Design: Stegmeyer Fischer Creative Studio
Even today, in our seemingly connected and in many ways scientifically explicable world, we are faced with the question of how uncertainties define us – as well as our relations with other creatures and forces that cohabit this world with us. In current times of insecurities, plots and treason, our world becomes a place in which future possibilities are still unevenly distributed. New and old forms of power arise that lure us into a familiar »horror,« banishing symbiosis and mutual care as frightening scenarios into a distant realm. But what could be the counternarratives and practices that help us embrace these uncertainties without fear and violence?
Instead of separating rationality with its »opaque« functioning technologies and non-rationality with its »questionable« magical practices – which can both fuel reactionary conspiracies but also function as emancipatory practice, we would like to explore the porous boundaries between those realms.
Using nonhuman knowledge, planetary, ancestral, and witchcraft practices, »Magical Cohabitations« will explore the miraculous – also of today’s science epistemology – as positive micropractices for change and new/old forms for gaining knowledge.
Combining the launch of the upcoming second volume of Solitude Journal titled »On the Occult and the Supernatural,« inputs by the Non/Post-Human Ecosystems of Knowledge-Working Group**, contributions by Web Residents, and early looks at works of current Akademie fellows, we aim to challenge the boundaries of contemporary science, glimpse into enchanted worlds, and excavate long-lost echoes in a series of readings, discussions, workshops, performances, screenings, divinatory prophecies, and radio podcasts.
Concept and text by Aouefa Amoussouvi, Caroline Meyer-Jürshof, Denise Sumi & Sophie-Charlotte Thieroff
With contributions by Lark Alder aka Lark VCR, Aouefa Amoussouvi**, Fanti Baum, Céline Baumann**, Olivia Berkowicz, Johanna Bruckner, Sasha Engelmann**, Shirin Fahimi, Marianna Feher, Krzysztof Gutfrański, Johanna Hedva, Michael Kleine, Mara-Johanna Kölmel, Romuald Krężel**, Roman Lemberg, Marie-Eve Levasseur, Nkhensani Mkhari, Sarvenaz Mostofey, Christ Mukenge and Lydia Schellhammer, Hemal Naik**, Jan Nikolai Nelles, Marina Valle Noronha, Rósa Ómarsdóttir, Hákon Pálsson, Sara Pereira, Chrismaria Pfeifer**, Elisabeth Rafstedt, Sol Sarratea, Viktorija Šiaulytė, Miriam Simun, Škart collective, Danae Tapia, Natasha Tontey, and Kuzey Topuz.
To the live stream on Vimeo
Here you can follow the event live without registration: https://vimeo.com/event/811736
You can comment via this Signal Group: https://bit.ly/37IRwai
Please note that Signal is used exclusively during the event and serves as a means of participation. Zoom links for workshops will be provided after registration.
If you have problems accessing Signal or Vimeo, please write to us at: email@example.com.
Solitude Journal 2 – On the Occult and the Supernatural
The journal will be launched on 18 March
This episode is part of a three-part series created in collaboration with TIER – The Institute of Endotic Research. Listen to the three episodes in full at:
Molecular Minds / Monstrous Matters – An exhibition by Digital Solitude
Program Magical Cohabitations
Day 1: Thursday, March 18
6 – 6.30 pm
Welcome by Elke aus dem Moore and introduction by Aouefa Amoussouvi, Caroline Meyer-Jürshof, Denise Helene Sumi and Sophie-Charlotte Thieroff
18.30 – 19.00 Uhr
On the Occult and the Supernatural Launch Solitude Journal 2 Live screening With an introduction by Krzysztof Gutfrański and Denise Helene Sumi, and contributions by Kuzey Topuz, Michael Kleine, und Roman Lemberg, Sarvenaz Mostofey, Elisabeth Rafstedt, and Johanna Hedva
»You can call it magical, spiritual, wisdom of the ancestors, if you like, but I would call this knowledge. Knowledge has many different forms.«
A safe oasis of official, sanctioned knowledge apparently does not get us closer to understanding where and what we are now. As in the past, islands and syncretic connections germinated on the margins of licensed knowledge. Occultism and the exploration of supernatural phenomena are the examples here, often seen as alternative methods of getting out of the crisis or ahead of the situation.
