Otherwise Festival

Otherwise is a 3-day multisensorial and experimental festival-as-research taking place between 01.03.19 and  03.03.19 at Gessnerallee in Zurich. 

In response to the idea of the post-anthropocene, a life after human exceptionalism, ecological catastrophes, political extremism, and accelerated global fossil capitalism, we aim to seek strategies and practices that help us overcome the stasis that originates from one dominant narrative proclaiming doomsday and no possible way out.

With Otherwise we want to encourage participants to stay with the trouble we are facing — some of us sooner than others. Acknowledging the fact that asymmetrical power structures, uneven distribution of risk and responsibility and a non-correlative cause-effect relationship are the nature of the Anthropocene discourse, we are looking for survival strategies nevertheless. Bringing together approaches ranging from aesthetics to activism, art to policy making, global south to north, Otherwise aims to reframe disaster as the potential for transformation — what is left otherwise?

With this first edition of Otherwise — a festival-as-research — we straightforwardly ask how to possibly live in the ruins of the Anthropocene — the epoch which marks humanity’s becoming of a geological force. With its small-scale format Otherwise means to provide a breeding ground, a space for the in-between, for collective overwriting, unsettling and enacting biases beyond individual and society, nature and culture, geology and technology. It creates a framework that challenges one-way perception and provokes collective becoming of its participant-collaborateurs. Sessions at Otherwise will engage the whole sensory apparatus ranging from talks to walks, meditation to simulation, inhalation to fabulation. Together we will playfully, subversively and collaboratively un-learn and re-think what planetary inhabiting means.


For this first edition of Otherwise we look for proposals that challenge the concept of the Anthropocene by creating surprising relations, subverting, outplaying, forming resistance, altering perception, reconstructing histories or futures in order to enable collective transformation, glimmers of hope or just pure survival.

We welcome approaches which are serious and cynical, situated and distributed, political and aesthetical interventions, performances, workshops, platforms and experiences of all sorts of kind and format. Topics might range from ASMR to VR therapy, AI dreaming and cloud-castle building, unwhitening and mixology, metabolic rifting and metabolisms of sorts. Most importantly, sessions should be experimental in their form and participatory in their setup showing a clear link to the festival’s theme.

We strongly encourage submissions by individuals or collectives who are interested in collaborative and experimental research practices and who are available throughout the whole duration of the festival. Submissions may come from a range of backgrounds bridging disciplines, methods and values. As a session leader you are automatically counted participant for the other sessions due to the nature of the event.

Please submit your proposal until 21.12.18 to proposal@h0.institute formatted as one PDF.

The file should include:
  1. An outline of your format, process, methods and outcome
  2. The maximum number of participants
  3. The approximate duration
  4. Requirements in terms of space and equipment needed and brought along
  5. A short CV and motivation for your participation.

We will get back to all proposals by the end of 2018. For the chosen submissions travel and stay will be covered. If you apply as a collective please note, as for now, we can only guarantee travel and stay for one person per session.

︎ Download as a PDF


Do you pay the travel expenses?
Yes, but for now we can only guarantee funding for one person as we are still in the process of raising further funding.

What else do you provide?
We will provide a place to stay, one meal per day, full festival participation including the visit of one performance at Gessnerallee and a carefully curated network of like-minded people.

Can I participate in the sessions without proposing something?
Yes. Festival registration will open in January 2019. Places are limited though, so better be fast.

As a session leader, do I need to participate in the other sessions?
We’d like to encourage your participation throughout the whole festival and we make sure the programme is curated in such a way you don’t want to miss out. The aim of Otherwise is to create a collective experience and to explore the concept of a festival-as-research thus we support active exchange between the participants.

What is the location like?
OTHERWISE will take place at Gessnerallee in Zurich — one of the prime venues for performing arts in production and presentation, both nationally and internationally. OTHERWISE will be located in one of their experimental stages with a capacity for 50 people.

What if I propose an outside or public intervention?
Yeah! Do so. But consider the legal situation and give us specific details in order to  assure a good flow.
Can I apply with a theater / art / music performance production?
Although we are located in a theater and performance venue we don’t have the capacity or the stage size for including more complex theater or performance productions. However, we are looking for small-scale formats and ideas that cross disciplines but do not demand a stage machinery.

What are the technical specs?
In general, OTHERWISE is rather Low-Fi than Hi-Fi. Special Effects will happen in our minds. Magic will be provided. Above this, there is basic technical setup including a PA, microphones, basic lights, a beamer and projection. But don’t hesitate to propose special requirements. We have a good network and will try to make possible what is possible.

What kind of formats should I/we apply with?
We don’t want to narrow your creativity by suggesting formats. Anything is possible — workshops, lectures, talks, hands-on experiments, labs, readings, screenings, you name it. In terms of length, you might propose formats ranging from 1 hour to 3 days. However, we will make suggestions for adaption after having received all applications.

What kind of output is expected?
The outcome is the collective experience. That shouldn’t stop you from having individual session outputs such as artifacts or discussions. At the end of the festival-as-research (Sunday evening), we will draw some conclusions and ask how to proceed, individually, in spirit or as a collective.


Otherwise will take place from Friday, 01.03.19 to Sunday, 03.03.19.

The daily programme of Otherwise is semi-public allowing its participants to take full advantage of the sessions and giving plenty of space for experimenting, reflecting and exchanging. Screenings and sound performances in the evenings will be open to the public.

Registration and release of the full programme in early January 2019.

For questions and inquiries please send an email to info@h0.institute
Otherwise Festival is initiated by H0 — Institute for Metamorphosis
Concept & Curation: Michaela Büsse & Benjamin Burger
Video & Website: Konstantin Mitrokhov
Design: Benjamin Burger