Research Project

Decolonizing Socialism: Entangled Internationalism. An Intersectional Study of Cold War Projects from East Germany in Cinema and Cybernetics with Relevance for the 21st Century
The objective of the case-based Research Project is a decolonial analysis of under-researched or disregarded Cold War projects with a focus on cybernetics, internationalism, art and cinema from the Global Cold War period with relevance to the 21st Century. Situated in the field of Visual Cultures, the Research Project aims to mobilize practice-based approaches to engage in the critical analysis of case studies of art practices from socialist geographies of the Cold War period from Europe with a specific focus on operational concepts of cybernetics and internationalism. In this framework, the project’s cross-disciplinary, practical and trans-historical approach aims to foster an awareness for anti-colonial movements, anti-fascist actions and solidarity initiatives in the Global Cold War period with regards to the debates of the period about technology, science, technopolitics, philosophy and art, and what these debates mean for us as well as how they affect us today.
Furthermore, the Research Project follows the principles of “advanced research practices” as developed by the European Forum for Advanced Practices, supported by European Cooperation in Science and Technology, i.e., COST Action 2018-2020.

Leading institution: HEAD – Genève, CCC Research-Based Master Programme, Fine Arts
Applicant and Project Manager Prof. Dr. Doreen Mende
Project team: Project Collaborator Vinit Agarwal, FNS-funded Doctoral Researcher Lea Marie Nienhoff, Prof. Dr. Kenny Cupers, University of Basel
Project Partners: Prof. Charles Esche, Van Abbe Museum Eindhove, Dr. Anselm Franke, House of the World Cultures Berlin
Financing: FNS, HEAD – Genève

The Anthropocene Atlas of Geneva (TAAG)
The project is an interdisciplinary research project that studies responses to socially caused global environmental change. Through interviews and fieldwork, TAAG researches and documents the diverse ways that the humans and nonhumans of one urban ecology, the city and region of Geneva, are responding to planetary change. A research focus on human actors and their networks (including citizens, activists, and artists, as well as scientific institutions, international organizations, and NGOs) establishes a context for encounters with nonhuman actants and agents (migrating climates, trees with ritual functions, receding glaciers, endangered species, mobile toxins).

TAAG combines field research, critical reflection, and artistic practices. This multimedia website includes an archive of video interviews and local sites and objects, which can be accessed through the homepage map of the Geneva region. The interviews, conducted in 2017 and 2018, document the knowledge, experiences, practices, and views of scientists, artists, activists, and citizens from diverse professions. Exemplary local sites and objects are also investigated and documented. A glossary explicates relevant key terms, local place names, species names, and groups or events of special interest; it also contains critical commentary and new representations of the so-called Anthropocene. The glossary interfaces with the map and archive of interviews, sites, and objects, and is supported by a bibliography. Information about the interdisciplinary research methodology is provided in the notes on methods, on the website. All of these elements together form The Anthropocene Atlas of Geneva.

TAAG is a research project of HEAD – Genève / Geneva School of Art and Design that is supported by an award from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The project is carried out by four researchers in art and philosophy (Gene Ray, Aurélien Gamboni, Janis Schroeder, and Kate Stevenson) at HEAD – Genève / Geneva School of Art and Design, supported by the TAAG Advisory Research Group, a network of international scholars, researchers, and artists working in diverse disciplines and media. The TAAG research takes place over two years (2017 and 2018), during which time the TAAG website will be added to continuously and developed into the final online Atlas.

Please visit the TAAG website at: