November 17, 2020 - ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe - Driving the Human Festival
November 17, 2020

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

Driving the Human visual identity: Studio Yukiko, Berlin. Graphic design: Felix Plachtzik.

Driving the Human Festival
November 20–22, 2020

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Lorenzstr. 19
76135 Karlsruhe

T +49 721 81001200
Instagram / Facebook

Organized and hosted by ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design 

Online broadcast at & &

Taking place on November 20–22, 2020, the Driving the Human festival will showcase and critically engage with the urgencies of our time. The festival will publicly discuss and condense questions and visions for shaping a sustainable and collective future by combining science, technology, and art. In a digital broadcast accessible to all, the festival invites scholars, artists, designers, and other multidisciplinary participants to launch a debate on the themes currently defining our existence—from the human to non-human, from existence to co-existence, from digital to analogue. Over the course of three days, the festival combines different formats, interweaving online programming with artistic interventions. The program brings inspiring speakers and visionary voices to the fore, in search of the constructive frictions that define our contemporary moment.

The festival unfolds at ZKM in the context of the exhibition Critical Zones and is the starting point of the three-year project Driving the Human. Critical Zones explores new modes of coexisting between all forms of life and provides an orientation with which to discuss the current ecological and sociopolitical challenges of our time. Similarly investigating local resources and sustainable possibilities to redesign and rethink production methods, the Bio Design Lab of the HfG introduces practical and sustainable visions for the future. The workshop THERE ARE BIOCOMPOSITS GROWING IN MY GARDEN by Kim André Lange and the Bio Design Lab takes place throughout the festival.


Friday, November 20


Jan Boelen (greeting), Bio Design Lab (project presentation), Melanie Bonajo (film screening), Alba G. Corral & Tutu (music and visuals), Daria Mille (project presentation), Hans Ulrich Obrist (project presentation), Vivien Tauchmann (statement and performances), Peter Weibel (greeting)

Saturday, November 21

Section 1: (Non-)Human
What is Human? Have we ever been human?

Joanna Bourke (discussion), Bogna Konior (discussion) Alexandra Pirici (lecture), Lena Reitschuster (moderation), Jenna Sutela (film screening), Cary Wolfe (discussion)

Section 2: Habitat
Where do we live? Where can we land?

Frédérique Aït-Touati (discussion), Sabine Faller (moderation),  Alexandre Monnin (discussion), Guillaume Pitron (discussion), Julijonas Urbonas (performance, conversation with Jan Boelen), Gediminas & Nomeda Urbonas (lecture)

Section 3: Economy
What is progress? How do we produce and exchange value? 

Michel Bauwens (discussion), Anett Holzheid (moderation), Susanne Kadner (discussion), John Thackara (statement), Richard D. Wolff (discussion)

Jeremy Shaw (film screening)

Sunday, November 22

Feral Atlas as a verb represented by Lili Carr & Feifei Zhou (workshop)

Section 4: Technology
Can A.I. help to build a more sustainable and collective future?

Albert-Lázsló Barabási (conversation with Teresa Retzer), Ariana Dongus (moderation), Maximilian Ilse (discussion), Simone Niquille (discussion) 

Section 5: Knowledge 
Who is producing knowledge and for whom?

Indy Johar (discussion), Michael Kaethler (moderation), Karrabing Film Collective (film screening), Sarat Maharaj (discussion), Isabelle Stengers (statement)

Section 6: Access
Who has access to knowledge and participation?

Claudia Chwalisz (discussion), Sasha Costanza-Chock (discussion), Feral Atlas Collective  represented by Lili Carr & Feifei Zhou (project presentation), Vera Sacchetti (moderation), Jonas Staal & Jan Fermon (project presentation) 

What is, then, urgent? How can Driving the Human do something about it?

Jan Boelen, Freo Majer, Martina Schraudner, Peter Weibel (closing remarks)

Bruno Latour & Frédérique Aït-Touati (film screening)

Main moderation of the festival: Barbara Kiolbassa & Julien McHardy.

Concept & idea: Jan Boelen & Peter Weibel with Sarah Donderer & Teresa Retzer.

For more information
 about the program and participants here.
Join our Telegram group to take part in the festival:

About the project
Driving the Human
Seven prototypes for eco-social renewal

From 2020 to 2023, the scientific and artistic collaboration Driving the Human becomes a catalyst for experimentation, shaping sustainable, and collective futures that combine science, technology, and the arts in a transdisciplinary and collaborative approach. Jointly led by four partner institutions—acatech, National Academy of Science and Engineering; the mentorship platform Forecast; the HfG Karlsruhe; and ZKM | Karlsruhe—Driving the Human will produce seven tangible prototypes responding to complex contemporary scenarios, relying on an expanded expert and knowledge network.

For more information: ZKM, HfG, Driving the Human
For media enquiries, please contact: press [​at​]

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
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