Category Archives: Event

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

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

The next colloquium of the HZK will take place on May 10, 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

Collection in Transition – The “OpenSource Archive” at the AdBK Munich Archive.

In her lecture, Caroline Sternberg will present the new collection area of the archive of the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. In 2018, a separate collection “OpenSource Archive” was established for the direct further processing of art objects, which allows artists to intervene in artistic works and develop them further. The resulting artistic processings are thereby documented as part of the collection in process. The digital principle of “open source” is applied here in an analog context. How did this come about and where will it lead? Especially at a place as steeped in history as the Munich Art Academy, it is often a question of looking at institutional structures. The “OpenSource Archive” opens up a space for the further development of what already exists. Interventions in existing artworks in particular have a long tradition and usually present attacks on established norms in a drastic and radical way. In the OpenSource Archive, the processes of processing, recoding or even re-creation should be able to take place free of barriers.

OpenSource Archive in the Portal Wissenschaftliche Sammlungen


From Understanding Misunderstanding to Misunderstanding the Understandable

Voices and alphabetic characters, wall panels, towers, and bells: over the course of ten days, Lexichaos takes over the Pierre Boulez Saal—this is the title of an expansive sound installation by American artist Stephan von Huene (1932–2000). The confusion of languages—god’s measure to scatter the peoples in the biblical story of the Tower of Babel—was written into von Huene’s biography, who was raised in California, the son of German parents, and lived in Hamburg from 1980 to his death. His installation, originally created in 1990 and today housed in the Helmholtz Center of Cultural Techniques at Berlin’s Humboldt University, reveals a very current issue: the verbal communication between people of different national and cultural backgrounds. Von Huene’s work treats language not only in terms of its symbols and sounds—it is also open to a metaphorical interpretation. In the artist’s own words: “Between languages, there is not only the meaning of words, the translation, there are entire worldviews.”

25 March – 6 April 2021
Barenboim-Said-Akademie, Pierre Boulez Saal, Französische Straße 33D, 10117 Berlin

Kleine Humboldt Galerie – Like a Vernissage – but with a Book

Digital launch of the book-as-exhibition zwischen körpern

On 19.03.2021 the Kleine Humboldt Galerie celebrates the launch and vernissage of zwischen körpern, the book-as-exhibition!

Via a livestream, visitors can immerse themselves in video works from 2 pm onwards, take part in guided tours by curators and graphic designers of the exhibition and publication, join a conversation with the Berliner K. Verlag, and much more.

15.00 h / Q&A with the K. publishing house
16.00 h / Guided tours by curators
16.45 h / Video stream of Carolina Caycedo
17.15 h / Video stream by Marco Buetikofer and Lotte Meret
17.30 h / Video stream by Kirstin Burckhardt
18.00 h / Video stream of Theresa Schubert
18.30 h / Cocktails 🍸
19.00 h / Pub Quiz
20.30 h / Sin Maldita A/V Performance

Exhibition zwischen körpern
An exhibition in the format of a book – from March 19, 2021 to April 30, 2021.

zwischen körpern negotiates the physical body as the starting and ending point into which society inscribes itself. Various mechanisms of control are examined, which affect diverse bodies in very different ways. The focus is on the impact and experienceability of control on and of the body: bodies are consciously or unconsciously modeled and also controlled by historical and social circumstances.
The body is understood as a venue for political struggles, which is why emancipation strategies and self-empowerment processes take on a central role. To what extent are the carnal and new technologies interwoven and what role do intimacy and social constraints play? Eleven contemporary positions investigate these complex dynamics by means of sculpture, spatial installation, video, photography, and performance. As with the selection of artworks, corporeality is reflected and critically questioned from a decolonial and intersectional-feminist perspective.

Publication zwischen körpern / among bodies

How our bodies see, are seen, and behave with and among other bodies, is inevitably political. To move the body is also always to insist on meaning — just as meaning is always in movement.

The book-as-exhibition presents ten contemporary art positions that each explore the complex and intimate dynamics that expose our bodies to new technologies, social pressures, and desires for liberation. As curatorial experiment within the micro-architecture of the book, the project initiates singular relays from sculpture, installation, video, photography, and performance to paper that enable parallel engagements with decolonial and intersectional feminist perspectives.

Book concept by Kleine Humboldt Galerie
Curatorial-editorial team: Franziska Dommers, Lotta Feibicke, Nikolas Geier, Eileen Kesseler, Patricia Kühn, Anna Latzko, Monique Machicao y Priemer Ferrufino, Sarah Marcinkowski, Katharina Ripea, Evelyn Sutter, Nicole Wittmann, and Yuanwen Zhong.
With artworks by Kirstin Burckhardt, Marco Buetikofer, Carolina Caycedo, Stine Deja, Lotte Meret Effinger, Ester Fleckner, Yngve Holen, Luisa Krautien, Michael Liani, Theresa Schubert, and Zuzana Svatik; additional texts by Michaela Dudley, Felix Sattler, and others; and a glossary of terms by the curators.
Design: K. Verlag with Ginny Rose Davis and Megan Ricca

German & English
Wendebuch / turning book
196 pages
20 x 29.7 cm
Black/white with purple Pantone spot color & full-color image section
Softcover, Swiss binding
ISBN 978-3-947858-22-4


The Exhibition as a Point&Click Adventure: The Digital Dependence of the Humboldt Labor

An exhibition is always a polyphony of things, works and media. At least as important as these are the diverse relationships they can enter into with each other. The digital dependency of the Humboldt Labor will repeatedly present new relationships of this kind. To begin with, however, the exhibition will be completed interactively in the form of a point-and-click adventure. Those who succeed in getting the exhibits to the right location can expect an unusual and exciting virtual tour of the Humboldt Labor.

Go to the Digital Dependence of the Humboldt Labor

Invitation HZK Colloquium on April 12, 2021, 4 p.m., online.

The next colloquium of the HZK will take place on April 12, 2021 at 4 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

Sonja Breiding will present on her research in the field of “Natural History Investigation Methods in Cultural Heritage Research”.

Many different disciplines are involved in dealing with our cultural heritage. Each of them works on its own subfield. However, if a preservationist, an art historian and a physicist exchange ideas about terms such as ‘image’ or ‘materiality’ for the first time, ambiguities may arise. The words are used differently in the disciplines and have a different meaning.
How does this happen? Where does one’s own field of research begin in an interdisciplinary collaboration? What distinguishes art-technological from natural-scientific investigations? Is an investigation scientific, even if it is conducted by non-scientists?
These and other questions are posed by the different disciplines in practice, interacting together with different methods, ideas and competences.
The dissertation “On the Genesis of Image Archaeometry – Natural Science Investigations and Imaging Techniques in the Arts Sciences” seeks to define the position of the field of natural science analytics in cultural heritage research.
The lecture deals with the influence of natural scientific investigation methods on cultural heritage research.

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?