Category Archives: Event

INVITATION HZK-CARMAH COLLOQUIUM ON 6 December 2021, 2 P.M., Online. “Mindscape.” Insights into a project between politics, research and cultural production

The next colloquium will take place on 6 December 2021 at 2 pm and all interested parties are cordially invited! The event will be held virtually. Access data for the video conference will be provided on request by email to

Initiated and funded by the UK Wellcome Trust, Mindscapes is a cultural project that aims to support a transformation in how we understand, address and talk about mental health. Margareta von Oswald will present Mindscapes and open it up for discussion.

For more information, visit the Mindscapes project website.

The lecture will be held in English.

Invitation HZK-CARMAH-Kolloquium on November 08., 2021, 2 p.m., Online

The next colloquium of the HZK will take place on 08 November 2021 at 2 pm and all interested parties are cordially invited! The event will be held virtually. Access data for the video conference will be provided on request by email to

From now on, the colloquium is a joint event of the Helmholtz Zentrum für Kulturtechnik (HZK) and the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH).

Sarah Wagner will present her dissertation, recently submitted to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in which she examined the Kunst- und Wunderkammer in museum exhibition practice. The starting point was the boom of such exhibitions around the year 2000, which gave rise to the question of why cabinets of art and curiosities are resurgent in such large numbers, in what way they differ from one another and ultimately what still connects these exhibitions to the historical type of collection.
Information on Sarah Wagner:

The lecture will be held in German.

Exhibition Opening »Stretching Materialities«

Tieranatomisches Theater der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Campus Nord, Philippstraße 13, Haus 3
Opening – Thursday, 16 September 2021, 6–8:30 pm.

6 pm Welcome and reception in front of the Tieranatomisches Theater

Welcome addresses by:

  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schäffner (Director of the Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity«)
  • Prof. Dr. Sharon Macdonald (Director of the Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik)
  • Felix Sattler (Lead & Curator of the Tieranatomisches Theaters)
  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Blümle und Clemens Winkler (Project Leader of »Object Space Agency«) together with the Curators Team of »Object Space Agency« and Guests

Afterwards, the exhibition can be explored in different time slots until 8:30 pm.

The exhibition will be open from Friday 17 September 2021 until the end of January 2022, Mon–Fri, 2–6 pm. Detailed information on the exhibition and events such as interactive tours and workshops can be found on the website:

Please note that as a prerequisite for a visit you have to be either tested, vaccinated or recovered. No pre-registration is required, registration will take place on site.

Sorting machines. The reinvention of the border in the 21st century

Dissolution of borders – this is the great narrative of globalisation: borders are becoming more permeable, cross-border mobility is becoming a universal experience, states are less and less able to effectively control their own borders. Steffen Mau shows in his new book “Sorting Machines. Die Neuerfindung der Grenze im 21. Jahrhundert” (Edition Mercator, CH Beck 2021), that this view is deceptive: in many places there has been a new fortification, the construction of new deterrent walls and militarised border crossings. Borders are also becoming increasingly selective and – supported by digitalisation – upgraded to smart borders, and border control has expanded spatially on a massive scale. Borders are still powerful sorting machines and today fulfil their filtering function more effectively than ever – moreover, as a global and highly diversified enterprise. Nowhere is the Janus face of globalisation more evident than at the borders of the 21st century.

Sociologist Steffen Mau (Humboldt Universität Berlin) will discuss the theses of his book with migration researcher Naika Foroutan (Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research – BIM) and philosopher Stefan Gosepath (Freie Universität Berlin). The event will be moderated by journalist Christiane Hoffmann (Der Spiegel).

An event of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in cooperation with the publisher C.H. Beck, the Cluster of Excellence Contestations of the Liberal Script – SCRIPTS and the Stiftung Mercator.

26.08.2021, 19:00 to 20:30
Humboldt Labor im Humboldt Forum
10178 Berlin

Admission free, registration required – free tickets from approx. 14 days before the event via the Humboldt Forum website.

Photo: Steffen Mau (c) HU/Matthias Heyde

Helmholtz Voocaal – Chamber Opera


Chamber Opera, 26 August – 1 September 2021. Premiere: 26 August 2021, 8 p.m.

An apparative and installative chamber opera in 3 acts and rooms of the TA T on the occasion of the 200th birthday of Hermann von Helmholtz.

31 August 2021 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hermann von Helmholtz, a trained military surgeon, amateur musician, anatomist, physiologist, experimental and theoretical physicist and philosopher. As early as 1862, in his publication titled “On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music“, Helmholtz not only attempts to re-found the aesthetics of music on a scientific-physiological and physical-acoustic basis. He also develops the apparatuses himself that make his theory comprehensible to the senses for him and others. And he challenges his readers to reproduce his acoustic experiments.

Salon Helmholtz: Stimme und Stimmung

How do we hear? How are the tones of musical instruments, the voicings of the latter and their timbres related to the sensations of consonance and dissonance? – How do music and mathematics correspond? – How does scientific knowledge connect with music and philisophy? These were the questions addressed by Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894), one of the last universal scholars of the 19th century, whose statue today adorns the courtyard of the Humboldt-Universität, among other places. In his research, he combined natural science, philosophy and music theory. To this end, he experimented with the piano and the voice and developed apparatuses that not only put his theory into words and writing. It should also become experimentally comprehensible for him and others – understanding as hearing and experiencing. His wife Anna’s Berlin Salon provided him (and other “superstars“ of science of the time) with an esteemed stage. On the occasion of Helmholtz’s 200th birthday, this format is being revived at a special location, the landmarked Object Laboratory of the Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik.
The salon complements the performances of HELMHOLTZ VOOCAAL and offers a look behind the scenes as well as a practical-theoretical dialogue between art and science. The work of Helmholtz will be discussed by Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag together with renowned scientists (27.8.: Prof. Dr. Julia Kursell, 28.8., Dr. Christopher Li, 31.8, Prof. Dr. Viktoria Tkaczyk) on and with historical as well as newly created instruments. Moderation: Felix Sattler (Curator Tieranatomisches Theater). Duration: approx. 75min.

