18/8 – 29/10/2023
Curated by Julius Kaftan and Joana Stamer
“Becomings” is the third part of the annual exhibition programme GLEANING
Please register via email to email@example.com
The artists Helin Ulas and Sarah Oh-Mock share an aesthetic interest in the conditions and effects of the digital age, the overlaps and contradictions of human and machine existence. In the exhibition “Becomings”, they use the unique setting of the former bear enclosure to update the reflective horizon of our late-modern understanding of technology.
Helin Ulas’ video installation “Tides of Memories” shows a machine dreaming of becoming water and explores the complexity and vulnerability of human existence as well as the evolving relationship between technology and human identity. The artwork invites the audience to embark on a journey through the dreams of a fictional character simulated by an algorithm.
Sarah Oh-Mock’s “PHASO. Remaining Hybrids” designs an archaeology of the future and presents both old and new objects, drawings and installations from her long-term artistic project PHASO (Posthuman Archeological Studies Organisation). From the perspective of a fictitious posthuman organisation, legacies of an already extinct humanity are archaeologically examined and exhibited. Oh-Mock’s finds raise questions about the technical optimisation of the body, as well as the possibilities of bionics, and thus at the same time outline social and biopolitical prospects for the future of humankind.
Helin Ulas (b. 1990, Turkey) is a visual artist and designer based in Berlin. Her artistic practice involves using technology as a medium to create both visual and research-based projects.
Ulas conducts artistic research on the impact of socio-political changes on communities, with a particular focus on how technology shapes culture. Additionally, she investigates the role of technology in shaping collective social memory. Ulas is a member of Automaton, conducting research on the impact of technology on society and new media representation. She develops platforms that foster community building and facilitate knowledge sharing.
In addition to her artistic practice, Ulas is an artistic researcher and educator at HfG Karlsruhe, where she teaches real-time media creation and visual programming as a creative expression tool.
Ulas’s work has been exhibited internationally in various settings, including D’haus (2022), Lumen Prize (2020), Sonar+D (2019), Ars Electronica (2021-2018), and Wisp Lab (2019).
Sarah Oh-Mock’s surrealistic video works, VR works, installations, objects, photographs and drawings address the relationships between culture, the artificiality of urban places, nature and the unconscious. The different media, analogue as well as digital objects are linked in a new way. She has received numerous awards and her work has been presented in various solo and group exhibitions and festivals in Germany and internationally.
She runs the oMo artspace with her partner Bongjun Oh, works at the weissensee Kunsthochschule Berlin and is a member of the Medienkunstverein and Saloon Berlin. Since 2014 she has been working on fictional dystopian posthuman exploration of the Anthropocene for the project PHASO.
17/8/2023 7 pm
Doors open for kids and family 5 pm
On Thursday, 17 August 2023 at 7 pm, the Bärenzwinger kindly invites you to the opening of the exhibition “Becomings”
Doors will be open for kids and family from 5 pm
The artists Helin Ulas and Sarah Oh-Mock share an aesthetic interest in the conditions and effects of the digital age, the overlaps and contradictions of human and machine existence. In the exhibition “Becomings“, they use the unique setting of the former bear enclosure to update the reflective horizon of our late-modern understanding of technology.
5/9/2023 3-6 pm
Gleaning: Audio-visual electronic workshop
with Heather Purcell & Natasha Todd
Participation free of charge
With sounds and forms from the exhibition “Becomings” together with the surroundings of the Bärenzwinger, we will produce our own film and music. With the help of iPads and various apps, the participants will use the immediate surrounding soundscape – be it construction sites, the sound of traffic or animals to create an animation and sound scape about imagined futures.
In the framework of the KGB Art Week
8/9/2023 7 pm
by Johanna Schütt and Micha Hoppe
Johanna Schütt is an artist living between Berlin and Rhein-Ruhr who works with text, sound and dramaturgy in a wide variety of contexts. She releases music under the name Justin and as part of the duo “Init.play”. She is particularly interested in chronologies and textures and how these converge in the creation of sonic environments.
Michael Hoppe studied jazz piano at HMTM Hannover and works as a freelance musician in Berlin. He mainly works with the synthesis of electronic and analogue sources, which can occasionally be heard in theatre and performances, but mostly in concerts and on the internet. The spectrum ranges from very quiet to very loud. But mostly rather loud. Furthermore, the interest in music as a social and societal practice is academically unsecured.
Open Heritage Day
9/9 & 10/9/2023
Opening hours 11 am – 7 pm
Guided tour from 1 pm each day
The Open Heritag Day, also known as Open Monument Day will take place in Berlin on 9 and 10 September 2023 under the motto “Full of Energy”. Since 1993, the Open Heritage Day has been held nationwide as part of the European Heritage Days.
The Bärenzwinger still bears numerous traces of its past use as the long-time domicile of Berlin’s heraldic animals, to which art responds with site-specific interventions and spatial installations.
Art Week Special
15/9/2023 8 pm
by Layton Lachman
created in consortium with: Arta de Mi, Camila Malenchini, Caroline Neill Alexander, Dan Immanuel Roth, Ethan Allison Folk, Kalil Bat, Nagi Gianni, Samuel Hertz, & wro wrzesińska.
“infinity kiss” transports us into skin-2-skin scenes of subsumptive cellular reproduction. One way or another, this archaic fundament will turn sexy. In the deep trenches of Bärenzwinger, proximal strangers become intimate and oddly attached in a roiling hole of sensualities. Come search the uneven grounds for unlikely merges and fusions of life; lives that we are accustomed to keeping separate. A complex, wild, and unexpected dance is conjured in the friction between wriggling bodies, which traverse a dense sonic and visual landscape, inviting contemplation on the interplay between individuality and the materiality of our interconnectedness.
