Designing other spaces.


29. June – 1. July 2018

Artists, researchers and students come together on the area of Zeche Zollverein in Essen to participate in an experimental program with inputs, workshops and discussions.

There are also, probably in every culture, in every civilization, real places —places that do exist and that are formed in the very founding of society —which are something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted.”

This is how Foucault famously defined heterotopias. Prisons, cemeteries, theatres, brothels or ships – heterotopias are real spaces of other worlds, environments, institutions and enterprises, which are neither entirely good nor bad, but worlds with a clear distinction towards the outside, thereby counteracting AND representing the outside within them.

However, since Foucault invented the concept heterotopias seem to have spread. While Foucault was talking about longstanding heterotopias, today Heterotopia seem to have become a format of artistic experimentation, transdisciplinary design and activist struggle. Many, often temporary and singular heterotopias are designed, built and fought for. Seen as a more realistic alternative to the concept of utopia on the one hand side, and as an immersive environment, a totality of design, on the other hand, the political implications of the heterotopian format are far from simple and seem to stretch out in quite a spectrum.

The Folkwang Graduate Program for transdisciplinary design is called Heterotopia and hosts the Heterotopian Summit to discuss, what does it mean to claim heterotopia as a format for transdisciplinary design:

What are the contexts, networks and processes to collectively design and build heterotopias? What are the political chances and challenges? What is heterotopian design and what are its limits?

The Heterotopian Summit connects artists, researchers and students on the area of the Zeche Zollverein in Essen to take part in an experimental program with inputs, workshops, experiments and discussions.

Program summary

  • Friday, June 29th Lectures & Talks
  • 13.30 Uhr Start am SANAA-Gebäude
    Gelsenkirchener Str. 209
    45309 Essen
    Ankunft und ein paar Worte zu den ausgestellten Arbeiten
  • 14.15 Uhr Zwischen den Stühlen Christian Berens & Lena-Marie Halbedel
  • 14.30 Uhr Begrüßung Sibylle Peters
  • 14.45 Uhr Good Bye Heterotopia Marion Digel
  • 15.00 Uhr Andere andere Orte geheimagentur
  • 15.45 Uhr Becoming the Territory: A few concrete heterotopias as protest and proposition John Jordan, Isabelle Fremaux & Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination
  • 16.15 Uhr Kaffeepause & Stühle rücken
  • 16.45 Uhr Urban Blind Spot Performance Kai van Eikels
  • 17.30 Uhr The first heterotopia was the city itself Andreas Brück
  • 18.00 Uhr Dosenbier
  • 18.30 Uhr Heterotopic Spaces in Science Fiction Alan Shapiro
  • 19.00 Uhr Embracing the Immortal Stranger (how a vengeful anticolonial tree became the president of a university for the dead) Max Haiven, Cassie Thornton & the University of the Phoenix
  • 19.30 Uhr Letzte Worte und Ausblick auf das Kommende
  • Saturday, June 30 Walking Conference
  • 10.00 – 12.00 Uhr Start am SANAA-Gebäude

    Begehungen & InbeSitznahmen auf der Zeche Zollverein. Plenum: Unsere Fragen an heterotopisches Gestalten.

    Zwischen den Stühlen Christian Berens & Lena-Marie Halbedel
    Lecture Performances Malte Lambert und Negar Foroughanfar
  • 12.30 Uhr Gemüse von unten Ji Jie, Yiyang Gao, Nathalie Pechan, Marcel Kather und Sabrina Großkopp
  • 13.00 Uhr The first heterotopia is the Katernberg self! Katharina Ley, Sophie Gnest, Negar Foroughanfar
  • 13.30 Uhr Mittagspause
  • Samstag, 30. Juni Workshops
  • 14.30 Uhr Start am SANAA-Gebäude Aufbruch & Beginn Workshops
  • Techniques of the Art of Living John Jordan, Isabelle Fremaux & Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination

    How do we behave in heterotopia, “we need … a technique of life, an art of living“ said Michel Foucault (inventor of the term Heterotopia) “We have to create ourselves as a work of art.” For Foucault this was not about trying to be some kind of authentic atomised self, but about pushing the boundaries of what that self can become in its interconnectedness with each other and worlds. This meant problematising our present forms of life and behaviour and freeing them from the restraints and dominations of the present. It means opening ourselves up to the situations we find ourselves traversing and traversing us, so that we no longer recognise ourselves anymore. This workshop will explore these themes through participatory exercises.
  • 'Not even the dead will be safe': Collaborating with the dead to confront necrocapitalism Max Haiven, Cassie Thornton & the University of the Phoenix

    Can you declare yourself dead to get out of debt? Can rumours of haunted properties stall gentrification? Can we awaken the zombies in our midst? How can we put dead (and deadly) ideologies to rest? Can ghosts be surveilled? How do we become capitalism's gravediggers, really? In this workshop we're interested in the subversive heterotopian spaces that open when we collaborate with the dead, offering us new approaches to time, power and resistance. Approaching ghosts as a material rather that (exclusively) spiritual manifestation, we will seek to develop a common framework for thought and action based on practical problems and cunning tactics.
  • Urban Blind Spot Performance Kai van Eikels

    Der öffentliche Raum wird häufig als ein leerer, allseits einsichtbarer Raum vorgestellt bzw. konstruiert (Podest-Ansatz). Tatsächlich ist er jedoch voller Gebäude, Sachen, Leute, die einander auch verdecken, abschatten, durch ihre Bewegungen Blind Spots und tote Winkel erzeugen. Im Rückgriff auf Social Media Praktiken erprobt der Workshop Queering Exhibitionism als eine künstlerisch-politische Strategie, um urbane Situationen auf ihre Blind Spots hin zu analysieren und diese als heterotopische Handlungsräume zu erproben.
  • 18.00 Uhr Treffen am SANAA-Gebäude Berichte und Präsentationen aus den Workshops, Ausklang und Imbiss an der Himmelsleiter
  • Sunday, July 1 Final discussion
  • 10.00 – 13.00 Uhr Abraumhalde/Lichtung Heterotopische Versammlung

Reserve your seat

Yes, I would like to participate in the Heterotopian Summit from 29. June to 1. July 2018.
Free of charge, but binding.