Repository

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. Every text, every picture, every email and every gesture can be seen as an archeological artefact, composing a layer in Floating’s geology. The Repository intends to be an incomplete and polyphonic inventory, a nexus or a library, which allows us and others to have a better sense of what the Floating is doing through the traces it produces.

We try as best as we can to contextualise the fragments and credit the author(s). For some media, we have not been able to locate the author(s). If there is anything you would like to complete or if you would like to ask us to adjust or to remove something, please get in touch. If you have something that belongs here, please also feel free to contact us.

All
audio
text
drawing
image
publication
video
artefact
documentation
program
poster
manifesto
2021
2020
2019
2018
Grid
List
TITLE
AUTHORS(S)
TYPE
YEAR
„Fuß in der Tür“ – #10 ClimateCare Festival
various
Podcast
2021
Das Blätter Bäume Gräser Buch Herbst 2021
various
publication
2021
ClimateCare Reader 2021
various
Reader
2021
Seedbox for Urban Climate Activism
various
Zine
2021
The Rewilding Years Program
various
program
2021
Contaminations Poster
various
Poster
2021
Berlin Questions: 10 relational questions
various
Talk
2021
Map Floating University 2021
Lorenz Kuschnig
drawing
2021
Fuß in der Tür #6
Podcast
2021
Floating Kids Manifest
various
Poster
2020
Das Blätter Bäume Gräser Buch Herbst 2020
various
publication
2020
Firefly Poster
Poster
2020
Map Floating University 2019
Jeanne Astrup-Chauvaux
drawing
2019
Assembly im Becken
Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius
drawing, protocol
2019
Assembly December 12th
Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius
drawing, protocol
2019
THF Talks #3
Podcast
2019
Floating Vision
Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius
drawing
2019
ClimateCare Reader 2019
various
Reader
2019
Climate Care 2019 Program
various
program
2019
It’s not floating and it’s not a university!
Gilly Karjevsky
Text
2019
Site Drawing 2019
James Bromley
Drawing
2019
Floating-nicht-mehr-University?
Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius
drawing
2019
Kinder Uni 2019
Documentation
2019
Grand Closing Ceremony
Poster
2018
Floating Diploma
various
diploma
2018
Some Questions around the floating university
Joanne Pouzenc
Text
2019
Floating University Berlin 2018 – An illustrated report
various
publication
2018
Where The Water flows A Mobility Story
Jack Bardwell and Guy Field
publication
2018
Federal Floating Nation Passport
Daniele Valentino - INSIDE Master Interior Architecture
artefact
2018
Hockeyschläger
various
artefact
2020
Kids Uni 2018 #2
various
Publication
2018
Tomatoe Seeds 2018
-
artefact
2018
Silent Conversations
Gilly Karjevsky
publication
2018
THymE
various
publication
2018
Hot Terms
Poster
2018
Map Floating University 2018
Jeanne Astrup-Chauvaux
drawing
2018
Kids Uni 2018 #1
Documentation
2018
Formatting Observation
Poster
2018
Untitled 1
artefact
2018
Drawing Water Filtration System
various
Drawing
2018
Some Notes
Poster
2018
ARCH+ features
various
publication
2018
Opening Poster
Poster
2018
Professorpass
-
artefact
2018
Take A Seat
-
Artefact
2018
Poster Flying Semaphores
various
Poster
2018
Federal Floating Nation Manifesto
Manifesto
2018
Open Weeks 2
program
2018
Human Amplifier
Poster
2018
Floatzine #7
various
publication
2018
Fabulous Marisco
Poster
2018
Open Weeks 3
program
2018
Flags
Poster
2018
Floatzine #6
various
publication
2018
Projekt Bauhaus
Poster
2018
Floatzine #5
various
publication
2018
Andalusi Watergames
Poster
2018
Floatzine #4
various
publication
2018
Open Your Eyes And Listen
Poster
2018
Floatzine #3
various
publication
2018
Floating Symposium
Poster
2018
Open Weeks 1
program
2018
Optimal Brain Damage
Poster
2018
Floatzine #2
various
publication
2018
Deathless Inception
Poster
2018
Floatzine #1
various
publication
2018
Water Filters
Poster
2018
Floatzine #0
various
publication
2018
Graphic Recording Pecha Kucha
Bea Davis
Poster
2018
Müllzange
-
artefact, tool
2017
Floating Footage
Poster
2018
Pecha Kucha
Drop Bar
Poster
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Poster
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
„Fuß in der Tür“ – #10 ClimateCare Festival
Author(s):
various
Type:
Podcast
Year:
2021
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Das Blätter Bäume Gräser Buch Herbst 2021
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2021
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
ClimateCare Reader 2021
Author(s):
various
Type:
Reader
Year:
2021
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Seedbox for Urban Climate Activism
Author(s):
various
Type:
Zine
Year:
2021
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
The Rewilding Years Program
Author(s):
various
Type:
program
Year:
2021
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Contaminations Poster
Author(s):
various
Type:
Poster
Year:
2021
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Berlin Questions: 10 relational questions
Author(s):
various
Type:
Talk
Year:
2021
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Map Floating University 2021
Author(s):
Lorenz Kuschnig
Type:
drawing
Year:
2021
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Fuß in der Tür #6
Author(s):
Type:
Podcast
Year:
2021
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floating Kids Manifest
Author(s):
various
Type:
Poster
Year:
2020
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Das Blätter Bäume Gräser Buch Herbst 2020
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2020
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Firefly Poster
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2020
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Map Floating University 2019
Author(s):
Jeanne Astrup-Chauvaux
Type:
