Opening Festival Participants

Portrait of Jan Boelen
Jan Boelen

Jan Boelen is a curator of design, architecture, and contemporary art. He is artistic director of Atelier Luma, an experimental laboratory for design in Arles, France. Boelen studied Product Design at the Media & Design Academy in Genk and is the founder and former artistic director of Z33 – House for contemporary art in Hasselt, Belgium. He was curator of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial in Istanbul (2018) and initiated Manifesta 9 in Belgium (2012). Over the years he has been fashioning projects and exhibitions that encourage the visitor to look at everyday objects in a novel manner. Boelen recently edited Social Matter, Social Design: For Good or Bad, all Design in Social (Valiz, 2020), and his writing addresses the implications of design in everyday life, and how artistic practices shape the discipline. 


(Photo: Veerle Frissen)

Portrait of Ariana Dongus
Ariana Dongus

Ariana Dongus is a media scholar, journalist and teacher based in Berlin and Karlsruhe. In exploring the intersection of biometrics, colonial pasts, new forms of work, and machine intelligence, she contributes to a critique of today’s digital economies. 

Ina Grabosch

Ina Grabosch lives, works and studies in Karlsruhe and Freiburg. She has worked as Assistant to the Directors for the Vitra Design Museum and as an industrial clerk for the company Vitra. With her studies in product design at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) she now follows her passion for a change towards more sustainability in industry. Alongside she works as a research assistant in the Bio Design Lab at the HfG Karlsruhe and as a product designer for the toy company Plasticant mobilo.

Julia Ihls

Julia Ihls is an interdisciplinary researcher and designer at the intersections of (natural-)philosophy, media theory and scenography. After studying art/media studies (M.A.) in Konstanz and Cork, and scenography/media art (Dipl.) in Karlsruhe, she worked as a concept designer and writer, among others for the ZKM Karlsruhe. Since April 2021, she is the head of the Bio Design Lab at the HfG Karlsruhe, where – besides teaching and curating – she researches on new (bio-)materials and convivialism.

Susanne Kadner

Convinced that reaching our climate targets requires a fundamentally different way of using resources, Susanne Kadner initiated the Circular Economy Initiative Germany at acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering. She leads the Head Office of the state and industry-funded initiative, which aims at defining the transition towards a resource-efficient and digitally-enabled Circular Economy with stakeholders from Politics, Science, Industry and Civil Society. Before that, Kadner worked for ten years at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, where she was Head of Science and Deputy Head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In this function, she co-authored and managed among other things the fifth Assessment Report, which provided the scientific basis for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement. Before starting her career on the science-policy interface, she studied Oceanography at the University of Southampton and received a PhD in Analytical Chemistry and Marine Microbiology from the University of East Anglia.

Freo Majer

Freo Majer is the founder and artistic director of Forecast, an international mentorship program that transcends disciplines and geographical locations to connect cultural practitioners with renowned mentors.
Trained as an opera director, Majer looks back at a career as a director and producer in European theaters, opera houses, and at festivals, including at Mainz State Theater, Lucerne Theater, Bremen Theater, and the international festival “Theater der Welt.” Driven by his own experience, and recognizing a gap in the type of support available to cultural workers, he changed paths and founded Forecast in 2015.
Together with curators and festival directors from various European cities, he initiated the interdisciplinary research project Housing the Human (2017-2019). In 2020, Majer began a three-year collaboration with the ZKM and HfG in Karlsruhe and the National Academy of Science and Engineering acatech, developing prototypes on the eco-social research program Driving the Human.


(Photo: Annette Koroll)

Vera Sacchetti

Vera Sacchetti is a Basel-based design critic and curator. She serves in a variety of curatorial, research and editorial roles, most recently as program coordinator for the multidisciplinary research initiative Driving the Human (2020-2023) and curator of the initial edition of architecture festival Archipelago: Architectures for the Multiverse (2021). She is co-curator of TEOK Basel and one half of the curatorial initiative Foreign Legion. Sacchetti was associate curator of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, A School of Schools, curatorial advisor for the BIO 50 Biennial of Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and, as part of editorial consultancy Superscript, headed the “Towards a New Avant-Garde” event series at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. She has recently edited Design as a Tool for Transition: The Atelier Luma Approach; and Design As Learning: A School of Schools Reader. Her writing has appeared in Disegno, Metropolis, and The Avery Review, among others. Sacchetti teaches at ETH Zurich and HEAD Geneva, and in 2020 joined the Federal Design Commission of Switzerland.


