Masterstudiengang Spiel und Objekt

hier das Neue


weekend reading

As a week of presentations and traveling comes to an end, we are slowly getting back into our weekly routines, including the collection of interesting reading material for you to digest on the weekend. And boy, what a week it was. Let’s try to compile some less obvious articles that might be of interest to you.

Most Bestest Christina Xu (@xuhulk, go follow!) writes about bullet comments in

In the West, the Chinese internet is mostly depicted in negative terms: what websites and social platforms are blocked, what keywords are banned, what conversations and viral posts are scrubbed clean from the web overnight. This austere view is not inaccurate, but it leaves out what exactly the nearly 750 million internet users in China do get up to.

Os Keyes writes best about Big Data and its accompanying mindset for Real Life Mag:

As a state action, the existence of the MEDS dataset could be explained by that administrative orientation toward separation — treating those the state interacts with as less than and distinct from the processes of the state itself. But the MEDS dataset stemmed not from a monolithic, bureaucratic but from the efforts of a small team of named individuals. Even if its existence could be blamed on state bureaucracy (who obviously hold some of the responsibility, here), it would do nothing to explain who so many scientists in public and private institutions have been comfortable reusing this data.

Zach Blas interviews Queer Media Art Pioneer Shu Lea Cheang for

SLC In the Taiwan Pavilion, a tower of ten projectors will be installed in one gallery, inverting the function of an operating surveillance system. There will also be a small gallery recast as the control room, which will be set up with computer monitors to expose how the surveillance system in the installation functions. We will be asking people to send in selfies. These images, as well as the 3D scans captured by the surveillance cameras will then be manipulated. It’s like in your work, where you use 3D modelling to morph facial recognition data to produce unrecognizable forms: the idea is to obscure.
ZB Don’t forget the detail that I thought was so intriguing about the control room: that it’s modelled after Hugh Hefner’s control room in the Playboy Mansion!
SLC Right.

That’s all for today. Go Vote!

And for our second act…

Heart emojis to everyone who joined us last night! It was a truly wonderful evening! Documentation and impressions will be posted soon.

But yesterday is just the beginning of a week of presentations and showings for our first year:

Center for Literature Droste Hülshoff

Anton and Fabian will be showing a site specific work (in collaboration with Lisa Danulat) in Münster for the Center for Literature Droste Hülshoff on Wednesday 22.05, Friday 23.05. and Saturday 24.05. Click here for tickets! (and say hi if you are coming!)

Anna Vera and Leoni will be showing the final version of MEK KING KRB! – a social simulation about distribution of resources and justice at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg (in Cooperation with the Schauspielhaus and the Grafittimuseum). Shows on Friday 23.05., Saturday 24.05. and Sunday 25.05. Get your tickets here!

Lena, Janne, Julian, Anton and Fabian have been awarded with a Residency at the VRHAM Festival for their work on BE B:E:R:N:D! You can see the installation at the festival from 07.06. to 15.06. Congrats!

All together now – Präsentation am 18.05.

We cordially invite you to the presentation of the first year research projects of our Masters Program Spiel && Objekt:

Saturday, May 18th

17:00 and 20:00

BAT Berlin, Belforter Str. 15

Tickets: (FREE ADMISSION, only 40 Tickets per time slot available)


Performances include:

Amphibian prayer

(Tomas Montes, Lena Eikenbusch et al)

This research project is a ritual performance in which Axolotls, a type of amphibians original from the México Valley lake-systems, are the central coordinating stage element.
“Amphibian Prayer” reflects on the present stratigraphical era of the Anthropocene, the age of Planet Earth under human domain, and the severe consequences of anthropogenic climate change considering Earth´s biodiversity. An important trend in biology and earth-system sciences suggest that the 6th Mass Extinction is already on course, predicting the disappearance of at least 75% of the species on the planet. Combining staging elements such as live microscopic visuals, a hybrid digi-vegetal stage design, choreography and testimonial theater, this performance is a human apology to an endangered species, the Axolotl.

See / Not

(Christian Römer)

Auf dem unendlichen Ozean machen Menschen Erfahrungen existentieller Not, um zu leben.
Auf dem Land rationalisieren andere Menschen diese Notlagen, um mit ihnen leben zu können.Die Installation will diese Spannung erfahrbar machen, ohne die Chimäre einer Lösung anzubieten.


(Anna Vera Kelle, Leoni Voegelin)

Jugendliche aus Hamburg haben die Graffiti an den Wänden und Mauern der einzelnen Stadtbezirke gesammelt und gedeutet. Für Eimsbüttel könnte die Botschaft deutlicher nicht sein: Der Reichtum in unserer Gesellschaft ist ungleich verteilt und die Schere scheint sich immer weiter zu öffnen. Die Frage nach Verteilungsgerechtigkeit ist dringlicher als je zuvor! Eine Gesellschaftssimulation gibt die Möglichkeit in verschiedenen Rollen und über einen Zeitraum von 30 Minuten, Handlungsmöglichkeiten zu erforschen. Wie verteilt ihr?(Prototyp einer Gesellschaftssimulation für das Hamburger Menetekel – ein futurologischer Kongress am 24.-26. Mai 2019 im SchauSpielHaus Hamburg von Vera Voegelin.)


(Anton Krause, Fabian Raith, Lena Eikenbusch, Janne Nora Kummer, Julian Jungel)

A hyperlocal clifi-game for four players, that includes Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, a retro text adventure, an audio discovery experience and a lot of discussions with your teammates. Save your favourite spots in Berlin from the negative effects of climate change- or is it already too late?

We hope to see you there!

weekend reading

Weekends are for organising conferences. And also writing down all the things we read during the week leading up to them.

Last week, I was reading up on artistic research and how it might be situated in a university context – something we discussed this past saturday at Theater und Netz. I enjoyed this “Reseach as a form of Practice”approach detailed in this quite extensive article from 2016 (in german) by Elke Bippus in the journal p-art-icipate:

Die forschende Praxis war in der Kunst, aber auch in den Wissenschaften mit dem Versprechen der Emanzipation und des selbstkritischen Denkens verknüpft und mit ihr ging ein Wissensbegriff der Reflexion und Subjektivierung einher.*1 Es verwundert deshalb nicht, dass sie nicht nur in der Kunst, sondern auch in der Pädagogik seit den Siebziger Jahren eine zentrale und gesellschaftskritische Rolle innehat. So setzte die Didaktik auf das Forschende Lernen; mit ihm sollte sich die Selbstverantwortlichkeit und Eigenständigkeit der Studierenden bezüglich ihrer Methoden und Themenstellungen ausbilden und die Praxis und die Erfahrung wurden als produktive Aspekte unterstrichen.*2 Das Forschende Lernen gilt auch heute als ein gesellschaftlich relevantes Tun und ist als „Prozess der ständigen Befragung jeder vorliegenden Aussage“ (BAK 1970: 214) beschrieben.

Next up: Colonialism as mitosis – the rise and fall of empires, rendered as cell division :

Visualizing Empires Decline from Pedro M. Cruz on Vimeo.

Brian Merchant is writing for Gizmodo about Amazons rejuvenated interest in Oil:

Yet Amazon’s actual renewable energy deployment has plateaued at the halfway mark—the last milestone the company lists on its Sustainability Timeline is “AWS achieved 50% renewable energy usage,” in January of 2018—and now even risks decreasing as a total share of the company’s energy supply, as research from Greenpeace energy analysts indicates that Amazon is continuing to rapidly build new data centers without adding clean sources of power to run them with.

Taylor Lorenz declares The Instagram Aesthetic Is Over (at

In fact, many teens are going out of their way to make their photos look worse. Huji Cam, which make your images look as if they were taken with an old-school throwaway camera, has been downloaded more than 16 million times. “Adding grain to your photos is a big thing now,” says Sonia Uppal, a 20-year-old college student. “People are trying to seem candid. People post a lot of mirror selfies and photos of them lounging around.”

Cameron Kunzelmann at Waypoint writes about Molleindustria’s /city building game for the Anthropocene:

taken from vice, taken from molleindustria

Playing Lichenia is all about trial and error, but that’s because Pedercini wanted there to be an unclear relationship between what you were doing and the effects you had on the world. “I wanted the player to observe the dynamics and not interpret the visuals in the most immediate and normative way,” he writes in the release notes, and this lack of immediate interpretation is helped by the use of Everst Pipkin’s Mushy tileset, which was produced by training a neural network on isometric art.

