Organized by Katherine Ball, Mia Drobec and Luka Agreš.
24. September – 6. October 2022
A multi-week program for people working with their body to bring nature and culture together.
Join us for:
workshop with Sabine Zahn, 28. 29. June.
workshop with AragoRn BishoP: 27. 28. 29. September, 2-6pm. (register: firstname.lastname@example.org)
parkour jam with Fußgänger e.V.: 27. September, 6pm.
public event: Saturday 1. October, 1-6pm.
performance: Thursday 6. October, 6-7:30pm.
Contact and Registration: email@example.com
In its second edition, Contaminations sets up an experimental educational program for people to work with their bodies on the theme “natureculture pedagogies.” The idea is to see what happens when we bring nature and culture closer together.
Through a series of field trips, we will learn about different dynamics between nature and culture. We will go to the Berlin Botanical Garden, a cultural site focused on nature; a landfill [Deponie], incinerator [Sonderabfallverbrennungsanlage] and recycling center [Betriebsstätte], where the detritus of culture re-enters nature; a power plant [Heizkraftwerk], where nature is burned to make culture; Teufelsberg [Devil’s Mountain], a hill built out of rubble from the second world war; and a nature paradise, Sächsische Schweiz [Saxon Switzerland], where sandstone mountains and the winding Elbe River show what beauty nature can create. In each of these places we will learn about the dynamic between nature and culture specific to that site. At each site, we will explore this with our bodies, through dance, movement, performance art and other embodied practices. The field trips are about learning from observing and sensing, rather than producing. It is about tuning into our ability to feel rather than generating new things.
Contaminations 2022 brings together a group of twenty artists. They come together to learn and research collectively. There are also days of public participation. The artists come from a diversity of disciplines: breakdancing, hiphop, floorwork, parkour, acro, aerial and floor acrobatics, bellydancing, social practice, architecture, research design, inflatable sculpture, making ceramic kilns out of abandoned cars, and other disciplines that can not be described in simple terms. The idea is for different disciplines and people to contaminate each other…and to also be contaminated by the dynamics of nature and culture. All of this is based at Floating University, a site contaminated with urban rainwater runoff for over 90 years from the former Tempelhof Airport and Columbiadamm Road.
It could be said, in much of Europe nature and culture are two separate things. Why is this? For some cultures, nature and culture are more connected, for example in many Indigeneous societies.
With Contaminations, the idea is to see what happens when we bring nature and culture closer together through embodied practices. How does life change? How does it change us as people? How does it change our art? What kinds of forms of art, dance, and movement emerge? How does it change our relationship with the earth? and the more-than-human world?
Who is taking part in Contaminations?
Laura Ravn, Kenta Naoi, Jules Kühner, Naama Ityel, Arturo Bautisa, David Sanjuan, Fran Edgerly, Panda Ilén, Leila Matske, Sherry Ceylan, Manu Neubauer, Jef Kinds, David Lück, Christian Lück, Flo Graul, Sabine Wiesthal, Jorge Ortiz, Eliza Chojnacka, Mia Drobec, Luka Agres, Katherine Ball.
Katherine Ball, Mia Drobec and Luka Agreš
Sebastian Días de León
Integration of shared experience:
Illustration and Graphic Design:
Linda Kocher & Roman Karrer
Poster Riso Print:
In addition, two guest artists are giving workshops during Contaminations:
Workshop with Sabine Zahn
28. 29. June 2022.
Sabine Zahn (www.lovelabours.net) is a Berlin-based choreographer who deals with the relationship between choreographic practices and the creation of space. For the workshop, we tried out scores from the book A Field Guide to iLANDing: scores for researching urban ecologies edited by Jennifer Monson (iLAND stands for Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art Nature and Dance). We tried the scores first out at Floating and then applied them in the immediate urban environment. The workshop was open for anyone who wanted to think physically and sensorially and to explore how cities could be or are made through bodies.
Workshop with AragoRn BishoP Boulanger
27. 28. 29. September 2022, 2-6pm
AragoRn BishoP Boulanger (aragornboulanger.com, @aragornboulanger_art) is a Paris-based choreographer and dancer who has an experimental, self-taught practice called windstyle. His workshops are about opening up to feeling and breaking down the self. It is about stopping the self from controlling the body, and letting the body be moved by feelings. It is about learning to feel the streams of movement that exist in every space (including air currents, sound waves, and energy between people and things). At Floating University, this workshop will not occur in a studio or walled-institution; there will be visible, tangible streams of movement (including water) to be moved by. It is possible he may begin this workshop by saying, “I don’t know what we are going to do.” Please apply for the workshop by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Contaminations – Aragorn Bishop Workshop”. Participants must be able to come for all three days. We ask for a donation of 20-60€. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Parkour Jam with Fußgänger e.V.
27. September 2022, 6pm
Join us for a parkour jam led by Fußgänger e.V.. Every Tuesday, Fußgänger organizes a parkour jam in a different part of Berlin. This Tuesday it will be at Floating. At 6pm there will be a group hello, introduction and warm up. It is open to anyone, regardless of level of parkour experience (it is jam, not a class or workshop). A big thanks to Regina Aulenbach for organizing. Registration is not required, just come!
