food poem on archives, practice memories and now-memory

dear friends,

i am collaborating with my food concepts on this project with my friend lynn, at raumexperimente, berlin. thank you dear lynn, eric and christina!





Archives Works. As practiced memory. As practicing stories. As historying. As something technologically or corporally mediated. As something political and socially touching the world. As tool or weapon (as you decide), a responsibility, something critically filtered, shaped, opened rather than closed, generative rather than entombed. In the future more than the past. Maybe a now-memory, as Henri Bergson says.

The three-day Archives Works Marathon is a dense vortex of energy and ideas materializing around the practice of archives, producing content and showing case studies and tools that art engages through means of archival practices and education methodologies. It assembles artists, historians, curators, theoreticians, urban planners, educators, e.a. to present and participate in talks, performances, and experiments followed by questions and discussion panels. The former marathons gathered swarming matrices of peers and practitioners, provoking relationships connected to the Institute as practices in teaching and learning with the understanding that art and art education can and do change reality. These marathons are teaching experiments. They are occasions for co-producing knowledge by doing our thinking together. Archives Works because archives work. Archives are works. Archives must work. Must be worked. Archives must be practiced. The marathon will be a proof of concept for how different archival practices grow and evolve.

proof of concept is an idea acted to prove its feasibility. It is theory practiced. This is a proof of a concept, which works and keeps working. Archives Works, in addition to being a methodological experiment in teaching doing, is also the next step in the project Acting Archives, which is being enacted as a collaboration between the Institut für Raumexperimente, the Alle School of Fine Art And Design at the University of Addis Ababa and other artist groups and institutions in Addis Ababa. 

Contributions by: Berhanu Ashagrie, Jochen Becker, Yohannes Bereket, Beatrice von Bismarck, AA Bronson, Michael Diers, Olafur Eliasson, Elizabeth Giorghis, Fasil Giorghis, Tue Greenfort, Mihret Kebede, Koyo Kouoh, Cynthia Kros, Jonathan Legard, Armin Linke, Bekele Mekonnen, Salem Mekuria, Felix Melia, Doreen Mende, Emeka Ogboh, Georges Pfruender, Aykan Safoglu, Bernd Scherer, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Robel Temesgen, Louwrien Wijers and others.

Hosted by Institut für Raumexperimente, UdK Berlin. Organized by Christina Werner & Eric Ellingsen

The Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments) is a five-year educational research project by Prof. Olafur Eliasson, affiliated to the College of Fine Arts at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) and supported by the Einstein Foundation Berlin. The program of the Institut für Raumexperimente is housed above Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin. Archives Works is part of the project Acting Archives, which is funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.





Wednesday, 20.11.2013

13.30-18.00: Bus tour (limited number of guests, rsvp required) 

Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art: Conversation with Stefanie Schulte Strathaus on projects Living Archives & Visionary Archives 

House of World Cultures: After Year Zero. Geographies of Collaboration since 1945

Introduction by Bernd Scherer; Conversation with Doreen Mende on the project Travelling Communiqué. Reading a Photo Archive (1948-1980)


19.30-21.30: Film Screening at Institut für Raumexperimente 

Aykan Safoglu: Off-White Tulips (2013), 24 min

Salem Mekuria: Ye Wonz Maibel: Deluge (1996/97), 69 min

Artists are present for conversation and discussion.


Thursday, 21.11.2013

at Institut für Raumexperimente:

10.30-13.30: Session with Michael Diers, Cynthia Kros, Jonathan Ledgard, Salem Mekuria, Elizabeth Giorghis; conversation and discussion

13.30-14.30: Lunch break / food concept / works on view

14.30-19.00: Session with Yohannes Bereket, Fasil Giorghis, Jochen Becker, Berhanu Ashagrie, Mihret Kebede, Emeka Ogboh, Felix Melia;

including coffee break, conversation and discussion

19.00-21.00: Grey Sheep: Opening of Molding versions into reality by Robert Lippok, Aeaeaeae, Hans-Henning Korb, Raul Walch


Friday, 22.11.2013

at Institut für Raumexperimente 

10.30-13.30: Session with Armin Linke, Beatrice von Bismarck, Georges Pfrunder, Olafur Eliasson; conversation and discussion

13.30-14.30: Lunch break / food concept /works on view

14.30-19.30: Session with Louwrien Wijers, AA Bronson, Tue Greenfort, Tania Singer (tbc), Koyo Kouoh;

including coffee break, conversation and discussion

19.30:  Open End with drinks



Institut für Raumexperimente

Christinenstraße 18/19, Haus 2, 2. OG

10119 Berlin  





Olafur Eliasson, artist, founded the Institut für Raumexperimente, an educational research project, affiliated with the College of Fine Arts at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) and supported by the Senate for Education, Science and Research in Berlin and the Einstein Foundation Berlin. The motivation behind Institut für Raumexperimente is Eliasson’s interest in testing models of learning, a fundamental trajectory being the cultivation of experimental formats.

Christina Werner, founding co-director and teaching at the Institut für Raumexperimente. She was Assistant to the Artistic Director of Documenta11 in Kassel in 2002. From 2007–09, she was Curator for Visual Arts at the Cultural Committee of German Industries, in charge of the artist award and exhibition series ars viva. She works in theory and practice with emphasis on transdisciplinary knowledge production in art and curating, choreographing the Institute’s wide-ranging program of research, artistic practice, experiments, workshops, publications, and food-related projects.

Eric Ellingsen, founding co-director and teaching at the Institut für Raumexperimente. He founded Species of Space in 2009. Prior to Berlin, he taught part time at the University of Toronto and full time at the Illinois Institute of Technology. His practice combines art,  architecture, poetry, teaching, performance, poetry. He does one minute of heart often. He also often wonders what Heigegger meant by saying that a chair which leans against a wall are not touching each other because they are not encounterable to each other.

Berhanu Ashagrie, artist, head of Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design, under the Skunder Boghossian College of Performing and Visual Arts. Focus on process-based creative practices and time-based art education. Exhibitions in Ethiopia and abroad, like; The Netherlands, Georgia, Greece, France, through physical art formations and creative documentations.

Jochen Becker, author, lecturer and curator. He is a founding member of metroZones – Center for Urban Affairs. He has (co)edited several books, e.g. bignes? (2001); Kabul/Teheran 1979ff (2006); and Urban Prayers (2011), and (co)curated exhibitions such as the Urban Cultures of Global Prayers (2012/13, nGbK Berlin, Camera Austria, Graz) and Self Made Urbanism Rome (2013, nGbK Berlin). He is artistic director of the Global Prayers project at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) and starts as director of the Art & Architecture program at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm in 2014.

Yohannes Bereket, architect, director at Adjaye Associates. Works closely with David Adjaye to realise much of the formative work, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C. He also worked alongside Bozar and the European commission to deliver pavilions in African cities to host and showcase a photography collection celebrating fifty years of independence of several African states. Current exhibitions and collaborations include Carlo Mollino at Salon94 and Isaac Julien Studio.

Beatrice von Bismarck, professor of art history and visual culture at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig. Co-founder and -director of the project space Kunstraum der Universität Lüneburg and of the project space D/O/C/K. She initiated and co-directs the M.A. Program Cultures of the Curatorial. Her research areas include modes of cultural production connecting theory and practice; curatorial practice; effects of neo-liberalism and globalization on the cultural field. Her publications include the seminal book Interarchive. Archival Practices and Sites in the Contemporary Art Field,  Cologne 2002 (edited with Hans-Peter Feldmann, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Diethelm Stoller, Ulf Wuggenig).

AA Bronson, artist, in 1969, he formed the artists’ group General Idea with Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal. He was President of Printed Matter, Inc., and started the NY Art Book Fair. He has taught at UCLA, the University of Toronto, and the Yale School of Art. AA Bronson’s solo artwork deals with trauma, loss, death and healing.  AA Bronson’s work—as an artist, healer, curator, and educator—is dominated by the practice of collaboration and consensus. Numerous solo exhibitions, awards and three honorary doctorates.

Michael Diers, art historian, Professor for Art History and History of the Image at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg and Professor for Art History at Humboldt-Universität. From 1991 to 2002, he was co-editor of the series kunststück (Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag). He is co-editor of the critical edition Aby Warburg, Gesammelte Schriften (Akademie Verlag Berlin, 1999ff.). Furthermore, he works as a freelance journalist, writing for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Fasil Giorghis, architect, chair holder of conservation of urban and architectural heritage at EiABC, Addis Ababa University. Study and preservation of the architectural heritage of Ethiopia, from traditional housing to historic towns; research on sustainable architecture and preservation of cultural heritage. In 2008, he published a book entitled “Addis Ababa the City and its Urban and Architectural Heritage from 1886-1941”. Buildings he designed include “The Red Terror Memorial Museum“, Addis Ababa.

