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14.6.2022, Tuesday 18:00 Uhr
Wartenau Assembly #11 freethought: Spectral Infrastructure

  • Venue:

  • Aula, HFBK Hamburg

Presentations by Irit Rogoff, Stefano Harney, Adrian Heathfield, Massimiliano Mollona, Louis Moreno, and Nora Sternfeld. Opening words by Wietske Maas (BAK, Utrecht).

Conventionally understood as the operative substrate of contemporary global life, the term »infrastructure« invokes systems such as physical networks for transportation and communication, the organization of waste and utilities, resource flows, digital management, and capital movements. Moving away from these material associations, freethought develops the notion of »spectral infrastructure« toward the ghostly, affective, and fugitive intensities that undergird both infrastructural and quotidian life.

The research conjures the invisible, inaudible, and illegible through textures, rhythms, atmospheres, invocations, gestures, vernaculars, and affects—elements that escape traditional forms of tracking or measurement, calling instead for experimental forms of mapping, sensing, and tracing.

freethought is a collective working in public research and in curating concepts of urgency.

Irit Rogoff, Stefano Harney, Adrian Heathfield, Massimiliano Mollona, Louis Moreno, and Nora Sternfeld formed freethought in 2011. Traversing disciplines, blending influences, and borrowing forms, freethought experiments with new combinations of criticism and practice in the arts.

»Spectral Infrastucture« is a Public Editorial Meeting convened by freethought and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht in collaboration with art education, HFBK Hamburg.

freethought is:

Irit Rogoff is a writer, teacher, curator, and organizer working at the intersection of contemporary art, critical theory, and emergent political manifestations. She is a professor of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, London, where she heads the PhD in Adsvanced Practices program and  teaches courses o 'worldmaking'. Her current work focuses on new practices of knowledge production and their impacts on modes of research, under the title 'Becoming Research' - The Way We Work Now (MIT 2023). As part of the collective freethought, Rogoff was one of the artistic directors of the Bergen Assembly, Bergen, 2016. In addition to contributing to numerous anthologies and catalogs, her publications include: Terra Infirma: Geography’s Visual Culture (2000). Looking Away—Participating Singularities, Ontological Communities (2013); Visual Cultures as Seriousness (with Gavin Butt, 2013); Unbounded—Limits’ Possibilities (2012); "Scaling Up" (Hangar, Lisbon 2021) and She has also published in periodicals such as Art Journal, Open, e-flux journal, and Third Text. Rogoff lives and works in London.

Stefano Harney is Professor of Transversal Aesthetics at Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln / Academy of Media Arts Cologne.  He is also Honorary Professor in the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia.  He was Hayden Fellow and Visiting Critic at Yale University Art School in 2019-2020.  He is a member of the Global Inquiries and Social Theory Research Group, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  He is author with Fred Moten of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (2013) and All Incomplete (2020), both published by Minor Compositions/Autonomedia.  He has taught widely in Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe. He works in a number of collectives including freethought, Le Mardi Gras Listening Collective, School for Study, Ground Provisions, and Anti-Colonial Machine. With Tonika Sealy Thompson he runs the reading camp and study project Ground Provisions.  He is part of the School for Study, a nomadic collective of university teachers whose exodus from the university marks the space and time to study.

Adrian Heathfield writes on, curates, and creates performance. He is the author of Out of Now (2008), a monograph on the artist Tehching Hsieh; editor of Ally (2017) and Live: Art and Performance (2004); co-editor of Perform, Repeat, Record (2012); and his essays have been translated into ten languages. He conducted the creative research project Curating the Ephemeral (2014–2016) on immaterial art and museal practices; co-directed Performance Matters (2009–2013) on the cultural value of performance; curated Doing Time, the Taiwan pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); was Co-Director with the freethought collective of the Bergen Assembly (2016); served as a curatorial adviser and attaché for the 20th Biennale of Sydney (2016); and co-curated Live Culture at Tate Modern, London (2003). He was President of Performance Studies International (2004–2007).

