Last Call

— an global webinar on art & design in the face of environmental emergencies convened by Seoul Institute of the Arts, Korea

In this global webinar organized by The Seoul Institute of the Arts, Etienne is honored to be the first presenter among a truly fascinating group of invited speakers——artists, designers, philosophers, and activists from different communities in Europe, Asia, South and North America——who all share their thoughts, practices, experiences, in order to help us understand how art and design can stimulate the productions of new ideas to address the global environmental emergency.

Opening Message by Prof. Shabhaz Khan (Jakarta, Indonesia), Director of UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and Representative to Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste.

Speakers: Etienne Turpin (Berlin, Germany), Philosopher & Investigator of international exhibition “Reassembling the Natural,” co-editor of the book “Art in the Anthropocene”; Gwen Cunningham (Dublin, Ireland), Director Circle Economy’s Textiles Programme and coordinator of Sustainability Program at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute; Dwinita Larasati (Bandung, Indonesia), Lecturer at Bandung Institute of Technology and activist at Bandung Creative City Forum; Nam-Jin Park (Ansan, Korea) Professor of Spatial Design at the Seoul Institute of the Arts; Chantal Bilodeau (New York City), Playwright and the Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle; Claudio Scarabottini & Jared McNeill (Spoleto, Italy), Directors of the immersive opera WEATHER#; Reneltta Arluk (Banff, Canada), Artistic Director Indigenous Arts at Ban Center for Arts; Miguel Juan Leon (Papantla, Mexico), Coordinator of the Center for Indigenous Arts,Totonac translator, Interpreter, Pedagogue; Andrea Lerda (Turin, Italy), Historian, Founder of the online project Platform Green, curator of the Museum of the Mountain.

Closing Message by Cecile Guidote Alvarez (Manila, Philippines), Director of Earthsavers DREAMS Ensemble, UNESCO Artist for Peace, Founder of Philippines Educational Theatre Association and President of the Philippines ITI

Convened & moderated by Andrea Paciotto, Professor of Performing Arts at Seoul Institute of the Arts Director of CultureHub Europe

Co-opting Natural History

— an online lecture about "Reassembling the Natural" organized by

In this invitation by the German Architecture Center DAZ in Berlin, we will look back at previous projects of the “Reassembling the Natural” cycle and share some considerations motivating our current research; here, we are interested in how the relationship between organisms proposes alternative approaches to depicting natural history. Instead of beginning from the assumption that the speciated organism is the basic unit of evolution, what if we consider nested ecologies of life as symbiotic kin that challenge ideas of competition and fitness? Following our readings of Lynn Margulis, Ed Young, Scott Gilbert, and David Quammen, among others, we ask, how can novel spatial strategies and interventions in the standard display technologies of the Natural History Museum contribute to de-naturalizing its presentation of human supremacy?

Curated and moderated by Lidia Gasperoni, Matthias Böttger, and Christophe Barlieb of The association promotes research about the Anthropocene – the new geological age in which human activity has become one of the most dominant influences upon the transformational processes of the earth.

The event, in cooperation with the Department of Architectural Theory at the Institute for Architecture at the TU Berlin, is part of the DAZ series “We need to talk!”.

Guest lecture by Anna-Sophie Springer for Club Donna, Peter Behrens School of Art, Hochschule Düsseldorf

Club Donna is about a renewed relationship with land, matter, “nature” and localities against the backdrop of the new climate condition. Participants and organizers (Sophie Dars & Carlo Menon, Accattone magazine) explore the work of contemporary artists, photographers, architects, botanists and landscape designers. At the same time, in practice, they borrow from them the tools to investigate our own environment—built and unbuilt, domestic and public, imaginary and actual. Looking forward to being today’s guest!

There Is No Capital

— article on "reflections and abandonment in Indonesia" by Nashin Mahtani & Etienne Turpin, Kerb Journal 28/2020

“On 26 August 2019, during one of the first major announcements of his second term as president, Joko Widodo confirmed rumours that Indonesia would move its capital from its sprawling current location along the northern edge of the world’s most populated island, Pulau Java, to the province of East Kalimantan on the neighbouring island of Borneo. According to various studies and assessments, the so-called Capital District of Indonesia, known as ‘DKI Jakarta’, required relocation to address two major issues: chronic seasonal flooding during the Southeast Asian monsoon and excessive land subsidence due to rampant but unregulated groundwater extraction. As one island subsides, another is being mapped as a refuge for carefully selected survivors. In what follows, we explore how this attempt to govern from outside the crisis exemplifies current capitalist reactions to climate change. …”

Earthseeds #4

— Anna-Sophie joins curator Maria McLintock in a conversation with students from the MA Environmental Architecture, moderated by Mingxin Li, Yutong Wu, and Christina Leigh Geros

Spanning three days, “Earthseeds” is an online exhibition and event series celebrating the work of the cohorts graduating the MA City Design and MA Environmental Architecture at the RCA’s School of Architecture. Led by the student community from both graduating cohorts, “Earthseeds” features talks, conversations, performances and group discussions, focusing on issues of care, the environment, technology, climate, and social justice. The title, “Earthseed,” is in reference to Octavia Butler’s book “Parable of the Sower.” To sow, to care, to adapt, to persist in the face of adversity and to change: a story that speaks to the uniqueness of this year and to our students’ capacity for adaptation and creativity even in the most difficult circumstances.

MA Environmental Architecture, School of Architecture, Royal College of Art London

The UnNatural History Museum: Unbuilding the Museum Typology

— a day spent on Zoom responding to current student projects at the AA, London

After months of not being able to travel and/or visit the institutions where a lot of my exhibition-led research takes place it’s a particular pleasure to engage with the cohort of architecture tutors Lily Jencks & Jessica Reynolds to discuss the group’s current collective and individual projects. They have been exploring the role of the natural history museum in the context of the contemporary ecological emergency. Due to the pandemic constraints, which have prevented the students to be together in London, each student instead engaged with a museum that is local to them in their home country. After identifying a specific local ecological and/or curatorial problematic each designed a proposal for an intervention that would rethink the museum’s structure, role, and purpose. We look forward to learning about their ideas and strategies and comment and contribute via the background and experience gathered in throughout “Reassembling the Natural”!

“The UnNatural History Museum: Unbuilding the Museum Typology,” a year-long experimental studio led by tutors Lily Jencks & Jessica Reynolds at the Architectural Association 2020–21

[image excerpted from the Experimental 13 brief]

silvopasture works

— a video screening program curated by Anna-Sophie Springer for "I Never Read Basel Art Book Fair 2020" @ Schaulager Basel, 3–9 pm & @ Fahrbereitschaft Berlin, 7–9 pm

In its ninth year, “I Never Read, Art Book Fair Basel 2020,” tells stories that reveal the explosive nature of current political, ecological, and economic realities. In addition to the programs of its exhibitors, these realities will be presented and put up for discussion in the form of mini-exhibitions, a radio and performance program as well as 3 outdoor screenings on the 7×5 meter LED screen on the building’s facade. With “silvopasture works,” I had the joy to prepare Friday’s screening together with 15 amazing visual artists & dear friends. We sadly can’t be in Basel ourselves this time but wish everyone a truly wonderful weekend! However, since the days have been so bright and warm here in Berlin, we’ve decided to also host a parallel outside screening on the compound of our atelier in FAHRBEREITSCHAFT. Some of the artists showing work as well as drinks and books will be there too.