And finally, look at these wonderful UI designs from Neon Genesis Evangelion (and follow excellent @christinelove on twitter!)

weekend reading

Mind the Fungi | Workshops by TopLab & ALB & TU Berlin

Good evening people, hope you are doing alright. So I just came back home from the first session from the ¨Mind the Fungi¨, a workshop series concerning DIY mushroom cultivation and the potential of funghi as an ecologic material within the design industry. This is a shared initiative from TopLab, the ¨Citizen Science¨ Research Project from the TU Berlin and the previously hyperlinked Art Lab Berlin. Did you know that the metabolism of funghi is more similar to that of animals than to plants? I certainly did not and found that quite amazing! Just as animal and vegetal cells, funghi are also eukaryotic and feed off organic matter, but they need of Oxygen in order to breathe, unlike plants which absorb carbon dioxide. Funghi play a crucial role in every ecosystem, for they decompose dead organic material, for instance a fallen tree. Imagine if all the fallen trees did not decompose and just piled up! That would be quite a mess. I learned plenty of other exciting stuff such as the importance sterilization protocols for in microorganism cultivation to achieve a ” pure culture” (although that sounds very pure-blood v/s mud-blood Harry Potter racism), and how to make a home-made Agar growth medium for mushrooms. I still have three weeks more to go and I`m excited to see how our colonies will grow!

I can also tell you that this week I learned how to use —removed link to illegal website – please don’t link to illegal websites on an official university blog, even though you might not be happy with the way knowledge is distributed in the world right now — founded in 2011 by Kazakh software developer and neuro-science researcher Alexandra Elbakyan. The search engine takes URL, PMDI or DOI addresses, what — I heard on the internet — is to search the DOI link of a certain article in Google Scholar (where — regular scholars — have to pay to be granted full access) and then just copy it in —apparently, I don’t really know .

— a crow holding a key in its beek — and Alexandra Elbakyan <3!.

Lastly, I went again to the movies and I`d like to recommend the film Mid90`s, which tells the story of Sunburn, a boy entering his adolescence who above all wants to become a great skateboarder and hang out with the big boys. I honestly don`t normally like american dramedies, but I laughed and cried and found that the portrayal of the crisis of masculinity impersonated in the growing up of this youngster, in midst of the domestic violence and poverty of Los Angeles. The kid acts f*cking good as well. For all those who enjoy 90`s aesthetics, go watch it.

Ps: Axolotls are doing fine :D!

Sunburn, main character from Mid90`s.

— Edits by fkirschner

easter reading

Panke water sample, looking for microplastics: the two clearer dots middle left?

Hey everyone, congrats! The sundance worked!! Hope you`ve all been enjoying your sunny Easter Holidays like the good christians that you are :). So, quick Axolotl update! My three new babies -Cecilia, Carmen & Julia- are living now in their aquarium in my room. They`ve had good appetite so far and nip at my fingertips when I stick my hand into the water, it tickles a little bit <3.

Last weekend I attended a DIY chemistry workshop given by chemical artist Kat Austen at Art Laboratory Berlin. The workshop was all about the presence of microplastics in the Panke river, which flows through northern Berlin. Firstly, we collected plastic from the riverbed and water sediment from some nets as our study samples. We learned how to use density to distinguish amongst the most common plastic types, to identify possible polymer particles in river-water samples under microscopic observation and to separate the plastics from organic material. Kat left us this website Hackteria, with plenty DIY chemistry material.

I also captioned our good friend Janne very concentrated at work.

I saw a very awesome and creepy stop-motion animation film, actually from Chile! It`s called Casa Lobo (Wolf House, see trailer) and the plot tells of the nightmarish life of three hostages of Colonia Dignidad, a German-Chilean christian sect and farmland controlled by nazi emigrant and pedophile Paul Schäfer under support of Augusto Pinochet`s dictatorship. The sect was fully operative until Schäfer`s jailing in 2005 if I remember correctly. Quite a horrible place! But the animations are wonderful!

Maria Währe, Pedro & Ana.

Last thing I wanted to share: last night I was walking out of the U-bahn with a friend and we encountered a band of four very young dudes playing electro-jazz on the street… we stayed for almost two hours! It got super crowded with the audience and people were dancing… they`re called Big Spider, you can follow them on facebook or soundcloud. At the end one of the guys said “Free Jazz!” I dunno, it was a nice spontaneous encounter.

Keep on enjoying these chill days!

weekend reading

weekend reading

Hola lovely people! I´m Tomás Montes Massa, the Chilean guy studying Spiel && Objekt :). So, I can tell you that I´m quite excited because from next week on I will become an Axolotl father! These amphibian cuties come originally from the lakes of Mexico Valley and are sadly endangered in the wild. During the last days I´ve had the following gollum-like dialogue buzzing around in my head:

Tomás, we want a pet Axolotl!

No way José, forget it. They´re an endangered species. (José is actually my middle name)

But the critters were born and raised in captivity!

So what? They belong in their original habitat. Just drop it.