drawing
Year:
2019
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Assembly im Becken
Author(s):
Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius
Type:
drawing, protocol
Year:
2019
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Assembly December 12th
Author(s):
Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius
Type:
drawing, protocol
Year:
2019
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
THF Talks #3
Author(s):
Type:
Podcast
Year:
2019
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floating Vision
Author(s):
Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius
Type:
drawing
Year:
2019
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
ClimateCare Reader 2019
Author(s):
various
Type:
Reader
Year:
2019
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Climate Care 2019 Program
Author(s):
various
Type:
program
Year:
2019
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
It’s not floating and it’s not a university!
Author(s):
Gilly Karjevsky
Type:
Text
Year:
2019
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Site Drawing 2019
Author(s):
James Bromley
Type:
Drawing
Year:
2019
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floating-nicht-mehr-University?
Author(s):
Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius
Type:
drawing
Year:
2019
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Kinder Uni 2019
Author(s):
Type:
Documentation
Year:
2019
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Grand Closing Ceremony
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floating Diploma
Author(s):
various
Type:
diploma
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Some Questions around the floating university
Author(s):
Joanne Pouzenc
Type:
Text
Year:
2019
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floating University Berlin 2018 – An illustrated report
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Where The Water flows A Mobility Story
Author(s):
Jack Bardwell and Guy Field
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Federal Floating Nation Passport
Author(s):
Daniele Valentino - INSIDE Master Interior Architecture
Type:
artefact
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Hockeyschläger
Author(s):
various
Type:
artefact
Year:
2020
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Kids Uni 2018 #2
Author(s):
various
Type:
Publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Tomatoe Seeds 2018
Author(s):
-
Type:
artefact
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Silent Conversations
Author(s):
Gilly Karjevsky
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
THymE
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Hot Terms
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Map Floating University 2018
Author(s):
Jeanne Astrup-Chauvaux
Type:
drawing
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Kids Uni 2018 #1
Author(s):
Type:
Documentation
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Formatting Observation
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Untitled 1
Author(s):
Type:
artefact
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Drawing Water Filtration System
Author(s):
various
Type:
Drawing
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Some Notes
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
ARCH+ features
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Opening Poster
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Professorpass
Author(s):
-
Type:
artefact
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Take A Seat
Author(s):
-
Type:
Artefact
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Poster Flying Semaphores
Author(s):
various
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Federal Floating Nation Manifesto
Author(s):
Type:
Manifesto
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Open Weeks 2
Author(s):
Type:
program
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Human Amplifier
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floatzine #7
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Fabulous Marisco
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Open Weeks 3
Author(s):
Type:
program
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Flags
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floatzine #6
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Projekt Bauhaus
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floatzine #5
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Andalusi Watergames
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floatzine #4
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Open Your Eyes And Listen
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floatzine #3
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floating Symposium
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Open Weeks 1
Author(s):
Type:
program
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Optimal Brain Damage
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floatzine #2
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Deathless Inception
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floatzine #1
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Water Filters
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floatzine #0
Author(s):
various
Type:
publication
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Graphic Recording Pecha Kucha
Author(s):
Bea Davis
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Müllzange
Author(s):
-
Type:
artefact, tool
Year:
2017
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floating Footage
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Pecha Kucha
Author(s):
Drop Bar
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
Floating University Poster 2018
Title:
Floating University Poster 2018
Author(s):
Type:
Poster
Year:
2018
CLOSE