(Photo: Nici Jost)

Martina Schraudner

Martina Schraudner is head of the Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation and of the department Gender and Diversity in Technology and Product Development at the Technical University of Berlin. From 2018-2021, she was on the board of directors of acatech - German Academy of Science and Engineering e. V. She deals with methods, instruments and processes that make diversity, understood as different perspectives, accessible and usable in research and development. Schraudner is active in expert groups for Structural Change of the European Union and national and international selection committees for application-oriented research and innovation projects. She is a member of the Council of the University of Paderborn, of the Board of Trustees of the European Academy for Women in Politics and Economics (EAF) and the Board of the Competence Centre Technology-Diversity-Equal Opportunities e. V.


(Photo: Vera Christoph)

Albert-László Barabási

Albert-László Barabási is a physicist who changed the course of modern science with his discovery of scale-free networks. He is the Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science, a Distinguished University Professor of Physics, and the director of the Center for Complex Network Research (CCNR) at Northeastern University. He also holds an appointment in the Department of Medicine at Harvard University and runs a European Research Council project at Central European University, in Budapest, Hungary. Since 1995, when he presented a paper that included illustrations of an invasion network, Barabási has made the high-definition and highly interpretive visualization of his research central to his work. Examples of his visualizations have been shown at the Serpentine Gallery in London and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. He has also written several popular books among them —The Formula (2018) and Bursts (2010), and is the author of the award-winning textbooks Network Science (2016) and Fractal Concepts in Surface Growth (1995).

Portrait of Frederique Ait-Touati
Frédérique Aït-Touati

Frédérique Aït-Touati is a historian of literature and modern science and a theatre director. She works on the uses of fiction and narrative in astronomy in the seventeenth century, as well as the history of images and scientific instruments; more recently, her research has focused on the narratives and aesthetics of the Anthropocene, particularly in theatre and cartography. Her books include Fictions of the Cosmos (2011), Histoires et savoirs (2012), Le Monde en images (2015), Terra Forma (2019). Lecturer at the University of Oxford from 2007 to 2014, she is now a CNRS research fellow and the scientific director of the Master in Political Arts / SPEAP at Sciences Po, founded by Bruno Latour. With Latour and her theatre company Zone Critique she has created plays and performances, including Gaia Global CircusThe Theatre of Negotiations, INSIDE, and Moving Earths, which have been on tour around the world. (


(Photo: Aït-Touati)

Portrait of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens is theorist, writer, advisor and founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives, working in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. He is also research director of, a platform for policy development aimed toward a society of the Commons and a founding member of the Commons Strategies Group, with Silke Helfrich and David Bollier, organizing major global conferences on the commons and its economics. Bauwens has (co-)published various books and reports, such as Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy (2014, with Vasilis Kostakis), and more recently, P2P, A Commons Manifesto (2019, with Vasilis Kostakis and  Alex Pazaitis). His last report, P2P Accounting for Planetary Survival (2019), examines which shared accounting systems are needed for production within planetary boundaries. He is currently working on prototyping a MOOC on commons-based economics.


(Photo: Michel Bauwens)

Portrait of Melanie Bonajo
Melanie Bonajo

Through videos, performances, photographs and installations, Melanie Bonajo studies subjects related to how technological advances and commodity based pleasures increase feelings of alienation, removing a sense of belonging in an individual. Captivated by concepts of the divine, Bonajo explores the spiritual emptiness of their* generation, examines peoples’ shifting relationship with nature and tries to understand existential questions by reflecting on our domestic situation, ideas around classification, concepts of home, gender and attitudes towards value. Melanie Bonajo (1978) studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the School of Visual Arts, NYC. Bonajo completed residencies at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunst in Amsterdam (2009- 10), at ISCP in New York (2014) and holds a MA in Religious Science: Hermetica; Mysticism and Western Esotericism from the University of Amsterdam. Bonajo’s work has been shown internationally a.o. in institutions such as FOAM Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Kunsthaus Hamburg, MoMA PS1, New York and Tate Modern, London. Melanie Bonajo will represent the Netherlands in the upcoming Venice Biennale with a curatorial team consisting of Maaike Gouwenberg, Geir Haraldseth and Soraya Pol.

(Photo: Eva Plevier)

Portrait of Joanna Bourke
Joanna Bourke

Joanna Bourke is a social and cultural historian who has shaped profoundly our understanding of subjects central to human experience like violence, the body and emotions. She is Professor of History in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, where she has taught since 1992, Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham College, London, a fellow of the British Academy, as well as holding the Global Innovations Chair at the University of Newcastle (Australia). Bourke explores history through the lens of gender, intersectionalities, and subjectivities and is a prize-winning author of a variety of books. In the past few years, her research has focused on questions of humanity, militarisation, and pain. Among her more recent works are: War and Art: A Visual History of Modern Conflict (2017) and her forthcoming book Loving Animals: On Bestiality, Zoophilia and Post-Human Love (2020). She is currently the Principal Investigator of a 5-year Wellcome Trust project called SHaME (Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters).


