de en

Mapping (with) Plants

The five contributions pose questions about the role of botany and its Eurocentric stamp from an artistic and artistic/theoretical perspective. They debate the domestication of wild growth (relating to plants and in the wider sense) in taxonomies and botanical gardens (Lange-Berndt, Rönicke). Agrarian models and ideas of landscape: circa 1900, an eco-feminist/political mode of thought was setting fallowness and necessary nonproductiveness against forms of exploitation (Lindeborg). We learn about plants, seeds, and territories as power constellations, from an artistic and human rights activist perspective (Durham). The fact that plants are currently the focus of cultural-theoretical and philosophical attention is not only owing to criticism of the Anthropocene – of the shape of the Earth as ‚made’ by human beings, with far-reaching problems such as climate change – but also, significantly, the increasing intermeshing of human being and machine: feeling, subjectivity, sensitivity, and affectivity are no longer the privilege of humanity; they have long since been divided into a nature-culture, which includes the human animal and digital apparatus along with plants, bacteria, parasites (Angerer).

Saturday, 15. July 2017

11.00 h
Welcome and Introduction
Hanne Loreck (Professor of Science of Arts and Culture, Gender Studies, HFBK Hamburg) and Jana Seehusen (Artist, author, doctorate student HFBK Hamburg)

11.30 h
Fallow Field
Lecture by Sara Lindeborg (Artist, M.A. alumna HFBK Hamburg, Malmö)

12.15 h
Intensive Milieus
Lecture by Marie-Luise Angerer (Professor of Media Theory, Universität Potsdam)

13.00 h

14.15 h
Botanical Drift: Walking Kew Gardens
Lecture by Petra Lange-Berndt (Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, Art History Seminar, Universität Hamburg and curator)

15.00 h
The Cloud Document
Lecture by Pia Rönicke (Artist, Copenhagen)

16.00 h
Heavy Footsteps
Lecture by Jimmie Durham (Artist, poet, writer and human rights activist, Berlin)

17.00 h – Lerchenfeld 2, Bibliothek/Library
Exhibition and book release
The exhibition features a variety of artistic examinations of plants. Whilst these artworks are dedicated to a traditional artistic subject, they also take a critical, questioning attitude to their representations in art, science, and society, in order to open up looking at plants to be regarded as a means of connection that can subvert conventional taxonomies.
With contributions by Anika Bartens, Elena Bösenberg, Birke Gorm, Anna Grath, Nina Kuttler, Anne Linke, Hayato Mizutani, Fion Pellacini, Kervin Saint Pere, Wiebke Schwarzhans und Katharina Swoboda


The symposium is accompanied by an extensive publication bringing together arts and media theory and philosophical essays resulting from artistic/theoretical research. Close readings and viewings actualise the marginalised artistic positions of female artists from the circa 1900 period who also saw themselves as botanists. Young artists from the HFBK Hamburg each ask their own questions about the poetry of the plant or its useful aspects. Additionally, this volume contributes to revising Eurocentrism and colonial power expressed within and through botany as a discipline of the natural sciences. The extensive collection of folio volumes and pattern books in the HFBK Hamburg library provides a wonderful backup archive on the historical role of natural studies in ornamental stylisation in art and their teaching.

Edited by Hanne Loreck, Andrea Klier, Sara Lindeborg
With contributions by Marie-Luise Angerer, Angela Anzi, Anika Bartens, Elena Bösenberg, Birke Gorm, Anna Grath, Donna J. Haraway, Sarah Hablützel, Andrea Klier, Sophie Krambrich, Nina Kuttler, Sara Lindeborg, Anne Linke, Hanne Loreck, Fion Pellacini, Pia Rönicke, Wiebke Schwarzhans, Saskia Senge, Katharina Swoboda, Gesa Troch, Lea von Wintzingerode, Catherine de Zegher
Graphic design: Julian Mader, Max Prediger
180 pages with numerous black and white and colour images
Published by Materialverlag, Hamburg
Information + order »

Idea + Concept: Hanne Loreck
Organization: Jana Seehusen

The publication is generously funded by Hubertus Wald Stiftung.

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


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

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.

Graphic design: Sam Kim, picture in the background: Sofia Mascate, photo: Marie-Theres Böhmker

Graduate Show 2021: All Good Things Come to an End

From September 24 to 26, the more than 150 Bachelor's and Master's graduates of the class of 2020/21 will present their final projects as part of the Graduate Show at the HFBK Hamburg. We would like to thank all visitors and participants.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?