The Entanglement between Gesture, Media, and Politics

Gesture, Media,
and Politics
Workshop IV / Berlin-Kreuzberg

Entangling Gestures

Workshop IV / Berlin-Kreuzberg

From September 4 to 10, 2018 we met for the fourth and last workshop at the Art Quarter Bethanien (Kunstquartier Bethanien). We worked intensively on our collective and individual installations for the exhibition in December.

Transforming Political Gesture – G20

During the workshop, Dina Boswank, Timo Herbst and Irina Kaldrack worked on the performative installation “G20” with the support of Silas Mücke. In rehearsal processes and discussions, we developed a precise spatio-temporal dramaturgy interlinking video recordings, sound works, photo installations and performative lectures. The installation focuses on enabling imagination, various ways of thinking and different approaches to the question of protest, political gestures and capacity for action via overlays, supplementation, reinforcement and disruption. The exhibition was held on October 20 and 21 at the Leipzig Art Association. The lecture-performance took place on October 20.

Untitled installation

Laurie Young and Timo Herbst continued working on the form of ramps for the entry stairs of Bethanien´s Studio 1. It became clear that an inclination of 6° (usable incline for independent wheelchair) is impossible to construct in the landmarked architecture of Bethanien. Over several site visits, Young and Herbst built a life size model of 11 paper ramps following the natural incline of the stairs. Visual artist Jakob Argauer was invited to become part author of this work by considering different motifs or textural imprints to be applied on the ramps. The motif will be informed through Bethanien´s history of access through meetings with the architectural bureau who are currently preparing the renovation of the landmarked building.

Economies of Gesture

In the last workshop, the group deepened their investigation into The social media app (renamed TikTok in 2018) allows users to record playback videos set to short pop song snippets or movie soundtracks that often include typical hand gestures.

Group members developed a score of political gestures titled “ gestures” that (wish to) raise the question of presence and the public sphere at the intersection of economy, prosumerdom, self-expression and forms of work.

Gesture and Labour

The Gesture and Labour project is in the final stage of specification, form-finding and production. Additional experimentation and investigation was performed into topics that turned out to be crucial during the working process within the previous workshops. 1) perception-threshold – The ambiguity inherent to bodily movements creates multi-layered narratives. There are certain points of equilibrium where this becomes prominent. 2) restructured movements – how far can a certain movement be freed from its sequential syntax without loosing its purpose within a working environment.
As to the its presentation, a combination of videos and drawing will be used. The juxtaposition of these divergent forms will allow to specifically stress the intersections and gaps of their syntax.

The Project

The Entanglement between Gesture, Media, and Politics is a research project investigating the interdependencies that exist between bodily movements or gestures, and ubiquitous, globally networked technologies.

To display and displaying oneself gains greater significance within the context of the unrestricted and instantaneous global exchange of video material as well as in an everyday world increasingly defined by sensors and computers. Thus the meaning of presence and publicness changes, evolves and new forms appear.


The Publication

Throwing Gestures examines the recent intensification of interest in gesture and the entanglement between gesture, media, and politics.

The gestures discussed pass from body to body and between states of medial representation. Protest movements, the respective aesthetics specific to those movements, the perpetuation of socio-economic crises over many decades, the plight of gig workers in precarious employment and mechanisms for the quantification of work and leisure are some of the issues addressed.



Workshop I / Braunschweig

From April 24 to 28, 2017, the project participants met for the first workshop in Braunschweig. During several days of intensive collaboration, we presented our materials and methods, as well as preliminary research results, identified common interests on the basis of selected case studies and tested various methods to acquaint ourselves with them analytically.

Workshop II / Hallein

The international art and design festival “Schmiede Hallein” was the setting for the second workshop of the research project “The Entanglement between Gesture, Media, and Politics”, held from September 20 to 30, 2017. In one section of the extensive grounds of the former salt refinery, the project team created a space for experiments involving physical gestures, technology and spatial installations.

Workshop III / Berlin-Köpenick

The third workshop took place at Lake Studios, Berlin Köpenick from May 15–19. Our task was to work intensively on installations, lecture performances and choreographies. Eventually, we concentrated on consolidations and aesthetic shapings after having explored and experimented on our focus topics and case scenarios in previous working phases.

Workshop IV / Berlin-Kreuzberg

From September 4 to 10, 2018 we met for the fourth and last workshop at the Art Quarter Bethanien (Kunstquartier Bethanien). We worked intensively on our collective and individual installations for the exhibition in December.

Symposium: Throwing Gestures

By Christian Schwinghammer / Daniel Stoecker, research college SENSING: On the Knowledge of Sensitive Media, Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften (ZeM), Potsdam

Kunstquartier Bethanien, Studio 1, Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin. Symposium December 8th, 10 am–7 pm.

Exhibition: Throwing Gestures

Review of exhibition „Throwing Gestures“ in Studio 1, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin. Vernissage 7 Dec 2018, open 9–16 Dec 2018


Book presentation “Throwing Gestures”

On May 19, 2022, the book presentation of “Throwing Gestures. Protest, Economy and the Imperceptible” took place at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Marie Artaker, Gerald Bast (rector), Florian Bettel, Ernst Strouhal and Konrad Strutz spoke.

Final publication: Throwing Gestures

The final publication, „Throwing Gestures,“ was published by Verlag für moderne Kunst in September 2021. Editors are Florian Bettel, Irina Kaldrack and Konrad Strutz.


Durchgeführt an der Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig; gefördert durch die Volkswagen-Stiftung im Rahmen des Programms Arts & Science in Motion; unterstützt von der Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien.