Overline: Berlin Science Week
Headline: “To Be of Service”

Berlin Science Week “To be of service”
Sus. Schmitt

This year, for the very first time, there is a second Berlin Science Week location: the ART & SCIENCE FORUM in partnership with Holzmarkt 25.

Under the motto ‘Dare to Know: Creative Science, Precise Art‘ it will highlight the fruitful interaction of artistic practice and scientific rigor, and its capacity to foster understanding and generate knowledge. The FORUM will be inaugurated with a festive VERNISSAGE on 1 NOVEMBER and will be open through to 10 NOVEMBER. There are science slams, comedy shows, concerts, and experimental multi-sensorial performances. There are also exhibitions, where artists and scientists will be displaying the results of their collaborative work – and an Art & Science Fair is taking place on 5 NOVEMBER. The FORUM is open for the whole duration of the festival.

RIFS Fellow Susanne Schmitt is participating at the Berlin Science Week 2023 with:

“To be of service.” Speculative millinery’s tiny worlds of consequence.

Climate crisis and biodiversity crisis are deeply entwined, overlapping, and co-shaping catastrophes. Both affect the multitude of lifeforms sharing and shaping the biosphere. And yet, in public perception, one seems to be overshadowed by the other.

In sustainability discourse, more-than-human life is often de-centered and limited to deliver ecosystem services: biodiversity is reduced to providing flows of human-centered services like food sustenance, recreation, or climate regulation.

“To be of Service” takes the hat-making (“millinery”) trade of the late nineteenth century, as a crucial starting point for environmental protection activities and public thinking about extinction. It showcases historical hats, interrogated by AI-based species recognition apps and developed further with hat-makers and botanists, as speculative museum objects. They take up different moments in time when certain plant, fungus, or animal species were especially threatened.

The Tiny Galleries are open to the public throughout the festival and are spread across the entire area of Holzmarkt 25, open daily from 15:00-19:00. Find out more on the Berlin Science Week Forum website.