(Photo: Joanna Bourke)

Lili Carr

Lili Carr is a British-born architect with a background in the natural sciences. Her work explores how alternative models of architecture practice can be attentive to the material, social, legal and ecological “by-products” of designed spatial transformation. She joined Feral Atlas in late 2018 where she was overjoyed to discover its vibrant multidisciplinary worlds of mapping, and to meet an incredible group of people deeply concerned with non-designed effects too.
Carr is currently developing a research proposal to explore how methods of citizen science practice can create new “attention devices” to fundamentally shift what architecture enables and serves. She holds an BA in physics from the University of Oxford, an MArch from the Architectural Association, and is one of four co-organizers of Free School of Architecture, an ad hoc experiment in radical pedagogy and peer-to-peer learning.

Claudia Chwalisz

Claudia Chwalisz is an expert on democratic innovation, deliberative democracy, citizen participation, and populism, whose research and writings are mostly on these issues, but also touch on European and Canadian politics, elections and public opinion. She is leading the OECD’s work on innovative citizen participation, which explores the paradigm change underway towards a more participatory, deliberative, and collaborative governance. Chwalisz co-authored the first OECD report on this topic published in June 2020: Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave (co-authored with Ieva Cesnulaityte). Besides research, her work at the OECD involves coordinating the Innovative Citizen Participation Network of leading international practitioners, academics, public servants, and designers, as well as co-editing the OECD's online digest, Participo.

Alba G. Corral

Alba G. Corral (b. 1977 – Madrid) based in Catalunya is a Visual Artist and creative coder. With a background in computer engineering, Corral has been creating generative art using software and coding for the past decade. Her practice spans across live performance, video, digital media and installation, exploring abstract narratives and expressing sensitivity and taste for color. By combining generative systems with improvised drawing techniques, her digital language becomes organic, creating mesmerizing digital landscapes. Corral is known for her stunning live audio-visual performances where she integrates real-time coding and drawing in collaboration with musicians. 


(Photo: Claudia Murall)

Portrait of Sasha Costanza-Shock
Sasha Costanza-Chock

Sasha Costanza-Chock (they/them or she/her) is a researcher and designer who works to support community-led processes that build shared power, move towards collective liberation, and advance ecological survival. They are known for their work on networked social movements, transformative media organizing, and design justice. Sasha is a Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a joint appointment in Media Arts & Sciences at the MIT Media Lab and the Department of Urban Studies+Planning. They are a Senior Research Fellow at the Algorithmic Justice League and a Faculty Affiliate with the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Sasha is a board member of Allied Media Projects and a member of the Steering Committee of the Design Justice Network. Sasha is the author of two books and numerous journal articles, book chapters, and other research publications. Their new book, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need, was published by the MIT Press in 2020.


(Photo: Caydie McCumber)

Lisa Ertel

Lisa Ertel is a designer currently based in Maastricht as an artist in residence at the Jan van Eyck Academy. She studied product design and communication design at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design where she recently co-founded the open research platform Bio Design Lab in collaboration with ZKM. Lisa is part of the Fan Collective, together they realize self initiated exhibitions. 
Her practice is inspired by observations of cultural behaviors within our natural and urban surroundings that manifest themselves in our everyday objects and architecture. Furthermore her work is guided by a strong fascination for nature’s formal language and how natural forces work on materials. Her work creates a tension between the natural und the artificial by learning from nature and traditional crafts while working with contemporary technologies and industrial services.

(Photo: Jannis Zell)

Sabine Faller

Sabine Faller (St.Ex.II) is Research Associate in the Department Museum Communication at ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe. Her main focus lies in developing workshops and programs in the fields of media art and digital education. She is project manager of the scholarship program Masterclass and Kulturakademie as well as co-creator at the Makerspace BÄM.
She is jury member of KULTURLICHTER - German Prize for Cultural Education (Cultural Foundation of the Federal States). As speaker she was invited at re:publica (Berlin), Technarte (Los Angeles/Bilbao) and We Are Museums (Marrakesh).
Currently, Faller has published the articles Innovative Knowledge Transfer in the Digitalized Society (digilog@bw), Art Education, Code and the Artistic Digital - Creative and Digital (LKJ), Exploring the Unknown - Cultural Education and Digital Transformation (Nomos). As musician, DJane and co-organizer of the event series Girlsattack (Alte Hackerei Karlsruhe), she offers a platform for women in the cultural sector.

