Can you describe in a few words your impression of IMPACT18? What issues or experiences are you taking home?
A diverse group of people with different backgrounds coming together creates a special atmosphere. It makes it possible to think through topics in a much richer and encompassing way. I was very impressed. We should do these kind of gatherings more often! I felt that this form of assembly enables a more inclusive way to approach the complex entanglements of today’s worlds.
Ariana Dongus is a researcher and writer based in Berlin. With a focus on refugee camps in Jordan and northern Iraq, she researches on new forms of work, outsourcing, biometrics and artificial intelligence, to contribute to a critic of political and digital economies. Her research includes documentary films, articles and artistic projects dealing with individual political movements and public action.
What is your profession? How do the IMPACT18 topics relate to your work?
Currently, I am doing research for my PhD that deals with new forms of (immaterial) labour in the hidden backsides of the machinic assemblages in the technospheres of contemporary ‘data capitalism’. Refugee Camps have become labo(u)ratories for both the testing of new technologies and a sites that enable new forms of data-, of identity work. The people living in the camps have to give their (biometric) data to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the private companies involved in the process. This turns the refugee camps into a neoliberal marketplace in which the UNHCR has transformed the people who fled into suspicious figures, who, if they are “lucky”, can become consumers of a service and of assistance, rather than claimers of their (human and refugee) rights for protection and shelter. In this setting, technological applications can be used for counter-strategies that empower the encamped people and create spaces for resistance, rather than being a tool for control and surveillance.
What issues or experiences are you taking home of IMPACT18?
It inspires, irritates, moves and touches me how everybody involved takes care of the world from unique perspectives that matter. A concrete project I intend to start is creating a library of Medicine Songs that involves an algorhythm my husband developed to find songs appropriate in Ceremonies that heal issues within a certain community or land.
Deborah Haaksman is a psychologist, playwright and yoga teacher based in Berlin. She is part of FORMATIONS, a transversal working group which deals with the question on how knowledge production participates in the legitimation of ‘othering'.
What are you dealing with thematically?
I am a spiritual activist whose current work is about applying a state of empathy, discernment and self-actualisation that is produced through yoga into artistic practices such as ‘shamanic poetics’ as a creative and fun tool to faster ecologic and social awareness.
What is your profession? What are you dealing with thematically?
My background is in political theory and in conceptual arts. I understand my strategy as one of artistic research, which creates a perfect opportunity for me to produce transdisciplinary design. There is a particular dimension in it, which links with my main project ‘Avenir Institute’, in which we create anticipatory design, future’s design so to say.
Denis Maksimov is a theorist and curator based in London. Maksimov is co-founder of AVENIR INSTITUTE, a think tank and creative studio at the intersection of epistemology, politics, technology and aesthetics with a focus on critical analysis of potentiality in futures. Furthermore, he is interested in developing transdisciplinary strategies and methods of resistance.
Can you describe in a few words your impression of IMPACT18?
I think the most interesting component of the program was its transdisciplinarity, the collection of people of very different expertise, and everyone having an incredible load of projects, experiences, and thoughts – and that exchange was really invaluable. I will definitely stay in touch with many people whom I met in here. Program wise, the diversity of the sets of the program, the theatrical interventions for example, coupled with more theoretical approaches to phenomena like blockchain was quite interesting to experience. I would say that I enjoyed the experimental format of everything the most – it did not feel like everything was predesigned, or very much preset, but more something that was meant to happen here and very much depending on us as participants and our engagement and the way we share with each other and the speakers as well.