About the Video Program:

Convening artists from all over the world, this screening is inspired by the practice of silvopasture. Silvopasture is an integrated, holistic approach to agriculture and forestry that allows all types of organisms involved to benefit in mutual ways, forming a balance that supports and co-nourishes each participant across various scales. A tradition of living-with familiar to Indigenous communities on all continents, silvopasture is an act of resistance and sustenance that understands planetary life as compositional and collective.

As a complementary approach, silvoculture resonates with independent publishing as a dynamic and collaborative practice nurtured by reciprocity, multiplication, and (re-)distribution; gathering and cultivating ecologies of careful attention, knowing, and sensing on varying scales, from the smallness of a single letter, word, or image to bigger assemblages like the book, a visual sequence, a print-run, a group of positions and voices, a shelf, a book fair, or the world.

In this spirit, the pieces shared by comrades in silvopasture works address survival and disappearance from many different vantage points, some using a more documentary approach, while others offer more poetic interventions. Together, the works in print, video, and photography suggest repertoires of interdependence in both love and struggle.

With contributions by:

Elisa Balmaceda
Rosa Barba
Priyanka Basu & Steve Rowell
Carolina Borrero Arias
Dora García
Ana Hupe
Geraldine Juárez
Armin Linke
Hanna Mattes
Martina Pozzan
Ela Spalding
Joel Tauber
Raul Walch
Tania Willard

And thanks to all participants for the wonderful collaboration and to Eveline Wüthrich for the beautiful opportunity.

"Compensatory Postures: Natural History, Necroaesthetics, and Humiliation"

— essay co-written for Tristan Garcia & Vincent Normand (eds.), "Theater, Garden, Bestiary: A Materialist History of Exhibitions," Sternberg Press, spring 2019.

We’re very pleased to be co-contributors to Tristan Garcia & Vincent Normand’s forthcoming edited publication “Theater, Garden, Bestiary: A Materialist History of Exhibitions” with contributions by Etienne Chambaud, Elitze Dulguerova, Anselm Franke, Tristan Garcia, Fabien Giraud & Raphael Siboni, Dorothea von Hantelmann, Yuk Hui, Pierre Huyghe, Jeremy Lecomte, Stéphane Lojkine, Sami Khatib, Rafael Mandressi, Vincent Normand, Peter Osborne, Filipa Ramos, Juliane Rebentisch, Joao Ribas, Pamela Rosenkranz, Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin, Lucy Steeds, Olivier Surel, Kim West, and Charles Wolfe. Berlin: Sternberg Press, forthcoming in April 2019.

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"Biomonotony" by Etienne Turpin

— essay in the catalog for the "Broken Nature" XXII Triennale di Milano

photo by Armin Linke

The XXII Triennale di Milano, Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival, highlights the concept of restorative design and studies the state of the threads that connect humans to their natural environments—some frayed, others altogether severed.

Etienne’s essay contribution to the exhibition catalog is accompanied by Martina Pozzan’s photographic research project Musa x paradisiaca L. on “micropropagation” of plants in the lab; a commercial plant multiplication technique that offers genetically identical shoots for plantations and orchards.

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Prototype for a Museum of Man

— Seminar project at the (Un)-Learning Place: The New Alphabet School, HKW, Berlin

During the Opening Days of the Haus der Kulturen’s new long-term project “The New Alphabet” in January 2019, HKW offers a five-day curriculum for gathering, discussion and workshops—entitled the “(Un-)Learning Place” curated by Boris Buden and Olga von Schubert. Here, eight Berlin-based collectives from the scenes of art, culture, and activism work with more than 80  international participants to develop transdisciplinary, decolonial, and anti-hegemonic strategies in relation to data-based knowledge, translation, archives, and embodied infrastructures. The seminar that we will offer in this context is entitled “The New Education: Denaturalizing the Cultural Pedagogy of Museum Technologies” and critically explores the traditional belief in human exceptionalism as one of the foundational principles of museum traditions. The outcome of this collaborative research process will be a global yet partial taxonomy of the technologies of human exceptionalism in museological culture past and present. The taxonomy will be presented under the title “An Incomplete Museum of Anthroposupremacism” and displayed as a web-based, annotated, searchable digital museum.

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On Networks & Colliding Voices – On Air with Tomas Saraceno

— a one-day discursive event at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris

We’re excited to moderate the one-day discursive event “On Networks & Colliding Voices” with a keynote by Bruno Latour that we developed in collaboration with the  Studio Tomás Saraceno on the occasion of Tomás’s current carte blanche exhibition “ON AIR” at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

With talks and performances by d’bi.young anitafrika, Albert-László Barabási, Fernando Ferroni,  Vincenzo Napolano, Lisa Randall, Bronislaw Szerszinski, and Estelle Zhong Mengual. Moderated by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin

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Verschwindende Vermächtnisse at Natural History Collections, Halle/Saale

Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen, Domplatz 4, 06081 Halle/Saale

Opening: 19 October 2018, 19h00
Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle/Wittenberg
Domplatz 4
D-06108 Halle/Saale

The third iteration of the exhibition is approaching fast! Save the date for the opening of Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald [Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest] in the Natural History Collections of Martin Luther University in Halle/Saale, which will be installed throughout the entire building—that is normally not open to the public in this way.

The project presents contemporary artworks and curatorial assemblages that renounce a romantic notion of untouched nature. Fifteen installations, photographs, sculptures, and moving-image works—including eight newly commissioned projects—draw connections between Alfred Russel Wallace’s nineteenth-century expeditions to Amazonia and Southeast Asia and current urgencies of environmental transformation. Although the exhibition follows certain historical traces and archival records, Disappearing Legacies is not a “great man of science” biographical retrospective. However, by appropriating certain formal elements of this exhibition trope, the project instead considers how colonial natural history collections can be mobilized, disassembled, framed, and read in ways that enable a discussion of urgent ecological and systemic questions of injustice today—whether in the Anthropocene, Capitalocene, or Plantationocene. This is why the exhibition also engages the regions and places where the collection materials (animals, plants, and stories) originate, drawing attention to progressive, transcultural, and decolonizing practices. Can—and if so, how can—a colonial archive become a point of departure for a conversation about other ways of knowing, reading, and sensing the heterogeneity of nature as it is voiced by international artists, scientists, and activists? In response to this question, the exhibition celebrates diversity and biodiversity, challenging aesthetic and agricultural monocultures by interrogating the modern colonial legacies that perpetuate epistemicide and ecocide. What kinds of narration can we re-activate or invent? Which human and non-human ways of life are fostered, cultivated, or engendered elsewhere, and how can we support these in de ance of the continued impoverishment of the world?

The participating artists are:

Maria Thereza Alves
Ari Bayuaji
Bik Van der Pol
Ursula Biemann
Shannon Lee Castleman/Migrant Ecologies
Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen
Mark Dion
Radjawali Irendra / Akademi Drone Indonesia
Armin Linke with Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi
Barbara Marcel
Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu
Paulo Tavares / autonoma
Robert Zhao Renhui / The Institute of Critical Zoologists

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The World as Forest: bilingual exhibition guide

— digital version of our newsprint publication

Get here the exhibition guide for Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest that we’ve published at K. Verlag. It includes texts about the artists and works in the exhibition as well as statements from all three venue directors hosting the project. It also includes German translations of ANNA TSINGs 2015 lecture “Earth Stalked by Man: A Feminist Approach to the Anthropocene” as well as an essay on Wallace by evolutionary biologist ANDREW BERRY. It also includes, in English, interviews with YAKA SHAWADAWA, a woman of the Arara people in the Indigenous territories of the Brazilian province of Acre, and a teacher and activist in this region, as well as with ZENZI SUHADI, Head of the Department of the Research, Advocacy, and Environmental Law of the ngo Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI) in Jakarta.