Jan Fermon

Jan Fermon is a lawyer at the Bar of Brussels, Belgium, specialized in criminal law, international (humanitarian) law and human rights law. Since 2005 Fermon is a bureau member of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), the biggest international organization of progressive jurists. He has represented trade unionist against attempts to criminalize collective action, victims of the genocide in Rwanda and of war crimes committed by US troops during the war on Iraq and of NATO bombings in Libya. He was the lead lawyer for the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines Jose Maria Sison in the successful case against the “terrorist” blacklisting by the EU. He was part of the legal team that successfully defended forty-one Kurdish activists accused of participation in the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). With Ties Prakken he published his book Political Defense in 2010 with Wolf Legal Publishers.


(Photo: Ernie Buts)

Anett Holzheid

Anett Holzheid is a humanities and media scholar who currently works for ZKM | Karlsruhe directorate as a scientific consultant to Peter Weibel and as co-curator. Before joining the ZKM in 2015 she lectured extensively in the fields of communications and media studies at several German universities as research associate. After completing two graduate programs in Würzburg and Albany, USA, and further studies in digital information analysis, she earned her PhD from Universität Würzburg with a dissertation on the history of postcard culture and its impact on foregrounding digital messaging practises. Today, she devotes herself to researching artistic media spaces. Her work focuses on transdisciplinary relations between classical and emerging media genres and contemporary art. She has been conceptualizing various mediation formats and projects such as conferences, exhibitions and lectures at the intersections of art, science, civic participation and collaborative engagement.

Maximilian Ilse
Maximilian Ilse

Maximilian Ilse is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam Machine Learning Lab (AMLab), University of Amsterdam. He holds a B.Sc. in Physics from the Universität Leipzig and finished his M.Sc. with distinction in Audio communication and technology at the Technische Universität Berlin in 2015. His interest has shifted since then from working with time series (sound, movement, temperature), to working at the intersection of medical imaging and fundamental machine learning research, with a research focus on domain adaptation, semi-supervised learning and transfer learning. His most important scientific texts are Designing Data Augmentation for Simulating Interventions (2020), Diva: Domain invariant variational autoencoders (2019), and Attention-based deep multiple instance learning (2018).


(Photo: Maximilian Ilse)

Portrait of Michael Kaethler
Michael Kaethler 

Michael Kaethler is a sociologist of design whose work focuses on the transmission, production and embodiment of knowledge in 
art and design oriented practices. He has held a range of diverse positions, from human rights researcher in conflict and post-conflict contexts, curator, design educator, and writer, resulting in a broad range of publications across both scientific and practice-oriented literature.  Michael is currently a post-doc researcher in the Planning and Development (P&D) unit of the Department of Architecture, KU Leuven (BE). He holds a PhD in Architecture, an M.Eng in Human Settlements, and an MA in Slavonic Studies.  He is based in Italy where he experiments with agricultural projects.

Barbara Zoé Kiolbassa

Barbara Zoé Kiolbassa M.A. is a research associate at the ZKM | Centre for Arts and Media. She is part of the ZKM | Museum Communication team, focusing on art education and participatory media art projects related to the exhibitions and (research) topics of the museum. Besides her work at the ZKM, she is a freelance curator, art mediator and lecturer. Values of community and participation are close to her heart in all her projects - as well as the curiosity for multispecies encounters.   

(Photo: Oliver-Selim Boualam)

Bogna Konior

Bogna Konior is a writer and an academic, focusing on digital culture, philosophy of technology, and new media. She has a broad interest in the relationship between accelerating ecological and technological change, and its impact on digital culture. She is currently a research fellow at NYU Shanghai, Interactive Media Arts department and at the AI and Culture Research Centre. Her recent work can be found at 


(Photo: Bogna Konior)

Kim André Lange

Kim André Lange is a South German designer with the aim of making our surrounding more pleasant. He likes to achieve joy through visual / sensorial pleasure and advanced usability. With his work he likes to raise awareness of the beautiful place we are living in.
He believes sustainability is an integral part of design. That‘s why he is responsible for the ecological and social impact of his creations. Studying at technical schools and learning physics and materials made him seek the union of practicality and beauty. So he decided to hit the road to study product design at the HfG Karlsruhe and the KABK Den Haag and travel the world to find out how different cultures use their environment. Keeping close contact with people by taking part in exhibitions and projects from different professions and nationalities, he gained interdisciplinary knowledge.
In 2019, he founded the KALD studio and joined the 303 studio collective. 

