The future of culture is hybrid.
Cultural innovation lies in the cross-pollination between different fields, approaches and expertise.
Lectures, Presentations, Ideation, Discussions & Cooking @ Hybrid Space Lab, Berlin, 2021~2024
Presentation & , Discussion Marleen Stikker, founder and director Waag Future Lab for Design and Technology @ Hybrid Space Lab, Berlin, 18.00-20.00, 30 November 2021
Presentation, Ideation & Discussion, Dinner, Humboldt Futures, @ INbetweenSTITUTE, Hybrid Space Lab, Berlin, 8 December 2023 & 11 January 2024
Presentation & Discussion Hybrid Face, Merlijn Schoonenboom, cultural historian and journalist @ Hybrid Space Lab, Berlin, 18.00-21.00, April 2024
Cooking & Sound, The Common Meal, FM Einheit, musician, sound researcher, actor, composer, producer and founding member Einstürzende Neubauten, LI Zhenhua, master chef, curator, poet, filmmaker and artist, Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zielinski, media archaeologist, writer and curator @ Hybrid Space Lab, Berlin, 2024
Hybridity captures this and cherishes the intersection and dialogue between digital and the physical; heritage and critical perspectives; nature and the built environment; the biological and the technological; human and other-than-human lives; trans-disciplinarity within arts and culture and with other approaches to knowledge production, including scientific, research-based, and crowd-sourced knowledge creation.
Hybrid cultures are anchored and embedded in physical spaces and increasingly disseminated, shaped, and negotiated in trans-local media networks. Cultural hybridity – with co-creative, polyphonic, plural and heterogeneous hybrid cultures – is therefore a central feature of our current situation in today’s globalized world.
Hybridity promotes mutual enrichment, and ultimately that is all cultural innovation is about.
And now, picture an un-disciplinary experience where cultural innovation can take place. Something which is at once rooted and mobile and versatile. A platform for cultural institutions, activists, laypeople and audiences to co-create cultural innovation. A project that grows organically from ongoing, past and future contributions, incrementally shaping up to a constellation of ideas, projects and contexts.
A creative open space between a playground for cultural innovations, a museum and a place of trans- and un-disciplinary research – and this is where INbetweenSTITUTE happens.
INbetweenSTITUTE is a platform where multiple transdisciplinary collaborations are grounded and aired. INbetweenSTITUTE hosts and coordinates wide-ranging projects, backgrounds and programs, whilst accelerating the cultural innovation processes that make them possible.
INbetweenSTITUTE combines and merges the best of both worlds – the physical and the digital one – fostering collaborations on innovative hybrid, transferable and versatile co-creative formats. Through the support of a mobile, modular media infrastructure, the program engages with practices that can make culture ‘go-round’ in its hybridity, embedding and merging digital social communication spaces with physical urban/natural environments.
Involving artist, creatives, cultural professionals from a very broad from very different fields (painting and sculpture, performance, dance, video, film, theatre, music, and sound as well as media and digital arts, gaming, and other interactive and online formats) and bringing them together with scientists and experts, activists, entrepreneurs, and decision makers in transdisciplinary international meetings and workshops enables the INbetweenSTITUTE network-building and exchange.
INbetweenSTITUTE is characterised by openness to multiple generations, languages, thresholds of engagements and species, as well as being alert to multiple futures.
The INbetweenSTITUTE trajectory includes scanning and evaluating existing practices as well as transdisciplinary speculative artistic/design research. As an exploratory project, INbetweenSTITUTE experiments with testing and prototyping, it disseminates results and provocations. As a learning and growing project INbetweenSTITUTE consists of a chain of programs incrementally building on one another.
A meeting and discussion organized on the occasion of Marleen Stikker’s (founder of Waag) visit to Hybrid Space Lab, involving Berlin-based international cultural professionals from the fields of diplomacy, journalism, music and visual arts, theater directors and festival directors, digital participation experts, and Berlin (smart) city officials.
