The programme for
In the next 15 years, it is estimated that at least 40% of the jobs we know are going to be replaced by machines. Nowhere is this future more apparent than in Jaywick (UK), where 60% of the population have already either lost their jobs or cannot be hired because of the insurgence of automation and machine learning. Given the current lack of understanding, impact and debate that these emerging technologies could have on our communities, both positive and negative, this project aims to first create a controversial concert composed by a crafted AI and played by humans, then, generate monetary value for the community by mining cryptocurrency in live. This performance will not only outline the very real potential of machine learning but also stimulate debate as to what and how we want our collective future to look like.
Maël Henaff is a designer-researcher based in London and currently studying MA Material Futures at Central Saint Martins. His practice examines the intersection of technology, social sustainability and critical design. Through his work, Maël aims to establish and communicate different perspectives on the way we perceive technologies by developing controversial case studies and critical scenarios.
Karolin Brägger & Martina Mächler
Guided session 007 is part of an ongoing series of site-specific interactions, each consisting of a multilayered sound mix. KarolinBrägger and Martina Mächler are guiding the listeners into a scenery created through descriptions of landscapes in romantic paintings and the self within it. Soon after, bodies morph into different shapes, flying and floating and free-falling, overcoming existing binaries; since the construction of the horizon and its instability have been exposed—allowing a glimpse of a future. In their newest episode they will focus on water, plastic pollution and the effects of xenoestrogens such as BPA (which are used to manufacture polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins). Through the overexposure to such toxins different species’ ability to reproduce is affected, forcing to rethink normative reproduction.
Guided sessions are a collaborative project by Karolin Brägger (*1993,Zurich/Vienna) and Martina Mächler (*1991, Zurich) started in 2017. After stumbling upon youtube videos, where predominantly male voices are guiding listeners into a more successful life by attracting money and happiness, they decided to write alternative sessions themselves inorder to question the never-ending self-improvement cycles and investigate the imagery of nature inherent in self-care practices.
The world we are living in is a world of transgression. But how much transgressive action is tolerable before crossing uncrossable lines? And what are the consequences (so called thrilling impacts) on our system? The institute Myht is actively researching the moment of transgression. A short performance lecture will give an introduction into the science of transgression followed by a performance-based study on our ultimate limits. What borders are we willing to cross by ourselves, what borders are we tolerating to be crossed by somebody else, and, is the digital world a world without any borders to be crossed? The workshop ends with a short reflection. A scientist once said, the genesis of life was the first transgression ever made. So what could be the last?
Linda Luv, *1985, lives and works in Zurich and Frankfurt. Her works can be positioned in-between artistic and transdisciplinary practices. By using different methods like performances and installation as well as participatory projects she examines topics like luxury, waste and abundance. She is founder of the institute «Myht» that actively researches the moment of transgression since January 2018.
Did you ever enter a room and forgot why you decided to go there? This workshop is about exactly this phenomenon. Well, except that instead of entering rooms we investigate different modes of moving and relating, to each other, to our own bodies and surroundings. And after forgetting why we started our investigation, we explore what these new attentive entanglements do to us. Are they enriching and sustainable? Can we—just or a moment—unlearn our habitual positioning and imagine moving differently, as critters, as terrestrial beings? How would a different approach to movement influence our thinking?
Michail Rybakov is an artistic researcher exploring the idiosyncrasies of the human body gradually extended and replaced by technology. He graduated in Media Art from HfG Karlsruhe, and is currently working on his research project “Strategies of Arrival” under the guidance of Prof. Bruno Latour.
Geologic layers are deeply entwined with human histories: phosphorite became a catalyst for Estonian independence, a pet rock made Gary Dahl a millionaire, hunger stones in river Elbe warn us from draughts. During Talking Stones we collectively dive into the lithic wisdom and create a set of exercises for survival: moving into the slow of the stones, becoming geologic layers/fossils, experimenting with lithic weight, reading to stones, walking the stones, come up with methods of calculating lithic time. In times of trouble, perhaps stones and their apparent silence open up ludic or regenerative spaces where there is room to play with the possibilities of the impossible, and come up with strategies of transformation.
