After a one and a half hour drive by car from Beijing’s city centre to the south the many skyscrapers and blocks begin to clear. The end of the city isn’t reached, but instead another micro cosmos which is not part of the everyday life in the Chinese capital: Abandoned, decayed buildings and curious looks mark the way to the artist Dai Chenlian. His studio lays in this remote part of the city where proper administration by the government doesn’t exist anymore.
Hans-Jörg Rheinberger is a scientific historian. He not only has a humanistic background in sociology, philosophy, and linguistics, but also a life science background in biology and chemistry. Since adolescence, he has been writing poems and essays. From 1997 to 2014, he was director at Berlin’s Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science.
In his research, Rheinberger mostly occupies himself with the nature of the experiment and experimental systems, a term he coined for configurations which contain uncertainty, unpredictability and the state of not knowing, “One has to look at them as places of emergence, as structures that have arisen from the development of the sciences in order to discover the unimaginable.
In one of the most popular art districts in the East of Beijing, photographer Zhang Wei invites me into his stylish studio in a dark backyard. The neighborhood seems central and lively, even though we are at least two hours from the city centre. Zhang Wei has the view of someone who has seen quite a lot of things in life. He speaks quietly and thoughtfully.
On his walls hang world famous people depicted in perfect photographs.
SAFI is a musician and eponym of the same-named band; the band’s work can be identified somewhere between punk and poetry. After a graphic design education in Halle and Leipzig, and various jobs in that area, SAFI’s dream to become a full time musician became more urgent and she decided to concentrate on that genre while continuing to work as a graphic designer.
Because of her concerts and meetings with clients far away from her hometown of Berlin, she told us that to “work on the fly” is one part of the creative process.
“I think, that people can learn empathy through dance”, dancer Lucija Mikas said. She began her dance career at the age of eleven at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart and quit her classic ballet education there, after four years of hard training. What she learned during this strict dance lessons, confirms established clichés as she says “Discipline is definitely necessary, because classic ballet is on the same level with ice skating and gymnastics.
Robert D. Austin is an innovation and technology management researcher and professor of Innovation and Information Technology at Ivey Business School in Canada. Together with dramaturg and emeritus professor of theatre Lee Devin he examines business innovation through the lens of art practice. Their two books Artful Making and The Soul of Design explore the striking structural similarities between theatre artistry and production and today’s business projects. For Austin, there is no doubt artistic practices are highly relevant in today’s’ business environment, and particularly “in developed economies because communication and transportation networks have become so usable and inexpensive that it devalues cost-leadership approaches to business.
Born in Berlin, Sebastian Heiner studied at the UdK (Universität der Künste) in his home town. Normally he works and lives in Berlin, where he shares an atelier with the artist Jörn Grothkopp. The Berliner told us as well, that his painting is influenced a lot by his temporary employment abroad. Over several years he held ateliers in Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok. “I think, a lot broke loose inside of me while I was staying abroad.
Young, dynamic, international are some of the descriptors that instantly come to mind as soon as you enter the FabLab in Berlin: typical Berlin. However, this would not be accurate because Berlin’s FabLab is only three years old, making it even younger than many other FabLabs that are to be found in large cities all over Germany. Most of these FabLabs deal with 3D-printing and Laser technologies, but for what purpose?
“The focus of the FabLabs lies in the educational and enlightening purpose”, explains Wolf Jeschonnek, founder and manager of the FabLab in Berlin.
Helge Steinmann, in the street art scene, is better known as “Bomber One”, a graffiti-institution in Germany. Born in Hessen, he studied communication design and became active as a graffiti artist in the late 80s. Mainly operating in and around Frankfurt he is also known internationally as an analyst, co-creator, and guest to various events and campaigns. His work has been published in a number of magazines and publications. In an interview with us he spoke about his career as an artist, about the freedom of the arts, and appreciation of oneself, the process of learning and education, as well as idea generation, and the daily struggle with structures and restrictions.