Sarat Maharaj

Sarat Maharaj is Professor of Visual Art & Knowledge Systems, Lund University/Malmo Art Academy, Sweden—and Research Professor, Goldsmiths University of London where he was Professor of Art History/Theory (1980-2005).   He was the Rudolf Arnheim Professor at the Philosophy Faculty of the Humboldt University, Berlin (2001-02) and Stedelijk Fellow 2018 at the University of Amsterdam. He has curated and co-curated a variety of exhibitions, among them Documenta 11 in 2002, Farewell to Postcolonialism. Guangzhou in 2008, Art, Knowledge and Politics at the Sao Paolo Biennale in 2010 and the Gothenburg Biennale: Pandemonium: art in a time of creativity fever in 2011. Maharaj was also curatorial advisor to the Sharjah Biennale in 2013. His specialist research and publications focus on Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce and Richard Hamilton, covering: Monkeydoodle — ‘thinking through art practice’, Visual Art as Know-How and No-How, Textiles, Xeno-Sonics and Xeno-Epistemics.Maharaj is currently working on two art research projects: Repristinating London: Sounding Bloomsbury—Knowledge Mecca and The Apartheid-Era Art History Room, Durban, South Africa, which involves art practice as a mode of knowledge/non-knowledge. 


(Photo: INIVA)

Julien McHardy

Julien McHardy is a designer, dramaturge, para-academic and publisher contributing artistic and scholarly sensibilities to the making of exhibitions, performances, strategies and books. Searching for stories that help us make sense of our intimately connected lives on this fragile planet motivates his work. Questioning what we know and how it might be different, requires crossing geographic and disciplinary positions, blurring distinctions between makers and publics. In response, McHardy frequently works in international collaborations that push the boundaries between artistic, scholarly and public enquiry. Recent work includes the Digital Imaginaries exhibition series, the Book of Anonymity, and the theatre triptych Dying Together: Humans | Earth | Futures. Besides running his studio, he is co-directing the Open Access publisher Mattering Press and contributing to the association of independent publishers ScholarLed.

Daria Mille

Since 2013 Daria Mille has been holding the position of a curator and research associate at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany. Prior to this she had worked as a curatorial assistant to the chief curators of the 3rd and 4th editions of the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art and completed her academic traineeship at the ZKM. Most recently Daria Mille has been a member of the curatorial committee of the exhibition Critical Zones. Observatories for Earthly Politics and curated and co-curated among others the following exhibitions: Negative Space. Trajectories of Sculpture (2019), Art in Motion. 100 Masterpieces With and Through Media (2018), and Hybrid Layers (2017/2018) at the ZKM.

Portrait of Alexandre Monnin
Alexandre Monnin

Alexandre Monnin is Scientific Director of Origens Media Lab, Professor in a management school (ESC Clermont BS), co-initiator with Diego Landivar of Closing Worlds and Director of the Master of Science "Strategy and Design for the Anthropocene" in partnership with Strate School of Design in Lyon (the world's first training course on the Anthropocene with an operational focus). He received his PhD in Philosophy from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University and dedicated his thesis to the philosophy of the Web which he pioneered with Harry Halpin. He is the architect of ReSource, a digital platform for documentation used in artistic and educational contexts. Recently he co-edited various special issues: of Multitudes ("Est-il trop tard pour l'effondrement ?"), Sciences du Design ("Anthropocène et effondrement"), SociologieS (on radical meliorism with Antoine Hennion) and Passerelle (on digital technologies and low tech). He also co-wrote a report published by the Shift Project, "Towards Digital Sobriety" (2018, 2019 for the English translation).

Simone Niquille

Simone C Niquille is a designer and researcher based in Amsterdam. Her practice Technoflesh investigates the representation of identity and the digitization of biomass in the networked space of appearance. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design and an MA in Visual Strategies from the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam. She teaches Design Research at ArtEZ University of the Arts Arnhem and is Chief Information Officer at Design Academy Eindhoven. She is a 2016 Fellow of Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam and is recipient of the talent development grant by The Creative Industries Netherlands 2016/2017. Niquille is commissioned contributor to the Dutch Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Currently she is researching the use of digital capture technology for evidence production with the long-term project Parametric Truth.

Anne-Sophie Oberkrome

Anne-Sophie Oberkrome lives and works as an independent designer in Berlin. She studied product design at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design and graduated in summer 2019. During her studies she was interning at Studio Aisslinger, Berlin in 2015.
In her work she investigates contemporary developments and local phenomena, including production techniques and material. She tries to find creative points of reference in order to develop objects using formal gestures. Currently she works on various personal projects, as well as a freelance designer for the Bureau Kilian Schindler. In summer 2020 she co-founded the Bio Design Lab at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. She is part of the FAN collective. 


