Opening "Hydrosphären" and the beginning of Fraunhofer’s anniversary year

Opening "Hydrosphären" and the beginning of Fraunhofer’s anniversary year

STATE Studio and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft present interdisciplinary showcases from within arts and science

Tuesday, April 16 2019
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To celebrate 70 years of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft STATE collaborated with Fraunhofer-Netzwerk für Wissenschaft, Kunst und Design, the renowned New York based Science-Film Festival Imagine Science and Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD) creating the interdisciplinary showcase HYDROSPHÄREN- an artistic and scientific reflection on themes surrounding water.

The opening of the exhibition marks the beginning of an event series at STATE studio, a space for science and art :

As part of the 70th Anniversary of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft the public is invited to engage with socially relevant developments in science and research. Between April and December 2019 selected art works reflecting current research at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will be presented through several exhibitions and two artist residencies. STATE curated artistic and scientific explorations dealing with water, spectrum of light, stromatolites and quantum physics to expose topics and questions featuring in current scientific and artistic debates to reach a broader audience and allow for more transparency.

Hydrosphären opening
April 16 2019, 6:30 PM

To celebrate 70 years of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft STATE collaborates with Fraunhofer-Netzwerk für Wissenschaft, Kunst und Design, the renowned New York-based Science-Film Festival Imagine Science Films and Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD) creating the interdisciplinary showcase Hydrosphären – an artistic and scientific reflection on themes surrounding water.

Precious resource, unexplored habitat, a mirror of life in the Anthropocene and dramatic scenery of its transgressions: Water as natural element has ever since been the basis of both exploration and exploitation of life, stimulating curiosity and artistic reflection.

 The first showcase at STATE studio is dedicated to interdisciplinary and experimental explorations by artists and researchers who are working with the topic of water.

 Together with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and in collaboration with Imagine Science Films, State Studio is opening Hydrosphären as a space for reflection on differing concepts of water: revealing water to be a place of urgent engagement for humans, an indispensable resource and lasting pull in artistic explorations.

 STATE understands itself as a discursive and participatory forum dedicated to arts and science. The exhibition is designed to examine the differing conceptual perspectives on water: facts from natural science meet aesthetic speculation and techno-virtual realities, pointing towards a future of water consumption that is influenced by our heightened climatic awareness, curiosity and economic reasoning.

 Hydrosphären features Stefan Wischnewski (DE), an artist who received multiple awards and Dr.-Ing Gabriele Neugebauer (DE), a photographer and patroness of Fraunhofer-Netzwerk Wissenschaft, Kunst und Design along with a showcase by the class of Generative Art at UdK Berlin (DE), called Deep Sea. Further the works of filmmakers Amanda Tasse (US), Claire Sanford (CAN) and Nathan Kensinger (US) will be on sight, selected together with the renowned Film Festival Imagine Science Films in New York, specifically for this exhibition.

Born in 1974, Stefan Wischnewski transports his interest for the sea, water and oceans into artistic objects and installations. For Fraunhofer-Forum Berlin Wischnewski developed an installation consisting of processed weirs. The resulting hive-like texture raises questions about the sea as an economic place, a source for sustenance and the role of human disruption in this millennium-spanning ecosystem.

The patroness of Fraunhofer-Netzwerk Wissenschaft, Kunst und Design Dr.-Ing. Gabriele Neugebauer focusses in her photographic work on the morphing qualities of water, translating its force through focussed impressions of light and shadow. This artistic discourse was adapted by Birds on Mars, a Berlin-based AI company, expanding its technological dimensions: hereby AI feeds the Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) form, color, and space of the imagery to generate new motifs of waterbodies.

The immersive works of the filmmaker Amanda Tasse weave scientific questions and atmospheric storytelling into multi-platform experiences. Her short film MIRA, finalist of the Student Academy Awards, connects quests of the deep sea with reflections on the universe and the source of life by a sea biologist. Turritopsis Dornhii, the ‚immortal jellyfish’ follows the explorations of the protagonist and her contemplations about life. Water forms the relational aspect on a philosophical plane, aligning time, space, human and animal with the magical.

