In August 2009 starts a three-month curatorial grant focusing on the exploration of new forms of presentation of media art and the development as well as the realization of a discursive weekend from 20 to 21 November 2009 with the invited artists/projects and experts from science and technology at Berlin based general public, in collaboration with DISK/ctm.

The curatorial grant 2009 was given to Doreen Mende.

“Displays for Becoming Present”
Projects, that are based on networking, immaterial materials, digital technology, transdisciplary collaborations and / or activism as artistic practice put the static object in absolute question. Projects, that are are permanent works-in-progress are impossible to exhibit as traditional works of art. They oscillate between production and presentation. They hold liminal zones between different localities, times and realities. That which takes place within a particular site (for example an exhibition venue) could be approached with terms like ‘locatedness’ (Raqs Media Collective) or ‘situatedness’ (Andreas Broeckmann). The constant mode of production not only dissolves a factual inside and outside nor simply blurs the lines between studio desk and exhibition space but articulates a translocal space within the exhibition venue.

Exhibiting of transdisciplinary projects-in-progress leads to general but crucial questions: What are the means to display an ongoing production process that constitutes the exhibited work? What are the means of display to conceptualize the oscillation between different localities? How can we display works of action that take place between the imaginary, the virtual and the real? Which are the designs for projects of dissent, overlapping, and transgressions between disciplines? How can we keep alive the antagonistic conditions of activism, art, politics, and science that stage a project within a cultural context? Which models are at our disposal to display these antagonisms that open up non-categorical, never-finished and transformative environments in public? How can we deal with the impossibility to exhibit projects that are not fixed to one place, to one culture, and to one economy?

The aim of this curatorial grant is to research thematic areas like Localizing Translocality, Exhibiting Networking, and Conceptualizing Antagonism. These three parts shall become topics for public conferences and informal workshops with artists, curators, activists, architects, designers, and theoreticians from around the world. All topics are imbedded in questions around the necessity as well as violence of exhibiting. The outcome of these events shall lead into the realization of a publication which could be seen as a texture for further debates and networked projects.

The slot on Networking is the perfect point of departure for the first event at General Public in Berlin on November 20 and 21, 2009. The two days events will host performances by the current artists-in-residence of Labor fuer Kunst und Medien, interim reports of the hitherto existing activities of this young Berlin initiative. It can be taken also as a public brainstorming not only on the present situation in Berlin, but on the transformative potentials of artistic as well as curatorial practices in general in relation to the problems of exhibiting them. The other topics are planned to be realized in cooperation with international partners in the future. (Doreen Mende, September 2009.)

Doreen Mende is a curator and author based in Berlin. She earned a Diploma in Music from the University of Music and Theatre in Leipzig and completed her studies at the Centre Music & Technology of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. She was part of the educational team of Documenta 11 and continued her studies at the Institute Art in Context at Berlin University of the Arts. She has curated What If … #2 (JET, Berlin, 2005), Ear Appeal (Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, 2006), Not Wright But Wrong (JET, Berlin, 2007), Candida Höfer. Projects: Done (Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, 2009) and has been writing texts and editing publications in connection with the projects above. 2006-09 she has been lecturer in the Exhibition Design and Curatorial Practice program, founded in 2006, at the University of Media Art and Design Karlsruhe (HfG). In the frame of the teaching at the HfG, she realized exhibition projects with Armin Linke, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, and with Candida Höfer at the ZKM Karlsruhe. She is editor-in-chief of the program’s publication series DISPLAYER, published by HfG, and co-founder of the group / project space General Public in Berlin. Currently she is doing a PhD in Curatorial/Knowledge at Goldsmiths College, University of London.