Marit Mihklepp is an undisciplined artist speculating on possibilities of communication between humans and other-than-humans. With participatory experiences, microbial perfumes and scripted interventions she is mapping collaborative practices with trees, bacteria, everyday objects. Lately, she has been investigating the different time perceptions of human and stone bodies.
Research Institute for Botanical Linguistics
Research Institute for Botanical Linguistics (RIBL) invites to a performative dinner, where we playfully investigate cross-species survival structures. Facing current ecological problems and accompanied uncertain futures, the goal is to investigate alternative thoughts and activities of relating to each other and collectively stay with the struggle. What can we learn from botanicals surviving in extreme conditions and vice versa? Can we redesign our society based on botanical social behaviour and how do we build social relationships among cross species?
Speculation and performance will be used as methods for new narratives and future visions. The session will result in discussions with food, performance, play role, and prototypes.
Benjamin Burger, Michaela Büsse, Rebekka Bangerter
In “The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness” Donna Haraway reflects on the simultaneous and interdependent becoming of humans and dogs. From hunting dogs, to rescuing dogs to pet dogs, dogs co-developed with society. What can we learn about ourselves when experiencing an unknown place together with our animal companion? The dog walk takes the participants out of the city and to a shelter where friendly dogs are awaiting them for a short walk. The walked is framed by audio readings reflecting on our interspecies relationships and interdependencies.
The dog walk is designed by OTHERWISE founders & curators Benjamin Burger and Michaela Büsse with assistance by Rebekka Bangerter.
Anima mundi is a guided introspection and meditation session. The term refers to the latin concept of the “world soul” which is the intrinsic connection between all living things on the planet. This phenomena emerges in various systems of thought throughout history. Contrary to the viewpoint preceded by René Descartes as the Cartesian dualism, anima mundi represents another perception of self. The fatal logic tumble and objectification of nature as something separated from humans has set us forth unto an unprecedented age of ecocide. The hour is late and the reign of the individual self must come to an end. But how does the mind transform its own perception of self? How can we, as products of the idea of “the individual” reconnect with each other, nature, other beings and the planet itself?
Aiina aïon is a multidisciplinary artist based in Sweden. Her practice is a call for Transformation; a questioning of the constitution of self and the horizon of possibility. In the dusk of the Anthropocene she works solely to exploit and deconstruct hegemony to create more acting space for the intuitive, imaginative and transformative consciousness.
Electrified is a performance using the MegaOhm D-I-Y synthesiser designed by Alexandra Krolikowska. Corresponding to touch, two or more individuals are simultaneously connected, to the synthesiser with their bare skin. The process results in low frequency vibrations that are interpreted through a third party effects processor in the form of a drum machine, and if necessary further instrumentation. The volume and pitch of the sound is manipulated by pressure of touch and moisture of the skin. The work explores alternativeways of communication in a time where the influence of developing technology has a profound effect on personal interaction.
The duo Krolikowski Art is the Bonnie and Clyde in the world of art, who don’t separate even in bed, constantly working on psychological and political aspects of the human relationships, phenomena of UFO and religious sects through the visual arts, installation, new media and performance. Based in Kyiv, Ukraine. The duo formed in 2007 and includes Alexander Krolikowski and Alexandra Krolikowska.
With the progress in computer generated imagery, generating 3D “realistic” rendering has become more simple and accessible. This is producing a vast amount of images with a confined aesthetic, dictated by the limits of the software and the techniques used. These sublime “hyper-realistic” renderings are idealising how reality should be and influencing how we perceive it. Take, for example, the 3D generated rocks, used in the video-games industry. Our imaginary of the rock combined with the limitation of the technology dictates what a rock is in a digital space; with the digital becoming our new normal, it is in turn reinforcing our idea of what a rock should be. To disrupt this loop a new procedural technique for generating 3D rocks was developed that aims to expand the idea of rocks in digital.
Considering himself a Hyperobject Explorer, Davide Piscitelli works in the intersection of art, design and research. He aims to investigate socio-political and ecological implications of emerging technologies through critical design research and making. He is currently interested in the discrepancy between how Artificial Intelligence systems perceive reality under a non-anthropocentric view and our human understanding of these alternate forms of intelligence.