Massimiliano (Mao) Mollona is a writer, filmmaker, and anthropologist. He is associate professor at the Departmen of rhe Art (DAR) at the University of Bologna and Associate Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths University, London. He has a multidisciplinary background in economics and anthropology and his work focuses on the relationship between art and political economy. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Brazil, Italy, Norway, and the United Kingdom, mainly in economic and artistic institutions with a specific focus on work, class, and post-capitalist politics, and uses a methodology that combines pedagogy, artistic prefiguration, and activism. He is a member of the collective freethought and a co-founder and President of the Institute of Radical Imagination (IRI), which is a collective of activists, artists, and curators who aim to imagine and implement post-capitalist forms of art and life. He was Director of the Athens Biennale, Athens, 2015–2017, and with freethought Co-Director of the Bergen Assembly, 2016. Mollona lives and works in Bologna.

Louis Moreno’s research explores the spatial, historical and cultural modes of financial capitalism with a particular focus on architecture, urbanism and music.  Louis is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures and the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University of London, London. Louis is a member of the collectives freethought, Le Mardi Gras Listening Collective and Unspecified Enemies.

Nora Sternfeld is an art educator and curator. She is professor of art education at the HFBK Hamburg. From 2018 to 2020 she was documenta professor at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. From 2012 to 2018 she was Professor of Curating and Mediating Art at Aalto University in Helsinki. In addition, she is co-director of the /ecm - Master Program for Exhibition Theory and Practice at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, in the core team of schnittpunkt. austellungstheorie & praxis, co-founder and part of trafo.K, Office for Art, Education, and Critical Knowledge Production (Vienna). She publishes on contemporary art, educational theory, exhibitions, politics of history and anti-racism.

Solo exhibition by Konstantin Grcic

From September 29 to October 23, 2022, Konstantin Grcic (Professor of Industrial Design) will be showing a room-sized installation at ICAT - Institute for Contemporary Art & Transfer at the HFBK Hamburg consisting of objects designed by him and existing, newly assembled objects. At the same time, the space he designed for workshops, seminars and office workstations in the AtelierHaus will be put into operation.

Amna Elhassan, Tea Lady, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

Amna Elhassan, Tea Lady, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

Art and war

"Every artist is a human being". This statement by Martin Kippenberger, which is as true as it is existentialist (in an ironic rephrasing of the well-known Beuys quote), gets to the heart of the matter in many ways. On the one hand, it reminds us not to look away, to be (artistically) active and to raise our voices. At the same time, it is an exhortation to help those who are in need. And that is a lot of people at the moment, among them many artists. That is why it is important for art institutions to discuss not only art, but also politics.

Merlin Reichert, Die Alltäglichkeit des Untergangs, Installation in der Galerie der HFBK; photo: Tim Albrecht

Merlin Reichert, Die Alltäglichkeit des Untergangs, Installation in der Galerie der HFBK; photo: Tim Albrecht

Graduate Show 2022: We’ve Only Just Begun

From July 8 to 10, 2022, more than 160 Bachelor’s and Master’s graduates of the class of 2021/22 will present their final projects from all majors. Under the title Final Cut, all graduation films will be shown on a big screen in the auditorium of the HFBK Hamburg. At the same time, the exhibition of the Sudanese guest lecturer Amna Elhassan can be seen in the HFBK gallery in the Atelierhaus.

Grafik: Nele Willert, Dennise Salinas

Grafik: Nele Willert, Dennise Salinas

June is full of art and theory

It has been a long time since there has been so much on offer: a three-day congress on the visuality of the Internet brings together international web designers; the research collective freethought discusses the role of infrastructures; and the symposium marking the farewell of professor Michaela Ott takes up central questions of her research work.

Renée Green. ED/HF, 2017. Film still. Courtesy of the artist, Free Agent Media, Bortolami Gallery, New York, and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne/Munich.

Renée Green. ED/HF, 2017. Film still. Courtesy of the artist, Free Agent Media, Bortolami Gallery, New York, and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne/Munich.

Finkenwerder Art Prize 2022

The Finkenwerder Art Prize, initiated in 1999 by the Kulturkreis Finkenwerder e.V., has undergone a realignment: As a new partner, the HFBK Hamburg is expanding the prize to include the aspect of promoting young artists and, starting in 2022, will host the exhibition of the award winners in the HFBK Gallery. This year's Finkenwerder Art Prize will be awarded to the US artist Renée Green. HFBK graduate Frieda Toranzo Jaeger receives the Finkenwerder Art Prize for recent graduates.