I mean they were born here in an aquarium in Berlin. What do you want me to do? Fly over and leave them in a muddy puddle somewhere around México DF? they´d be good as dead. We´ll take good care of them, we promise!


Come on , they´re so WEIRD and ALIEN and CUTE! 😛 😛 😛

well, okay 🙂

Anyway I´m still open to discussion, but I´m stubborn. If by any chance you are interested in Axolotl care read this. I´ll be receiving them from Sarah Hermanutz, a Canadian media artist that lives here in Berlin. Her research has to do with the intersections of performance, technology, and ecology. I find her work very inspiring!

I´d also like to share this information that I found on the website of Amazon Frontlines , an NGO that defends indigenous rights to land, life and cultural survival in the Amazon Rainforest. The Woarani Nation live in eastern Ecuador and were first contacted by outsiders in 1958! Today they stand up against the oil drilling industry and the Ecuadorian Government in order to protect their lives, culture and the jungle. I don´t know if it helps much, but you can support their petition by signing this letter.

Lastly, I`ll leave here a wonderful article on Agrobiodiversity which I found in the online journal Anthropocene, an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that addresses the nature, scale and extent of interactions between people and Earth processes and systems. Underneath an extract from the abstract, so you get an idea.

Multiple knowledge systems are crucial to understand human-environment interactions of the biodiversity of agriculture and food systems (agrobiodiversity). This article synthesizes these knowledge systems to formulate the novel Agrobiodiversity Knowledge Framework comprised of four themes: (1) ecology and evolution; (2) governance; (3) food, nutrition, and health; and (4) global environmental and socioeconomic changes.

Eat your beans and let´s make a massive sundance!

Artist Talk: !Mediengruppe Bitnik

!Mediengruppe Bitnik (read – the not mediengruppe bitnik) live and work in Zurich/London. They are contemporary artists working on and with the web. Their practice expands from the digital to affect physical spaces, often intentionally applying loss of control to challenge established structures and mechanisms. They try to make possible connections between the physical and the digital world and are not afraid of giving away power within their work.

Due to the happenings of the last days, it may be very worth to talk about a parcel !Mediengruppe Bitnik sent to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy. The parcel contained a camera which broadcast its journey through the postal system live on the internet. They describe «Delivery for Mr. Assange» as a SYSTEM_TEST and a Live Mail Art Piece. Let‘s talk about how those things could be used for theatres.

When: 15. April 2019, 19:00

Where: HfS Ernst Busch, Room 1.34

weekend reading

The students were busy this weekend, and I am in Hamburg at the wonderful Hauptsache Frei Festival talking about Digital*Analog. Say Hi if you are around!

Also! Very happy to finally have published “situated drama” in the wonderful Performance zwischen den Zeiten for transcript Verlag (together with Heiko Kirschner):

The combination of experimental forms of storytelling and social theory seems to us like a fruitful if not necessary combination to contribute to the field of research informed arts in which contemporary complex societal issues are presented and discussed adequately.
The starting point of our endeavor is grounded on the assumption that societal processes of change, in particular individualization (Beck/Beck-Gernsheim 1994), digitalization (Castells 2001) and deep mediatization (Couldry/Hepp 2017), leave their traces in almost every aspect of today’s society. Hence, these processes also affect and challenge traditional ways of performance and storytelling.

In other most wonderful academic news, Researchers from Uni Bochum have put a first Version of Luhmann’s Zettelkasten online (via

Read more

MaSO goes A maze

Within the last months, we were often asked, what we were actually doing in our master. The answers are starting to come in now. The first one is to be seen next week at A Maze Festival and is, maybe only slightly surprising, a Game!

We worked quite heavily in the last few weeks to finish the game (and actually still do). The game contains a lot of fun stuff: AR, VR, an Arduino radio game and a flooded model of Berlin- the city, that the players have to save from the influences of climate change. We are very excited to finally present it to the public. Those lucky few who were able to play a prototype just before Christmas had quite a lot of fun, we hope to keep that spirit up now.

A Maze is a (ha!) amazing international Indie Game Festival in Berlin, which will take place from 10th to 13th of April at SEZ. We have the great pleasure to be nominated for the award and show our game at the exhibition within the Festival. The exhibition actually gives visitors the chance to play the nominated games. We are one of 25 games to be played there, so bring some time, visit Be:Bernd and the others. I personally am already very much looking forward to playing macdows95, a puzzle game within an imaginary operational system. Looks like fun! Yet, the festival has, aside from the exhibition, also an interesting program with talks, masterclasses and, of course, parties. Go check it out and see you there!