With all its labyrinths and secrets, the hermetic tradition can nurture new directions. The occult and the supernatural give us cues both for practices leading to sublimation to the greater good, and at the same time fueling reactionary conspiracies. Where lies the magic and why is it important today? What does it mean in times of pandemic? With this upcoming issue of Solitude Journal, we address artistic practices that look at the hermetic tradition and alternative communication systems inspiring change. We present a variety of artistic positions, where artistic research borders with practical magic.
7 – 7.15 pm
Posthuman Exercise #6 »compost humans« Guided Meditation by Chrismaria Pfeifer (+ Exchange via Signal)
The Posthuman Exercises are a series of seven meditations designed and performed by Chrismaria Pfeifer. They guide the meditators beyond human nature, which is invited by other natures to join them. The exercises are minimalist and based on mental and sensory elements that incorporate storytelling and silence. The duration is between five and six minutes and no special preparation is required. To do the exercise, find a place where you can sit and/or stretch out and relax without being disturbed. Take a few moments before and after meditation.
»If you can’t extend yourself for Posthuman Exercise #6, sit somewhere comfortable. Use the speakers of your computer or smartphone and adjust the volume so that it is pleasing to your ears. Stay clear of headphones. Before we begin, I will briefly say hello to the participants.«
7.15 – 7.30 pm
7.30 –8.30 pm
Intentionality, Prophecy and Ancestry With Web Residents by Solitude With contributions by Lark Alder a.k.a. Lark VCR and Sol Sarratea, Marie-Eve Levasseur, Shirin Fahimi, Danae Tapia, and Nkhensani Mkhari, followed by a 30-minute talk moderated by Denise Helene Sumi (with Q&A via Signal)
The contribution Intentionality, Prophecy and Ancestry from the Digital Solitude program presents works from the last two Web Residency calls »Munu Maxims« and »Post Doom.« While »Muntu Maxims« intended to bring together different areas of spirituality from cultures all over the world, and suggest fresh ways of »relating to« things and one another ; »Post-Doom« asked to think of doom as a beginning rather than an end.
The presented projects all use applied-artistic digital practices and new media technologies – algorithms have been coded, 3D files and virtual online spaces have been generated – to offer connections with long-forgotten methods of prediction, various new and old rituals, and alternative methods for narration, prophecy, and knowledge-making. A bot system is used to generate cyclical autopoietic associative spaces with a divinatory character; a fictional character who represents female prophets can be animated; global users can share a digital »power object« or visit, in the virtual space, a moon altar or a speculative brewery to honor women who brew for their kin.
Day 2: Friday, March 19
11 am – 2 pm
Thinking of matter and nonlinear timelines in the networked domestic spaces A shared learning experience with Viktorija Šiaulytė and Marina Valle Noronha, involving reflections on texts, short interjections by guests, as well as hands-on exercises and discussions in smaller groups. (Registration required by March 12: firstname.lastname@example.org)
In this workshop, we will look for connections between responsive environments and machinic time, and ways to circumvent their logic. Viktorija Šiaulytė will share findings in the history of media homes, while Marina Valle Noronha will introduce non-cartesian approaches to objects and their temporality. Reflections and shared practical learning »to look to the material landscape for evidence of temporal and spatial entanglements« (Shannon Mattern) is also meant to help us approach our current online life. The workshop includes short readings, discussions, as well as practical exercises and offline reflection time.
