and guidance. The current situation can also be a catalyst for reaching your goals and developing a constructive style of correspondence. Through his work, Marcel Schwittlick wants to offer a talisman to remember where your life is. The Upward Spiral series comprises 144 editions, which the artist draws with a custom built drawing machine. Each drawing takes about 9h to produce. The Upward Spiral series has a very personal meaning. It represents a reminder of the trajectory of our lives. To be mindful about whether one is in an upward and also downward trajectory, these spirals are perfectly symmetrical. For me, this type of spiral symbolizes an awareness of dynamics in life that helps avoid stress and pain. It plays with the idea of improving yourself, working on discipline and creativity. Usually, we find ourselves struggling to get our lives together, and sometimes we are succeeding at our plans to become a better person every day. There is no linear way for people to reach their goals in life. The actual human experience is much different. Being unable to control ourselves and our surroundings, we break down, and later, with the help of new discoveries, we can get back up and develop further. This is a constant flux between order and chaos; both are necessary in our lives. I think it's important to be aware of that. This is along the lines of what an Upward Spiral may represent.

Upward Spiral 🟡🔵

Marcel Schwittlick

In our installation-based performance project, we explored the theme of the inner critical voice in an interdisciplinary way and consider it in the context of our queer identities. We see many of our own ways of acting and thinking, also 'habits' as a result of trying to adapt to heteronormative, patriarchal structures. These patterns of acting and thinking are repeated over and over again, so we are in a loop. We want to intervene and break this loop in order to enter a new loop that questions the critical voice and related structures and allows for an unadaptive and queer reality of life. We often experience self-criticism as soon as we do not behave according to the norms, that is, do not conform to society's expectations. The internalization of societal values, norms and social roles happens unconsciously and must therefore be consciously questioned. We use our bodies as well as our studio work to create these loops of habit during the performance - but also to break them again. In doing so, we try to escape the destructive pattern of action and thought and create a mental place where we accept our queer selves. Costume plays an important role in this, as clothing has a direct impact on how we are read and which social groups we are assigned to. Costume and body merge in the performance to create a sculpture that does not reproduce heteronormative phenotypes, but invites visitors to question their categorical habits of seeing. With our performance we want to invite the visitors to reflect. In a place that visually transports "Radical Softness" and allows us to experience our queer realities of life in relation to mental health. Will the loop be disrupted?


Elin Laut

Climate change, damage to the biosphere, ocean acidification, deforestation, waste pollution, destruction of biodiversity and much more threaten terrestrial life as we know it. In order to avoid the catastrophe, naturalness and artificiality are often negotiated with each other in our civilised world determined by culture and technology. In doing so, we appear as the artificial, technologised and cultural actors and often view the world around us as passive and primal. But these categories are obsolete. Nature and culture are rather constitutive of each other. Therefore, the question of their points of contact seems more exciting. Where do the border crossings take place? Where do the different structures interact? Where does the becoming together happen? Becoming in alliances? Who is infected with whom and what new assemblages emerge? A Thousand Seeds or the Right to Becoming deals with the infection of the seed with human culture , the catastrophes, the loss of biodiversity. Through his affectation with and fascination with human technological networks, he too became something else, stepping out of his apparent passivity and showing his own agency. By expanding his perception through contact with the drone and the parasitic use of the internet, he begins to control his dispersal. Observing the weather and communicating with each other enables trees and seeds to spread optimally, find the most favourable locations and intervene in selected landscapes to save their own and other species. And does with this agency also come the right to this development and can it be secured in the cultural network of patent law?

A Thousand Seeds or the Right to Becoming

Julius Führer

In the context of designed uncertainty we explored the movement and presence of a person within a room. Distinct movement shapes your presence. As we move individually and depending on the context, our mood etc. presence is not repeatable and uncertain. The room is constantly altered by different presences. To amplify the presence we translated the physical movement and distinctive non-movement with sound in a restricted area. The sonification of the body movement defines the room and highlights the limits of the defined space. Every person explores the room differently - there is an area of relation between generated sound feedback and body perception. The use of a sound generating setup and sound trigger zones results in complex relations in the control processes. The room can turn into an instrument where you can guide your sonification of movement and actively control the musical outcome. The setup is a room with a xbox kinect which tracks your body movement in a certain restricted area. Although the room it self is bigger only in the "eyesight of the kinect" the movement will become audible. Certain body parts and movements are triggering different sounds as well as multiple areas are activated by entering with your body. Spatial relations of body parts alter the expressions of the sound through parameters. There is a direct sound feedback while moving through the space. To document the project we choose to work with a performer who explored the room possibilities and created her own sound presence.

sound space

Zoe Spehr