Acting Archives

Media lab for artistic research and education – supported by the TURN Fund

Das Projekt Acting Archives versteht sich als edukative Modellplattform für die Zusammenarbeit von äthiopischen, deutschen und internationalen KünstlerInnen und TheoretikerInnen. Die Fotos zeigen Lehrveranstaltungen und Ausstellungspraxis während des zehnwöchigen Kooperationsprojektes des Instituts für Raumexperimente und der Ale School of Fine Art and Design in Addis Abeba 2012. © Institut für Raumexperimente


The project “Acting Archives” offers an interdisciplinary platform of exchange and collaboration between Ethiopian, German and international artists and theorists on the subject of artistic research and archiving.

The project included two symposia and an exhibition of contemporary Ethiopian art and performance art in Berlin. The participants also developed a “Media Container” for presentation purposes in Berlin and Addis Ababa. The project kicked off with a symposium on the methods and theories of archiving and the creation of artistic knowledge. The second symposium, titled “Experiencing Education Experiments: Methodologies in Thinking Doing“, explored experimentation as a method of artistic research and education. To ensure long-term archiving and knowledge transfer, the project will also create a “Media Container” for storing comprehensive, net-based digital documentation of all the lectures, case studies and discussions of the events, as well as selected transcripts and publications by the project’s participants.

Further presentations of Acting Archives and Ethiopian artists and collaborators were hosted in conjunction with Festival of Future Nows, a three day event by Institut für Raumexperimente, Berlin University of the Arts in collaboration with Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin in November 2014.

A project by the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments) at the Berlin University of the Arts and the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design of Addis Ababa (ET)

Artistic directors: Olafur Eliasson (DK), Christina Werner (DE), Eric Ellingsen (US/DE)
Institutional partners: Institut für Raumexperimente, Berlin University of the Arts; Studio Olafur Eliasson; Alle School of Fine Art and Design, Addis Ababa University
Participants: Bruno Latour (FR), Elizabeth Giorghis (ET), Koyo Kouoh (SN), Jonathan Ledgard (GB), Elvira Dyangani Ose (GQ/GB), Akinbode Akinbiyi (NG) , Aida Muluneh (ET), and others


"A-B-A-B-A: from hear to here", 19.7.2014, 7.30-9.30 pm, Volksbühne Berlin

"A-B-A-B-A: from hear to here" was a three rhythm of poetry, soundings, in voicing, performing, playing, rehearsing and talking together. In this exercise of style, poets and musicians from Ethiopia, joined international poets, musicians, artists, and translators based in Berlin. Everyone played together. Ethiopian poetry today refers to itself as Jazz Poetry. Jazz Poetry crosses genetic material from music and poetry in a way, which discovers a style and forms based in listening. Through listening, rhythms and styles and modes of playing are created between the musicians and the poets particular to the poems and poets performing. During the workshop and presentation we used this structure of listening and playing. Music and artistic styles and styles of critiquing poetry, particular to some European and US poetry today, were mixed in.

Participants are: Eric Ellingsen (poet/writer, Berlin/US), Christian Hawkey (poet/tranlator, Berlin/US), Mihret Kebede (poet, Addis Abeba), Robert Lippok (musician, Berlin), Abebas Melaku (poet, Addis Abeba), Jorga Mesfin (musician, Addis Abeba), Ari Benjamin Meyers (composer/conductor, Berlin/US), Rike Scheffler (poet, Berlin), Misrak Terefe (poet, Addis Abeba), Uljana Wolf (poet, Berlin), and others
"A-B-A-B-A: from hear to here" is a collaboration initiated by Institut für Raumexperimente, Berlin University of the Arts as part of Acting Archives funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, realized together with SAVVY Contemporary e.V. and Roter Salon/Palais Wittgenstein at Volksbühne Berlin

Turn- Fund for artistic cooperation between Germany and African Countries

In 2012, the Federal Cultural Foundation established the TURN – Fund for Artistic Cooperation between Germany and African Countries in order to encourage a wide range of German institutions to shift their focus on the artistic production and cultural debates in African countries.

More about the TURN Fund (opens in a new window)


Institut für Raumexperimente

Universität der Künste Berlin
Fakultät Bildende Kunst

Christinenstrasse 18/19
Haus 2

10119 Berlin (external link, opens in a new window)