Rituals of Wasted Technology – Lectures and Roundtable

Lectures and Roundtable

The accompanying roundtable program to the exhibition Rituals of Wasted Technology will feature lectures by aLifveForms (cared for by JP Raether), Asia J. Biega, and Dorothea von Hantelmann, followed by discussions with artist Marco Barotti and exhibition curators Pauline Doutreluingne and Keumhwa Kim.

These discussions will reflect on how technologies affect the rituals of our everyday lives and how they influence artistic exhibition practices. Which kinds of rituals are present in our technoid society? For Byung Chul Han, “rituals are symbolic techniques of making oneself at home in the world.” Rituals strengthen community by facilitating collective experiences of closure, transition, celebration, and grief. On a neurological level, the repetition of ritual acts alters neurological processing, increasing human attention span and long-term memory. Our current epoch is marked by a decline in ritual behavior, as we have always known it. How can new collective rituals be created to better live in our contemporary, digital context?

Rituals of Wasted Technology takes place as part of the Speaking to Ancestors exhibition series curated by Pauline Doutreluingne and Keumhwa Kim. The two-year program series (2022-23) forms a narrative of seven successive artistic positions, whose works deal with the search for genealogies and ritual (image) practices. Between faded myths and traditional imagination, the artists presented in Speaking to Ancestors create new performative spaces for action.

The program collaborates with different sites in Berlin that function as “memory spaces,” places of worship, healing places, and places of devotion. Artists are invited to develop their work based on a novel, site-specific approach that engages with the histories of exhibition locations.


aLifveForms (JP Raether) evolve as a multitude of what they term “beingnesses” in a number of different milieus and habitats. Currently there are three aLifveForms: Protektorama, Schwarmwesen, and Transformella. Having been spawned as entities in their own right, they consider the idea of constructed authorship, in an evolutionary process of identity–making and –unmaking. aLifveForms are language–driven and enmeshed with various contemporary technologies as well as their attendant communities. They are fed and cared for by the artist JP Raether who attended Berlin University of the Arts and teaches a Master’s program in performative practices at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg.

Asia J. Biega is a tenure–track faculty member at the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy (MPI–SP), and the leader of the Responsible Computing group. Her research centers on developing, examining and computationally operationalizing principles of responsible computing, data governance / ethics, and digital well–being. She completed her PhD in Computer Science at the MPI for Informatics and the MPI for Software Systems, winning the DBIS Dissertation Award of the German Informatics Society.

Dorothea von Hantelmann is Professor of Art and Society at Bard College Berlin. She is the author of How to Do Things with Art, and her current book project is entitled The exhibition: Transformations of a ritual, which explores exhibitions as ritual spaces in which fundamental values and categories of modern, liberal, and market–based societies historically have been, and continue to be, practiced and reflected.

Saturday, January 14
Start: 4 pm
Free admission