On Research III

Reflections on Curatorial Research

October 18+19, 2014

Call for Applications

Deadline: August 15, 2014

Encouraging new forms of transdisciplinary discourse and research, the Anthropocene Project 2013/14 at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, aims to investigate the manifold implications of the Anthropocene hypothesis for cultures of knowledge. If indeed humankind has become the dominant biogeophysical force, effecting changes on a planetary scale, what does this mean for our knowledge and behavior on a world characterized as never before by global interconnections and processes of transformation? What modes of investigation, ways of thinking and forms of representation are appropriate for approaching this complex reality and making it comprehensible? In the process, what is the role of curatorial practice? How do curators deal with the changing demands of art and knowledge production? Which curatorial languages already exist and which have yet to be developed?

On Research III. Reflections on Curatorial Research will be devoted to these questions in a workshop for 20 international participants from a range of disciplines. The workshop is taking place in conjunction with the opening of the concluding program of the Anthropocene Project (October 16–18, 2014) at the HKW – with lectures, artistic installations, performances, screenings and other events.
Based on the latest research into the curatorial self-image, on research iii aims to focus on the role of the curator as a meta-moderator and mediator between complex realities and increasingly diverse forms of knowledge production. One of the central questions is that of the curatorial “language” in the fields of art and science and new formats that have yet to be developed.
The two-day workshop offers insights into the work of the curators of the Anthropocene Project, Katrin Klingan, Anselm Franke and Silvia Fehrmann (all Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin). The geographer Erle C. Ellis, University of Maryland and director of the Laboratory for Anthropogenic Landscape Ecology, will speak about the Anthropocene and its ecologic dimensions, tying the talk back to his experience in the cultural field in the framework of the Anthropocene Project. Chus Martínez, curator and Head of the Institute of Art of the FHNW Academy of Arts and Design in Basel, will contribute on recent developments in curatorial practice in the field of tension between art and academia, followed by short contributions in which the workshop participants can introduce their own experience and expertise from the broader field of curating.
The goal of On Research III is a reflection on the role of the curator in the system of art, science and society against a backdrop of increasingly complex knowledge systems and growing demands on the transmission of trans-disciplinary formats, taking as an example the Anthropocene Project at HKW.

Applicants should be strongly committed to collaboration across disciplines and demonstrate a broad interest in questions of Anthropocene-related curatorial research. Active participation is expected during the workshop as well as attendance of the Anthropocene Project Program (October 16–18, 2014).

For more information on the background of the anthropocene project please visit hkw.de/anthropozaen.


The call primarily addresses PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers (or equivalent) from the field of curating and related disciplines. Also, researchers and actors from outside academia as well as cultural producers are invited to apply.

Working language

The working language will be English.


Deadline for application is August 15, 2014. Applications should include 1) a letter of motivation describing the applicant’s interest in the Anthropocene and their field of curatorial research; 2) an extended CV (500 words), 3) a pdf of 1-3 projects realized (max. 10 MB). Acceptance letters will be sent out by September 8, 2014.


For further questions or more information please contact:

Institutional background
The Anthropocene Project is an initiative of Haus der Kulturen der Welt in cooperation with the Max Planck Society, Deutsches Museum, the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam.
On Research III. Reflections on Curatorial Research is part of the The Anthropocene Project and developed by Haus der Kulturen der Welt in cooperation with Ernst Schering Foundation. The program is the closing workshop of the On Research series by HKW and Ernst Schering Foundation with earlier editions on issues of research and knowledge production in the field of art and the sciences in 2012 and 2013.