Further information and registration:

Photo: Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag: Helmholtz Voocaal. © N-Solab

Invitation HZK Colloquium on September 10., 2021, 2 p.m. , online

The next colloquium of the HZK will take place on September 6, 2021 at 2 pm and all interested parties are cordially invited!
The event will be held virtually.
Access data for the videoconference is available upon request by email to

“News on the giraffe’s long neck: collection- and image-based research in the field of comparative zoology”.

Professor of comparative zoology and head of the Zoological Teaching Collection at Humboldt Universität John Nyakatura will present the integrative approach in comparative zoology and functional morphology using the example of a recently published study on the evolution of the fascinatingly long necks of giraffes. Various imaging techniques as well as modelling approaches adopted from engineering sciences are used. However, the basis for this research is the “archives of biodiversity” in the form of the large scientific collections, but also the countless smaller, often university collections in an increasingly networked world.

Information on the Zoological Teaching Collection in the Scientific Collections Portal:

After Nature: Humboldt Lab Opens Inaugural Exhibition

On 20th July 2021, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin will be opening the Humboldt Lab with its inaugural exhibition “After Nature”.

The exhibition in the Humboldt Forum deals with the interactions between climate change and biodiversity loss as well as the global crises of democratic principles of order. It draws on a wide array of voices from scientific research in order to address the effects of man-made changes to the global environment. The title of the exhibition refers in equal measure to both the destruction of species and ecosystems and the idea of “learning from nature”. The exhibition on the first floor of the Humboldt Forum encompasses a 150-square-metre foyer and a main hall of 600 square metres.

Admission to the Humboldt Lab is free. Time slots can be booked via the Humboldt Forum from 13th July.

HU-Podcast: “Hermann von Helmholtz was a pop star”.

A conversation with Daniel Tyradellis and Felix Sattler about one of the most enigmatic scientists of the 19th century, whose 200th birthday the HU is celebrating this summer as part of the Open Humboldt Festival.

Formulating scientific questions and thoughts so that everyone really understands them is a science in itself – and Hermann von Helmholtz was one of the best in the field. So says Prof. Dr. Daniel Tyradellis, scientist and curator at the Hermann von Helmholtz Zentrum für Kulturtechnik at the Humboldt-Universität.

Teaching as a discipline in its own right is often underestimated today, says Daniel Tyradellis. People went to Helmholtz’s lectures back then like they go to a Star Wars film today, says Tyradellis: “The man was a pop star”.

Helmholtz, whose 200th birthday is being celebrated this summer, was, among other things, a physiologist, doctor and physicist – a polymath who invented and built many devices. We still know and use his ophthalmoscope today. Likewise, the invention of the first synthesiser goes back to Helmholtz. “He not only researched the creation of sound, but also the ear. He was able to explain both precisely,” says curator Felix Sattler from the Tieranatomisches Theater at Humboldt-Universität. Sattler and Tyradellis work in an interdisciplinary way – a way of working that Helmholtz lived to a special degree.

Radio journalist Cora Knoblauch talks to Felix Sattler and Daniel Tyradellis about the need, still important today, to think and work like Helmholtz and about how such thinking leads to knowledge transfer that can, for example, make people cancel a cruise they have already booked through an exhibition.

humboldt-hoeren-podcast-hu-berlin „Humboldt hören“ Podcast Folge 23 „Hermann von Helmholtz war ein Popstar“

open-Humboldt-Festival-2021 Open Humboldt Festival 2021

Invitation to the lecture “Berliner Blau”. On the political entanglements of a colour

Britta Lange and Kerstin Stoll cordially invite you to a lecture on their “Berliner Blau” experiments.
These were carried out in the object laboratory of the Gerlach Building at the HZK and will now be presented via Zoom as part of the lecture series “Politiken der Farben” (Politics of Colour) on Tuesday, 22 June at 2 pm.

Meeting-ID: 674 7162 3130
Passwort: 299279

Information and programme – Lecture series “Politiken der Farben” (Politics of Colour) (in German – PDF)

Le voci ritrovate.

Le voci ritrovate: parole e canti di prigionieri italiani in terra tedesca durante la Grande Guerra.

An event of the Italian Centre of the FU Berlin, in cooperation with the Italian Cultural Institute Berlin and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Presentation by Dr. Britta Lange, Prof. Dr. Antonio Lucci, Emilio Tamburini (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Prof. Ignazio Macchiarella (Università degli Studi di Cagliari).
Discussion with Prof. Dr. Sebastian Klotz (Lautarchiv of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Dr. Albrecht Wiedmann (Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin).
Introduction and moderation: Prof. Dr. Maria Carolina Foi (Italian Cultural Institute Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Filipponio (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).

15.06.2021, 19:00 c.t., online, Zoom

Presentation and discussion in Italian and German with simultaneous translation.

Le voci ritrovate @ Istituto Italiano di Cultura Berlino