Membranes Surfaces Boundaries – Creating Interstices

At first glance, sur­faces are boun­daries. But as far back as the na­ture philo­so­phers of Clas­si­cal An­tiqui­ty, there was an aware­ness of the enig­mat­ic char­ac­ter of this per­cep­tion. Ma­te­rial, they spec­u­lat­ed, was by no means a cont­in­u­um, but con­sist­ed in­stead of small, ul­ti­mate el­e­ments, the áto­mos, them­selves in­di­vis­i­ble.

This ex­hi­bi­tion pre­sents works by artist Heike Kluss­mann, ar­chi­tect Thorsten Kloost­er, de­sign­er and artist Su­san­na Her­trich, and de­sign­er Cle­mens Win­k­ler. In pro­jects and ex­per­i­ments, they de­mon­s­trate the re­cip­ro­cal ac­tion be­tween the the­o­ret­i­cal and ma­te­rial man­i­fes­ta­tions of mem­branes, sur­faces, and boun­daries, and their tran­si­tio­n­al stages be­tween ev­ery­day ob­jects, tech­nol­o­gy, and aes­thet­ic pro­duc­tion. En­coun­ter­ing one another here are hetero­ge­neous sci­en­tif­ic and artis­tic prac­tices and con­cepts, in the pro­cess gen­er­at­ing new mo­di of un­der­s­tand­ing and sen­su­ous ex­pe­ri­ence via their dif­fer­ences.

The con­cepts of the mem­brane, the sur­face, and the boundary are of equal im­por­tance in tech­no­log­i­cal re­search, in the hu­mani­ties, and in the arts, and each yields ac­cess to im­por­tant if high­ly dis­parate con­tents. By virtue of this mul­ti­plic­i­ty, th­ese con­cepts are es­pe­cial­ly well suit­ed to bring­ing to­gether an im­por­tant spec­trum of con­tem­po­rary and his­toric de­vel­op­ments in vari­ous dis­ci­p­lines in in­no­va­tive ways. Whether vis­i­ble and uti­l­iz­able in the ev­ery­day con­text or re­moved from the gaze in the realm of nan­otech­no­log­i­cal ma­te­rials re­search or on the lev­el of biotech­no­log­i­cal and chem­i­cal pro­cess­es, boun­daries con­di­tion the re­al­i­ty of our lived world. They define and ca­t­a­lyze life pro­cess­es, for ex­am­ple those of cel­lu­lar mem­branes, or in the form of skin, im­mune sys­tems, even the eco­sphere. Pheno­m­e­na which oc­cur along ma­te­rial boun­daries play a role in the ap­plied na­t­u­ral sci­ences, for in­s­tance in chem­i­cal pro­cess en­gi­neer­ing (ca­tal­y­sis, fil­tra­tion, elec­trophore­sis), there­by rep­re­sent­ing a link to artis­tic pro­duc­tion. This is man­i­fest­ed in the ma­te­rial forms of the ap­pear­ances of sur­faces, in me­dial rep­re­sen­ta­tions in pho­tog­ra­phy, film, and dig­i­tal im­age me­dia, but al­so in ex­pe­ri­ences of in­d­if­fer­ence such as Duchamp’s con­cept of the “In­fram­ince,” which char­ac­ter­izes the al­most im­per­cepti­ble se­pa­ra­tion (or “si­mul­ta­ne­ous de­lay”), be­tween two ad­join­ing pro­cess­es or states.

The ex­hi­bi­tion was con­ceived by the Max Planck In­sti­tute for the His­to­ry of Sci­ence and Kas­sel Uni­ver­si­ty joint­ly with the artists and serves as the up­beat to a se­ries of events of the Aedes Cam­pus Net­work Ber­lin. The in­ten­tion is to gen­er­ate a dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed exchange be­tween sci­ence and art. For the first time, sur­faces be­come a space of in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary ne­go­ti­a­tion. The ex­hi­bi­tion con­tri­bu­tions cor­re­spond to the sci­en­tif­ic po­si­tions of a work­shop bear­ing the same name which was or­ganized by the Max Planck In­sti­tute and which opens si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly in Dah­lem.

Speak­ing at the open­ing will be:
Dr.h.c. Kristin Feireiss, Aedes Ber­lin
Prof. Hans-Jörg Rhein­berg­er, Di­rec­tor, Max Planck In­sti­tute for the His­to­ry of Sci­ence
Heike Cathe­ri­na Mertens, Di­rec­tor of Arts and Cul­ture, Ernst Scher­ing Foun­da­tion

Ex­hi­bi­tion at AEDES: Heike Kluss­mann Thorsten Kloost­er Su­san­na Her­trich Cle­mens Win­k­ler

Con­fer­ence at MPI­WG: Mathias Grote Max Stadler Lau­ra Otis Hen­n­ing Sch­mid­gen Ki­jan Malte Es­pa­han­gizi Lars Nowak Veit Erl­mann Si­grid Leyssen Ti­na Young Choi Tho­mas Brand­stet­ter Lisa M. Cock­burn Alexan­der Sch­w­erin Han­nah Lan­deck­ert Chi­tra Ra­ma­lingam Ga­bor Zem­plen Sarah Bergstress­er

About the Conference

Con­fer­ence and Ex­hi­bi­tion at Max Planck In­sti­tute for the His­to­ry of Sci­ence and Aedes Ber­lin
Con­fer­ence and Ex­hi­bi­tion at Max Planck In­sti­tute for the His­to­ry of Sci­ence and Aedes Ber­lin

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