VOILÀ, IT’S NOT FLOATING AND IT’S NOT A UNIVERSITY!
A conversation between members of a non-institution, edited by Gilly Karjevsky

 

…“The opaque is not the obscure.. it is that which cannot be reduced, which is the most perennial guarantee of participation and confluence”…
…“We clamour for the right to opacity for everyone”.
– Édouart Glissant

 

Members of the Floating University are often asked to describe this multifaceted venture. The answer starts with an exhale and a pause, and then the description of a shared experience as seen from a set of highly individualized viewpoints. That the Floating University allows for this level of complex communication about itself, the fact that there is no corporate script, that it is a deeply opaque infrastructure for each visitor to project onto, is the political essence of the project.

The Floating University requires a new language of practice and perhaps a new practice all together. A practice that negates the institutional way of doing things, challenges the need for unified transparencies of meaning, elaborates on processes of making and thinking together and frees spaces in the city to do so collectively.

And so, the text before you provides glimpses into the personal interpretations of the makers of Floating University and its main protagonists during 2018, its inaugural year. This conversation took place at a time when common ways of making and managing the Floating University were being sought and installed both organisationally and on site. These days, we are setting up the Floating University e.V., creating different recurring programs for the site and learning how to work on this seasonal site with neighbors, volunteers and guests, as well as the plants and animals we encounter daily.

Gathered around the table at the raumlabor office were Markus Bader, Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius, Dorothee Halbrock, Gilly Karjevsky, Carla Kienz, Anna Kokalanova, Joanne Pouzenc, Florian Stirnemann, Stefan Shankland (via Skype), Marko Salapura and Rosario Talevi.

 

GILLY:

I want to open with the institutional question, or questions about institutionalism that the Floating University raises. I think what resonated from Joanne’s propositions (see page 10) was this idea of an “almost institution”. Being constantly on the verge of institutionalizing, but never really crossing the line. Whether intentionally or not, whether not intentionally to begin with and now, one year later more intentionally, or the other way around, and playing on the aspects of temporality and the institutional in relation to one another.

 

ROSARIO:

I would like to pick up on that, because you were referring to inside and outside, to an “almost institution” and I brought this definition here for another relevant term by Michael Serres: “If institutions are organisational systems based on an inside /outside framework … extitutions are designed as areas where a multitude of agents can spontaneously assemble.” To clarify, it’s not to say that things from outside need to happen on the inside, because that would make the Floating University an institution, it would determine that some people belong and other people do not. But if we could try to develop an ex-titution – a place where people can spontaneously assemble – then it would connect to the notion of freeing ourselves from a dependenc on rules.

 

MARKUS:

One of the intentions of Floating [University] was to allow for open procedures and also open ways of working. We were describing it as a place of retreat and focus, but I felt like it was an enormous place of distraction! There was a fascinating rhythm of being fast, being slow, being super crowded, being completely empty, being hot or not, ducks flying around behind the lecturer. So one of the qualities that I really enjoyed was this coincidentalist quality and how things happened in parallel, without a full understanding of what the programe is. Maybe it became a condenser of common aspiration or desires. There is something much bigger in the air now. An interesting term for it is “emergence”. We bring in our procedures as we know them and then we let things happen, because the Floating University was never planned in a complete sense.

