who’s there?

A seminar by Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Ines Schaber and Anselm Franke

October 22nd – 26th, 2007, all sessions will start at 7:00 PM

The unitednationsplaza‘s October seminar seeks to negotiate the possibilities of the political and the artistic in a state of a general mental and social blackout. The week will be guided by a text by Thomas Keenan and will involve guest presenters from different cultural fields.

Keenans’ text describes the place where the aporias of so much of contemporary politics occur as a darkened frontier — a night situation of non-knowledge and non-rule where the right to question and to pass is negotiable. Name, password, knowledge and power. In this darkness the frontier itself shifts, moves like a ghost, limitless and unnatural; political responsibility becomes an experience of a certain encounter, a crossing at that darkened border.

Kennan insists that we have to fight all the new obscurantisms that appear in this darkness and fight for the extension and radicalization of all enlightments. In that sense the seminar seeks to sound out possible paths for this radicalization by considering different traditions of knowledge, artistic means, discussion and failure.

guest contributors:

Avery Gordon

Nanna Heidenreich

Philip Scheffner

Ashley Hunt


Thomas Keenan, Fables of Responsibilities – Abberrations and Predicaments in Ethics and Politics, Stanford University Press 1997

the text is posted at

Admission is free. All are welcome.

For those unable to come to Berlin, the content of the seminar will be broadcast live on WUNP. Log on at

about participants:

Avery Gordon is a Professor of Sociology and Law and Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Visiting Faculty at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths College, University of London. She is the author of Keeping Good Time: Reflections on Knowledge, Power and People, Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination, and the editor of Mapping Multiculturalism and Body Politics, among other works. Her most recent articles on imprisonment and the War on Terror were published in Race & Class and Le Monde Diplomatique. Her current writing aims to comparatively understand the nature of captivity and confinement today, its means of dispossession, and what’s required to abolish it. Since 1997, she has co-hosted No Alibis, a weekly public affairs radio program on KCSB 91.9 FM, Santa Barbara.

Ashley Hunt is an artist and activist based in Los Angeles, who uses video, photography, mapping and writing to engage social movements, modes of learning and public discourse. Among his interests are structures that allow people to accumulate power and those which keep others from getting power, while learning from ways people come to know, respond to and conceive of themselves within these structures.

Nanna Heidenreich lives in Berlin and works in the field of visual culture, film/video & theory. She is one of the project directors of arsenal experimental works with kanak attak and over the last decade has been involved in many film festivals (as curator, organisor, etc). She teaches (eg UDK Berlin), writes, curates, and translates.

Anselm Franke is a curator and writer based in Antwerp and Berlin. He is currently the Artistic Director of Extra City Center for Contemporary Art in Antwerp. Recent projects include Clinic: A Pathology of Gestures at Hebbel Am Ufer, Berlin, November 2006, curated with Hila Peleg and No Matter How Bright the Light, the Crossing Occurs at Night at KW Berlin, September 2006, with Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Ines Schaber and Judith Hopf. He has edited and published publications with Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König and others and is a contributor to magazines such as Parkett, Cabinet Magazine, Piktogram, Domus and ARCHIS. Anselm Franke is currently a PhD candidate in Visual Cultures/Center for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College London. Together with Hila Peleg, he is a co-curator of Manifesta 7, Trentino – Alto Adige, Italy, 2008.

Natasha Sadr Haghighian’s biography can be found at

Philip Scheffner, born in Homburg/Saar in 1966. Lives in Berlin since 1986. 1991-1999 member of the Berlin writers group and production company “dogfilm”. 2001 founded the media platform and production company “pong” with Merle Kröger. Since 2001 further work with experimental music/art of sound. His film project “The Halfmoon Files” on an Indian POW who’s voice was recorded in a German POW camp during WW2, was shown at the Berlinale this year. Together with his collegue Britta Lange, he is currently working on an extension of the project within the framework of an exhibition at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien Berlin.

Ines Schaber lives and works in Berlin. She studied fine arts and architectural theory in Berlin and Princeton. In her installations she questions the definitional power of photography and provokes a gaze that also questions what we don’t see or what is rendered invisible. Her work has been shown for example at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, Actar Gallery in Barcelona (on Movers and Shapers) and at Kunstwerke Berlin (Picture Mining) as part of the collaborative exhibition project No Matter How Bright the Light, the Crossing Accurs at Night.

unitednationsplaza is exhibition as school. Structured as a seminar/residency program in the city of Berlin, it will involve collaboration with approximately 60 artists, writers, theorists and a wide range of audiences for a period of one year. In the tradition of Free Universities, most of its events will be open to all those interested to take part.

unitednationsplaza is organized by Anton Vidokle in collaboration with Liam Gillick, Boris Groys, Martha Rosler, Walid Raad, Jalal Toufic, Nikolaus Hirsch, Natascha Sadr Haghighian and Tirdad Zolghadr.

WUNP is a radio station produced by neuroTransmitter (Valerie Tevere + Angel Nevarez) for United Nations Plaza. WUNP is a portal for broadcasting audio works, conversations, and conceptual

radio projects.

top image: [Untitled] / Killed. between 1935 and 1942, Negative part of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) – Office of War Information Photograph Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540 USA, Many images of the FSA which were sorted out, were punched or designated killed.


Platz der Vereinten Nationen 14a

10249 Berlin DE

T. +49 (0)30 700 89 0 90

F. +49 (0)30 700 89 0 85


For further information please write to [email protected]


October 20, 2007