June 13 - June 13 2018

Symposium Poetry of the Real: Imagination - Friction - Transformation

Free entry, no registration needed

Following the FHNW Academy of Art and Design conferences Economies of Aesthetics (2015), Poetry of the Real – Conversations on Arts Research, in connection with the opening of the ECAM Research Center (2016), Poetry of the Real – Archives Values Futures, and the opening of the ECAM Graduate School (2017), this year’s transdisciplinary symposium Poetry of the Real: Imagination – Friction – Transformation explores the multifaceted transfer between extended arts practices and contemporary discourses. For this it inquires into the conditions of arts and design-based systems of knowledge. The sections are grouped around the perspectives of “Imagination – Friction – Transformation” and their interferences. This is based on an extended understanding of the generative processes involving the ability and motivation of the arts to develop or demonstrate changes along with the original and the new in genuine moments. Friction engenders dialogue and critical engagement with the ability to propound changes and herald new perspectives. This forms the discourse of Poetry of the Real, between the real and the arts.

The former years brought together many international artists, researchers and intellectuals:

The 2015 conference Economies of Aesthetics – From Possible to Desireable was attended by Hassan Bakshi (Nesta, London), Kieran Corcoran (Dublin Institute of Technology), Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (Northwestern University, Chicago), Catherine David ( Centre Pompidou, Paris ), Desmond Hui (Communication University of China, Hong Kong), Tina Saby Madsen (City of Copenhagen), Pierluigi Sacco ( IULM, Milan)

The 2016 conference Poetry of the Real – Conversations on Arts Research was attended by Corina Caduff (Zurich University of the Arts), Francesco Erspamer (Harvard University, Cambridge), Snežana Golubović (Frankfurt a. M.), Susanna Hertrich ( FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel), Mikhail Karikis (Royal College of Art, London), Bernd M. Scherer (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin), Maxa Zoller (American University Cairo)

The 2017 conference Poetry of the Real: Archives – Values – Futures was attended by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun (Brown University, Providence), Carla Delfos (ELIA, Amsterdam), Tacco Dibbits (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), VALIE EXPORT (Linz), Reinhard Kannonier (Kunstuniversität, Linz), Pierluigi Sacco (IULM, Milan) and Jeffrey Schnapp (Harvard University, Cambridge)

The topics discussed related to the different strategies in contemporary archives, artistic research, and aesthetic practices. One of the aims of this year’s symposium is to continue these conversations and exchanges.

Symposium Objectives:


How is imagination triggered? What are the underlying processes that generate imagination as the basis of artistic and creative processes? From the sources of perception and knowledge — how is the imagined synthesized?


Friction forms the basis for a dialogue on changing and emerging perspectives and the genesis of the new. Can friction, in its diversity of perspectives and opinions, be perceived as positive and does it have the capacity to generate openness with regard to the current relevant discourses in society and the world of digital media, design, and art?


Viewing transformation includes: disclosing disruptive developments; highlighting examples of art and extended practices; imparting access to methods of transformation; illustrating practices in art and theory that trigger the transformation of thought and perception; synthesizing modes of complex understanding.


Tuesday 12th June
Celebrating the Campus of the Arts

6 pm – 1 am              Emerging Real — Electronic Music Night (Outdoorstage / studio building, ground floor, A 0.11)

6 pm – 9 pm              Student exhibition ‘Constructed Realities’ Supervised by Ludwig Zeller Opening Reception (A -1.09)

6.30 pm – 10 pm      Neu | Now exhibition in collaboration with ELIA Opening reception (D 0.05)

7 pm – 10 pm             Teresa Solar: Flotation Line Opening Reception (der TANK)

Wednesday 13th June
Symposium Poetry of the Real

Imagination – Friction – Transformation Room: Auditorium ( D 1.04 )
Carla Delfos will guide through the day:

9.30 am – 10 am         Opening and Introduction to Symposium Objectives Prof.Kirsten Langkilde

10 am – 12 am              Imagination Introduction: Prof. Michael Renner

Asta Wellejus Prof.
Dr. Frederick Tygstrup
Prof. Michael Rock

Prof. Marion Fink

12 am – 1 pm               Lunch

1 pm – 3 pm                 Friction Introduction: Prof. Chus Martínez

Prof. Dr. Pascal Gielen
Prof. Doris Sommer PhD

Prof. Dr. Nicolaj van der Meulen

3 pm – 3.15 pm              Coffee Break

3.15 pm – 5.15 pm         Transformation Introduction: Prof. Dr. Melanie Franke

Prof. Francesco Erspamer PhD
Dr. Maxa Zoller
Dr.Shermin Voshmgir

5.15 pm – 5.45 pm         Discussion and Summary with Prof. Kirsten Langkilde followed by apéro

Thursday 14th June 2018
ECAM Graduate School Invites

Workshops “Clouds and Rocks – Embracing Friction Through Research in the Making”

From 9 am until 6 pm, followed by aperitif

FHNW Academy of Art and Design

Campus of the Arts, Freilager-Platz 1, CH-4002 Basel

Aesthetic Practice Lab ( D 2.05 / D 2.06 )

Free entry

9 am – 6 pm                      Workshop Stream I – Imagining Alien Terrains

9 am – 6 pm                       Workshop Stream II – Experiencing Alien Subjectivity

9 am – 6 pm                       Workshop Stream III – Exploring Alien Relations


This workshop series invites participants to collectively create different dimensions of an imaginary, alien world. It is a chance to reflect on the methodologies of imagining and making as forms of research in a playful and dynamic atmosphere. In response to a specific scenario, the workshop will follow and develop three parallel but interconnected strands: experiencing alien subjectivity, imagining alien terrains, and exploring the social and ecological relations in this newly imagined world. Over the course of the day the participants will exchange with guest experts from various fields, informing and inspiring the development of experimental scenarios, and shaping experiences, spaces, and structures as they go along. The workshop concludes with a physical composition, an actual film set, which brings together the outputs of the various strands: structures, performative objects, and situations designed to transform the senses and shift perspectives.

Please don’t forget to order your ticket via eventbrite.