In 2022, HKW is devoting itself to in-depth examinations of our era of permanent crisis. The Haus instigates conversations on the structuring forces of this moment of danger. The questions that need asking are unsettling and pressing: hence we call them Zivilisationsfragen.
How do we make sense of the transformations in the earth system?
Since 2019, the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) has been studying various sites around the world, looking for stratigraphic evidence indicating when the Anthropocene began, the era in which human influences have led to profound changes of the planet. Evidence & Experiment aims to be a forum for material testimonies. It aims to inform our ways of understanding and acting when confronting the urgent political challenges of this new epoch.
The Anthropocene is a story about how human activities have converged localized problems into a planetary condition.
In the face of these challenges, finding the nexus between the production of evidence, while also outlining the scope for experiments is nothing less than essential. It is this uncharted space between the evident and the experimental, between what is “given” and the collective search for adequate responses, that the program explores through a series of events, online publications and an exhibition.
How do we liberate our ability to imagine possible forms of social organization from the current deadlock? Why is it therefore necessary to rewrite the history of humanity?
In their book The Dawn of Everything (2021), David Graeber and David Wengrow unmask the standard narrative of human history and the development of civilizations. They describe the still-dominant evolutionist model of human history established over the last three hundred years as a mind trap to legitimize Western supremacy and violence. The conference Die Zivilisationsfrage takes these considerations as a basis for a broad conversation among archeologists, anthropologists and activists about the fundamental assumptions underlying our narratives of human history.
How can power be dismantled by a feminist gaze?
Bridging the fields of documentary and artists’ film, the exhibition No Master Territories assembles a plurality of practices to offer an expansive, intersectional account of underappreciated encounters between feminism and the moving image. Across a polycentric, global geography, it delves into how artists and filmmakers have explored the nexus of gender and power, often charting sites at which feminism connects to other struggles for justice.
Do NFTs Dream of Living Pokémon?
(based loosely on Philip K. Dick)
When we seriously ask questions about the future, we should look much more closely at the answers provided by science fiction. The Kosmischer Aufbruch / Cosmic Awakening festival approaches the topic from two sides, aiming to examine the function of sci-fi as a “thinking machine” (Dietmar Dath) as well as how it dovetails with pop culture, as demonstrated by Afrofuturist artists, but also by visionary film soundtracks, and as a substantial component of psychedelia, fusion and techno.
What are the common elements structuring the multitude of human cosmologies and what makes them different?
Could we conceive of a „we“ that is not already defined by, or is a symptom of, the foundational divisions, categories and distribution of status that institute „colonial modernity“? Ceremony: Catastrophe and Cosmogony. Burial of an Undead World takes a new (or newly remembered) detour to approach necessary questions. Taking its cues from Jamaican writer Sylvia Wynter, the exhibition asks: What has structurally prevented the modern capitalist world to be described and analyzed in the same terms as any cosmology, allegedly already overcome by capitalism?
Where is the Planetary? is an experiment in interdependent collaboration that promotes forms of habitability bound by social values and ecological constraints
Answering this question is key to breaking the substantial spell that myths of colonial modernity and capitalism hold over our cosmological imaginaries for the making of much-needed new origin stories, new worlds, and new ceremonies. For in a „post-truth" reality, it has become a matter of survival to tell apart, and transform the violent and non-violent modalities and social techniques by which the cosmogonic powers of creation myths and origin stories are employed to institute and reproduce social forms. Ceremony: Catastrophe and Cosmogony. Burial of an Undead World brings together works of various genres and times as well as historical documents with multiple interlocutors in both a serial exhibition, a live program and several publications.
Which practices for collaboration could maintain a habitable planet?
The Anthropocene is a story about how human activities have converged localized problems into a planetary condition. Where is the Planetary? is an experiment in interdependent collaboration that promotes forms of habitability bound by social values and ecological constraints. Contributors to the discourse and performance program will engage in a series of activities led by artist Koki Tanaka which act as informal experiments in collaboration concerning complex planetary problems.