Thinking under Turbulence is a one-year colloquium that takes place at a transitional moment of ‘critical curatorial cybermedia’ (CCC), the Research-Based study program at HEAD – Genève School of Art and Design. Formatted in public sessions and closed seminars, Thinking under Turbulence provides time and space to think through the conditions and possibilities of an international Research Program (MA) dedicated to curatorial concerns within the complex geospatial and techno-political constellations of the present.

Contributors to the colloquium include invited guests in conversation with students and faculty members of the research-based study program at HEAD, in a series of public sessions at the seminar room of BH, salle 27, open to everyone. Visiting guests also contribute to closed sessions with students of the program’s curriculum over the year.

Knowledge is not per se emancipatory. It is the art of thinking that transforms knowledge into social property with emancipatory potential. But where can thinking take place within today’s accelerationist tendencies towards the accumulation of knowledge? What can a study program of an art school deliver to contemporary conditions, in terms of processes and platforms, so that we might speak through fragmented vocabularies, stay open to transformative long-term processes of production, including those that might need more than two years of an MA-program to gestate? How might our trans-disciplinary constellations, our crossing of different time-zones and languages, our incomplete sets of knowledges between political and technological borders, grapple critically with regimes and contexts of increasing neoliberalisation — of work and education, care and struggle, and within and beyond a predominately object-oriented cultural industrial regime? As institutional frameworks of art education similarly strengthen into more and more calculative modalities, how do we work against in/securities and debts, to put the unknown to work outside of mere capital transactions and accumulations?

The Thinking under Turbulence colloquium departs from literally “a speaking together”: from com- “together” + -loquium “speaking”. A speaking together outside/inside the academy. Therefore, the concept of the colloquium does not propose thinking to be a philosophical method to study a subject matter but departs from a moment under conditions of turbulence when knowledge is under pressure that makes it necessary to think differently. As a study program in Higher Education, a European art academy wishing to rethink the locations of knowledge must do this thinking through the questions: Which knowledge? From whom? For whom? And for which purposes?

The sessions will be mainly in English language as well as French. Each will be edited into a print publication.

Location: HEAD, bâtiment BH – Boulevard Helvétique 9, 1205 Geneva, seminar room, salle 27, 2nd floor.

Concept: Doreen Mende
Research: Eric Philippoz (

Aurélien Ballif, Naouel Ben Aziza, Marie Berthout Van Berchem, Mandarava Bricaire, Yasmeen Chaudhry, Duke Choi, Marguerite Davenport, Ana Raquel Ermida Gomes, Emmanuelle Esmail-Zavieh, Camille Kaiser, Charlyne Kolly, Alba Lage, Viola Lukács, Raphaelle Mueller, Diego Orihuela, Camilla Paolino, Charles-Elie Payre, Julia Pecheur, Geneviève Romang, Antoinette Scheidegger Schaer, Stéphanie Serra, Dragos Tara, Valérie Vilarem, Tina Wetchy, Yael Wicki.

Responsible Professor: Doreen Mende. Associate Professors: Pierre Hazan, Gene Ray, Anne-Julie Raccoursier, Visiting Professor and Tutors: Kodwo Eshun, Marion von Osten, Aymon Kreil, Denis Pernet, Program assistants and researchers: Cécile Boss, Eric Philippoz, Janis Schroeder.

Guests (2015/16)
Nabil Ahmed, Gilad Ben-Nun, Ursula Biemann, Isabelle Benoît, Boabooks (Izet Sheshivari), Yann Chateigné Tytelman, Laboria Cuboniks (Helen Hester, Katrina Burch), Laure Giletti & Gregory Dapra, Glass Bead (tbc), Anselm Franke, Aurélien Gamboni, Samia Henni, Yoneda Lemma, Armin Linke, Julia Moritz, Griselda Pollock, Catherine Quéloz, ruangrupa (Farid Rakun), Ilana Salama Ortar, Joshua Simon, Françoise Vergès, Grant Watson, Eyal Weizman, among others

Design concept: Laure Giletti & Gregory Dapra (Brussels/Paris)
Language-edit: Rachel O’Reilly
Image on the welcome page: Geneva Freeport, screenshot of Street View, January 2016.