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Seen By #10

07.09.2018 to 07.10.2018
Museum für Fotografie

Hasan Aksaygın, Göksu Baysal, Annagul Beschareti, Kim Bode, Rüzgâr Buşki, Miriam Döring, Una Hepburn, Can Kurucu, Estefanía Landesmann, Esra Nagel

“...They all have a passion for what Jeffrey Schnapp calls uglossia ('no-language', after utopia, 'no-place'). Umberto Eco calls it 'technical insanity' or glottomania. Linguist Marina Yaguello calls language inventors fous du langage ('language lunatics') in her book of the same title.’’ Source

The 10th edition of the Seen By series generates an exhibition structure with 10 artistic positions. The exhibition entitled conlang focuses on the singular/plural articulations of the presence of audiences, artistic forms of invented languages and conlang as a metaphor.

conlang has departed from an open call organised for Universität der Künste (UdK) art students aiming to collectively develop an exhibition grammar and discussion vocabulary. During the process, conlang primarily has focused on constructed, artificial, planned, invented, fictional languages including some practical categorisations; engineered, auxiliary and artistic or divisions operated by linguistic factors; a priori and a posteriori languages while the open call was critically asking for reflecting on three questions, and the edited answers from the participating artists will be publicly distributed by the opening event:

  • How would you relate your practice to any form of communication, expression, writing or coding based on the biographical, cultural, expressive and political aspects of your work?
  • Who’s your audience? Who do you imagine as any potential viewer for your work? Who are you directing to when you speak in the form/context of art?
  • What is language for you? Which languages are you able to speak? As a philosophical level of discussion, or in any form of metaphorical speaking, would you relate any construction of language with the process of conceptualising, abstracting or generating an art work?

conlang (seen by #10) will be curated by Misal Adnan Yıldız and will be also conceptually connected with his ongoing research-based curatorial project Mutterzunge, an independent programme in Berlin:

  • The Conlang flag is a symbol of constructed language ("conlang") enthusiasts. It shows a ziggurat or terraced tower (represents the "Tower of Babel") in front of a rising sun (translating Genesis 11:1-9 has been a tradition for conlangers). The flag was chosen by the members of the CONLANG mailing list in September 2004. The final design was drawn by Christian Thalmann and includes the suggestions of many people including Christian Thalmann, Jan van Steenbergen, Leland Paul, David J. Peterson and Adrian Morgan. This SVG file is a vectorization based on Christian Thalmann's original artwork at Index of /art/conflag/final ( by Christian Thalmann) File:Conlangflag.png and Conlang flag - FrathWiki.
  • According to the website of Language Creation Society: "It was released into the public domain."
  • According to donaldboozer at (Case 8: Meet the Conlangers, center): "The idea of a “conlang flag” was proposed by David J. Peterson on the CONLANG listserv in a message on Aug. 29, 2004. The next day, Adrian Morgan responded by saying: “Right, it's time to take this seriously,” and a rough sketch was submitted. Discussion on the topic was brisk, over twenty designs and revisions were submitted, and the results were announced on September 23, 2004. The basic layout was suggested by Leland Paul, but the winning flag’s final design was created by Christian Thalmann. Paul’s posting provides some of the symbolism: “Against a purple sky, signifying creativity, an orange sun rises, orange signifying energy, imagination, and communication. It sheds its light over a dark, not-yet-seen world. Silhouetted against the sun is the Tower of Babel, proclaiming the noble nature of the linguistic diversity.” The Tower of Babel also brings to mind the ubiquitous Babel Text often used as a translation exercise. The Conlang Flag has been displayed prominently at the Language Creation Conferences and can be seen on numerous conlangers’ web pages."

Exhibition Series Seen By

Seen By #10 is part of the exhibition series Seen By, a joint project presented at the Museum für Fotografie and organized by the Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). Its aim is to rethink curatorial and artistic strategies for working with contemporary photography. More information:

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Exhibition Series Seen By