Elisabeth Giorgis, art historian, professor and preeminent scholar on the subject of Ethiopian art and culture. She holds a doctorate degree from the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies of Cornell University, a Master in Museum Studies from New York University and has written extensively on Ethiopian art. As a curator, Giorgis has presented exhibitions at the Modern Art Museum and the Museum of the Institute of Ethiopian studies, both in Addis Ababa. She was most recently a Visiting Professor in the Humanities at the Cogut Center at Brown University, Providence, USA.

Tue Greenfort, artist, as participant in dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel, Greefort was co-curator of an archive on multi-species co-evolution, The Worldly House. Solo presentations include Berlinische Galerie (2012), South London Gallery (2011), Kunstverein Braunschweig (2008) and Secession, Vienna (2007). Among his publications the most comprehensive, Linear Deflection, was published by Walther König in 2009. 

Tainá Guedes,  author, artist, food activist and formed cook. She has been working on different projects involving art and food, as for example Share your Food – an art-food event and magazine, where she cooks and invites people to share what they believe could make our world a better place; kochen und quatschen, a meeting with an anthroposophic doctor, midwife and nutritionist that will be transformed into a book with her illustrations. Latest works are Fruit Loot (2011) with the Lynn Peemoeller; collaboration at time/ bank/ time/ food from the artists Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidok (2012); Bread Sound Installation at Markthalle Neun, Berlin.

Asako Iwama, artist and cook. A member of the collective pop-up café since 1998, her artistic practice explores the ontology of eating, specifically its manifestations in communal, collective environments. Iwama’s work has been exhibited at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin and the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig. Her most recent project, done in collaboration with Canadian artist Derrick Wang, was shown at HomeShop, Beijing, in 2013.

Mihret Kebede, artist, director of the Netsa Art Village artist collective in Addis Ababa. Several visiting grants including the Thami Mnyele Foundation (2012) and Deveron Arts, Huntly, Scotland (2012). Recent projects include Slow Marathon at Walk Sans Frontières Symposium (2012) on art, walking and boundaries and a performance art project for the Prince Claus Foundation annual awards ceremony in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2012). She is co-organizer of the Wax & Gold workshop and exhibition, Addis Abeba (2013).

Koyo Kouoh started RAW Material Company, center for art, knowledge and society, to stop complaining about the art scene in Dakar, but has not stopped complaining. She is neither a curator nor a writer, but makes exhibitions, publishes books and helps others in the same labor. Her discoursive programs, exhibitions and publications have included contemporary artists, thinkers, writers, activists, non-artists, designers, politicians, architects, maniacs and chefs. She is a professional mother and is addicted to art, great food and to shoes.

Cynthia Kros, historian, heritage specialist and professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Among other subjects, her research focuses on South African memorials and oral history. Her selected publications include co-editor of the South African Historical Journal since 2006, various articles in accredited journals, Great People, Great Places (heritage series published by Jacana, 2009) and The Seeds of Separate Development: Origins of Bantu Education (Unisa Press, 2010).

Jonathan Ledgard is is a thinker on near future nature, technology, and politics. As director of the Afrotech initiative at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne he works to pioneer advanced technologies at massive scale in Africa. Early projects include virtual coins and cargo robots. A longtime Africa correspondent of The Economist, he has reported leader stories from 50 countries and several wars. Separately, he has written two critically acclaimed novels, Giraffe and Submergence.

Armin Linke, artist working with film and photography. He is working on an ongoing archive on human activity, natural and manmade landscapes. He is professor at the HfG Karlsruhe, and guest professor at the IUAV Arts and Design University in Venice and Research Affiliate at MIT Visual Arts Program Cambridge. He co-curated the project Double Bound Economies (2013). Together with Territorial Agency and Anselm Franke, he is conceptualizing and executing the Anthropocene Observatory video series at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. And he is part of the project Travelling Communiqué: Reading a Photo Archive (1948-1980). 

Lauren Maurer, cook, previously run a restaurant at Teutoburger Platz; together with Asako Iwama, she has led the kitchen team at Studio Olafur Eliasson since 2005 and participated in numerous food experiments and workshops in collaboration with the Institut für Raumexperimente.

Bekele Mekonnen, artist, head of the film department at Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design. Recipient of fellowships and grants including the Chicago Artists International Program (1998), the Scholar Rescue Fund Award (2006), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2007) and was named Artist in Residence at the Maryland Institute College of Art (2006).

Salem Mekuria, independent writer, producer, director, videographer, and a video installation artist, Luella LaMer Professor of Women’s Studies in the Art Department at Wellesley College. Her award winning documentary films and video installations feature Ethiopian subjects. Among the numerous honors are: a Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2005-06; Fulbright Scholar award, 2003-04; The New England Media Fellowship, 2001; the Rockefeller Foundation’s Intercultural Media Fellowship, 1995.

Felix Melia, artist, working across video, film and sculpture. He was an artist-in-residence aboard Station to Station, representing 89plus, an initiative of curators Hans Ulrich Obrist and Simon Castets supporting and highlighting artists born after 1989.

Doreen Mende, curator, she works in theory and practice on issues of exhibiting with regard to space and geopolitics. In 2011, she was Fellow of the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut. In 2013, she finished her practice-based PhD at Goldsmiths. She is co-founder of the publication series Displayer at HfG/ZKM in Karlsruhe, and currently teaches at the Dutch Art Institute. With Milica Tomic, Armin Linke and further authors, she is currently working on the project Travelling Communiqué that discusses the topicalities of the Yugoslav Presidential Press Service / Photo Section in Belgrade during Tito’s presidency 1948 to 1980.

Emeka Ogboh, artist, his sound recordings consider the history and aural infrastructure of cities, Lagos, Nigeria in particular. Those recordings have produced a corpus of work entitled Lagos Soundscapes and have been installed in different foreign locales. Ogboh is co-founder of the Video Art Network Lagos and was part of the Media Lab in Africa delegation to the 16th International Symposium on Electronic Art, ISEARHUR 2010 (Dortmund, 2010). 

Lynn Peemoeller, food systems planner, she has organized and managed farmers markets, including Greenmarket in New York City and Chicago’s Green City Market. In Chicago, she was Program Director of Family Farmed, acted as Co-Chair of the Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council, and served as the President of Slow Food Chicago. She has taught graduate courses in Landscape Architecture in Food Systems and Urban Agriculture. Currently she is developing projects that utilize alternative urban spaces to grow food and partnerships with artists, activists, and academics.

Georges Pfruender, head of the Witwatersrand University School of Arts and independent curator. He obtained his Master of Fine Arts from San Francisco Art Institute in 1991 and has combined his practice in art and education. He was Director of the Institute of Fine Arts in Valais, Switzerland (ECAV) and President of the Swiss National Board of Art and Design between 2004 and 2008. As Vice President of the Swiss UNESCO Commission since 2008, he headed the national project arts and education.


Aykan Safoglu,  artist and curator working primarily with video and film. He obtained his MFA at Bard College in 2013. He was awarded the international grand prize at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in 2013 for his film Off-White Tulips.

Bernd Scherer, director of House of World Cultures (HKW), holds a doctoral degree in Philosophy from the Universität des Saarlandes and is author of several publications focusing on aesthetics and international cultural exchange. Previously, he headed the Department of Humanities and Culture at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and also served as its Deputy Director. He served as Director of the Goethe Institute Mexico from 1999 through 2004 and subsequently as Director of the Arts Department for the Head Office in Munich.

Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, film and video curator, co-director of Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, member of the selection committee of the Berlinale Forum and founding director of Forum Expanded, a section of the Berlin International Film Festival which negotiates the boundaries of cinema. Her curatorial work comprises numerous film programs, retrospectives and exhibitions, among them the Living Archive – Archive Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice.

Konjit Seyoum, curator, gallerist, writer, educator and artists studied at the University of Trieste in Italy where she graduated in Translation (she speaks Amharic, English, French, Italian and Croatian). In 1996, she opened Asni Gallery to promote contemporary Ethiopian art and create a venue for young and established artists. She has been interested in experimental approaches including work with food and the role of the host as important cultural tradition. 

Robel Temesgen, artist, lecturer at the Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design. He was grantee of the Survivart Artist residence program and exhibition project by the Heinrich Boll Foundation (2011), Youth Delegate Selectee and participant at the Festival of the World, Africa Utopia Program in London (2012). He is co-organizer of the Wax & Gold workhop and exhibition, Addis Abeba (2013).

Louwrien Wijers, writer and visual artist, her practice revolves specifically around sculpture, both mental and material. From 1968 to 1986,  Wijers worked closely to Joseph Beuys when she was trained to look at, write and speak ‘like’ a sculpture. Wijers most important mental sculpture to date titled Art meets Science and Spirituality in a changing Economy (1990/1996) is a direct result of a meeting of  Joseph Beuys and the Dalai Lama she organized in Bonn in 1982. The influence of food in our future is now her main topic. 


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