On Projection: Historiography as Aesthetic Practice

A research project, culminating in an Exhibition at LEAP in Berlin
Participants: group of students from the visual art class LensBased three external artists/researchers.
Moderated and facilitated by Azin Feizabadi
Curated by Daniel Franke & Sandra Moskova (LEAP).
The project is structured in three parts Dec. 2014 – April/May 2015.
Part one: a temporary moving research and production studio; a series of 6 workshops (2-3 days each, first session set for mid December 2014). 3 sessions take place at  UdK Berlin and other at LEAP Berlin.
Part two: three workshop sessions with external guest artists and/or researchers and subsequent public events (talks or presentations) by same guests. Both the workshops and the public events take place at LEAP Berlin.
Part three: a two weeks exhibition of 10 project results (April/May 2015 at LEAP); exhibition includes works by the participants, project facilitator and external guests all together. A documentation of the research period, including projects by all workshop participants will be also presented collaboratively at the exhibition.
The project is subdivided in three key subjects in a philosophical tradition as a gesture, this in the context of an assemblage between the analysis of complex systems, the politicum in the context of historiography (chronology, “Chronos”) and the construction of meaning and knowledge through literature as a non- scientific complex (“Narration”). The idea is based on an attitude towards philosophy and the role of a philosopher as a figure, who assembles different scientific contexts and thereby produces new meanings and discourses in a way no discipline is capable of by itself. The core of this project is therefore a transfer-process between the politicum, the technical (as a translation of knowledge) and the artistic-literal as a translation of science. The fundament is a deep desire to experimentally externalise structures (matter, meaning, unified truth, discourse) through technical, medial and narrative approaches.
If we skip ‘Chronos’/’Narration’ from a past incident – lets say an incident of social or political importance, or an event of personal and biographical importance – what aspects of that event can be used instead, to shape an autonomic and civic (collective) memory? Is it possible to emancipate history from scientific and ideological borders?
How can we form an alternative way of historiography that is based on notions of ‘projection’, ‘specters’ and ‘time travel’, instead of merely foreseeing the past? The aim is not to re-appropriate the three-act-narrative structure of historiography, but to abstract it, break it and dismantle it; to free the past from institutional grammars and conservation.
How can aesthetic tools and medium contribute to this aim?
Where are the parallels and/or contradictions between Picasso’s “Guernica” – hanging in the entrance of the UN Security Council in New York– and a poor- image jpeg from the web, which documents a man-to-man fight at the Bazaar of Aleppo –recorded by a baker boy on his mobile phone?
These questions set the starting point for individual works to be produced by participants during the project. The idea is to proceed a focused period of research, collaborative or individual, and to find ways of formalizing the research into works for exhibition/presentation for public engagement. In this sense, the works produced during the project will be manifested hand in hand in-between research (theory based, poetry based and artistic experimentations) and production. In a way, in some cases, the research itself can become the format of the exhibited art work.
The workshop sessions are meant as platforms for collective thinking processes. At each of the 6 sessions, participants are meant to share and discuss their work-in-progress in depth for critique and feedback; they are meant to unfold their research material, to provide an inside view on how they arrived to certain research strategy, to their way of abstraction, to their form and medium in relation to the content. The aim is not to create a homogenous series of works that represent answers for the above questions; instead, we will try to define each an individual (and personal) artistic position on the matter. One that is unique to the artists point of view. The workshops aim simply at creating a studio or laboratory in which strategies, material and thoughts can be shared to inspire others.
Nevertheless, a medial point of departure will be suggested in the beginning, for the participants, to think about, to use it technically or simply receive inspiration by its theoretical basis: Projection!
During the course of the project we will look into the matter of ‘Projection’ as a cultural practice and as a philosophical and psychological phenomenon, and its place within the political realm. We will look at the junctures and interstices of projector and spectator, reality and fiction, cinema and video and take historical references from various video and political-activist approaches.
– „The Paradox of Media Activism“ (Franco „Bifo“ Berardi)
– “Vom Subjekt zum Projekt” (Villem Flusser)
– „Fernsehbild und politische Sphäre im Licht der Rumänischen Revolution” (Villem Flusser) – „In Defence of the Poor Image“ (Hito Steyerl)
– „Der Stil des Augenblicks. Das Bild zum Bericht“ (Joerg Trempler)
– „Presence Documents – On Visual Parrhesia“ (Web-blog by Sohrab Mohebbi)
– „Body and the Archive“ (Allan Sekula)
– “Mengele’s Skull – The Advent of a Forensic Aesthetics” (Thomas Keenan &
Eyal Weizman)
– “Entwerfen und Entbergen Aspekte einer Genealogie der Projektion” (S. Zielinski)
– “Theses on the Philosophy of History” (Walter Benjamin)
– “The Task of the Translator” (Walter Bejamin)
– “Excommunication” (Alexander R. Galloway, Eugene Thacker, McKenzie Wark) – “A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History” (Manuel De Landa)
. .