Amanda F. Koch-Nielsen, Motherslugger; photo: Lukas Engelhardt

Amanda F. Koch-Nielsen, Motherslugger; photo: Lukas Engelhardt

Nachhaltigkeit im Kontext von Kunst und Kunsthochschule

Im Bewusstsein einer ausstehenden fundamentalen gesellschaftlichen Transformation und der nicht unwesentlichen Schrittmacherfunktion, die einem Ort der künstlerischen Forschung und Produktion hierbei womöglich zukommt, hat sich die HFBK Hamburg auf den Weg gemacht, das Thema strategisch wie konkret pragmatisch für die Hochschule zu entwickeln. Denn wer, wenn nicht die Künstler*innen sind in ihrer täglichen Arbeit damit befasst, das Gegebene zu hinterfragen, genau hinzuschauen, neue Möglichkeiten, wie die Welt sein könnte, zu erkennen und durchzuspielen, einem anderen Wissen Gestalt zu geben

New studio in the row of houses at Lerchenfeld

New studio in the row of houses at Lerchenfeld, in the background the building of Fritz Schumacher; photo: Tim Albrecht

Raum für die Kunst

After more than 40 years of intensive effort, a long-cherished dream is becoming reality for the HFBK Hamburg. With the newly opened studio building, the main areas of study Painting/Drawing, Sculpture and Time-Related Media will finally have the urgently needed studio space for Master's students. It simply needs space for their own ideas, for thinking, for art production, exhibitions and as a depot.

Martha Szymkowiak / Emilia Bongilaj, Installation “Mmh”; photo: Tim Albrecht

Martha Szymkowiak / Emilia Bongilaj, Installation “Mmh”; photo: Tim Albrecht

Annual Exhibition 2022 at the HFBK

After last year's digital edition, the 2022 annual exhibition at the HFBK Hamburg will once again take place with an audience. From 11-13 February, students from all departments will present their artistic work in the building at Lerchenfeld, Wartenau 15 and the newly opened Atelierhaus.

Annette Wehrmann, photography from the series Blumensprengungen, 1991-95; photo: Ort des Gegen e.V., VG-Bild Kunst Bonn

Annette Wehrmann, photography from the series Blumensprengungen, 1991-95; photo: Ort des Gegen e.V., VG-Bild Kunst Bonn

Conference: Counter-Monuments and Para-Monuments.

The international conference at HFBK Hamburg on December 2-4, 2021 – jointly conceived by Nora Sternfeld and Michaela Melián –, is dedicated to the history of artistic counter-monuments and forms of protest, discusses aesthetics of memory and historical manifestations in public space, and asks about para-monuments for the present.

23 Fragen des Institutional Questionaire, grafisch umgesetzt von Ran Altamirano auf den Türgläsern der HFBK Hamburg zur Jahresausstellung 2021; photo: Charlotte Spiegelfeld

23 Fragen des Institutional Questionaire, grafisch umgesetzt von Ran Altamirano auf den Türgläsern der HFBK Hamburg zur Jahresausstellung 2021; photo: Charlotte Spiegelfeld

Diversity

Who speaks? Who paints which motif? Who is shown, who is not? Questions of identity politics play an important role in art and thus also at the HFBK Hamburg. In the current issue, the university's own Lerchenfeld magazine highlights university structures as well as student initiatives that deal with diversity and identity.

Grafik: Tim Ballaschke

Grafik: Tim Ballaschke

Start of semester

After three semesters of hybrid teaching under pandemic conditions, we are finally about to start another semester of presence. We welcome all new students and teachers at the HFBK Hamburg and cordially invite you to the opening of the academic year 2020/21, which this year will be accompanied by a guest lecture by ruangrupa.

photo: Klaus Frahm

photo: Klaus Frahm

Summer Break

The HFBK Hamburg is in the lecture-free period, many students and teachers are on summer vacation, art institutions have summer break. This is a good opportunity to read and see a variety of things:

ASA Open Studio 2019, Karolinenstraße 2a, Haus 5; photo: Matthew Muir

ASA Open Studio 2019, Karolinenstraße 2a, Haus 5; photo: Matthew Muir

Live und in Farbe: die ASA Open Studios im Juni 2021

Since 2010, the HFBK has organised the international exchange programme Art School Alliance. It enables HFBK students to spend a semester abroad at renowned partner universities and, vice versa, invites international art students to the HFBK. At the end of their stay in Hamburg, the students exhibit their work in the Open Studios in Karolinenstraße, which are now open again to the art-interested public.