The evening opened with a presentation by Marleen Stikker on Waag’s Future Lab. From January 2021, Waag is part of the basic infrastructure provided by the Dutch Ministry for Education, Culture and Science, with the title of Future Lab for Design and Technology. Waag has therefore been provided with the means to carry out its work to make society more open, fair, and inclusive for the next four years.
In the Digital Age, the face has become the most important representation of our identity. Firstly, to show ourselves to the world we use selfies and Zoom-meetings, which focus almost solely on the face. Secondly, digital facial recognition and emotional detection promise to identify the other on the basis of the face, and even unveil their most secret feelings. This focus on the face is not only the direct consequence of fast technical developments, but is also the result of a deeper desire stirring contemporary society.
In his cultural historical analysis, Merlijn Schoonenboom explores the ways in which the face has become so important in today’s society, and how this focus changes the way we use our face in daily life.
Merlijn Schoonenboom is a Berlin-based Dutch cultural historian and journalist writing on contemporary culture for international media. In Spring 2023, he is publishing his new book “The Face. A Cultural History from Veil to Selfie” (Amsterdam, Atlas Contact).
Humboldt Futures is a collaboration between gamelab.berlin and Hybrid Space Lab.
Humboldt Futures offers a globally accessible co-creative gaming platform for exchange and participative collective production in order to negotiate dystopian and to envision positive cultural futures.
Humboldt Futures is an hybrid environment with immersive interfaces to the physical space.
Based on a Digital Twin of the Berlin Humboldt Forum Humboldt Futures addresses challenges that are at the core of the Forum’s actual status quo, practice and commitment.
The Berlin Humboldt Forum is causing intense debates: From its exterior which is a replica of the Berlin Palace, resulting into an urban wasteland and heat island, to its exhibits whose origins and ownership are largely unclear, the Forum offers a huge potential for future development. This potential, which encompasses many of the relevant challenges of our time, has so far been addressed primarily in conventional formats such as text contributions, panel discussions and workshops. But this is not enough.
Using the means of the 21st century, “Humboldt Futures” aims at contributing to transforming these challenges into a productive accelerator for future visions. With a Digital Twin of the Humboldt Forum as its basis, “Humboldt Futures” opens the Forum to the more than 5 billion people and communities worldwide who have Internet access. As the Forum’s Digital Twin, “Humboldt Futures” is a projection surface as well as an experimentation space, opening an arena for playful discussion around the big issues of our time: Who owns the cultural heritage? Whose voices dominate the discourses and which minorities remain marginalized and invisible? How does climate injustice feel like? How to envision transcultural narratives that go beyond the focusing on the narrow human interests in the Anthropocene?
By developing an international network of exchange, addressing cultural as well as environmental challenges, “Humboldt Futures” reflects the approaches of the Humboldt brothers, the name-givers of the Forum: Wilhelm von Humboldt, who researched the networked character of culture, and Alexander von Humboldt, who looked at nature as a networked system.
Drawing on the understanding of culture and of sustainability as a necessarily polyphonic practice and goal, the outreach of the “Humboldt Futures” includes global voices, involving a far-reaching international network of participants. Engaging international cultural players, artists, game developers, and other experts in collaborative practices, the Forum’s Digital Twin mutates into a fictional universe that is progressively enriched, narrated and built through. This co-creative approach favors the merging, mutual contamination and enriching across different fields, practices, and backgrounds, allowing for experimentation and developing meaningful models to discuss, envision as well as to implement.
Cooking & Sound, The Common Meal, FM Einheit, LI Zhenhua & Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zielinski, @ Hybrid Space Lab, Berlin, 2024
The common meal is the anticipation of the utopia of a humane society.
FM Einheit, musician, sound researcher, actor, composer, producer – founding member Einstürzende Neubauten
LI Zhenhua, master chef, curator, poet, filmmaker, artist
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zielinski, media archaeologist, writer, curator, collector of curiosities