“infinity kiss” is the third performance in which our collaborative consortium attempts to disrupt notions of hierarchies of intelligences, anthropocentrism, and a static individualized sexual and reproductive identity. It offers an invitation into the ways in which our supposed individualized human livelihoods are already—and have been in the evolutionary epochs of the past—intertwined and symbiotic.
Lynn Margulis says: “Symbiotic interaction is the stuff of life on a crowded planet. Our symbiogenetic composite core is far older than the recent innovation we call the individual human. Our strong sense of difference from any other life-form, our sense of species superiority, is a delusion of grandeur.”
“infinity kiss” asks: what sort of new worlds are created if we consider all systems of reproduction –parasitic, symbiotic, self-replicating, self-devouring systems, or AI–as forms of inter-kingdom collaboration, and as such, a beautiful story of horizontal genetic exchange, an long-lasting intimacy between strangers? This question offers a speculative ecofeminist look at an inter-species celebration, a queer cruise: a primordial, biological ooze which inevitably merges with everything it touches.
Arta de Mi, heteronym of Dani Paiva de Miranda (also known as Mundo), is a performer and experimental artist. His work crosses diverse media and ecologies, exploring the transfiguring power of experience. Nowadays her objective is to synthesize the digital and the organic into formless matter.Arta de Mi investigates the horizontal relationship between matter and energy, denying the separation of matter into form and refraining from a linear sequence of time. This practice leads to questions about the dynamics of power and violence, challenging conventional notions. Employing light design, light installation, performance art (actions and happenings), sound and choreography, they channel an emotional and sensory experience. Website: https://www.cuntscollective.com/dpmiranda
Camila Malenchini is an Argentinian choreographer and artist based in Berlin. Her artistic practice crosses diverse media; from choreography and sculpture to digital media and curating. Her work starts at the body and questions imagination as danger and possibility today. She completed her studies in Choreography at HZT. Her work has been presented at HAU, DOCK 11, Centro Cultural Konex, Arqueologias del Futuro among others. She’s currently working in collaboration with artists Marga Alfeiráo, Layton Lachman and the T.E.N.T. collective.
Caroline Neill Alexander received her BA degree in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. For the past six years she has been living and working in Berlin, developing her own work as well as collaborating with other Berlin choreographers and T.E.N.T. Collective. In her own work, she deals with the space between person and persona and the blurred reality of reality. Caroline’s aesthetic is physical, horrific, comedic, beautiful and grotesque and always incorporating voice and text. These ideas were explored in her latest solo works Fear & Fantasy, The Oasis, Full Moonay, and Sharterlla: House of Desperation.
Dan Immanuel Roth is a vocalist and performer based in Berlin and Southern Germany. He studies stage and costume design at the TU Berlin and combines performing arts and visual arts. He uses dance and movement to understand space and is dedicated to creating scenic utopias of space and society. Dan Immanuel is a countertenor and uses classical arias for a critical illumination of the individualistic consumer society. He works in the context of stage, exhibitions, clubculture, video and photography.
Ethan Allison Folk is a Berlin-based director, cinematographer, and 3D animator whose work orbits intimacy and the absurd. Ethan co-founded Buttermilk Films in 2016 as a platform for work in the genre of “New Queer Cuisine”.
Born in France, with an Afro-Creole background, Kalil Bat is a freelance dancer and performer currently based in Berlin. Kalil has been training in Contemporary dance and pole-dancing for many years, as well as contortion and acrobatics. He is currently enrolled in a full-time dance education while still pursuing his artistic career and enriching his movement vocabulary through various projects in Berlin and Europe.
Layton Lachman is a choreographer based in Berlin. They create performances rooted in somatics, channeling experiential practices into immersive, sensorially complex worlds. Layton is interested in an art practice centered around group study and collective authorship — with the understanding that we are always collaborating with those who come before, after, and with us. Their practice includes staged works, films, one-on-one encounters, installations and audio/performative tours. In addition to artistic practice, Layton is an independent curator & teacher. www.laytonlachman.com
Nagi Gianni is a Swiss multidisciplinary artist. He develops a plastic language centered on the body as a means of transforming itself to probe other possibilities, to explore other bodies through its metamorphoses. In his performances, costumes and masks, gestures and movements are intended to convey to the audience the inner tension towards a multiplicity of existences, in opposition to the idea of a closed, unchanging identity. Through the mask he creates he questions the relationship to the identification of the self in the digital age, and develops in parallel a oneiric imaginary where the animal, the cyborg, the mythological and the ghostly converge. These figures of the uncanny are for him a means of opening up other relationships to the perception of reality through an approach that questions and displaces what is already known and clearly identifiable.
Samuel Hertz is a sound-artist/researcher working with sound-sensing networks of environmental and climate science research. His work explores a material approach to sound that amplifies new ways of hearing the complex violences of climate and environmental change wrought by extractive practices. His artistic research has been exhibited and performed in locations such as the Ars Electronica Festival (AT), Palais de Tokyo (FR), Akademie der Künste (DE), Struer Biennial for Sound and Listening (DK), Pioneer Works (US), Fylkingen (SE), IMAX theaters, as well as deep ocean light installations, lunar radio transmissions, and aboard the International Space Station among others. www.samhertzsound.com
wro wrzesińska is a Berlin-based digital artist who works with new media and creative technologies. wro’s work lies at the intersection of art, technology and enchantment and investigates ways of pushing boundaries of the personal and embodiment in the digital environment. inspired by the process of becoming, spaces ‘in between’ and feminist ecologies, wro uses these lenses in a queer speculative storytelling to explore ways of manifesting physicality and identity in flux in the digital space.