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


Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity« | Joffrey Becker, Maaike Bleeker, Samuel Bianchini, Horst Bredekamp, Johann Habakuk Israel, Thomas Picht, Margrit Shildrick, 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 first one will feature the work Amygdala of contemporary artist Marco Donnarumma in connection to the research led by the group Cutting of the Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity« at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). For the second event on November 4th, go here.

Guests: anthropologist Joffrey Becker, theatre scholar Maaike Bleeker, art historian Horst Bredekamp, computer scientist Johann Habakuk Israel, neurosurgeon Thomas Picht, and philosopher Margrit Shildrick.

Moderators: Patricia Ribault (weißensee school of art and design berlin) and Samuel Bianchini (EnsAD).

Organized by the Cluster of Excellence Matters of Activity. Image Space Material at 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

Joffrey Becker

Tieranatomisches Theater

Joffrey Becker obtained a PhD in social anthropology and ethnology from the EHESS, and is a research associate of the anthropology of life team at the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale (Collège de France). His research focuses on robotics and artificial intelligence, and more particularly on the relationship between humans and machines. Initially interested in the construction procedures of humanoid robots and the mental processes they bring into play in interaction situations, his work today aims to better understand how so-called intelligent systems question our models on an ontological, interactional and societal level, regardless of their form. In a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and critical perspective, the challenge is to study how objects resulting from robotics and artificial intelligence transform relationships and practices in order to better anticipate their effects.

Maaike Bleeker

Tieranatomisches Theater

Maaike Bleeker is a theatre studies professor, a dramaturg, and a translator. Her work combines approaches from the arts and performance studies with insights from philosophy, media theory, and cognitive science. Much of her research focuses on processes of embodied and technologically mediated perception and transmission, with a special interest in the relationship between technology, movement, and embodied perception and cognition. Current research subjects include social robotics, spectacular astronomy and the intersection of performance studies and space studies, posthuman performativity, corporeal literacy, digital archiving of artistic work, and artistic creation processes.

Samuel Bianchini is an Artist and Associate Professor at École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs – Paris (EnsAD)/ PSL Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres and and Associate Member of the Cluster of Excellence Matters of Activity at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Supporting the principle of an »operational aesthetic«, he works on the relationship between the most forward-looking technological »dispositifs«, modes of representation, new forms of aesthetic experiences, and sociopolitical organizations, often in collaboration with scientists, and natural science and engineering research laboratories. His works are regularly shown in Europe and across the world. After defending his PhD thesis in an art center with a solo exhibition, and, more recently, his accreditation to supervise research, Samuel Bianchini is now the head of the Reflective Interaction research group at EnsadLab, the laboratory of EnsAD, and the Co-Director of the »Chaire Arts & Sciences« recently founded with École Polytechnique and the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation. He is a member of the SACRe Laboratory of PSL University and involved in its doctoral program for which he supervises the PhD in Art and Design. He is also member of the canadian research-creation network Hexagram.

Johann Habakuk Israel

Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin

Thomas Picht is a Neurosurgeon, head of the Image Guidance Lab, and co-director of the Berlin Simulation and Training Center at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. His research group deals with non-invasive brain function diagnostics, connectivity analyses, and neuromodulation with the aim of optimally treating brain tumors with individualized therapy concepts. Further focal points are the research of modern visualization strategies for the understanding and mediation of spatially complex structures as well as the establishment of novel simulation concepts in education and surgical practice. His research group is in close contact with a large number of medical device manufacturers and start-ups. His comprehensive clinical and scientific experience in dealing with the highly dynamic materiality of the brain is decisive for the »Cutting« project of the Matters of Activity Cluster of Excellence at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.


Margrit Shildrick is a Guest Professor of Gender and Knowledge Production at ERG, Stockholm University, and Visiting Professor of Critical Disability Studies at York U., Toronto. Margrit does research in recent Continental Philosophy, Ontology, Epistemology, and Bioethics. Her new book Visceral Prostheses, biotechnologies, and posthuman embodiment (Bloomsbury) has been published in 2022. She is currently working on a project on decolonizing the gift in a posthuman context.

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.

See all speakers

More Events

All Events