(Photo: Marcel Strauß)

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Hans Ulrich Obrist (b. 1968, Zürich, Switzerland) is Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries in London. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show World Soup (The Kitchen Show) in 1991, he has curated more than 300 exhibitions.
Obrist has lectured internationally at academic and art institutions, and is a contributing editor to Artforum, AnOther Magazine, Cahiers D'Art, and 032C; he also writes columns for Das Magazin and Weltkunst. In 2011 he received the CCS Bard Award for Curatorial Excellence, and in 2015 he was awarded the International Folkwang Prize for his commitment to the arts.
His recent publications include Ways of Curating (2015), The Age of Earthquakes (2015), Lives of the Artists, Lives of Architects (2015), Mondialité (2017), Somewhere Totally Else (2018) and The Athens Dialogues (2018).

(Photo: Tyler Mitchell)

Portrait of Alexandra Pirici
Alexandra Pirici

Alexandra Pirici is an artist with a background in dance and choreography who works undisciplined, across different mediums. Her work has been exhibited within the decennial art exhibition Skulptur Projekte Munster 2017, the Venice Biennale  - Romanian Pavilion at the 55th edition, Tate Modern London, New Museum New York, Art Basel Messeplatz, The 9th Berlin Biennale, Manifesta 10, Centre Pompidou - Paris, Museum Ludwig Cologne, the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, Russian Museum St. Petersburg, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, HAU Theatre Berlin, Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, among many others.
Alexandra Pirici works in museum, theatrical frameworks and the public space. Her performative artworks fuse dance, sculpture, spoken word and music. They deal with monumentality or history, playfully tackling and transforming existing hierarchies, they reflect on the history and function of gestures in art and popular culture, or on questions about the body, its presence, absence or image, and the politics of capture.

Guillaume Pitron

Guillaume Pitron, is an award-winning French journalist and documentary maker for France’s leading television channels. He holds a post-graduate law degree from the Paris universities, and a Masters in international law from the University of Georgetown, Washington, D.C. From Chinese rare earth metals to oil extraction in Alaska, Pitron focuses his work on commodities and on the economic, political and environmental issues associated with their use. This common thread is paired with geographic consistency: the African continent, particularly South Africa where he was a news correspondent in 2010. To date, Pitron has authored around 100 reports, investigations and documentaries across more than 40 countries and has been awarded among others with the Izraelewicz Prize by Le Monde. In 2018, he published his first book, The Rare Metals War: The Dark Side Of the Energy Transition and Digitalization, awarded as best economic book of that year. 



(Photo: "Rencontres de Cannes")

Tutu, Gemma Planell

The sessions of Tutu are odes to life, between pure adrenaline and the most genuine curiosity. Like windows that open to horizons both near and far, her sets run through the landscape with the same intensity that she lives other creative facets of her life. With a spectrum of sounds that range from bass house to cosmic trance, abstract grime, schizophrenic tribalism and acid techno, Tutu on the decks can go from underground dance to the most experimental sounds, which direct the feet and maintain the brain occupied with sensations that run skin deep.
Gemma Planell has performed under the Tutu pseudonym for a number of years, always displaying taste and personality, with her DJ sets putting into practice her idea of storytelling. Preferring to remain out the spotlight and away from media attention, she has forged a personal style heard in clubs and festivals, with online recordings of sets and mixes for radios and magazines that demonstrate her unique talents.

(Photo: Tutu, Sonar 2019. Credit Sílvia Poch)

Lena Reitschuster

Lena Reitschuster studied South Asian Studies and Religious Studies at Heidelberg University, Philosophy and Curatorial Practice at HfG Karlsruhe, and Media Studies at The New School in New York. Her research is located at the intersection of philosophy, biology and art. She is interested in the history of ideas and notions around interspecies-dependencies, emerging cosmologies and the conceptualizations of broad scale system change in the face of ecological crisis. During the past three years she was part of the Critical Zone Study Group initiated by Bruno Latour in preparation of the Critical Zones exhibition at ZKM. The sessions involved discussing concepts and theories practically, experimentally and philosophically. 