4 – 4.15 pm
Welcome for the day
4.15 – 5 pm
New Awareness of Self and Nature Outdoor guided tour with Hemal Naik (+ Exchange via Signal)
In our busy everyday lives, we constantly make plans for today or get busy thinking about yesterday and tomorrow. With such agitated minds, we do not notice the million other things that happen all around us. In this outdoor (audio) guided tour, we will take a moment to pause, drink a cup of tea, and let our thoughts go outward while watching the sky, birds, trees, flowers, insects, or stones. Awareness of self will come with the practice of observation, and acceptance comes with a sense of relationship. The aim of the event is to practice the art of active listening and building intimacy with the non-human. Together, we will try to rethink the idea of self and nature. This will be a trial session, and participants will be encouraged to continue the practice on their own.
Preparation: Three short voice notes containing instructions will be given online via Vimeo and the signal group on the day of the event. Participants willing to go outdoors should join the signal group, prepare tea/coffee to take out, and be ready to leave at 4:15. Participants choosing to stay indoors can use either signal or Vimeo. Find a cozy spot at home with a view outside and feel free to prepare a tea while listening to me or keep one ready.
17.00 – 18.00 Uhr
Castle of Crossed Destinies Sonic encounter by Sasha Engelmann, Olivia Berkowicz, and Aouefa Amoussouvi, Sound Design by Sara Pereira
This episode is part of a three-part series made in collaboration with TIER – The Institute of Endotic Research. Listen to the three full-length episodes at http://theinstituteforendoticresearch.org/wp/projects-current/tier-cast/
This sonic project departs from the writer Italo Calvino’s book The Castle of Crossed Destinies (1973). In the tale, a group of travelers meet each other in a tavern in the woods. Afflicted by a strange predicament that affects their capacity to speak, they turn to a stack of tarot cards to tell stories about one another. From a secluded room in Schloss Solitude, Amoussouvi, Berkowicz, and Engelmann extend the invitation of Calvino’s story to reflect upon the use of divinatory tools, creative props, and experimental techniques for collective knowledge production. Situated in pandemic times, the conversation conjures vocabularies, glossaries, and sounds. Moving in a circular motion, three fellow travelers explore stories within stories within stories.
This sonic encounter, the second in the series, focuses on Engelmann’s project Open Weather, earth sensing, radio technologies, the histories of feminist divination practices as well as personal experiences and transgenerational memories and migrations.
6 – 6.30 pm
6.30 – 7 pm
forza femme || das Atelier als Kraftraum Glimpses into an installation in the making By Fanti Baum
ff. – forza femme
f like force. The studio is the Grande Boucle Fémine Internationale. Because just the gym is not enough. forza femme shapes the studio as a weight room, opens a theater of sweat, and founds a stomping ground for the idle. ff. opens a space in which it is always up for negotiation what force is in the first place [energeia/dynamis, virtus, vis, impetus, forza] forza femme – resistance, speed power, thinking power, labor power, imagination power, physical strength, persuasive power – dark forces and knows only one activity: practicing rehearsing training. forza femme proves the dictum of the artist: his*her inability. That’s how the weight room presents itself between muscle mass and iron bars as a place for testing, experimenting, and imagining how the world might be otherwise. ff. moves bodies into the rhythms of contemporary life and at the same time listens to the demands of forms to form what is beyond any form – »I AM IN TRAINING – DON’T KISS ME«.
7 – 7.15 pm
Pool Malebo: Solitude Station A speculative fiction, experimental video By Christ Mukenge und Lydia Schellhammer
Pool Malebo explores the fictional potential in current representations of foreignness through the strategic auto-exoticization of the duo MUKENGE/SCHELLHAMMER themselves. It creates opposing alienations and dream images by reordering and reinterpreting stereotypical images of the exotic. The placement of contemporary images and narratives within fantastical contexts and speculative scenarios illuminates the act of representing the other as a process of exoticization that constructs meaning and reality. The project takes place in different stations and stages between Kinshasa and Europe. For the start of its journey at Akademie Schloss Solitude, it aims to transgress the two-dimensional space of painting by combining it with experimental video, performance, 3D animation, and painting.