Studiengruppe Prof. Dr. Anja Steidinger, Was animiert uns?, 2021, Mediathek der HFBK Hamburg, Filmstill

Studiengruppe Prof. Dr. Anja Steidinger, Was animiert uns?, 2021, Mediathek der HFBK Hamburg, Filmstill

Unlearning: Wartenau Assemblies

The art education professors Nora Sternfeld and Anja Steidinger initiated the format "Wartenau Assemblies". It oscillates between art, education, research and activism. Complementing this open space for action, there is now a dedicated website that accompanies the discourses, conversations and events.

Ausstellungsansicht "Schule der Folgenlosigkeit. Übungen für ein anderes Leben" im Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg; photo: Maximilian Schwarzmann

Ausstellungsansicht "Schule der Folgenlosigkeit. Übungen für ein anderes Leben" im Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg; photo: Maximilian Schwarzmann

School of No Consequences

Everyone is talking about consequences: The consequences of climate change, the Corona pandemic or digitalization. Friedrich von Borries (professor of design theory), on the other hand, is dedicated to consequence-free design. In “School of No Consequences. Exercises for a New Life” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, he links collection objects with a "self-learning room" set up especially for the exhibition in such a way that a new perspective on "sustainability" emerges and supposedly universally valid ideas of a "proper life" are questioned.

Annual Exhibition 2021 at the HFBK

Annual exhibition a bit different: From February 12- 14, 2021 students at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts, together with their professors, had developed a variety of presentations on different communication channels. The formats ranged from streamed live performances to video programs, radio broadcasts, a telephone hotline, online conferences, and a web store for editions. In addition, isolated interventions could be discovered in the outdoor space of the HFBK and in the city.

Public Information Day 2021

How do I become an art student? How does the application process work? Can I also study to become a teacher at the HFBK? These and other questions about studying art were answered by professors, students and staff at the HFBK during the Public Information Day on February 13, 2021. In addition, there will be an appointment specifically for English-speaking prospective students on February 23 at 2 pm.

Katja Pilipenko

Katja Pilipenko

Semestereröffnung und Hiscox-Preisverleihung 2020

On the evening of November 4, the HFBK celebrated the opening of the academic year 2020/21 as well as the awarding of the Hiscox Art Prize in a livestream - offline with enough distance and yet together online.

Exhibition Transparencies with works by Elena Crijnen, Annika Faescke, Svenja Frank, Francis Kussatz, Anne Meerpohl, Elisa Nessler, Julia Nordholz, Florentine Pahl, Cristina Rüesch, Janka Schubert, Wiebke Schwarzhans, Rosa Thiemer, Lea van Hall. Organized by Prof. Verena Issel and Fabian Hesse; photo: Screenshot

Exhibition Transparencies with works by Elena Crijnen, Annika Faescke, Svenja Frank, Francis Kussatz, Anne Meerpohl, Elisa Nessler, Julia Nordholz, Florentine Pahl, Cristina Rüesch, Janka Schubert, Wiebke Schwarzhans, Rosa Thiemer, Lea van Hall. Organized by Prof. Verena Issel and Fabian Hesse; photo: Screenshot

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

How the university brings together its artistic interdisciplinary study structure with digital formats and their possibilities.

Alltagsrealität oder Klischee?; photo: Tim Albrecht

Alltagsrealität oder Klischee?; photo: Tim Albrecht

HFBK Graduate Survey

Studying art - and what comes next? The clichéd images stand their ground: Those who have studied art either become taxi drivers, work in a bar or marry rich. But only very few people could really live from art – especially in times of global crises. The HFBK Hamburg wanted to know more about this and commissioned the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg to conduct a broad-based survey of its graduates from the last 15 years.

Ausstellung Social Design, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Teilansicht; photo: MKG Hamburg

Ausstellung Social Design, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Teilansicht; photo: MKG Hamburg

How political is Social Design?

Social Design, as its own claim is often formulated, wants to address social grievances and ideally change them. Therefore, it sees itself as critical of society – and at the same time optimizes the existing. So what is the political dimension of Social Design – is it a motor for change or does it contribute to stabilizing and normalizing existing injustices?