Mediating
the Ecological
Imperative

SNSF Sinergia 2021 – 2024
2022, June 22-24
5th Swiss Congress for Art History, Session: "The Ecological Imperative – Presentness and Speculation in the Arts"

The 5th Swiss Congress for Art History, organized jointly by the Swiss Association of Art Historians (VKKS) and the Institute for Art History of the University of Zurich, will be held in Zurich from 22 to 24 June 2022. Session conveners: Toni Hildebrandt und Peter J. Schneemann (University of Bern); speakers of the session: Natalia Ganahl (University of Vienna / HSE Moscow), Suzannah Henty (University of Melbourne / EHESS, Paris), Veronika Hirth (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), André Rottmann (Free University Berlin) and Yvonne Volkart (IAeP, Academy of Art and Design, FHNW Basel / ZHdK Zürich).

October 6, at 6pm (MESZ)
"Ecological Collapse, Indigenous Communities and Land Art – Artist Encounter with Hans Baumann"

We screen a film from a work in progress by Land artist Hans Baumann and discuss his long-term creative partnership with the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian tribe and their collective reflection upon a rapidly disappearing sea in the California desert. The event is supported by the Stanley Johnson Foundation and the first of a series of Artist Encounters (2021-24).

2021, September 30, at 7pm
"Imaginaires nucléaires: La stupeur" at LE BAL, Paris with Ana Vaz, Maria Stavrinaki and Toni Hildebrandt

How to think and represent the nuclear disaster in its radicality? – Conversation and screening with Brazilian artist/filmmaker Ana Vaz and art historians Maria Stavrinaki (University Panthéon-Sorbonne – Paris 1) and Toni Hildebrandt (University of Bern) at LE BAL, Paris in collaboration with University Panthéon-Sorbonne – Paris 1.

2021, August-October
Films screenings by Andrea Bordoli in Germany, Lithuania and the US

Three films by Andrea Bordoli (The Depth Beneath, The Height Above, 2019, STABULUM, 2021 and Terra Australis Incognita, 2021) were selected for Mimesis Documentary Festival, Boulder, Pasaules Film Festival in Riga, Lithuania, and Cortocircuito International Film Festival, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. STABULUM is also part of Persistenze, a group exhibition that will open Saturday the 18th September at La Rada, Locarno. Andrea Bordoli is a filmmaker and doctoral student in Social Anthropology in our subproject Indigenous Futurisms: Counter-publics in the Slipstream.

2021, September, 10-12
"It is not the End of the World" – Transdisciplinary Dialogue on the Anthropocene

Transdisciplinary Dialogue on the global and regional effects of the Anthropocene as part of the exhibition in the Kunsthalle It is not the End of the World. Artists, Writers and Speakers: Frédérique Ait-Touati (literary studies/history of science, Science Po, Paris / ZKM Karlsruhe), Romana Ganzoni (writer), Michael Hagner (history of science, ETH Zurich), Stefan Haupt (filmmaker), Toni Hildebrandt (art history, University of Bern), Pauline Julier (filmmaker, artist), Thomas Kneubühler (artist), Diana Rojas (performer), Sabine Rusterholz Petko (curator), Rasa Smite (artist), Peter J. Schneemann (art history, University of Bern), Christian Schüle (philosopher, sociologist, theologist, essayist), George Steinmann (visual artist, musician, researcher), Riikka Taurianinen (artist), Yvonne Volkart (art and media studies, FHNW Basel).

2021, September 10th, 6 pm, Kornhausforum, Bern
Invited guest lecture with UCLA anthropologist and MacArthur Fellow Jason De León "Understanding the Politics of Migrant Death along the U.S./Mexico Border"

De León's talk will conclude the exhibition Confronting Hostile Terrains (19.08.21-11.09.21) that examines the political causes and existential consequences of lethal border politics and aims to humanize the often-anonymous victims of border regimes and asylum systems. Confronting Hostile Terrains will center the participatory exhibit Hostile Terrain 94 from the Undocumented Migration Project directed by Jason De León. Two more interventions that explore migration and internal bordering complete the exhibition. These include Wasser from artist Sarah Hildebrand and Living in Direct Provision directed by anthropologist Darcy Alexandra.