The Canadian Filmmaker Claire Sanford investigates in her documentary work the dissection between a world interfered with and designed by humans over the natural order. In Wind Should Be Heard Not Seen she reflects on climate change from a macro as well as micro perspective: wind- and water as an oceanic driving force- are portrayed as unifying elements for different cultures and societies, proclaiming an urgent need for a global solution in regards to climate change.

The relationship between man-made action and natural reactions, as well as its reverse effects, are the topics in the short film documentary Managed Retreat by filmmaker Nathan Kensinger from New York. A brief portrait of three neighboring areas of New York City follows their forced redevelopment and displacement caused by the rising sea levels and erosion of the shores. The apocalyptic, desolate cityscape can be read as an omen of the future here and now.

Deep Sea is an alliance of students and tutors of the class for Generative Art (Alberto de Campo and Hannes Hoelzl) and the seminar Vampyroteuthis Infernalis, The Vampire Squid from Hell (Anita Jóri) at UdK Berlin. The uncharted deep sea serves as an inspiration and point of culmination for Alberto de Campo, Hannes Hoelzl, Christian Schmidts, Bruno Gola, Isak Han, Kathrin Hunze,

Hana Yoo, Yoonjoo Lee, Sanni Nam, and Mija Healey, who created hypothetical inhabitants of the deep sea. Their intelligent objects are equal actants, who negotiate their behavior in a non-centralised way. These fictional inhabitants of the deep sea are found living in the basement of STATE studio, raising questions about the development of biodiversity and looking for answers by hacking evolution on a technological level.

opening 16 April, 6:30 pm

Welcome and Introduction by Patroness Dr. Gabriele Neugebauer, 6:30 pm

Scientific lecture and Artist talk with Stefan Wischnewski and Charli Kruse head of Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Technology (EMB Lübeck) and Ursula Schließmann Coordination Office Fraunhofer Water Systems Alliance (SysWasser)(Fraunhofer Allianz SYS-Wasser) 6:45 pm


Kuration: Dr. Christian Rauch, Johanna Teresa Wallenborn
Produktion: Christina Hooge, Veronika E. Natter


Dorothée Höfter
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., München
Hauptabteilung Kommunikation
Wissenschaft und Kunst im Dialog

STATE Studio

Johanna Teresa Wallenborn
Christina Hooge

STATE Studio 

STATE is a Berlin-based initiative for open science, art, and innovation. Founded in 2014, we connect people with science in a new way: participatory, interdisciplinary and inspiring. Integrating research, technology, and culture in its thinking, STATE explores current developments in science where cutting-edge research transforms society. STATE Studio is supported and developed in partnership with Wissenschaft im Dialog, the initiative for science communication in Germany, and JOHANENLIES, a Berlin-based upcycling furniture designer.

Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD) aims to arouse and strengthen interest in science among people of every age and background. We aim to achieve this by organising discussions, education projects for schools, exhibitions and competitions – all focused on science and research. We develop new formats for science communication and run events across Germany to reach diverse target groups. Our goal is for as many people as possible to be involved in discussions about research, including its controversial aspects. WiD is a non-profit organisation founded in 1999 by the major German science organisations on the initiative of the 'Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft'. WiD also has several foundations as partners and receives significant support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Imagine Science Films is a non-profit organization in existence since 2008 committed to promoting a high-level dialogue between scientists and filmmakers.

Founded at Rockefeller University by geneticist and filmmaker Alexis Gambis in 2008, ISF has produced annual science film festivals in New York, Paris, and Abu Dhabi, as well as at satellite events worldwide, and serves as a major venue for the release of new and experimental works bridging the worlds of science and film. Imagine Science Films seek to challenge and expand the role of science in the current cultural discourse by providing a forum for adventurous interdisciplinary collaboration.