Synesthesia is a term derived from the Greek words syn (together) and aisthesis (sensation). Synesthesia training tests methods forcreating cross-modal analogies to inspire enriched ways of perceiving the world. This experiment raises the question of whether arbitrary associations observed from a decorated environment can offer liberation from habitual modes of perception. In an effort to focus on sensations that can satisfy, comfort, delight or excite a person, this session takes the form of a shared dinner, allowing for a collective challenging of sensory boundaries. During this dinner participants will be served a multisensory meal designed to coordinate specific sensations. By the end of this session participants will have experienced syntheticsynesthetic phenomena through a coloured edible event.
Lacey Verhalen is an Amsterdam based designer and researcher who works towards sparking dialogues and challenging perception. Her main interests lie in language, memory, and sensation.
Shintaro Miyazaki, Selenca Savić, Viktor Bedö, Michaela Büsse and Yann Patrick Martins
Based on a selection of utopian works we uncover the building blocks of society and speculate on new, randomly arranged and spiced up configuration. If the future is unknown and the present full of uncertainties, why should random configurations be any better or worse than existing modes of living together? In small groups, we will fantasise and narrate alternative worlds and their working principles. By bringing together classics from Renaissance and Modernity with the festival’s theme we will cross-breed posthuman thinking with historical utopism and observe what happens.
Thinking Toys for Commoning is research project by Shintaro Miyazaki, Selenca Savić, Viktor Bedö, Michaela Büsse and Yann Patrick Martins. Its aim is to create playful simulations and serious games in order to enable alternative and engaging ways to cope with complexity and value negotiation. The research project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF No. 175913, runtime 01/2018 – 12/2021) and is hosted by the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures and the Critical Media Lab Basel at FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel, Switzerland.
Katya Pislari, Sasha Puchkova and Daria Iuriichuk
Speculative practices of body mutations is a performative laboratory that aims to find new forms of ethical practice that stands on non-hierarchical positions, post-humanist approach to the “real” and virtual matter. It’s aim is to revise and expand the area of knowledge, to open it to everything that does not concern rational thinking: affection, intuition, bodily sensations. This allow us to escape from the paradigm of Western rationalism as the basis for the current anthropocentric praxis. This session suggests to reassemble emancipatory tactics on the body level in order to undermine phallogocentric textuality. Images of cyber-reality will be mixed with phenomena produced by our bodies, thus mapping temporal, spatial and sensory zones and modes to create new relationships with the digital world.
Katya Pislari, Sasha Puchkova and Daria Iuriichuk — Moscow-based artistic trio, that focuses on emancipatory potential of material practices, the influence of the intra-body relationships on the social interactions, alternative ways of generating, accumulating and transmitting knowledge, critique of the expertise of the arcane lingo of the Academy and contemporary art, the influence of the digital environment on offline processes and human behaviour.
Cruising The Map is a workshop that explores the ways in which experimental counter-mapping practices can be used to reveal themultiple perspectives from which one inhabits, relates to, and thus creates space. How can we map a particular environment as a collective, without appealing to the objective mode of knowledge production often used in the construction of maps? How might we sense both the hidden and emergent histories of a given location, in order to create a map that considers the multiple “voices” present that may point us beyond the Anthropocene? This workshop draws on the socio-sexualpractice of cruising as a queer spatial methodology that uses the body to form alternative relationships to the social and built environment, gesturing towards an intersubjective understanding of space that may better equip us to engage with forces beyond the human.
Lucas LaRochelle is a multidisciplinary designer and researcher examining queerness, technology and architecture. Their practice spans graphic design, digital media, costume design and wearable technology, employing these mediums as a means of examining and manipulating the interactions between the body, technology and cyber/physical space. They are the founder of Queering The Map, a community generated counter-mapping project that archives queer moments, memories, and histories in relation to physical space.