Public Event with Contaminations Artists
1. October 2022, 1pm-6pm
This public event is all about public participation. We are not sure yet what it will be exactly (workshops? scores? experiments?), but it will certainly be participatory. What will happen will be defined collectively by twenty artists co-creating the day: Laura Ravn, Kenta Naoi, Jules Kühner, Naama Ityel, Arturo Bautisa, David Sanjuan, Fran Edgerly, Panda Ilén, Leila Matske, Sherry Ceylan, Manu Neubauer, Jef Kinds, David Lück, Christian Lück, Flo Graul, Sabine Wiesthal, Jorge Ortiz, Eliza Chojnacka, Sebastian Días de León, Mia Drobec, Luka Agres, and Katherine Ball. Part of the idea is to research “natureculture pedagogies” with everyone who participates, and also let the artists communicate what they have learned and experienced so far in the first week of Contaminations. Registration is not required. We ask for a donation of 5-20€ at the entrance. There is no requirement to donate and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Performance with Contaminations Artists
6. October 2022, 6pm-7:30pm, bar after
Performers include: Laura Ravn, Kenta Naoi, Jules Kühner, Naama Ityel, Arturo Bautisa, David Sanjuan, Fran Edgerly, Panda Ilén, Sherry Ceylan, Jorge Ortiz, Mia Drobec, Luka Agres, and Katherine Ball. The performance is a work in progress conveying and translating what we learned and experienced over two weeks exploring “natureculture pedagogies”, the theme of Contaminations 2022. Registration is not required, just come!
Universal Basic Income and Care
Contaminations is interested in creating new models for how art projects happen. One of the fundamental ideas in Contaminations is to pay everyone the same amount. We calculate this based on time. The budget also pays for childcare for artists who have kids. Artists who come from abroad have their travel tickets paid for. Food is shared together.
In this way, we are making a micro-experiment where everyone gets a universal basic income for the project, and support for other collective and individual needs.
The pay is based on the recommended lower fee limit from Fonds Darstellende Künste [Performing Arts Fund] and Landesverband freie darstellende Künste Berlin e.V. [State Association of Free Performing Arts Berlin]. The lowest recommended fee is 2.875 € per month. Since the program runs for two weeks, the artists receive 50% of the monthly fee. The organizers are prorated the same way based on the amount of time they put into making the program happen. We precalculated everyone’s time during the planning and budgeting of Contaminations.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
– Albert Einstein.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
“If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”
– Buckminster Fuller
Contaminations has a dream
Contaminations dreams to create a community of practice of artists working with their bodies to develop deeper relationships with the earth and the more-than-human world. Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly (Lave and Wenger, 1991) (Wegner, 1998).
As a step towards this dream, Contaminations 2022 brings together twenty artists to explore the theme “natureculture pedagogies”. We form a two-week research group between the artists. We also invite public participation in certain moments. Perhaps a community of practice will evolve out of this.
The artists that come together are all artists who are also teaching or having publicly engaged practices. The hope is: if their art practices or they change as people during Contaminations, then their teaching will also change, which will change what the students learn, and potentially the culture – bringing nature and culture closer together beyond Contaminations. Each artist also is friends with at least one artist in the group. Because there is a personal connection between people, there is already some trust and openness to begin with. This is helpful for moving towards a community of practice, rather than trying to bring together a group of individuals who do not know each other. This is the theory of change behind how Contaminations is planned.
Technology is part of the answer to the ecological challenges we face. What’s missing is our relationship with the earth and the many species that share it.
What does art become when it mutates and entangles with nature, to the point where the artist, the art, and nature become indistinguishable from another, forming a symbiotic union? (Margulis, 1998)
Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Margulis, L. (1998). Symbiotic planet: A new look at evolution. New York: Basic Books.
Monson, J. (ed.). (2017). A Field Guide to iLANDing. Brooklyn: 53rd State Press.
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press.
What we have learned so far
Entry on 20 September 2022
During Sabine’s workshop we learned about scores and A Field Guide to iLANDing (Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art Nature and Dance) edited by Jennifer Monson. We also talked about how to keep track things that have been shared and try to be as concrete as possible. As we are about to begin the fall session of Contaminations (24.September – 6.October), one thing we would like to do in the fall session is to find a way to support people in integrating what they have learned after a shared experience.
We precalculated everyone’s time during the planning and budgeting of Contaminations. We tried to be as accurate as possible for this when we were making our budget. We see that we underestimated how much time production, organizing, graphic design, and child care would take. In the future, we would plan for more financial support for these things – at least as much as the artists’ time, or more. With child care we originally thought we could pay one person to care for all the kids on site at the same time. We learned that parents have different needs for their kids at different ages: one kid needs to be picked up from kita [pre-K] and cared for a few hours after school, one kid is only one year old and does not go to kita and needs someone to care for them all the time, two kids are older and their parent takes care of them after school. We needed three times what we budgeted for child care.
Funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Open-discipline Funding for Festivals and Series (biennial). Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the program NEUSTART KULTUR. #TakeHeart
We would also like to thank:
Burg Schöna for supporting Contaminations with housing in Sächsische Schweiz.
Berlin Recycling GmbH for giving Contaminations a tour at their Recycling Betriebsstätte in Westhafen, Berlin.
Fußgänger e.V. and Regina Aulenbach for organizing the parkour jam at Floating.
Sonett for providing Floating’s programs and site with biodegradable soaps and cleaning products since 2018.