July 2021
Qiao Hu, doctoral student of the SNSF Sinergia Mediating the Ecological Imperative, has been awarded a scholarship by the China Scholarship Council (CSC)

Qiao Hu has been awarded a scholarship by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) to pursue her PhD research at the University of Bern. Her research project Mapping the Smellscape of Altermodern: Olfactory Art and Multidimensional Art History will explore how olfactory art brings into play the concept of relational aesthetics in order to reflect on the smellscape in altermodern, in which viewers' positions are replaced by participants and relations. Her dissertation project is part of the subproject Formations of the Ethical Imperative: From Postmodernity to Relational Aesthetics and the Contemporary Period, 1960–2019, under the lead of Prof. Dr. Peter J. Schneemann.

Fall term 2021
Artist Encounters 2021-24

The work of artists is essential for the mediation and communication of ecological interdependencies: in pointing out and criticizing problematic conditions and phenomena as well as in actively intervening in environment-related discourses or even in directly engaging the environment itself. By means of images, materialities or scenarios, the artistic techniques of the present are able to fill gaps between scientific implications and social transformations with creative processes. The artists' agency takes a central role in addressing the comprehensive ecological challenges of our time.

This series is generously sponsored by the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation.

2021, May 29
Keynote by Prof. Dr. Peter J. Schneemann on "Fragmentarische Erinnerungen an eine Kunstgeschichte der Dekonstruktion. Anmerkungen zu den Versuchungen des Ganzen" (in German)

Colloque suisse de la revèle en histoire de l'art / Nachwuchskolloquium für Kunstgeschichte in der Schweiz 2021, Department of Art History and Archeology, University of Fribourg

2021, May 27
"Green Deal in the Art Field", Schwarzes Café, Löwenbräukunst Zurich

Roundtable with Dr. Toni Hildebrandt (SNSF Mediating the Ecological Imperative), Markus Reymann (Director of the TBA21–Academy, Venice), Mareike  Dittmer (Director of Public Engagement, TBA21–Academy, Venice) and Karin Zindel (Co-Leitung Geschäftsstelle Dossier Nachhaltigkeit, ZHdK), Moderation: Dr. Gabrielle Schaad, Co-Curator Le Foyer – in Process.

Spring term 2021
An interdisciplinary lecture series on "Contamination. A Critical Vocabulary of Modernity" took place as a co-organized series of the Departments of Modern and Contemporary Art History, American Studies and Social Anthropology.

Speakers included Darcy Alexandra (Social Anthropology, Bern), Andrea Bordoli (Social Anthropology, Bern), Claus Beisbart (Philosophy, Bern), Alice Gustson (Art History, Bern), Toni Hildebrandt (Art History, Bern), Petra Tjitske Kalshoven (Anthropology, Manchester), Peter Krieger (Art History, Mexico City), Deborah Madsen (American Literature, Geneva), Gabriele Rippl (North American Literature and Culture, Bern), Jonathan Sarfin (North American Literature, Bern), Michaela Schäuble (Social Anthropology, Bern), Peter Schneemann (Art History, Bern), as well as an artist lecture by Minerva Cuervas (Mexico City).

2021, April 22–23
Keynote by Prof. Dr. Gabriele Rippl at the Symposium "Kulturelle Nachhaltigkeit lernen und lehren"

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Rippl will give a Keynote (in German) at the Symposium “Kulturelle Nachhaltigkeit lernen und lehren”, Pädagogische Hochschule Niederösterreich.

2020, November 27–28
International Workshop "The Ecological Imperative", University of Bern (digital)

With contributions by Hannah Baader, Toni Hildebrandt, Peter Krieger, Ursula Kluwick, Michi Knecht, Virginia Richter, Gabriele Rippl, Michaela Schäuble, Peter J. Schneemann, Ursula Ströbele, Hubert Zapf and a Keynote by Christof Mauch (Director, Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich).

2020, June 28th
Digital Conference: Beyond the Anthropocene: Ecological Wisdom in Art

Tsinghua Arts and Design Institute in Milan with a lecture by Prof. Dr. Peter Krieger on Aesthetics and Ecology – Research Concepts

2020, June 26th
Media Relations

Interview (German) with cPI Prof. Dr. Peter J. Schneemann, Institute of Art History, University of Bern