German & English
72 pages
73 full-color images
Duo-tone on newsprint
ISBN 978-3-947858-02-6

[ PDF ]   For info on how to get an (almost) free paper copy in the mail please go here

Thinking Like a Mountain (2018) by Alexander Hick

—double feature during our finnissage of The World as Forest

We are excited to screen Alexander Hick’s documentary essay film Thinking Like a Mountain about the extraordinary resistance of the Arhuaco Indigenous people of the high Sierra Nevada in Colombia tonight during the finnissage of the exhibition at Tieranatomisches Theater. The screening is the team premiere in Berlin after the film has only be screened once so far at Visions du reel in Nyon in the spring.

Screenings are at 21h00 and 23h00—first come first get a place, but please note that you need a ticket for the Long Night of the Museums that is also happening tonight throughout the city.

Trailer of Thinking Like a Mountain and more info here

HOW ON EARTH? – Discursive program

— accompanying our exhibition at TA T

Many inherited images of nature are no longer adequate given the realities of mass extinction, anthropogenic climate change, and deforestation. Have current forms of land use transformation, ecological disturbance, and species extermination produced a troubled new natural history? The discursive program How on Earth? addresses this and other urgent questions about nature, colonialism, and care in the Anthropocene through a series of lectures, discussions, screenings, and guided tours.

24/08   from pulp and paper
19h30 Publication talks with Armin Linke, Doreen Mende, Dubravka Sekulic, Milica Tomic (GAM, TU Graz), Leah Whitman-Salkin (Harvard Design Magazin), and others [en] >>>> detailed program here

25/08   thinking with the earth
During the Long Night of the Museums**:
18h00 Exhibition guided tour [de]
19h30 Lecture by Hannah Meszaros-Martin (Goldsmiths) [en]
20h15 Lecture by Kenny Cupers (Universität Basel) [en]
21h00 Screening of Thinking Like A Mountain, 2018 [de with en subtitles] followed by a Q&A with the director Alexander Hick and a closing panel with all guests, exhibition curators, and Anselm Franke [en]
23h00 Exhibition guided tour [de]
>>>> detailed program here
**a ticket for the Long Nights is required

Past events:

28/04   inhabiting nature  
15–16h00 Curators’ tours [de/en]
16–19h00 Artists’ talks by Barbara Marcel, Crystelle Vũ, and others; followed by lectures by Shannon Mattern (New School) and Birgit Schneider (Potsdam University) [en]
>>>> detailed program here

09/06   imaging & imagining nature
During the Long Night of Science:
19h00 Curators’ tours [de/en] and artist’s talk by Maria Thereza Alves [en]
23h00 Exhibition guided tour [de]
>>>> detailed program here

26/06   consuming a planet
20h00 Lectures by researcher Seth Denizen, Max Haiven (Lakehead University), and Shela Sheikh (Goldsmiths) [en]; followed by a screening of Europium, 2014 [en with de subtitles] and a panel discussion with the artist/director Lisa Rave [en]
>>>> detailed program here

03/07   becoming extinct
19h30 “Provisioning Crows: Ecologies of Hope in the Mariana Islands,” lecture by environmental philosopher Thom van Dooren (University of Sydney); followed by a screening of Point of No Return, 2015 [en with de subtitles] and a panel discussion with the artist/director Antje Engelmann [en]
>>>> detailed program here

12/08   replicating nature
10 – 19h30 Day trip excursion with Bik Van Der Pol to the artificial Vesuvio at Schloß Wörlitz and the Naumann Ornithological Collection at Museum Köthen [registration required]
>>>> detailed program here

Entry to the exhibition and the discursive program is free.
For events taking place during the Long Night of Science
(9 June, 17–24h00) and the Long Night of the Museums
(25 August, 18–2h00) separate tickets for the Long Nights are required.

[Photo: Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu, “The Extinction Gong,” 2017/18 in the auditorium of the Tieranatomisches Theater Berlin; documentation by Michael Pfisterer.]

Memorializing the Accelerated Loss of Planetary Life

— essay by Ben Valentine on "The Extinction Gong" in Hyperallergic

“The ‘Extinction Gong’s’ automation troubles the direness of the event it commemorates. My initial reaction to the installation was that this is a tacky ceremony for such a bleak event. How can we not even muster the energy to give a heartfelt elegy by voice or hand? But then, isn’t it so fitting too? The technology and automation remind us that capitalism has gone on autopilot, and must expand, develop, mine, and drill, baby, drill, ever more, no matter the cost. Maybe we’ll walk ourselves into extinction playing Pokemon Go. ‘So precarious and complex is our planetary situation today,’ Vu and Oliver told me, ‘that in order to understand our way through this, we have to heavily lean on our our technology. The irony of a computer controlled instrument signaling the rate of extinction is something we appreciate about the piece.’” Continue reading… [ Photo by Michael Pfisterer ]

VV reviewed on HyperAllergic by Adela Yawitz

“The current exhibition on view is ‘Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest,’ curated by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin. Their trilogy of exhibitions in natural science museums across Germany is based on extensive research of received Western knowledge and ideas about nature, which they contextualize with parallel, post-colonial narratives, as well as with contemporary art. The exhibition at the anatomical theater unpacks the Western projection of the rainforest as an image of wild growth, devoid of humans, an environment so diverse and bursting with life forms that it exceeds man’s scientific categorizations. It frames the rainforest as a Western fantasy land, born together with Colonial explorations, which provides endless ‘material’ for the botanist, the explorer, or the artist. The exhibition contextualizes the rainforest in different ways, for instance, by making connections between influential German evolutionary scientists and their ties to German colonies in Papua New Guinea.” Continue reading… [ Photo by Martina Pozzan ]

Goldsmiths Warden's Annual Public Engagement Award 2018

— Anna-Sophie receives the Commendation award for the Hamburg Zoological Museum edition of "The World as Forest"

Every year, Pat Loughrey, the Warden of Goldsmiths, University of London, distributes a series of Public Engagement Awards in three main categories. These awards recognize and celebrate the excellent work researchers at all career stages do with members of the public, whether they’re sharing ground-breaking findings with new audiences or collaborating with the public throughout their research.

We are absolutely thrilled that Anna-Sophie received the “Commendation” in the Postgraduate Researcher category for her work as co-curator of the first round of the exhibition “The World as Forest” at the Zoological Museum Hamburg. The Winner in this category is Tom Keene for his project “Database Estate.” The Winner in the Established Researcher category is Prof Jennifer Gabrys for “Deptfort Data Stories.”

Quoting here from the Warden Pat Loughrey’s Welcome Address:

“An exceptional range of innovative activities and projects were nominated by Goldsmiths staff, showcasing different approaches to engaging the public with research and practice. Our researchers worked with organisations like the BFI, the Labour Party, the Zoological Museum Hamburg and Parliament to engage diverse audiences through film, performance, art and citizen science.

There was a real sense that researchers, partners and the public benefited from this work, demonstrating how research in the arts, humanities, social sciences and computing can create positive change in the world. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the nominees, whose work with the public is a real asset to Goldsmiths and an example to our community, and beyond.”