The Curators
For this project, Daniel Franke and Sandra Moskova from LEAP will act as exhibition curators; they will map the discourses and works emerged throughout the project with LEAPs position as a hub for digital and performance art within Berliner cultural landscape. The Theorist Sandra Moskova and the Artist Daniel Franke will be present during the workshops and they will actively contribute with feedbacks and inputs during the sessions.
Daniel Franke is an Artist and Curator living and working in Berlin. He studied Visual Communication and Media Art at the UDK Berlin and completed his master thesis studying under Joachim Sauter and Alberto DeCampo in 2011. Together with Kai Kreuzmüller and John McKiernan he co-founded LEAP (Lab for Electronic Arts and Performance), a non-profit interdisciplinary project for emerging, digital media arts and performance that aims to initiate the dialogue between art, science and technology. LEAP’s central concept is based on experimental research in digital technologies and media, which shape and change our present and future society and stimulate new discourses, discussions and questions. The human being (or body) is thus in performative interaction with these technologies and their impact on society and culture. It stands in a transformative process with its environment and thus is prompted to challenge the limits of its exterior and interior. LEAP’s conceptual and substantive program deals with the discussion of new discourses, critical issues and provides a bridge between theory and practice. In September 2013 LEAP presented Art Hack Day Berlin ‘’Going Dark’’ the first in a two part organisational and curatorial collaboration between transmediale, Art Hack Day and LEAP which culminates in the festivals central exhibition Art Hack Day Berlin : Afterglow.
In his own works Daniel Franke challenges our understanding of the digital, aiming to view it in the context of a physical perception in the field of animation.
He thereby transforms practises known from classical animation into tangible expressions in the “real”, factual and bodily world to explore and visualise complex coherences.
Sandra Moskova is a theoretician and curator. She has graduated M.A. in Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftskommunikation from the University of the Arts Berlin, where she currently works on her PhD in the field of Cultural Science and Narrative Theory (the Knowledge of Literature), supervised by Prof. Thomas Düllo, Chair of Verbal Communication. Sandra also teaches Media- and Communication Theory at MHMK Berlin and University of Osnabrück and works together with Lab for Emerging Arts and Performance (LEAP) Berlin, where she writes the theoretical texts for different exhibitions and artists. Sandra Moskova is also a contributing writer and curator to Public Art Lab Berlin since 2013.
Sandra Moskova and Daniel Franke take will conceptualize the exhibition concept and curate the works produced within this project. External guests will be invited to participate in this project through LEAP; they will be chosen from the artist and researcher community of LEAP and Azin Feizabadi.
Azin Feizabadi
Azin Feizabadi is a filmmaker and visual artist living and working in Berlin. He is currently a research fellow at the Graduiertenschule UdK Berlin.
This project defines one part of Azin Feizabadi’s artistic and academic activities during his fellowship at the Graduiertenschule. The concepts and questions proposed here are crystallized from his ongoing research project “A Collective Memory” and the subsequent film “Chronicles from Majnun until Layla” –which both of them he is to develop throughput the fellowship at the UdK Berlin.

  • Sandra Moskova, Azin Feizabadi and Daniel Franke call the project at Lense Based class meeting on 2nd of Dec. 2014 at UdK
  • Open call for project proposals: participants send a few lines about their intended projects; 2nd – 8th Dec.
  • First workshop session: 13th and 14th Dec. at UdK Berlin
  • Second workshop session: mid Jan. 2015 at UdK Berlin
  • Third workshop session: mid Feb. 2015 at UdK Berlin
  • Fourth workshop session, with external guest and public
    talk/presentation with and by external guest: mid March 2015 at LEAP
  • Fifth workshop session, with external guest and public talk/presentation
    with and by external guest: beg April 2015 at LEAP
  • Beginning curatorial process by LEAP team: beginning April 2015
  • Sixth workshop session, with external guest and public talk/presentation
    with and by external guest: mid April 2015 at LEAP
  • Exhibition preparation and opening: end April or beg May 2015 at LEAP
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