Q&A moderated by Aouefa Amoussouvi and Sophie-Charlotte Thieroff
DJ-Set by Dario (TTW)
Day 3: Saturday, March 20
11 am – 1 pm
The Breath of the World Reading group and exercise with Céline Baumann and Romuald Krężel. With one chapter from The Life of Plants by Emanuele Coccia (Registration required by March 12: email@example.com)
Breathing was an essential topic in the year 2020, from the acute respiratory symptoms caused by Covid-19 to the last words of George Floyd »I can’t breathe.« In this reading group, we approach different aspects of the notion of breathing from the perspective of the architects of our own atmosphere: land plants. By revisiting The Life of Plants by Emanuele Coccia (2018) we will aim to make conspicuous the ontological foundation of the world, namely the respiratory function of the plant kingdom. Topics discussed will include breathing, immersion, mixture, atmosphere, climate, hyperobjects, nonhumans, ecological crisis, and the Anthropocene.
Welcome for the day
2 – 2.45 pm
Molecular Minds // Monstrous Matters Desktop exhibition tour with curator Mara-Johanna Kölmel and the artists Johanna Bruckner, Jan Nikolai Nelles, Miriam Simun, and Natasha Tontey
The artists of Molecular Minds // Monstrous Matters probe the power of a collective intelligence that reaches from the enhanced to the monstrous, the ancestral to the futurist, the molecular to the planetary, and from the human to the non-human. With creativity and visionary fuel, they unlock the digital realm as a space that comes with response-ability – the ability to respond to its architectures of power and to think with, to care for those it chooses to forget, erase, and leave behind.
2.45 – 3 pm
3 – 3.30 pm
Collaborative Contaminations Video presentation of a sound and installation performance by Rósa Ómarsdóttir (with Hákon Pálsson)
»Contaminated diversity is collaborative adaptation to human-disturbed ecosystems.« Anna Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World
How is the behavior of water altered by different contaminations? How does water transform through its emergence with other substances, sound waves, and light? What collaborations take place through these contaminations? Collaborative Contaminations is a video documentation of a performance installation. In this work, Rósa Ómarsdóttir explores various transformations that occur through the encounter of water and different materials. Causality, symbiosis, and natural processes play a leading role and are emphasized visually and sonically. The behavior of water through its encounters and contaminations changes throughout the installation performance, creating uncanny and otherworldly landscapes.
Rósa Ómarsdóttir’s fellowship is funded by the TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund with the support of the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM), the special program »NEUSTART KULTUR« (BKM) and the State Capital of Stuttgart.
3.30 – 4.30 pm
Tentative Transmits: The Radio as G/Host in the »former East« Listening Session by Olivia Berkowicz and Marianna Feher Guests: Škart collective
Tentative Transmits: The Radio as G/Host in the »former East« is a discursive radio platform and artistic research project that investigates current and archival findings on post-socialist, transnational, and multicultural phenomena.
The listening session will host Škart collective, who will speak about their practice in relation to choirs, self-organization and radical amateurism. The conversation will be entwined with choral pieces from their project Horkeškart, formed in 2000.
Notes on video and photo recordings during the livestream
As part of the online event Magical Cohabitations from March 18 to 20, 2021, image recordings will be made during the livestream. Below we inform you about the nature and purposes of the image recordings, the legal basis and your rights.
Data protection officer:
RA Thomas Lang
Specialist attorney for labor law & certified data protection officer
Upper Kirchhaldenweg 9 b
Telephone: 0711 – 12 57 85 49
The image recordings are used for the following purposes: Provision of the recordings for the participants in the livestream.
Legal basis of the recordings: Legitimate interests in the use of the recordings for the aforementioned purposes pursuant to Art. 6 para. 1 p. 1 lit. f., 85 DSGVO in conjunction with §§ 22, 23 KUG.
Retention period of the image recordings: The image recordings will be retained for as long as is necessary for the aforementioned purposes. The image recordings can be stored internally for an unlimited period, e.g. to secure copyright legal claims by providing evidence of original recordings and furthermore for reasons of contemporary historical documentation. In the case of publication, the recordings may be published as long as the respective publication media, articles or contributions are publicly accessible.