Opening: Verschwindende Vermächtnisse at Tieranatomisches Theater in Berlin

Opening: 26 April 2018, 19h00
Tieranatomisches Theater (TA T)
Raum für forschende Ausstellungspraxis
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Philippstraße 12/13
10115 Berlin

If you’re in or near Berlin, please join us for the opening of the second iteration of Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald in the former animal anatomical theater of Berlin’s Humboldt-University, the Tieranatomisches Theater. One-hundred-sixty years after the publication of the theory of evolution by natural selection, this ambitious exhibition departs from the expeditions of naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in the nineteenth century to examine the current destruction of rainforests in Southeast Asia and South America. The artistic positions and curatorial assemblages renounce a romantic image of untouched nature, and instead critically inquire into the legacies resulting from the relentless destruction of highly complex ecosystems. In addition to contemporary art, zoological and botanical objects from the collections of the Humboldt-University and the University of Hamburg can also be seen.

The exhibition runs until the end of August and includes the discursive program HOW ON EARTH? beginning 28 April (details above).

The participating artists are:

Maria Thereza Alves
Ari Bayuaji
Bik Van der Pol
Shannon Lee Castleman/Migrant Ecologies
Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen
Mark Dion
Katie Holten
Radjawali Irendra / Akademi Drone Indonesia
Armin Linke with Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi
Barbara Marcel
Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu
Paulo Tavares / autonoma
Robert Zhao Renhui / The Institute of Critical Zoologists

[ more ]

[ PDF-Einladungskarte & Verkehrsanbindungen ]

Invitation PDF & Getting there ]


— a panel discussion with Isabelle Doucet, Paulo Tavares, and Etienne Turpin as part of "Architecture and/for the Environment, CCA Montreal

Still from Paulo Tavares/autonoma in collaboration with the Bö’u Xavante Association "Trees, Vines, Palms, and Other Architectural Monuments," 2017–18, in Verschwindende Vermächtnisse

The multidisciplinary research Mellon-project Architecture and/for the Environment at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal (2017–18) proposes to rethink the discipline of architecture by offering a different understanding of how architecture and the environment have been co-produced. While cross-disciplinary attention, including that of architecture, has focused on the new realities of the Anthropocene, architecture’s complex historical relationship to nature has yet to be surveyed. We fear that the pragmatic, techno-utopian, or even environmentalist stances that have monopolized the subject do not equip us to face the challenges ahead, and that we must pursue a more critical engagement. With Architecture and/for the Environment, we move beyond the narratives of inevitability and apocalypse encouraged by a positivistic discourse on architecture’s environmental history. This three-day workshop event includes public presentations by Isabelle Doucet, Paulo Tavares, Etienne Turpin and others.

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Islands of Palm Oil by Armin Linke and Giulia Bruno

— Screening and discussion at Goethe-Institute Jakarta

© Armin Linke, 2016

Spending time on Borneo, Java, and Sumatra, photographer and filmmaker Armin Linke—together with his colleagues Giulia Bruno, Anna-Sophie Springer, and Etienne Turpin—conducted numerous interviews with local residents, plantation workers, small landholders, environmentalists, government officials, and scientists. The result is a cinematic document about the rapid expansion of the oil palm complex in Indonesia. The film was made for the exhibition cycle “Disappearing Legaces: The World as Forest” and the event is its first screening in Indonesia. [95 min, English and Indonesian with English subtitles]

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Evening Lecture by Prof. Anna Tsing

— in the exhibition Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald

26 March 2018
Zoologisches Museum Hamburg
Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak)
Bundesstrasse 52
20146 Hamburg

The Sociality of Birds: Reflections on Ontological Edge Effects

Lecture by Prof. Anna Tsing

How might quite different kinds of people appreciate birds? And in what ways do birds appreciate (or refuse the attentions of) people? This talk reflects on the sociality of birds from the perspective of an anthropologist, that is, a representative of a field that once only studied humans but now finds itself needing to consider social relations as a more-than-human affair. Anthropologists have worried that in studying nonhuman socialities, we find ourselves ever more entangled with the Western imperial projects to which the field has hoped to show alternatives. At the same time, to ignore nonhumans as social beings blithely ignores Anthropocene destruction, which haunts our species too. This talk explores what it would mean to take overlapping—but non-identical—forms of curiosity as a starting point for getting to know birds. Traveling to the Raja Ampat islands of West Papua, Indonesia, in the company of bird experts, the author watched birds and villagers and birdwatchers in their common muddling together. One of the surprises of the trip was the enthusiasm of villagers for showing international guests their local birds. Where did this enthusiasm come from, she asked, and how did it interact both with birds’ own agendas in villages and with the international political economy of birdwatching? Exploring such questions leads us into new forms of collaboration across the humanities, arts, and natural sciences: collaborations we may need to survive the Anthropocene. To recognize the dance of more-than-human sociality, the author suggests, requires attention both to varied agendas people have with birds and to those birds have with people.

Anna Tsing is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is also Niels Bohr Professor at Aarhus University in Denmark where she co-directs Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA). She is the author of a series of books from Princeton University Press, including The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (2015); Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (2007), and In the Realm of the Diamond Queen: Marginality in an Out­-of-the-­Way Place (1993). Tsing is also the co-editor of several publications including, more recently, Words in Motion: Towards a Global Lexicon (Duke University Press) and Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene (University of Minnesota Press, 2017). The German translation of her mushroom book, Der Pilz am Ende der Welt, is fresh of the press at the Berlin-based publisher Matthes & Seitz.

The event will be moderated by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin; it will be held in English with simultaneous German translation. Doors of the exhibition open at 17h00.

RSVP for the event via info[at]reassemblingnature[dot]org is kindly required until 20 March.

Image credit: Red birds-of-paradise, Waigeo Island, Indonesia.
Photo by Yulia Bereshpolova, December 2017.

VV reviewed on art agenda by Stefan Heidenreich

Just before the Hamburg iteration closes this Thursday, Stefan Heidenreich’s review of Verschwindende Vermächtnisse appeared on art agenda.

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Under Construction: Natural History Futures

— a keynote by Anna-Sophie Springer for Timespan's "Practicing Deep Time" event

Practicing Deep Time is a two-day event focusing on Deep Time in arts and heritage: a one-day multi-disciplinary symposium based at the arts organization Timespan in Helmsdale, Northern Scotland, followed by a “field day,” exploring Deep Time concepts across East Sutherland and Caithness. On Friday, Timespan will host a day of talks and workshops. Here, Anna-Sophie Springer will present a keynote drawing on recent work that aims to create sustained conversations about the future of “natural history” through exhibition-led enquiry bringing together natural history collections and contemporary art. A cross-disciplinary roundtable session will consider particular issues associated with the communication and interpretation of Deep Time subjects – what methods can we employ to overcome the perceived unknowability of distant pasts and futures? Other presenters include Gavin McGregor, Nashin Mahtani, and Sam Nightingale; plus a screening of the film Trace Evidence (2016) by Susan Schuppli.

On Saturday, participants can engage with the land through fieldtrips dealing with the region’s nuclear infrastructures, peatlands, and deep time archaeology, respectively.

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Designing the Anthropocene

— a lecture by Etienne Turpin at the 5th Annual Architecture Lectures, TU Graz

A day-long event with lecture presentations by Elke Delugan-Meissl, Steven Delva Jonas Elding, Andras Palffy, Ingrid Paoletti, Stefan Peters, Allen Sayegh, Barbara Steiner, Ines Weizman, and Etienne Turpin.

