May 19–21, 2016

Symposium: Biographies & the Production of Space

Date: May 19, 2016, 19:00 Uhr

Duration: May 19–21, 2016

Location: Akademie Schloss Solitude


Geographies are intense zones of human action and interaction – from market places to migration, and homes to cyber communities. Spaces are not simply containers within which people live and work; spaces are a product of human lives and the actions that take place in those spaces. Exploring the relationship between the physical armature of a place and the larger sphere of political and cultural action and production is something that this theme proposes to engage with. In this exploration, we propose to engage with biographies – the vectored lives of people and things. Biographies are complex journeys of individuals within multiple lives and spaces. The biography is proposed as a means to exploring the culture of spaces and the sciences of its production.

Biographies could be »channels of communication by means of which subjectivity and facticity engage in a constant nervous process of dialogue«[1].

Places and geographies are active zones of politics and cultural processes and it is in the attempt to understand the complexity of what makes a place that we propose to work with the lives of people and objects that are part of these places – their structure, their composition, their occupation, and their journeys. What is the relationship between life and places, politics and spaces in the everyday lives of people and their societies, their objects and their stories?

Text by Kaiwan Mehta

[1] Gertrud Koch: »Foreword,« in: Siegfried Kracauer: Jacques Offenbach and the Paris of His Times. New York 2002, pp. 12–13


Thursday, May 19, 2016

7.00 p.m.  Posthumous Life: Translation, Politics, and Spaces of Deception
Keynote by Ackbar Abbas

Friday, May 20, 2016

10.00 a.m.  Co-Production and Reviewing the History and Poetics of Spatial Atmospheres
Desire Machine Collective, Galin Stoev, Lina Lapelyte, Vaisa Grainytė, Rugile Barzdziukaite, Xinjun Zhang

1.00 p.m.  Lunch

2.00 p.m.  Actions, Thoughts and the Craft that Individuals Work With
Ute Meta Bauer, Gal Kirn, Niloufar Tajeri, Gavin Steingo, Sinethemba Twalo

6.00 p.m.  Dinner

7.00 p.m.  »I Believe that I Can Travel to the Stars«: Reflections on the Emerging Organic Intellectual in India
Keynote by Nancy Adajania

Saturday, May 21, 2016

10.00 a.m.  Biographies & Trajectories Occupying the Shelf of Inquiries
Readings by Ulrike Draesner, Ranjit Hoskote, Bilal Tanweer, Chandrahas Choudhury, Maruan Paschen

1.00 p.m.  Lunch

2.00 p.m.  A »Cabinet of Thinking« on Contemporary Culture, and the Places of Its Production
Brett Steele, Kaiwan Metha, Sharlene Bamboat, Alexis Mitchell, Leigha Dennis

6.00 p.m.  Dinner

​7.00 p.m.  Performances by Jennifer Walshe, G Douglas Barrett and Frauke Aulbert

The symposium takes place within the framework of the art, science & business program at Akademie Schloss Solitude.

The event will be held in English. Admission is free.
Per diem meal allowance incl. lunch, dinner, coffee and beverages 20 euros/10 euros for students

Please register until May 13, 2016 via e-mail to Maren Pfeiffer,,
+ 49 (0) 711 99619 482                          

With contributions by:

Ackbar Abbas, professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Irvine, CA/USA
Nancy Adajania, cultural theorist and independent curator, Bombay/India
Frauke Aulbert, singer, voice acrobat, performer and voice-researcher, Hamburg/Germany
Bambitchell (Sharlene Bamboat & Alexis Mitchell), media artists, scholars, Toronto/Canada
Rugile Barzdziukaite, performing artist, director, cinematographer, Vilnius/Lithuania
Ute Meta Bauer, founding director of Nanyang Technological University Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore/Republic of Singapore
Chandrahas Choudhury, author, freelance writer and political columnist, New Delhi/India
Leigha Dennis, architectural designer, researcher and educator, New York, NY/USA
G Douglas Barrett, interdisciplinary artist, theorist, and writer, New York, NY/USA
Ulrike Draesner, writer, Berlin/Germany, Oxford/United Kingdom
Vaiva Grainytė, writer, playwright, essayist and poet, Vilnius/Lithuania
Ranjit Hoskote, poet, cultural theorist and curator, Bombay/India
Sonal Jain, visual artist, member of Desire Machine Collective, Guwahati/India
Gal Kirn, political philosopher and editor, Berlin/Germany, Ljubljana/Slovenia
Lina Lapelyte, artist working with music and performance, London/United Kingdom, Vilnius/Lithuania
Mriganka Madhukaillya, artist and filmmaker, member of Desire Machine Collective, professor of film and new media at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati/India
Kaiwan Mehta, architect, academic, researcher, managing editor – DOMUS India (Spenta Multimedia), Jury Chairman Akademie Schloss Solitude, Mumbai/India
Maruan Paschen, author, Berlin/Germany
Brett Steele, director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture and AA Publications, London/United Kingdom
Gavin Steingo, assistant professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh, PA/USA
Galin Stoev, actor and theatre director, Sofia/Bulgaria
Niloufar Tajeri, architect and research assistant at the Department of Architecture at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe/Germany
Bilal Tanweer, writer and translator, Karachi/Pakistan
Sinethemba Twalo, worker, Johannesburg/South Africa
Jennifer Walshe, composer and vocalist, London/United Kingdom, Roscommon/Ireland
Xinjun Zhang, visual and performance artist, Beijing/China