(Photo: Jana Hofmann)

Teresa Retzer

Teresa Retzer is an art historian, writer, and curator. She studied art history and philosophy in Vienna, Siena, Zurich, and Basel. She has presented her research at international conferences and has written scientific texts for catalogues and journals. She is interested in how society is influenced by digital infrastructures as a means of cultural production. By discussing established and emerging strategies of representation alongside each other, Retzer sheds light on knowledge creation and the historiography hiding in plain sight within everyday media, politics, and art.  Since 2017, she has concentrated on contemporary right-wing extremist subcultures in the former East Germany, especially in light of the right-wing activism once again escalating all over Europe. Since 2019 she is working in the curatorial department of the ZKM | Karlsruhe Center for Art and Media. You can read samples of her writing and follow her work at

Portrait of Jeremy Shaw
Jeremy Shaw

Jeremy Shaw (1977 North Vancouver, Canada) works in a variety of media to explore altered states and the cultural and scientific practices that aspire to map transcendental experience. Often combining and amplifying strategies of verité filmmaking, conceptual art, music video and scientific research, he creates a post-documentary space in which disparate belief-systems and histories are thrown into an interpretive limbo.
Shaw has had solo exhibitions at Centre Pompidou, Paris, MoMA PS1, New York, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, and MOCA, Toronto, and been featured in international surveys such as the 57th Venice Biennale, and Manifesta 11, Zurich. In 2018 he was awarded a residency at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, in 2016 he received the Sobey Art Award. Works by Shaw are held in public collections worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Tate Modern, London, the National Gallery of Canada and Sammlung zeitgenössische Kunst des Bundesrepublik, Germany.


(Photo: Alex DeBrabent)

Jonas Staal

Jonas Staal is a visual artist whose work deals with the relation between art, propaganda, and democracy. He is the founder of the artistic and political organization New World Summit. With BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, he co-founded the New World Academy, and with Florian Malzacher he is currently directing the utopian training camp Training for the Future. Exhibition-projects include Art of the Stateless State at Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana in 2015, After Europe at State of Concept, Athens in 2016, The Scottish-European Parliament at CCA, Glasgow in 2018 and Museum as Parliament at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2018-ongoing. His projects have been exhibited widely at venues such as the V&A in London, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, M_HKA in Antwerp and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, as well as the biennales of Berlin in 2012, São Paulo in 2014 and Taipei in 2020. His latest book is Propaganda Art in the 21st Century (2019).


(Photo: Ruben Hamelink)

Jenna Sutela

Jenna Sutela works with words, sounds, and other living media, such as Bacillus subtilis nattō bacteria and the “many-headed” slime mold Physarum polycephalum. Her audiovisual pieces, sculptures, and performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, often in relation to technology. Sutela's work has been presented at museums and art contexts internationally, including Guggenheim Bilbao, Moderna Museet, and Serpentine Galleries. She is a Visiting Artist at The MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) in 2019-2020.


(Photo: Ellie Lizbeth Brown)

Portrait of Vivien Tauchmann
Vivien Tauchmann

Vivien Tauchmann is a designer and researcher, exploring socio-political relations through an embodied and kinaesthetic approach. By positioning the human body as relational material, she seeks to expose and confront aspects of man- made infrastructures and subvert processes that seem to constitute social and cultural boundaries of power and injustice. Her on-going project Self-As-Other-Trainings was part of different workshops and events, amongst others at ‘Stay LIVE at Home!’ by Performistanbul, INSIST 2 at KU Leuven and the new local in Brussels. Besides working on her own projects and collaborations, she is mentoring and visiting lecturer for performative design methodologies, amongst others at Design Academy Eindhoven, and active within several initiatives, such as ENS e.V. (Developmental Policy Network Saxony), Alliance against Racism Saxony and Clean Clothes Campaign. Vivien graduated from the Faculty of Applied Arts in Schneeberg and with a master’s in Social Design from Design Academy Eindhoven.


(Photo: Femke Rijerman)

Portrait of John Thackara
John Thackara

John Thackara is a philosopher, writer and curator, working in the realms of social, ecological and relational design. He curated the celebrated Doors of Perception conference for 20 years, first in Amsterdam, later across India; he was commissioner of the UK social innovation biennial Dott 07, and the French design biennial City Eco Lab, and in 2019 curated the Urban-Rural expo in Shanghai. Since 2011, Thackara has curated workshops in 20 countries on the theme: Pathways to Sustainability. Being interested in what a sustainable future can be like, he has traveled the world looking for real-life examples of sustainable living, employing this knowledge in his lectures and writing. He is a senior fellow at the Royal College of Art, visiting professor at Tongji University in Shanghai, and curator of the Social Food Forum. His last book – How To Thrive In the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow's World Today – has just been published in China.