Graz Architecture Lectures 2018
Kronesgasse 5 / 1. OG
8010 Graz

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The World as Forest reviewed on "We Make Money Not Art" blog

Read art blogger Regine Debatty’s write-up and virtual tour with many photos of the exhibition at the Hamburg Zoological Museum on her site!

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Verschwindende Vermächtnisse – Curator's tour

— 14h00 at Zoologisches Museum Hamburg

One more time before going on holiday until the new year we will guide you through the exhibition at CeNak. Join Anna-Sophie at 14h00 in the foyer of the museum!

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Touching Nature

— a presentation on the occasion of Tejal Shah's exhibition Unbecoming at Kunsthaus Hamburg

On Friday evening, Anna-Sophie Springer will head from CeNak to the Kunsthaus Hamburg. She was asked to respond to Tejal Shah’s current solo exhibition Unbecoming by giving a little talk along the lines of “touching nature.” If you are free and nearby on Friday, would be great to see you there at 19h00!

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Verschwindende Vermächtnisse is open!

Reviews and public tours are happening

Since Thursday, 9 November, the exhibition is open to the public at the Zoological Museum Hamburg! Julika Pohlke from Die Welt wrote a fantastic review published in morning after the opening (see below). Public tours are also now happening regularly.  The next tours with us curators will be on 22 November & 1 December.

Link to the article

More visitors’ info at CeNak here


— Artists List Announced —

Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald

Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Leopard, Impala, 2016. Rare earth neon and mammoth ivory. Copyright © Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, London 2016

Shannon Lee Castleman, Tree Wounds, 2010/11. Series of photographs. Copyright © Shannon L. Castleman

Armin Linke, Palm oil plantation, Kecematan Bataian Kabupaten Rokan Hilir (Sumatra) Indonesia, 2017. Photograph. Copyright © Armin Linke

Armin Linke, Peatland fire, Kecematan Bataian Kabupaten Rokan Hilir (Sumatra) Indonesia, 2017. Photograph. Copyright © Armin Linke

Armin Linke, Orangutan in the Tanjung Puting National Park, Kumai, Kalimantan Tengah (Borneo) Indonesia, 2017. Photograph. Copyright © Armin Linke

Robert Zhao Renhui, „Square Apple“ from the series, A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World, 2013. Courtesy Robert Zhao Renhui.

Barbara Marcel, Arara, 2017. Video still. Copyright © Barbara Marcel

Paulo Tavares, Trees, Vines, Palms and Other Architectural Monuments, 2017. Satellite and ground identification of the ancient village of Bö’u, the old geopolitical center of the Xavante territory of Marãiwatsédé, which is still outside their demarcated land. Credit: Bö’u Association/autonoma

Ursula Biemann & Paulo Tavares, Forest Law, 2014. 2-channel synchonized video installation. Copyright © Ursula Biemann & Paulo Tavares

Robert Zhao Renhui in the entomological collection, CeNak, University of Hamburg, October 2017. Kindly supported by the Goethe-Institute Singapore.


Maria Thereza Alves
Ursula Biemann
Bik Van der Pol
Shannon Lee Castleman
Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen
Mark Dion
Radjawali Irendra / Akademi Drone Indonesia
Armin Linke with Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi
Barbara Marcel
Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu
Robert Zhao Renhui / The Institute of Critical Zoologists
autonoma / Paulo Tavares

It’s been 160 years since Alfred Russel Wallace understood the principles of species evolution in the course of his travels through Amazonia and the Malay Archipelago. From 10 November 2017 to 29 March 2018, the exhibition Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald confronts the destructions of these tropical ecosystems  in the context of the Anthropocene and mass extinction. A hybrid between thematic exhibition and art exhibition, this intervention in the Zoological Museum Hamburg at Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak), University of Hamburg, Verschwindende Vermächtnisse presents 13 contemporary works of art—including 8 new commissions—alongside a selection of rare zoological and botanical objects. We’re pleased to announce the names of the participating artists with whom it was a great honor and pleasure to work over the past year!

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If you’re in or near Hamburg, please join us for the opening!

9 November 2017, 18h00
Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak)
Zoologisches Museum Hamburg
Bundesstrasse 52
20146 Hamburg

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AHA! Festival 2017 "Autonomy"

— invited presentations on Reassembling the Natural at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg

Anna-Sophie & Etienne will both be speaking on

21 November 2017, 10h00–12h00

AHA! Festival 2017 “Autonomy”
Chalmers Conference Centre
Chalmersplatsen 1, Göteborg
Second floor of the Kårhuset near RunAn

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Overgaden Lectures 2017

— invited presentation by Etienne Turpin on Reassembling the Natural at Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen

With presentations by artists, researchers and art professionals, this year’s Overgaden conference, “Artificial Nature: Potential and Conflict in the Age of the Anthropocene,” investigates the relationship between art, culture, and nature from a cross-disciplinary perspective, exploring the ways nature can be approached from an artistic, philosophical and ecological perspective. Key questions include whether the concept of the Anthropocene contributes anything radically new—and in what sense does it possess a critical and transformative potential? What understandings of nature are prevalent in artistic and curatorial practises, and is it possible—or even useful—to distinguish between nature and culture? One week after the opening of our new exhibition Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald, Etienne Turpin will present the project during the second part of the Overgaden conference focusing on curatorial views of nature, and also probing the significance of artists and cultural institutions in tackling the urgent environmental challenges facing society today.

Other participants include Jacob Wamberg (Professor in Art History at Aarhus University, Denmark), Simon Starling (artist, UK), T.J. Demos (Professor in Visual Culture and History of Art, University of Santa Cruz, USA), Cecilia Jönsson (artist, Sweden/Norway), Andreas Malm (Associate Senior Lecturer in Human Ecology at University of Lund, Sweden), Mickey Gjerris (Associate Professor in Bioethics, Denmark), Jacob Lillemose (Curator and Founder of X & Beyond, Denmark), Nina Möllers (Curator and Researcher at Rachel Carsons Center and Deutsches Museum, Germany), Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz (Curators and founders of Art Laboratory Berlin, Germany), and Adam Bencard (Researcher and Curator at Medical Museion, Denmark). This year’s conference is moderated by MSc in biology Hanne Strager, former Head of Exhibitions at the Natural History Museum of Denmark.

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[ In German ] The Gong Strikes: Death

A first media report on Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald

“This beautifully titled exhibition, ‘Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest,’ demonstrates that the paradigm change of seeing critically has arrived in the natural history museums. They too have realized that it’s their responsibility to sensitize [the public] for a changing biodiversity and climate change. And in this context, photo or video-based narrative productions of contemporary art work well to stir up the rather minimal display strategies of the natural sciences, expanding them through historical, political, and social dimensions.”

Karin Schulze in Szene Hamburg, November 2017

Robert Zhao Renhui on a research visit at the Zoological Museum Hamburg

In preparation for his room-size installation in Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald, the Singapore artist Robert Zhao Renhui had the opportunity to get a close look at CeNak’s entomology collection. On a previous visit we met with the curators of the Loki-Schmidt-Haus – Museum für Nutzpflanze (Useful Plant Museum) as well. His participation in the exhibition cycle is generously supported by the Goethe-Institut Singapore and Robert will be back in March 2018 during the closing week of the show.

[DE] Interview with curators about Verschwindende Vermächtnisse, opening 9 November at Zoological Museum Hamburg

The Centrum für Naturkunde, University of Hamburg, launched a first set of information about the exhibition Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald, opening at the Zoological Museum Hamburg on 9 November. For those who read German, there’s a new interview about some of the project’s concerns up on the site!