 

FLORIAN:

People really loved this place and they really took care of it. But for us it was always a political act to open this site to the public and to think about the future of this place together. My feeling was that the citizens in the neighborhood didn’t understand that this was a political project. I think this is the big question – what kind of city do we want to have? – and what can happen on the site of Floating University – does only the city as an owner decide what will happen there or is this something that we can influence through this project? By exposing this hidden place to its neighbors, who didn’t even know about it, and making it public, and through this action, of course, changing it. I think it is our responsibility to play a role in this game somehow.

 

BENNI:

When we found this beautiful and seductive piece of the city we wanted to highlight how places like this one have intrinsic value beyond the economic value of the land it’s on. We were struggling for a long time with the question how do we tackle this piece of land, how do we invade it. What was always in our discussions was that it has to be part of a political movement to protect it from other forces that exist in this city, forces that are mostly connected to exploiting the city’s land for economic turnover. We set ourselves this challenge. Raised the question, what do you fight for? Do you fight for the dragonflies and the bats and the ducks that spend their life in the dirty water? Or do you fight for allotment gardeners that spend their weekends in the sunny gardens and who love the quietness of the place? Which argument for keeping this place open will win over a larger part of the civil society?

 

DORO:

Our agendas were multiple and changed over time. This was not a strategy to tell different stories, but happened because of the nature of the Floating University and the site, and the actors involved from within and without. We all had di!erent stories to tell. The story of temporary use was one story and this also changed over the course of time. In the beginning we had no intention of staying and then we saw how people responded to the place. So there is not one permanent story here.

 

GILLY:

Can you expand a bit on the political potential of the project or the political intention of the project and its undefinability?

 

ROSARIO:

I’d also like to maybe add to the idea of fragility, opposing the idea of forces at work, or complementing these forces. How can we nurture that fragility? We don’t need to become a force, but can we keep this place as a place for fragility? We don’t need to endure or become stronger in order to conform to a political landscape in Berlin, but instead say, “It’s okay, we are fragile and let’s see where that takes us”.

 

STEFAN:

Let us return to the first impression, that it’s not a political agenda, but maybe it can become one, I’m not sure. I can recall my first impression on arriving there in May last year, and it was a contradictory set of impressions. On the one hand it felt like coming to a completely specific, unique, incredibly located new place, that corresponds to the idea of being an offshore campus as opposed to it being completely foreign. It is very specific to the space. On the other hand it is so universal – and I think that is a form of political agenda – it has a strong echo with another project that Benni and some of you have been working on,TRANS305, and what was at stake in all of the different formats the project took. Three princi ples emerged in TRANS305 that I deeply recognized when arriving at Floating University. First, the principle of context: a site and a situationally specific project. As opposed to a project based in an institution of some kind. Second, the deeply experimental. A project founded upon the principle of testing out something new, taking chan ces, working incrementally in order to produce new conditions for art and architecture; new conditions for interacting with the world and with people. The principal of freedom is fundamental in this form of experiment. And third, the principle of acting “with”: with others, di!erent from us, from our circles, with many, with difficulties, with joy, with the possibility to meet and exchange with others.

 

ANNA:

There was always a kind of fragility in the programe that was not defined, like the breakfast moments that we had with people who were actually interested in the site and interested in a conversation with us. And at the same time there was this programme that was written on paper. It was somehow an organic moment.

 

DORO:

But I think this was fluid because we evolved. We let ourselves evolve over time. We evolved from one open weeks to the next open weeks by embedding what we learned into the next program. While at the same time still looking for our roles within it. We had roles somewhat defined and we had titles – I was “head of programe” – but the site and the people occupying it always demanded things from you which were outside of your own prescribed role. And these demands, these needs, ended up being more important.