Elisa Storelli & Constantin Engelmann
Mars is the land of dreams: we have never visited it, seen it or heard its sound, nevertheless throughout centuries and cultures the planet has inspired countless ideas of parallel realities; even if it has been discovered through telescopes, satellites and machines it still fosters the imagination of many, especially during this apocalyptic and anthropocenic times. Mars Song is a speculative field recording of the planet. In 2018, the InSight rover from NASA shortly after being landed on the planet, sent us the first recording of the martian wind. This was the first audible record of the planet that we ever received. This recording will be regarded as inspiration for setting the mood of Mars Song.
Elisa Storelli (1986) and Constantin Engelmann (1987) aim to interfere with common laws and physical conventions that rule the world. Since 2013 they have developed works dealing with the perception of reality. After their studies at the Universität der Künste in Berlin they have worked and exhibited internationally.
Merle Ibach, Patrick Salz, Paul Heinicker, Philipp Weibel
As it seems, the Earth can no longer be thought without mankind since many changes are already irreversible. What if thinking mankind without the Earth doesn’t make sense either? We propose a notion of the Earthas a living and ever-changing archive. Accelerated by human influence, effects of climate change reveal human design activities on larger scale that were inscribed before and are not visible anymore. We are interested in the man-made climate change as a medium of indication. As a process of materialisation it visualises societal interventions on and against the Earth and its inhabitants through nature itself. Our workshop states a multi-sensorial experience where our participants can witness mediated imitations of a diverse range of revelational processes of geological memory due to climate change. As the Earth always listened to us and never forgot, the participants will have a chance to listen back.
Merle Ibach is Junior Researcher at the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures (IXDM) at FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel, Switzerland. Paul Heinicker is Research Associate at the Interaction Design Lab at FH;P in Potsdam and PhD Student at the University of Potsdam. Patrick Salz is a self-made musician, currently playing along with swiss synth-pop Band AMIXS. Philipp Weibel is an independent sound engineer and music producer mainly in the fields of Ambient, Experimental and Techno.
Algorithms are embedded in our everyday life and have a great influence in the decisions that we make or that others make for us. Where to go, how to get there, which smartphone to buy, what to watch, if global warming is real, what the news are today, if it is raining tomorrow, etc. These are some examples of the decision and information processes where algorithms interfere. But how this interference affects us, what their costs are and why we should even care about it are still questions to be answered. Algorithms understood as potentially affective and autonomous entities are and will continue to play a crucial role in processes of social regulation, transformation and negotiation of new realities. Speculating that these entities in a short term future will increase their affective capabilities and autonomy, the workshop invites to reflect Upon the actual and the future forms of algorithmic agency.
The collective Labor 5020 is a new media art group based in Zurich that focuses on social, political and environmental processes driven and influenced by technology and the merge between the natural and the artificial.
Alla Popp & Sarah Wenzinger
Every culture and present can only be thought with the idea of an end. Our economic system is based on the idea of the natural and artificial limitation of everything: resources, emotions, participation, power, sex. The idea of the apocalypse and the fetishisation of doomsday is immanent to capitalism in its current state. Our dystopian multi-channel media installation and 2 sessions are means to awaken the scared and the lost. We intent to create a ground for awareness-based but fear-free imagination and discussion about our future, which is happening right now.
Coming from different backgrounds and trainings both Alla Popp and Sarah Wenzinger discovered a common fascination for bringing together performance and a demanding political attitude, which led to a creation of this joint project exploring the ideas of utopias (and dystopias).
Taking the current global political situation as a starting point – in which nations are building walls rather than collectively facing up to urgent future challenges – Postfossil invited 15 designers from around the world to design a flag to symbolise planet Earth as a whole. During the Otherwise Festival the collective wants to introduce the next step of the project for which they will start to collect questions directly on a white flag; Questions that make you think about the condition of the planet, about our culture, about the future of our society. Questions that have the potential to change your attitude.
Designer collective Postfossil’s work revolves around socially relevant topics, from which it derives products and projects that point to potential future alternatives. Since 2008 we have been grappling intensively with issues relating to resource scarcity, the post-fossil fuel age and social change. The role of the designer as communicator of complex issues and interrelationships is a central element of our creative work.