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On Coexistence

— essay by Anna-Sophie Springer in Faraway, So Close, the book accompanying the 25th Ljubljana Biennial of Design (BIO 25)

The book, published by MAO and Motto Books, works to explore ways of changing the goals of design culture. By presenting the seven investigative episodes developed within BIO 25 and their interchange with both local archives and broader paradigms, the project aims to turn away from the urgent need to solve problems, and instead open up new frontiers for observation and experimentation. It seeks to consider our inhabited and habitable world for what it is and what it is becoming, and not simply what we think it should, ideally, be.

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Open Studio during Berlin Art Week

Visit us in our new studio on the FAHRBEREITSCHAFT compound in Berlin-Lichtenberg

Where: FAHRBEREITSCHAFT – Werkstatt 4 [in Brandlhuber’s “bar building”], Herzbergstr. 40–43, 10365 Berlin

When: Fri, 15 Sept, 19h00–21h00  //  Sat & Sun, 16–17 Sept, 12h00–18h00


CeNak Exhibition Research Continues

The Reassembling the Natural investigators met again with the scientific curators of the Zoologisches Museum at the Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak), Universität Hamburg,  to continue our research for the forthcoming exhibition Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald. We also met with Matthias Schultz at the Hamburg Herbarium to examine collections from the prestigious German botanists Winkler (in Borneo) and Ule (in Amazonia). Thanks to everyone for another amazing visit in the collections.

Landscape and Memory

A review of The Word for World is Still Forest by Jason Groves

Perfectly timed for the book launch-walk in Berlin’s Tiergarten tonight, Jason Groves has composed a beautiful reading of intercalations 4 published on the Feedback Blog of Open Humanities Press.


intercalations 3 & 4 book launch - Berlin Tiergarten

take the books outside

a launch for intercalations 3 & 4 in the Tiergarten with the editors, Sandra Bartoli, Jason Groves, Richard Pell, and Katharina Tauer

Thursday 13 July 19h00

Starting location is in front of the Amazone zu Pferde [ “Amazon on horseback” ] statue at Floraplatz:

Please join intercalations editors Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin for a guided tour of the various natures of the Tiergarten with Berlin-based architect Sandra Bartoli.

During the tour, visitors will also encounter special guests Richard Pell, director of the Center for Postnatural History, and Jason Groves, co-editor of the open access blog Feedback.

Copies of intercalations 3 and 4 will be available for sale at the event.


about the books

intercalations 3
Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago

. . . unfolds an itinerant encounter with nineteenth-century European naturalists in the Malay world, where the theory of evolution by natural selection emerged alongside less celebrated concerns about mass extinction and climate change; by re-considering the reverse hallucinatory condition of colonial science in the tropics—how scientists learned to not see what was manifestly present—the reader-as-exhibition-viewer may exhume from the remains of this will to knowledge an ethical conviction of particular relevance for confronting forms of neocolonization in the Anthropocene.

With contributions by Akademi Drone Indonesia, George Beccaloni, Iwank Celenk, Lucy Davis, Fred Langford Edwards, Christina Leigh Geros, Matthias Glaubrecht, Geraldine Juárez, Radjawali Irendra, James Russell, Mark von Schlegell, SLAVE PIANOS, Anna-Sophie Springer, Zenzi Suhadi, Paulo Tavares, Rachel Thompson, Etienne Turpin, and Satrio Wicaksono.

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The Word for World is Still Forest

. . . creates a space for the reader-as-exhibition-viewer to consider how forests may be seen not only for their trees, but also how they can enable experiences of elegance, affirmation, and creation for a multitude of creatures. in response to their violent destruction, which characterizes the Anthropocene, these pages traverse various woodlands by way of their semiotic, socio-political, historical, and epistemic incitements in order to reveal how practices of care, concern, and attention also enable humans to inhabit and flourish in this world as forest.

With contributions by Sandra Bartoli, Kevin Beiler, Shannon Castleman, Dan Handel, Katie Holten, Elise Hunchuck, Silvan Linden, Yanni A. Loukissas, Eduardo Kohn, Pedro Neves Marques, Abel Rodríguez, Carlos Rodríguez, Suzanne Simard, Anna-Sophie Springer, Paulo Tavares, Etienne Turpin, and Catalina Vargas Tovar.

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Contesting the Necroaesthetics of the Anthropocene

invited presentation of Reassembling the Natural at the conference Art/Nature: Contemporary Art in Natural History Museums and Collections, Berlin Museum für Naturkunde

This international conference by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes pilot project, Art/Nature: Artistic Interventions at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin convenes a series of presentations and panel discussions to reflect on the collaboration between protagonists from the worlds of contemporary art and natural history museums. The conference addresses the expectations, potentials, values, and possible limitations of such interactions and interventions from the perspective of curators, artists, and researchers. Reassembling the Natural Co-Principal Investigators Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin will present their work in the closing session “Difficult Legacies” on 27 June. Other conference speakers include Tal Adler, Claude d’Anthenaise, Bergit Arends, Ariane Berthoin Antal, Yara Castanheira, Tony Clark, Michael John Gorman, Gaby Hartel, Petra Lange-Berndt, Janet Laurence, Susanne Schmitt, Thomas Schnalke, Barbara Stauffer, Frank Steinheimer, Ulrike Stottrop, D’Arcy Wilson, and Laurie Young.

CeNak Exhibition Research

The Reassembling the Natural team met with the scientific curators of the Zoologisches Museum at the Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak), Universität Hamburg,  to continue their research for the forthcoming exhibition Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald. Thanks to everyone at CeNak for an inspiring visit.

Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago

Following the earlier fourth (!) volume, the third volume of the intercalations: paginated exhibitions series has also arrived from the printer! Reflecting and refracting on the role of colonial science in the tropics, Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago gathers contributions by Akademi Drone Indonesia, George Beccaloni, Iwank Celenk, Lucy Davis, Fred Langford Edwards, Christina Leigh Geros, Matthias Glaubrecht, Geraldine Juárez, Radjawali Irendra, James Russell, Mark von Schlegell, SLAVE PIANOS, Anna-Sophie Springer, Zenzi Suhadi, Paulo Tavares, Rachel Thompson, Etienne Turpin, and Satrio Wicaksono, with design by Katharina Tauer. intercalations is co-published by K. Verlag and Haus der Kulturen der Welt and was made possible by the Schering Stiftung.



Graham Foundation Awards Grant for Publication

With a current rate of extinction estimated at over one hundred species per day, the anthropogenic extermination of non-human forms-of-life on Earth is rightly a cause of serious alarm. Such a rate of extinction is made even more troubling when one considers that with the disappearance of each species, the planet not only loses one of its constituent actors, but also greatly diminishes the processes of planetary evolution, as the potential for species’ adaptability rapidly decreases with each and every loss. Following several years of commissioned field work in the global biodiversity hotspots of Nusantara and Amazonia, as well as extensive archival research in major natural history collections, this edited volume weaves together voices and narratives, from science and documentary, to philosophy and poetry, to ask how the concept of “nature” might be meaningfully reassembled against the backdrop of mass extinction.


