Category Archives: Event

Invitation HZK Colloquium on 08. February 2021, 2 pm, online

The next colloquium of the HZK will take place on 08. February 2021 at 2 pm and all interested parties are cordially invited!
The event will be held digitally and in English.
Access data for the videoconference can be obtained on request by e-mail from

The lecture will be given by Alia Mossallam. She is a visiting scholar at the Lautarchiv as EUME fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

“They call it a ‘World War’, but it is actually their own…”

From the battle fronts of WWI to the revolutionary fronts of North African colonies. Tracing a cartography of struggle through a trail of songs.

Records of the Egyptian peasants who were taken to WWI as part of the British Military Labor corps, are as fragmented and dispersed as what is known of their experiences at war. Ranging from tens to hundreds of thousand of workers were posted in Egypt, Palestine, Greater Syria and as far as the fronts in France, leaving behind them a trail of archives that is as diverse in genre as it is in voice.
In this presentation I try to trace their ‘voices’ – I trace the growth of discontent among the workers through songs, jokes, and stories that appear through military reports, village memoirs, informant records, LP discs and popular Upper Egyptian memory.
The ‘trail of voices’ and one particular recurrent song, appear in the locations of different posts creating an alternative cartography of the war based on the experiences of these workers. This cartographic trail challenges imperial war cartography in documenting the workers’ association and political interaction with their North African counterparts – subalterns in the French Military – to discuss homeward longings, strikes and forms of resistance to military superiors.
In tracing these voices, I reveal the experiences of war, and the political consciousness and strategy that resulted in a pivotal but little known revolt culminating in the summer of 1918 in Egypt.
Methodologically, I ask, how do subaltern voices travel through time, space, technology and archive, and how can they be understood 100 years later? What of the biography of the 1918 uprising, can be traced through these cross-cutting geographies of struggle? How could the interaction between subalterns on the front in France, in prisoner of war camps in Germany, have contributed to the uprisings of 1917-1918 in Egypt, Algeria, Upper Volta and other colonies towards the end of the war? What new legacy do these forms of peasant entitlement, resistance and uprising create for the revolutionary years of 1917-1918?

„BINDING BODIES. Perspectives on Bound Feet“

Starting in 2021, the Tieranatomisches Theater will launch the three-year research and exhibition project “Binding Bodies. Perspectives on Bound Feet” in cooperation with MARKK – Museum am Rothenbaum in Hamburg and the Kunstuniversität Linz.

This is made possible by generous funding from the German Federal Cultural Foundation (project description Binding Bodies), the Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung and the Alfred Töpfer Stiftung.

From 2021 to 2023, an interdisciplinary team will conduct research at the Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik / Tieranatomisches Theater, MARKK and the Kunstuniversität Linz in cooperation with other international scientists and artists. The project will conclude with exhibitions that will be shown at MARKK Hamburg (2022) and the Tieranatomisches Theater (2023), among others.

Numerous ethnographic and anatomical collections in Europe contain preparations, casts, X-ray images and photos of so-called “lotus feet”, the bound feet of women in China. The research and exhibition project BINDING BODIES takes these collections as the starting point for research into the discourse history of female body modifications. Already Hans Virchow (1852-1940) and his colleagues draw comparisons to lace dancing, high heels and corsets in their publications. The project attempts an “entangled history” of female body deformations between Europe and China. It examines the complex interactions of self-perceptions and perceptions of others, reconstructs exemplary object biographies and contextualises them against the background of colonial, gender, social and scientific history. Thus, the project is also part of the current controversy about the handling of ethnographic objects and especially human remains in scientific collections.

Curators: Prof. Dr. Jasmin Mersmann (project leader), Dr. Evke Rulffes, Felix Sattler
Project Management Organisation: Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Partners: Museum am Rothenbaum. Cultures and Arts of the World (MARKK), Prof. Dr Barbara Plankensteiner, Dr Susanne Knödel, Gabriel Schimmeroth

X-ray of the lotus foot of a 32-year-old woman, taken through the shoe, 1905 © Charité, Centrum für Anatomie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Photography: Barbara Herrenkind

Digital opening of the Humboldt Labor at the Humboldt Forum

The construction work has been completed and the Humboldt Forum will be offering first glimpses of the building and the future cultural programme from 16.12.2020.
Due to the pandemic, a personal visit to the opening exhibition „After Nature“ in the Humboldt Labor is not yet possible.

