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© Dissect event, "Behavioral Matter" symposium, 29/03/2019, Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris)


Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity« | Xenia Chiaramonte, Regine Hengge, Peter Jäger, Alice Jarry, Alex Jordan, Martin Müller, Emanuele Quinz, Patricia Ribault

Part round table, part live performance, a multidisciplinary debate with works of contemporary art and design, staged in a public interactive setting.

Critically referencing classic anatomy lessons—like that of Doctor Tulp, portrayed by Rembrandt in 1632—Dissect is an updated theatre for the analysis and discussion of contemporary works of art and design in the presence of the works. We ought to not be talking about things, but rather with them, combining words, gestures, and objects in a public dispositif specifically designed for such an interactive process. Created by Samuel Bianchini and Emanuele Quinz at the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD), Dissect aims to restore more lively forms of exchange than the so-called »roundtable«, to spark radically multidisciplinary debates, and to grapple with the very objects of the discussion.

On November 2nd and 4th 2022, two Dissect events will take place at Tieranatomisches Theater (TA T) in Berlin. The second event will be organized in cooperation with the artist Tomàs Saraceno around the research led by the Material Form Function group and their exhibition Design Lab #13: Material Legacies at the Kunstgewerbemuseum (KGM) in Berlin. For the first event on November 2nd, go here.

Guests: socio-legal scholar Xenia Chiaramonte, microbiologist Regine Hengge, arachnologist Peter Jäger, artist and researcher Alice Jarry, behavioral ecologist Alex Jordan, a researcher in Cultural Studies Martin Müller, and the spiders of the TA T.

Moderators: Patricia Ribault (weißensee school of art and design berlin), Emanuele Quinz (Université Paris 8/Ensad)

Organized by the Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity. Image Space Material« at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, in partnership with the Chaire Arts & Sciences of the École polytechnique, the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD)Université Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL), and the Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso; the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin, and the Tieranatomisches Theater.

A project developed by the Reflective Interaction research group at EnsadLab (EnsAD’s laboratory). Scenography designed and directed by Samuel Bianchini, with Adrien Bonnerot and Pernelle Poyet (object design), Annie Leuridan (light design), Sylvie Tissot (software engineering), and Brice Ammar-Khodja (video).


This is an in-person event. If you would like to attend, please register here. Please note that the number of participants is limited to 100.

About the Venue
Tieranatomisches Theater
Philippstraße 13
Berlin, Berlin 10115 Germany
(0) 30 2093 46625

Xenia Chiaramonte is a jurist and a socio-legal scholar. She graduated in Law from the University of Milan where she also defended her doctoral dissertation in 2017. She has been a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bologna and Roma Tre as well as a CAS SEE (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe) fellow at the University of Rijeka. Xenia Chiaramonte is interested in the intersection of law and social movements. Her research has moved from the ‘negative’ relationship between public law (criminal and administrative) and protests to a project on new social institutions designed to enhance the legal capacity to craft a fictional conception of nature.

Peter Jäger

Tieranatomisches Theater

Peter Jäger is a German arachnologist, and current Head of Arachnology at the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. He has described 513 new species of spiders within the last 20 years. Thunberga greta (named after Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg) is exactly the 400th species he discovered. Over and over again, he uses prominent names to draw attention to problems affecting our planet’s environment. The best known example so far was the Southeast Asian huntsman spider species Heteropoda davidbowiehttps://www.senckenberg.de/en/pressemeldungen/a-spider-named-greta/ 

Alice Jarry is Assistant Professor in Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University Research Chair in Critical Practices in Materials and Materiality (New Scholar), Design and Computation Arts. She is an artist, researcher, and educator who specializes in site-specific responsive works, socio-environmental design, digital arts, tangible media, and community-oriented projects. She is a member of Montreal-based Digital Arts Collective Perte De Signal (Montréal), Milieux Institute for Research-Creation (Concordia University), and Hexagram (Montréal). Her works have been presented in several exhibition locations in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Alex Jordan studies the evolution of social behaviour in animals – the ways single individuals come together to form stable social groups, and the behavioural, cognitive, and neuroanatomical mechanisms that have evolved to facilitate group living. His research program encompasses traditional field behavioural ecology, computational ethology, physics of social behaviour, neurobiology, and most importantly evolutionary theory, aiming to understand both the mechanisms and the outcomes of social behaivour across species, with a focus on cichlid fishes and social spiders. His research is primarily field-focused, attempting to understand animal behaviour in the places it has evolved; Lake Tanganyika, the Mediterranean Sea, Coral Reefs in the Caribbean and Red Sea, as well as Central American rainforests.
He is a permanent Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, heading up the Behavioural Evolution Research Group. He has held editorial positions at The American Naturalist and Movement Ecology. He is also active at the interface of science, art, and community engagement, working with artists and academies like Tabita Rezaire, SUPERFLEX, TBA-21, and Tomás Saraceno. Previously, Alex was the Integrative Biology Fellow, working in collaboration with Mike Ryan, Dan Bolnick, and Hans Hofmann at UT Austin, and before that a JSPS fellow in Osaka working with Masanori Kohda. He completed his PhD with Rob Brooks at the University of NSW, and did his undergraduate honours thesis with Madeleine Beekman and Ben Oldroyd at the University of Sydney.

Martin Müller is a Cultural Historian working at the Cluster of Excellence Matters of Activity where he is researching on the epistemology, materiality and operativity of the genetic code. Since 2015 he has been researching and teaching at the Institute of Cultural History and Theory at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Research interests: Theory of synthetic biology and genome editing, history of biopolitics, genealogies of the technocene, theory of the postmetabolic. Visiting scholar at Waseda University in Tokyo (2019), Universidad de Buenos Aires (2017), Université Paris-1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (2013), Columbia University in New York City (2012).

Patricia Ribault is a professor for »Performative Design Research« in the Department of Theory and History at weißensee school of art and design berlin and was most recently Junior Professor for History and Theory of Gestaltung at the Institute for Cultural History and Theory at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She was involved in the Cluster of Excellence Image Knowledge Gestaltung, the forerunner of Matters of Activity, for which she is also a Principal Investigator. Patricia Ribault started her career in design, ceramics, and glassblowing and her research interests cover the fields of design, craft, art, body, work, technology, industry. Since 2011 she has also been leading a master’s seminar at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris.

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