Animalesque Academy at Floating University
[Last week of August – first two weeks of September, exact dates t.b.c]
The Animalesque Visiting School, as part of the Architectural Association Visiting School Programme, brings together students and professionals with different backgrounds from all over the world to explore the boundaries of human / animal coexistence and work together towards an ‘Animalesque Utopia’.
After an intense period of research, symposia, seminars and our first Visiting School carried out in 2018, Animalesque will now enlarge its animals repertoire from insects to birds, searching for new knowledge given by these creatures that reign trees and skies.
Responding to the wide complexity and urban effects of engaging animal life, this new phase will bring together philosophy, art, music, body movement, biology, politics, nutrition, architecture, activism, science fiction, photography, filming and sensorial technology, as a large multidisciplinary community of practices.
Our base camp in Berlin will be at the Floating University, a unique experimental and community driven space, located at a former water tank of the Tempelhof Airport, where nature did its job and turned it into an ecologically active lagoon. Its abundant flora, muddy waters and traces of pollution provide a strong framework for an urban, interactive meeting space for insects, birds and humans.
Our 2019 Visiting School will be organized as ‘Animalesque Academy’ and will be divided into three modules of one week each, which can be taken separately or as a whole. This will offer participants the ability to take up different stages and projects, related to their interests and skills.
- Natural fieldwork / Bio-Situasionism
The first Module proposes to derive, almost in a Bio-Situasionist way, in the Wildlife of Berlin. Students will explore the rich natural spaces in and around the city, trying to discover what you normally don´t see, building up your own narratives about urban animality. We will encourage the use of different media, – drawings, film, photography, sensory systems – embedding yourselves within your own Animalesque reality.
- Prototyping and Performance / Expressive Lagoon
The focus of the second module will be on material and performative experiments based on insects and birds studies, carried out at the Floating University solid and liquid space. We expect to keep developing the vast range of initial experiments and techniques started during the 2018 Visiting School, as well as new ones, to get deeper into specific interventions in the lagoon. We also want to encourage performative actions of any kind – art, dance, music, etc – that can express forms of interaction with the natural and Animal Kingdom having the lagoon as a stage.
- Biopolicies / The Animal Green Debate
This third and last Module, attempts to position our work in the political arena of Berlin. A city with a large and intricate environmental history, which is now going through complex processes of densification and loss of natural space. We aim to open up debates with different actors discussing over our projects and exemplary cases found out in the city of Berlin or other places in the world.
All modules will have the presence of different experts from the fields of art, natural science, architecture, philosophy and politics in order to allow the students to experience concrete learning experiences and debate.
Our teaching team led by Berlin based architects Jorge Godoy, Ana Zatezalo and Sjoerd Krijnen, counts with the ongoing participation of renown academics such as Professor Raoul Bunschoten philosopher Emanuele Coccia, architect Ricardo de Ostos, Berlin beekeeper Erika Mayr, Natural History Museum taxonomist Charles Coleman, TU Berlin teacher and researcher Moritz Maria Karl and NABU director Melanie Von Orlow.
And of course participants will explore many natural spaces and places abandoned by mankind. Wild Berlin will be your laboratory!