Public Guest Lecture

"Of Water Gardens and Glowing Traces. How to shift a former nail salon that belongs to a cemetery into a botanical garden for a week" – Susanne Schmitt


Photo: Andrea Keiz

(Work)places have their own choreographies of touch, their own politics of hapticality and storied memories of tactile encounters. Susanne Schmitt's talk follows the traces of a translation/creation process between two such sites: the Botanical Gardens Berlin and a former nail salon that has been transformed into a community space for the urban gardening collective Prinzessinnengärten in Berlin. In November, the "Studio Nagelneu" hosts an installation that emerged out of an artistic/ethnographic collaboration with the research project "Touching Plants" (Freie Universität Berlin) exploring ecounters between plants and humans. The talk revisits the collaboration process through the lens of hapticality as a social practice and shares vignettes from the installation site in order to further explore different aspects of touch.

Susanne Schmitt is an anthropologist and sensory ethnographer, interdisciplinary artist, and facilitator. Her work focusses on creative collaborations within and beyond the label of "art meets science", multispecies worlds, and the aesthetic dimensions of the workplace and sites of knowledge production like natural history museums, aquariums, or botanical gardens.

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