 

GILLY:

We described the di!erent actors involved though their di!erent intensities on the site, not their hierarchy, but intensity. And that the programe intensity was not the strongest or the most important one. But the fact that it wasn’t the strongest intensity allowed for a lot of freedom to happen within the programme so that “emergence” could happen and experiment with the relationship between how the programe makes the site and how the site makes the programe.

 

MARKUS:

But I also like the term “intensity” in relation to programe. It was carefully tied to the design of the program, there was relaxed time when there were only one or two groups working on site, as opposed to the open weeks, when there was a lot of activity. In order to facilitate coincidental activities and not just a rigidly crafted programe. There was an intended interaction but much more was allowed to happen.

 

JOANNE:

Actually something that I really like about the Floating University was that to understand what was going on, you needed to be active, curiously active, because if you weren’t and if you were passive, you get nothing. There were some traces of activities that happened that you could see and question, but mostly there were not. So you have to go and talk to people to actually understand what they were doing.

 

ANNA:

This created the exchange on site; every visitor would start by knowing nothing, figure it out slowly, maybe be told what to do and then would become an expert for the person coming after them, by giving the how-to-explanation to the person behind them in the dishwashing line, for example. There were these di!erent moments of being active, of learning and then teaching on the same visit. You had to be curiously active at the Floating University and for me this was also political.

 

ROSARIO:

In the same sense, other objects and nonhuman, non-verbal signifiers, replaced talking and asking about how things work. The rubber boots just lying around everywhere worked really well. The rubber boots didn’t have any signs or explanations and people would just wear them and then jump into the water, it was self- explanatory. It required another form of being curiously active and embodying the site through your own tacit experiences.

 

BENNI:

And when the signs started showing up everywhere to try and avoid some of the repeating questions, it was an interesting moment. Connecting to Stefan’s point about being “deeply experimental”, for me the question is: Will we or even how can we stay deeply experimental over time? The signs that appeared after a period of having to explain and talk, they showed that we were getting tired. So the signs showed up to help describe the rules, and then rules started developing everywhere on the site. It is normal in a way but works directly against our needs to not institutionalise ourselves. So the question is: If we go on for another couple of years, will we just become another boring institution?

 

MARKUS:

This is also a political question. Do we refer to a set of rules or do we right the Floating University operational manual which would be a total fiction or do we write an abstract text? Floating University is actually the opposite, it’s the absence of a book of rules and more of an ongoing oral history. And I think, this is also raumlabor. We also have very few manuals in a way. There’s a lot about trying to induce situations where one person talks to the other, and then this Chinese whisper in the course of 20-something years emerges.

 

DORO:

Does the person that the information is transmitted to also have to follow the rules, and pass them on? What if the team changes and we don’t have the same people transmitting protocols. I would like to see different people do the oral transmittance so that we can see the differences evolve over time, see the responsibilities evolve over time.

 

JOANNE:

Those kinds of responsibilitis and who is feeling active, who is entitled to tell what kind of story, who is feeling involved, are very personal. There are just three aspects to an institution: to be established, to have rules and to be long-term oriented. For me the rules are there, like the rules to be free and to have no rules. For me not having rules is a rule. This is a way of functioning. The only aspect that can be questioned really, is the aspect of time, the being long-term oriented.

 

BENNI:

Don’t we have to change the parameters of the mode of existence of the Floating University to avoid us falling into some kind of the lethargy of a permanent rhythm? What do we have to do to prevent this? Change the space or take away the rubber boots at least for a couple of months? What kind of homeopathic doze is the right one to actually make things feel di!erent for everyone so that this situation of permanent, deep experimentation stay with us? JOANNE: For me it’s a really political question, and a systemic one. What are the rules that allow the largest amount of freedom to evolve? Or allow regular changes and flexibility? What is the system that allows for that?

 

ROSARIO:

But what do those values need to be? Flexibility? Freedom? Experimentation?

 

JOANNE:

Or fluidity? I mean, just by naming it Floating University you propose an idea that doesn’t really exist – voilà, it’s not floating and it’s not a university!