Bureau for Hybridising Encounters

ICC Berlin, October 7th-17th, 2021.
As part of The Sun Machine is Coming Down a project by Berliner Festspiele.

The contribution of the Floating University to the ICC as part of “The Sun Machine Is Coming Down” is an attempt to transport the praxis of this hybrid association into the disused relic of the ICC and to develop new impulses for a sustainable future. Conceived of as a “Bureau for Hybridising Encounters” the Floating University Berlin will bring into the ICC for 10 days, conversations, views and materials from three years of activities and, through various discursive formats, reflect on the ideas at the heart of our work: multi-species co-habitation in urban environments and the hybridising of urban infrastructure with cultural activity.

Projections of naturecultures
7-17/10 16:00-00:00

On the site of the Floating University Berlin, the rainwater retention basin serving the former Tempelhof airfield, a diverse range of animals, plants and algae have taken root and given birth to a unique landscape: a man-made environment reclaimed by nature where polluted water coexists with the relatively new presence of the University, forming a natureculture (Haraway). Across the other side of Berlin, we now inhabit the ICC, a building designed as a humanoid machine, another abandoned urban infrastructure, occupied and activated temporarily through artistic imaginaries for the duration of 10 days. Drawing on these similarities, the architecture of the upper foyer of Hall 7 will become an experimental canvas where Floating University Berlin projections will superimpose the natureculture of the rain-water retention basin onto the architectural machine of the ICC building. Can the two co-exist?

Exorzier Raku
7-17/10 16:00-00:00

For EXORZIER-RAKU, Zoë Claire Miller and Marco Schmitt constructed a mobile kiln at the Floating University and held a multitude of raku workshops over the course of this summer. Raku means “fun, delightful” in Japanese, it is the ceramic technique of removing clay objects from the kiln when they are red hot, at around 1000°, and covering them with organic material such as sawdust, leaves or hair. The goal of EXORZIER-RAKU is to banish the evil spirits and traumas of the capitalist, heteropatriarchal, techno-feudalist social order into clay sculptures in order to exorcise them through the ritual act of raku firing. Contrary to the notion that technology can solve all earthly and man-made problems, EXORZIER-RAKU ignites a muddily haptic counterpoint to the high-tech dicktatorship of individualist extractivism with earthy, collective creation processes. The raku kiln is a metabolistic organism that opens up a liminal space, marking the transition to a post-capitalist future. The city and the clay dug out from beneath it, used to form sculptures, become fuel for a r-evolutionary impulse. TERRA-粒 unites us with Terra Mater, activating organic and social forces of resilience, materializing them in sculptural iconographies of resistance. How can we overcome the Anthropocene? How can the city remain livable, and the earth? Of course an important first step is to exorcise the landlords.

Winter Office
7-11/10 16:00-20:00

As Floating’s eco-system is getting ready for winter hibernation, members of Floating e.V will inhabit the side foyer at hall 7 of the ICC with a winter office and will further develop programs for our next summer season 2022. We take up the invitation by the curators of Berlinerfestspiele to think outside of our site, and to further hybridise future Floating programs and encounters within a wider Berlin context.

Archive work
12-17/10 16:00-21:00

Since its foundation in 2018, Floating University Berlin’s programs and processes have been narrated and communicated through a myriad of materials, produced by countless various actors. Much of these materials are still present while some survived only in fragments, some have been lost or existed only for a moment. During our archive office hours, we will search for these traces and, together with a number of different agents, explore the history and the myth of the Floating University Berlin. Every text, every picture, every email and every gesture can be seen as an archeological artefact, composing a layer in Floating’s geology. Questions of selection, accumulation, translation and subjectivity arise. What do we want to preserve? What is the relationship between the individual records? We working towards an incomplete and polyphonic inventory – a nexus, which will allow us to have a better sense of what the floating is doing through the traces it produces. In order to make the practice and place more accessible beyond its physical dimension.

With: Sarah Bovelett, Teresa Huppertz & Roman Karrer together with various association members

Floating Dialogues

The Floating dialogues float between Floating as an intense site of learning & making and the ICC as a intense place of encounter. Or vice versa. In precisely scored talks two Floating Association members enter the ring; one has to listen, one has to talk, one asks questions, one answers, one sets the start – the other needs to pick up. Speaking from a specific experience of learning, the dialogue will unfold stories of Floating University between 2018 -2021 as a place of multiple forms of future learning. Dialogue partners will include special guests, associated with Floating work. The public will see the dialogue partners from afar while listening closely to their voices on wireless headphones, watching them floating through microspaces of ICC, its staircases, balconies, windows and passages.

22:30 Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius & Phillip Oswald
Florian Stirnemann & Rosario Talevi
15:00 Sarah Bovelett & Tatjana Schneider
16:00 Katherine Ball & Christian Hiller
17:00 Teresa Huppertz & Saskia Hebert
10/10 SUNDAY
15:00 Hannah Lu Verse & Felix Wierschbitzki
16:00 Ursula Rogg & Jeanne Astrup-Chauvaux
17:00 Sabine Zahn & Lorenz Kuschnig

Future Talks
12,17/10 20:00-21:00

Emerging from programs that already took place at Floating University Berlin, these two talks bring together various visions for the future of the site and its activities. While major and lengthy refurbishment is planned for the site of Floating by the city landlord, we wish to focus on what has emerged  from being on site and with the site: protocols, routines, habits and ways of doing and being. And on how these can inform and shape our future.

12/10 TUESDAY 20:00
Future Forms of Public-Civic Coalitions in the City
Berlin has lost its wildness. It has been tamed by higher rents, an absence of a caring policy for public lands, enclosures and privatisation. Profit-driven city-making has displaced the wildness and ushered in waves of gentrification. We want to look at self-organised and institutional forms of urban practices, dating back to what is called the “wild years” of open space in the city and reflect on what Berlin and its inhabitants can learn from them. Can we reclaim wildness and rewilding as an attitude to shape our cities and our lives? Can qualities such as openness, otherness, togetherness, joyfulness and playfulness, without romanticising the past, bring us together to foster bonds and interconnectedness, on both the local and the planetary scale? How can political and cultural institutions support and promote forms of self-organisation so crucial for the community and environment of Berlin?
With: Sarah Bovelett, Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius, Julia Feier(tbc), Adrienne Goehler, Mathias Heyden, Dr. Thomas Oberender, Felix Wierschbitzki
13/10 SUNDAY 20:00
(DESCRIPTION is coming)
17/10 SUNDAY 20:00
The Future of Environmental Pedagogies
An urban transformation process is a learning process and therefore should include social and pedagogical components that allow legibility, assimilation and participation. The Floating’s rewilding process holds the potential for an urgently needed mediation around eco-social renewal of urban infrastructures in ways that expose how cities are made and maintained, and how they respond to the current climate breakdown and pandemic realities. Could the rewilding process explore the relationship between urban nature and urban infrastructures by establishing a dialogue between artists, academics, engineers, gardeners and technocrats to prototype possible systems on site?  Dismantling artificial divisions between these forms of practice should be at the centre of this dialogue.
With: Katherine Ball, Ignacio Farias, Sandra Jasper, Sina Ribak and Ela Spalding
An intervention by Floating e.V.: Markus Bader, Sarah Bovelett, Teresa Huppertz, Gilly Karjevsky, Roman Karrer, Sabine Zahn, Rosario Talevi, Felix Wierschbitzki, Benoît Verjat, Alexis de Raphelis Together with Zoë Claire Miller & Marco Schmitt.
As part of The Sun Machine is Coming Down a project by Berliner Festspiele