Speed-Reading Science-Fictions

Invited lecture at the Symposium "On Nature, Race, and Gender," Institut Kunst, Basel

Emphasizing the need for a new culture of learning in both the artistic and scientific practices, Reassembling the Natural Co-PI Anna-Sophie Springer will present a speed-reading through the third and fourth volumes of the intercalations: paginated exhibitions series. The lecture is a last-minute addition to the program of the symposium “On Nature, Race, and Gender: The Politics of the Contemporary Debates around Art, Culture, and Research,” with presentations by Prof. Chus Martinez and guests Filipa Ramos, Tejal Shah, Trevor Paglen, Ingo Niermann, and Natascha Sadr Haghighian.


Requiem for the Cryosphere

A Roundtable on Nature, Politics, and Denial

with Jody Berland, Nigel Clark, and Reassembling the Natural Co-Principal Investigator, Etienne Turpin. Moderated by Sean Cubitt as part of the three-part workshop series “Mediating Deep Space & Time” organised by the Screen and Audiovisual Research Unit (SARU), based at the Department of Media & Communications, at Goldsmiths, University of London.

The World as Forest

Using the new intercalations publication, The Word for World is Still Forest, as a starting point, Anna-Sophie Springer’s second seminar at Institut Kunst in Basel will combine readings and discussions with excursions behind the scenes of the city’s Tropenhaus of the Botanical Gardens, the Museum der Kulturen, and the Natural History Museum. Traversing through the archives of institutions that collect natural and cultural material—books, artworks, artifacts, and scientific specimens—we will reflect on how these institutions organize what is considered knowledge and explore strategies and practices with which we can activate and connect these spaces in ways in which they are not normally viewed by dominant, colonial cultures. The seminar is an introduction to applied critical thinking with a focus on more-than-human entanglements and ecological urgencies of our times.

The Word for World is Still Forest

The fourth volume of the intercalations: paginated exhibitions series has arrived from the printer! An homage to Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1972-novella The Word for World is Forest, this book-as-exhibition gathers contributions by Sandra Bartoli, Kevin Beiler, Shannon Castleman, Dan Handel, Katie Holten, Elise Hunchuck, Silvan Linden, Yanni A. Loukissas, Eduardo Kohn, Pedro Neves Marques, Abel Rodriguez, Carlos Rodriguez, Suzanne Simard, Anna-Sophie Springer, Paulo Tavares, Etienne Turpin, and Catalina Vargas Tovar, with design by Katharina Tauer. The Word for World is Still Forest is co-published by K. Verlag and Haus der Kulturen der Welt and was made possible by the Schering Stiftung.

A Natural History of the Stack

A two day workshop by Reassembling the Natural Co-Principal Investigator Etienne Turpin as part of Benjamin Bratton’s ‘The New Normal’ program for the Strelka Institute of Media, Architecture, and Design.

Our Vectors, Ourselves

An essay by Reassembling the Natural Co-Principal Investigator Etienne Turpin and researcher Kalli Stull in the e_flux journal series, Superhumanity, published alongside the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial—Are We Human?

To Look Around Rather Than Ahead

On the Present Future in the Art of Tamás Kaszás and Anikó Loránt

An essay by Reassembling the Natural Co-Principal Investigator Anna-Sophie Springer in the exhibition catalog for Hungarian artist Tamás Kaszás and the ex-artists’ collective, Exercises in Autonomy, ed. Joanna Sokolowska. Lodz: Museum Sztuki w Lodzi, 2017. 164–78 (Polish & English).

Fantasies of the Library

Times Literary Supplement Review

A lovely little review of Fantasties of the Library (MIT Press, 2016), edited by Reassembling the Natural Co-Principal Investigators Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin, by Gill Partington in the TLS (18 January 2017): 33.

CeNak Announces Funding for Verschwindende Vermächtnisse

The German Federal Cultural Foundation (KSB) funds the exhibition cycle Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest, with a sum of €237.000. The KSB supports for the first time a major multi-disciplinary exhibition which will be realized at the Centrum für Naturkunde, in cooperation with the Schering Stiftung.

The exhibition is curated by Reassembling the Natural Principal Co-Investigators Anna-Sophie Springer and Dr. Etienne Turpin, bringing together works by contemporary artists with natural history specimens and field research in connection with tropical collections. The exhibition aims to make sense of the becoming and disappearing of species and the impact of the human on natural systems. The 19th-century perspective of the naturalist-collector Alfred Russel Wallace will be juxtaposed with contemporary works assessing environmental change and land use transformation.

HKW Announces intercalations 03 & 04

In 2017, HKW und K. Verlag continue their collaboration within the publication series intercalations: paginated exhibition with two volumes:

Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago reflects on the changing role of colonial natural history collections in the current ecological crisis. The book brings together positions that tell how the theory of evolution emerged alongside a concern regarding mass extinctions and how the exposure of scientists to the tropical becoming challenged the scientific will to knowledge.

The Word for World Is Still Forest takes its title from Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1972-novella, curating an homage to the forest as a turbulent, interconnected, multinature. The volume moves from concepts of the forest as a thinking organism to the linear monocultural plantations that now threaten the life of global forests.

Contributors include Sandra Bartoli, George Beccaloni, Kevin Beiler, Shannon Castleman, Iwank Celenk, Lucy Davis, Matthias Glaubrecht, Dan Handel, Katie Holten, Radjawali Irendra, Geraldine Juarez, Eduardo Kohn, Silvan Linden, Yanni Loukissas, Abel Rodriguez, James Russell, Mark von Schlegell & Slave Pianos, Suzanne Simard, Anna-Sophie Springer, Zenzi Suhadi, Paulo Tavares, Rachel Thompson, Etienne Turpin, and Satrio Wicaksono.

The Parameterization of Life on Earth

Lecture, Curtin University, Australia

From 28–30 November, the geo- Symposium brings together a select number of established and emerging scholars who are, in different ways, leading reflection on the significance or the problem of the Earth for understanding posthumanity, culture and technology. In its explorations of the cultural and conceptual dimensions to our planetary condition, geo- will test the capacity for humanities-based inquiry to stake a place within not only ecology and environmentalism, but perhaps also within the earth sciences more generally. Together with Nigel Clark, Sean Cubitt, Thom van Dooren, Matthew Kearnes, Peta Mitchell, Stephen Muecke, Chris Russill, and Isabelle Stengers, Reassembling the Natural Principal Co-Investigator Etienne Turpin is one of these invited speakers.

Is the City a Laboratory?

video installation at the Centre for Contemporary Art Signapore

With more than half the world’s population living in urban settlements, cities have become a defining force of the Anthropocene. The two-channel video installation Is the City a Laboratory? produced by Reassembling the Natural Principal Co-Investigator Dr. Etienne Turpin as part of an ongoing research project on urban experimentation, uses itinerant ethnography as a means to generate collaborative design briefs for platform infrastructures. How has experimentation produced cities? How, in turn, have urban labs, architects, designers, and artists created experimental and collective practices that repurpose urbanization toward other futures? The videos include footage from interviews, field work, and research related to the development of the Urban Lab Network Asia (, a platform for coordination, investigation, and collaboration.

Curating Environmental Imaginaries

a Roundtable at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Ispra, Italy

With the aim to consider how creative interventions can unlock new ways of thinking about our relationship to the environment and our political agency within it, the workshop A Year Without A Winter: Fictions and Policy (organized by Dehlia Hannah, Cynthia Selin, and Angela Pereira) interrogates narratives of climate and climate change emerging in the context of the arts and transdisciplinary scholarship. As an invited panelist to the Roundtable ”Curating Environmental Imaginaries“ on 17 November, Co-Principal Investigator Anna-Sophie Springer will introduce Reassembling the Natural, exemplifying some of the project’s core concerns and strategies. Also presenting at this Roundtable are Ken Eklund, Jacob Lillemose, and Carolina Sobecka.

