Category Archives: Akademie Schloss Solitude

So-called plants: items from the Possible Bodies inventory

October 1, 14h Akademie Schloss Solitude (on-line)
Performative guided tour of items from the Possible Bodies inventory + conversation
As part of the series Nepantlas: Infrastructures for World-building curated by Daphne Dragona

How do “so-called plants” exist with and through technologies, infrastructures and techniques of 3D? Weaving between technological writing, fiction and theory, Possible Bodies contributes to Nepantlas with a trans*feminist experimentation on volumetric presences in hypercomputational regimes. We write “plant”, or “so-called plants” to signal the political fiction of treating “plants” as individual entities, as species and as kingdom. Possible Bodies wants to problematize these normalised figure-background divides in favor of a multiplicity of potential dysphorias.

Thinking along the agency of cultural artefacts that capture and co-compose so-called bodies, Possible Bodies has by now inventoried over a hundred items. For this event, they bring together manuals, mathematical concepts, art-projects and micro-CT images to wonder about the vividness of so-called plants in the context of software tools for botanical data processing, 3D-visualization of plantations and computational vegetation and cracks and porous membranes in-between the vegetal and other forms of existence.

Cracks can be seen as void and sterile spaces in-between known entities, but they can also be taken as wide open, inhabitable bridges; interporouss places to be in-relation (non-neutral and also not innocent at all): connecting and fertile surfaces that provide with the blurring travel form one isolated unit of life onto another, in specific ways. Rooting for the possibilities of naturecultural topologies seems important in computational environments where the exciting complexities are routinely erased and weeded out for the sake of efficiency.

Possible Bodies develops alongside an inventory of cases and results in texts, workshops, visual essays and performances. For this occasion, they will perform a guided tour through several items of the inventory. The tour will be followed by a conversation with Daphne Dragona.

Automatic Merge Failed: Differences that matter

diffThe production of Free Software happens within a legal framework that guarantees all users the right to run as well as study, modify, and distribute source code for any purpose. It allowed a vibrant ecosystem of networked communities to flourish, forming what Christopher Kelty has described with the term ‘recursive publics’. Software consists of hundreds of individual files and interconnected libraries that are being operated on by many different people. For managing those multifaceted objects, Distributed Version Control helps to keep track of files, visualising ‘differences’ between subsequent versions. Distributed Version Control is a type of meta-software that has become the norm in managing code development, changing the understanding of Free Software production through its orientation towards ‘forking’ rather than ‘merging’ projects. Where the heightened attention for difference could draw collaborators together to discuss and merge conflicts, the mechanisms built into Distributed Version Control makes forking a code base an easier option. Automatic Merge Failed is a close reading of the way ‘difference’ is encoded into software, and insists on it’s centripetal potential.


Presentation February 20, 2015 in the context of the workshop Quotes & Appropriations. Automatic Merge Failed started as a contribution for the exhibition I Share Therefore I am in esc medienraum, Graz (2013).

Objetologías: A conversation with Jara Rocha


What is the attraction of an algorithm? Do servers have a gender? Can a book be a disobedient object? Is it possible to understand an infrastructure as a poetics?

Sunday afternoon in the library, a conversation with Jara Rocha about Objetologías, a line of research she carries together with Josianito Llorente, Jaron Rowan and Carla Boserman. Working on the aesthetics and politics of objects and technologies, Objetologías speculates about the potential of relations between humans and non-humans. Their attempt at a post-humanist approach brings together studies of culture, science and technology, actor-network theory, new materialisms, speculative realism, futurology and affects theory. Objetologías considers the ethic, erotic, aesthetic and political agency of objects and studies their material conditions in a broad sense: scale, durability, weight, volume, attraction, dispersion. Objetologías shifts attention to ontologies rather than the social use of objects and technologies, allowing processes of individuation, co-production and articulation to be understood as basic gestures that act symmetrically in a complex web of materiality.

Tea and cake served!

Jara Rocha is a cultural mediator, developing educational programmes at Bau School of Design in Barcelona. She works with materialities of infrastructure, queering practices and links both formal and non-formal ways of researching interface cultures. With Seda Guerses, Miryam Aouragh and Femke Snelting she participates in The Darmstadt Delegation.


Sunday February 8 16:00-18:00 in the ABR Library (2nd floor), Akademie Schloss-Solitude, Stuttgart

Treating the Traité

The Traité de documentation : le livre sur le livre, théorie et pratique is an almost hypertextual book on documentation, written in the 1930’s by Paul Otlet. It has many cross-references, tables and illustrations; at times it is written in encyclopedic style, turns into a passionate manifesto, speculative fiction, and a practical manual for librarians. The pdf I have is badly OCR-ed and too heavy for reading comfortably on a digital device. So this morning I transformed the digital version into something that I can print at a copy shop.

I started with extracting the images from the pdf with the help of the imagemagick convert command:

$ mkdir spreads
$ convert Traite\ de\ documentation\ -\ Paul\ Otlet.pdf spreads/%03d.jpg

Continue reading


January 10, 2015 Akademie Schloss Solitude


Arrived. Two times three months of work ahead! On my first day, a pair of foxes (in the forest), and a screening of the docufiction Close-Up (at the Schloss). It will be wonderful.

We don’t live in this kind of world

For the seminar Public Library. Über Infrastrukturen der Wissensbildung (Public Library. About infrastructures of knowledge formation), Femke prepares a new episode of Fathers of the Internet, charting the overtures between an Internet giant, local governments and a historical archive.

“In 1944, Belgium universalist and documentalist Paul Otlet died a disillusioned man. In his lifetime he only partially realised The Mundaneum, an encyclopedic survey of human knowledge which would ‘progressively constitute a permanent and complete representation of the entire world‘. While Otlet is being rediscovered as “a founding father of the Internet”, Google adopted the remains of his archive in Mons. Located in a former mining area in the south of Belgium, Mons is not only home town to prime minister Elio Di Rupo, but also conveniently located next to one of Google’s largest datacenters in Europe. This lecture explores the messy entanglements of faltering local governments, dreams of accessible knowledge, and the hopeful desire for corporate patronage.”

Never-ending undo

August 12, 2013 Akademie Schloss Solitude

Never-ending undo is an attempt to think through specific practices of sharing and collaboration that emerge in creative digital work inspired by the culture and cult of Free Software. It explores the ethics and aesthetics of this iterative, reversible and promiscuous type of practice.

Project proposal for Schloss Solitude: /files/neverendingundo.pdf (spring and fall 2015)