First digital insights of the Humboldt Forum are available here:

Recording of the opening event (YouTube)
Insights into the Humboldt Laboratory from the 28th minute.

360 degree tour of the Humboldt Forum (Website Humboldt Forum)

Tour with the Berlin comedian Stefan Danziger (YouTube)

Invitation HZK Colloquium on 14. December 2020, 2 pm, online

The next colloquium of the HZK will take place on 14 December 2020 at 2 pm and all interested parties are cordially invited!
The event will be held digitally.
Access data for the videoconference can be obtained on request by e-mail from

In her lecture, Katrin Glinka will present a working status from her dissertation “Structures of Similarity – Representation and Reference in Digital Collections”.
Her work follows the hypothesis that a mere change of media (from analog systems for collection exploration and representation to software) does not lead to a transformation of the cultural technique of collecting.
Katrin Glinka illustrates this with an analysis of the structures and processes of analog and digital collection techniques and their effects on the prevailing understanding of objects in museums and the forms of representation associated with them.
Katrin Glinka – Culture & Digitisation

»The Analog in the Digital Age« Save the Date of 11 November 2020 for the 1st MoA Annual Conference Happening Online

Challenging times call for new formats: The Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity. Image Space Material« cordially invites you to its first virtual Annual Conference »The Analog in the Digital Age«.

Please join us on November 11th 2020 from 9:30 AM CET onwards in discovering a variety of individually accessible virtual knowledge rooms in surprising designs and a 360° environment. Lectures from the natural sciences, the humanities and design disciplines will be presented in video format and supplemented by digital meeting opportunities in the form of live Q&As and wrap-ups.

The conference takes up the Cluster’s central vision to rediscover the analog within activities of images, spaces and materials in the age of the digital. Biology and technology, mind and material, nature and culture intertwine in a new way. »Matters of Activity« aims to create a basis for a new culture of materials: In six projects, more than 40 disciplines systematically investigate design strategies for active materials and structures that adapt to specific requirements and environments. Inspired by nature and traditional cultural techniques, objects and materials are rethought as active, changeable and recyclable building materials.

The preliminary conference agenda:


Further information on the program, schedule and access to the virtual conference rooms will be published on the MoA website soon:

We are very much looking forward to experiencing and trying out this new format together!

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schäffner
Prof. Dr. Horst Bredekamp
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Fratzl
Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis

MoA Annual Conference STD

»The Analog in the Digital Age« MoA Annual Conference, 11 November 2020
(From Top to Button, Left to Right): Bacterial Curtain. Copyright: Bastian Beyer and Iva Rešetar; Visualization of the cellular network inside a compact bone. Copyright: Andreas Roschger & Richard Weinkamer, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces; Medallion commemorating Lorenzo de’ Medici: Felt hat and two daggers, after 1537. Copyright: Arthor’s Archive; E. Coli Colony Biofilm. Copyright: Michelle Mantel for »Matters of Activity«; Crochet Model of a Hyperbolic Planes. Copyright: Regine Hengge; Wax Mulages, Copyright: Michelle Mantel for »Matters of Activity«

Invitation HZK Colloquium on 30. November 2020, 2 pm, online

The next colloquium of the HZK will take place on 30 November 2020 at 2 pm and all interested parties are cordially invited!
The event will be held digitally.
Access data for the videoconference can be obtained on request by e-mail from

Christian Kassung is going to present his latest publication “Fleisch. Die Geschichte einer Industrialisierung” about cultural techniques of industrial pork production from breeding, keeping, slaughtering to distribution and preparation.

Exhibition opening: OLIVER THIE. Die Wahrheit über den Ursprung der Welt

Tieranatomisches Theater der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Campus Nord, Philippstraße 13, Haus 3
Opening 01.10.2020, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Special exhibition

October 2nd, 2020 – December 30st, 2020 (every Tuesday till Sat., 2 to 6 p.m.)