Shapeshifting Fact & Fiction

a workshop at the Institut Kunst, Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Basel

Led by Reassembling the Natural Co-Principal Investigator Anna-Sophie Springer, this workshop will unfold through a series of traversals through the archives of institutions that collect cultural material—books, artworks, artifacts, and scientific specimens. We will understand how these institutions organize what is considered knowledge and explore strategies and practices with which we can activate and connect these spaces in ways in which they are not normally viewed by dominant, colonial cultures. In this process, we will critically interrogate books, exhibitions, archives, and collections, attending to how they record and disseminate knowledge, experimenting along the way with cross-overs, shape-shifting, fact and fiction.

Computation Rules Everything Around Me

MIT Lecture

Intangible infrastructures.
Nonorganic vitalities.
Software aesthetics.
Digital solidarities.
Human machines.
Technical debts.
Bot torrents.

Through a survey of recent design projects from anexact office,, and, Reassembling the Natural Principal Co-Investigator Etienne Turpin will argue in the lecture for an interventive disposition toward the parametrization of life on earth.

Can the Anthropocene be Exhibited?

Exploratorium Lecture

How can museums and other cultural institutions better address the increasing volatility and vulnerability of the Earth system? How can museums facilitate observation of the human impact on planetary systems and make observation a truly public enterprise? Join moderator Jason Groves, architect Sara Dean, and Reassembling the Natural Principal Co-Investigator Etienne Turpin at the Exploratorium for a wide-ranging discussion of contemporary aesthetic, curatorial, and archival strategies for learning to see this rupture in the Earth’s history

LabVerde Workshop

Generously funded by a Goethe-Institut Research Travel Grant for Curators, in September Reassembling the Natural Principal Co-Investigator Anna-Sophie Springer will travel to Manaus, Brazil in order to participate in the LabVerde workshop exploring contemporary environmental issues of Amazonia and the Rio Negro. As part of the week’s presentations she will introduce the main concepts of Reassembling the Natural to the group in a public lecture during the workshop’s final seminar.

Fantasies of the Library — Released on MIT Press

Fantasies of the Library, edited by Reassembling the Natural Principal Co-Investigators
Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin, has been released on MIT Press.

Anxious Instantiations


An essay in response to Isabell Lorey & David Lyon’s Anxious to Secure
keynote conversation at transmediale
by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin

Necroaesthetics: Denaturalising the Collection


by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin L’internationals Online, No. 3 “Ecologising Museums,” July 2016.

Vestiges of 125,660 Specimens of Natural History

Photo Essay

by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin
Stedelijk Studies, No. 04 “Between the Immersive and the Discursive: Curating Research in 21st-Century Art Museums,” July 2016.

Necroaesthetics: Life & Death of Natural History

a workshop at ECAL Lausanne

by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin
as part of the curatorial lab “Theatre, Garden, Bestiary: A Materialist History of Exhibitions” organized by Vincent Normand & Tristan Garcia

Filtering the Anthropocene: A Visual Montage as Proxy


by Anna-Sophie Springer for the Anthropocene Curriculum, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.

Few Straight Lines in a Forest: A Ligneous Constellation

Goldsmiths Lecture

by Anna-Sophie Springer in response to Dr Paulo Tavares in the Visual Culture Department’s 10th-anniversary lecture series, “Permissions: The Way We Work Now.”

Art in the Anthropocene Released

Art in the Anthropocene:
Encounters Among Aesthetics, Politics, Environments and Epistemologies
edited by Heather Davis & Etienne Turpin
Open Humanities Press
June 2015

Taking as its premise that the proposed geologic epoch of the Anthropocene is necessarily an aesthetic event, this book explores the relationship between contemporary art and knowledge production in an era of ecological crisis, with contributions from artists, curators, theorists and activists. Contributors include Amy Balkin, Ursula Biemann, Amanda Boetzkes, Lindsay Bremner, Joshua Clover & Juliana Spahr, Heather Davis, Sara Dean, Elizabeth Ellsworth & Jamie Kruse (smudge studio), Irmgard Emmelhainz, Anselm Franke, Peter Galison, Fabien Giraud, & Ida Soulard, Laurent Gutierrez & Valérie Portefaix (MAP Office), Terike Haapoja & Laura Gustafsson, Laura Hall, Ilana Halperin, Donna Haraway & Martha Kenney, Ho Tzu Nyen, Bruno Latour, Jeffrey Malecki, Mary Mattingly, Mixrice (Cho Jieun & Yang Chulmo), Natasha Myers, Jean-Luc Nancy & John Paul Ricco, Vincent Normand, Richard Pell & Emily Kutil, Tomas Saraceno, Sasha Engelmann & Bronislaw Szerszynski, Ada Smailbegovic, Karolina Sobecka, Richard Streitmatter-Tran & Vi Le, Anna-Sophie Springer, Sylvère Lotringer, Peter Sloterdijk, Zoe Todd, Etienne Turpin, Pinar Yoldas, and Una Chaudhuri, Fritz Ertl, Oliver Kellhammer & Marina Zurkow.

The World in Which We Occur

Lecture for Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius

Prototype event with Etienne Turpin, Rory Rowan, and Nabil Ahmed
Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius
Vilnius, Lithuania

A prototype of the event was organized by the CAC as part of a likeminded series titled Pharmacokinetics of an Element in November 2014, in the context of one of the pilot exhibitions of the XII Baltic Triennial, Prototypes. The event focused on the global climate change debate classifying our era and its wide ranging consequences.

Stratigraphy & Urbanism

a dialogue between Simon Price (British Geological Survey)
& Etienne Turpin (
A Matter Theatre
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Berlin Germany

What is the geological character of a city? Excavating and analyzing the subsurface zone of the urban landscape, the applied geoscientist Simon Price establishes an underground morphology of anthropic centers. His dialogue partner, philosopher and urban researcher Dr Etienne Turpin, advocates “a geologic turn in architecture,” promoting a more speculative, multidisciplinary, and activist research practice at the intersection of the urban, the environmental, and the political. Comparing their empirical fieldwork, this dialogue traces the methods and practices that inform approaches to the city as both an archival assembly of the Anthropocene as well as the ground for politicized architectural theory.

As the pair discuss the porophilia of geoscientists, subterranean infrastructures, the poropolitics of the undercommons, and the ethics of underground research, their comments about Buddhist geologists from Mars are made in reference to Bronislaw Szerszynski’s brilliant performance and accompanying text: “Liberation Through Hearing in the Planetary Transition: Funerary Practices in Twenty-Second-Century Mangalayana Buddhism,” published in Grain Vapor Ray.

Botanical Hack Berlin

a workshop with Stefania Druga (HacKIDemia)
& Etienne Turpin (
A Matter Theatre
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Berlin Germany

Urban land reclamation for food production requires the development of accessible research tools to help assess and map soil properties. The network HacKIDemia develops DIY soil sensors to enable communities to plan and plant civic gardens and at the same time analyze and monitor potential sites for growing consumable plants. This demonstration consists of a collaborative assembly process co-developed by Stefania Druga (HacKIDemia) and Reassembling the Natural Principal Co-Investigator Dr. Etienne Turpin. This applied research, with a student research team, results in public proposition in the form of a group report: a detailed park-to-garden proposal to the HKW audience.