(Photo: John Thackara)

Portrait of Julijonas Urbonas
Julijonas Urbonas

Julijonas Urbonas is an artist, designer, researcher, engineer and founder of Lithuanian Space Agency. He is a PhD student in Design Interactions at the Royal Collage of Art, London, associate professor at Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius and former Pro-Rector at Vilnius Academy of Arts.  Having worked in amusement park development as a designer and engineer, he became fascinated by what he calls 'gravitational aesthetics', a practice exploring how the manipulation of gravity offers possibilities for creating extreme experiences for body and imagination. Since then his artistic research has revolved around that topic, working between and combining such fields as critical design, speculative engineering, performative architecture, vehicular poetics, design choreography, social sci-fi, space medicine, particle physics and theatre and amusement park psychology. Urbonas’ work received many awards, including the Award of Distinction in Interactive Art, Prix Ars Electronica 2010 and has been exhibited worldwide.

Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas

Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas are artists, educators, and co-founders of the Urbonas Studio, a transdisciplinary research practice that facilitates exchange amongst diverse nodes of knowledge production and artistic practice in pursuit of projects that transform civic spaces and collective imaginaries. Urbonas have exhibited internationally at the São Paulo, Berlin, Moscow, Lyon, Gwangju, Busan, Taipei Biennales, Folkestone Triennial, Manifesta and Documenta exhibitions, including a solo show at the Venice Biennale and MACBA in Barcelona. Their writing on artistic research as form of intervention into social and political crisis was published in the books Devices for Action (MACBA Press, 2008), Villa Lituania (Sternberg Press, 2008), and Public Space? Lost and Found (MIT Press, 2017). Urbonas 5 year-long research project on Zooetics concluded in 2018 with the symposium at MIT and opened Climate Visions a new research lab. Urbonases curated the Swamp School at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. The book Swamps and the New Imagination is forthcoming in 2022 (Sternberg Press). Urbonas taught and lectured extensively internationally including full-time positions at NTNU (2005-2009) and MIT (since 2009) where Gediminas is Associate Professor and Nomeda is Research Affiliate. They are also Visiting Professors at VDU in Kaunas, NABA in Milano, Dartington Arts School in UK, and at CAFA in Beijing. 


(Photo: Berta Tilmantaite)

Portrait of Peter Weibel
Peter Weibel

Peter Weibel is an Austrian artist, curator and media theorist. He is artistic-scientific director and CEO of ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and director of the Peter Weibel Research Institute for Digital Cultures at the University of Applied Arts Vienna (WID). He was professor of Media Theory at the University of Applied Arts Vienna (1984–2011), head of the Digital Arts Laboratory at the Media Department of the State University of New York at Buffalo (1984–1989) and founding director of the Institute of New Media at the Städelschule in Frankfurt/Main (1989–1994). As artistic director, he was in charge of Ars Electronica in Linz (1986–1995), the Seville Biennial (BIACS3, 2008) and the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2011). He commissioned the Austrian pavilions at the Venice Biennale (1993–1999) and was chief curator of the Neue Galerie Graz (1993–1998).

(Photo: Andrea Fabry)

Cary Wolfe

Cary Wolfe is Dunlevie Professor of English at Rice University, where he is Founding Director of 3CT: Center for Critical and Cultural Theory. His books and edited collections include Animal Rites: American Culture, The Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (Chicago, 2003), Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (Minnesota, 2003) What Is Posthumanism? (Minnesota, 2010), Before the Law: Humans and Other Animals in a Biopolitical Frame (Chicago, 2012) and Ecological Poetics, or, Wallace Stevens’s Birds (Chicago, 2020). He has also participated in two multi-authored philosophical collections: Philosophy and Animal Life (Columbia, 2008) with Cora Diamond, Ian Hacking, Stanley Cavell, and John McDowell, and The Death of the Animal: A Dialogue (Columbia, 2009), with philosophers Paola Cavalieri, Peter Singer, Harlan Miller, Matthew Calarco, and Nobel Prize winning novelist J. M. Coetzee. In 2007 he founded the series Posthumanities at the University of Minnesota Press, which has published nearly sixty volumes to date.


(Photo: courtesy of the Morehead-Cain Foundation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Richard D. Wolff

Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, NYC. He is the founder of Democracy at Work and host of their nationally syndicated show Economic Update. Wolff’s lecture topics focus among others on the origins and consequences of the current economic crisis and the economic crisis and globalization. His latest book is The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics or Itself (2020) and is available along with his other books Understanding Socialism and Understanding Marxism at


(Photo: Richard D. Wolff)

Feifei Zhou

Feifei Zhou is a Chinese-born artist and architect. She holds an MA in architecture from the Royal College of Art, London and was a guest researcher at Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA). Her work explores spatial, cultural, and ecological impacts of the industrialized built environment. She currently lives and works in London.