The Berlin artist Oliver Thie preserves the shadows of rocks and reveals their long history.
For over two hundred years, the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin stores a collection of unimposing gray basalt specimens. They are evidence of a heated controversy about the origins of the earth known as the basalt dispute, which took place in the 18th century. Oliver Thie has explored these objects in an interdisciplinary dialogue with scientists from the Humboldt-Universität and the Museum für Naturkunde.

By combining the recording techniques of historical instruments with shadow projections, Oliver Thie developed his very own artistic method for capturing shadow images. In a kind of “a drawing excavation,” as Thie puts it, the shadows of the stones are worked out of paper covered with soot. Like black skins, the preserved silhouettes now float in front of the wall and can be viewed in full light. An individuality emerges from the shadows that would otherwise remain hidden in the unimposing stones.

Accompanying the exhibition, two lectures by Claudia Blümle (Oct 14) and Angela Strauß (t.b.a.) will take place in the historical auditorium of the Tieranatomisches Theater – and streamed via Zoom. Information and registration at

Curated by Felix Sattler

Invitation HZK Colloquium on 28. September 2020, 2 pm, online

The next colloquium of the HZK will take place on 28 September 2020 at 2 pm and all interested parties are cordially invited!
The event will be held digitally.
The access data for the video conference can be obtained on request by e-mail from

Sarah Wagner will present the virtual research environment of the project “The Window on Nature and Art – A Historical-Critical Re-appraisal of the Brandenburg-Prussian Chamber of Art”. The aim of the project is the research and documentation of the historical collection holdings and the publication of the results. After a short introduction to the project and to the software WissKI, on which the research environment is based, its mode of operation and previous contents are presented.

Invitation HZK Colloquium on 07 September 2020, 2 pm, online

The next colloquium of the HZK will take place on September 7, 2020 at 2 pm and all interested parties are cordially invited!
The event will be held virtually.
You will receive the access data for the videoconference by mail on request:

The topic of this session is the research center The Technical Image. Katja Müller-Helle will introduce the project in general and then give a lecture on the topic “Technical Image Censorship”. In the following, Paul Brakmann and Lea Hilsemer will speak from their doctoral projects on the changed reception situation in exhibition spaces by cell phone cameras and the connection between photography and historical imagination.

Note on the next appointment:
September 28, 2020 at 2 pm
Sarah Wagner will present the digital research environment WissKi (scientific communication infrastructure) as part of the research project “Window on Nature and Art“.


Return to Sender: Utopias and the Limits of Circulating Images

Symposium Live-Stream


A joint event organized by C/O Berlin and the research center Das Technische Bild at the Institute of Art and Image History of the Humboldt University/Hermann von Helmholtz Center for Cultural Technology to mark the 20th anniversary of both institutions

Concept: Felix Hoffmann/Katja Müller-Helle/Kathrin Schönegg

At the latest since the first picture postcards of the 1880s, picture motifs have been used for the transmission of news, stamped, framed with framing writing and infiltrated into the distribution channels of the postal service. But the greater the promise of personalized picture greetings became, the more sensitive the institutions reacted to their containment. Even during the First World War, field postcards with caricatures, abusive or salacious depictions came under the scrutiny of the Prussian censorship authority in Berlin, which had been established specifically for this purpose. The beginnings of circulating images, their potentials and their limits are to be traced in this symposium up to the social media: Today, digital image circulation creates utopias of participation and dissemination on the part of the user, which are contained by practices of algorithmic image deletion and regulatory mechanisms. Despite image censorship and curated content, the platforms’ rhetoric is based on the myth of net neutrality. Accordingly, the question of the mass divisibility of images is to be examined in a double perspective of potential and regulation, of freedom and censorship in a historical perspective.

With Friedrich Balke, Estelle Blaschke, Matthias Bruhn, Eva Ehninger, Felix Hoffmann, Christian Kassung, Roland Meyer, Katja Müller-Helle, Margarete Pratschke, Simon Rothöler, Kerstin Schankweiler, Kathrin Schönegg, Friedrich Tietjen und Wolfgang Ullrich.

Picture credits:
Berlin, 2006, from the series Photo Opportunities (2005 – present), © Corinne Vionnet