Seen By #19

06.05.2023 to 18.06.2023
Museum für Fotografie

The exhibition explores the experimental philosophical concept of hyperstition and makes it the starting point for new artistic works by young artists on speculative themes in photography and video.

And what if there was no beginning? (Iain Hamilton Grant)

Hyperstition refers to ideas whose expression releases such vibrations that they ultimately realise themselves, similar to a self-fulfilling prophecy. The term was first coined in the 1990s by the interdisciplinary collective Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU) in the UK, whose members published their findings mainly on blogs on the internet. Hyperstition is a neologism made up of the English words 'hyper' and 'superstition'. Unlike superstition - a fiction that remains fictitious - hyperstition is a fiction that makes itself real. An example of hyperstition is virtual economic speculation, which has become a reality-constituting force in capitalism.

We live in a complex system of feedback cycles: power supply systems, logistics chains, financial markets, neo-extractivist expansion etc. Confronted with governance models that are unable to initiate the necessary systemic change, younger generations often find thinking about the future difficult and paralysing. This exhibition is inspired by the idea that imagining the future fictitiously offers a better decoding of one's present than looking at the past.

11 artists are showing 9 works, some of which were created for this exhibition project. Among other things, they deal with new and old thought games from science fiction and digitality, such as our relationship to artificial intelligence and computer simulations or, for example, the glitch as a feminist digital utopia. Online and offline, places are visited on different time levels and linked non-linearly like time capsules; imagined through dream time travel or collective artistic processes. Light plays a recurring role both in the creation of the photographic works and as a media-theoretical consideration of the relationship between photography and temporality. In terms of content, the individual works touch on common interests such as the unveiling of relationship complexes, the visualisation of algorithms, examinations of new technologies, internet, mysticism and alchemy. The works shown move between prophetic curiosity and archival interest in the contemporary. Realising that images and documentary no longer show reality, but rather something that could be, we are concerned with the relationship between propositions and things.


A project by and with Arwina Afsharnejad & Daria Kozlova, Felix Ansmann & Kani Lent, Moritz Haase, Sophia Hallmann, Marie Salcedo Horn, Bailey Keogh, Victoria Martínez, Anna-Maria Podlacha and Lilith Tyrell (KSE).


The exhibition is curated by Marlena von Wedel.

Exhibition Tours

On 27 May and 18 June 2023, exhibition tours with the artists and the curator will take place from 4 pm.

Exhibition Series Seen by

Seen By #19 is part of the exhibition series Seen By of the Kunstbibliothek of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Universität der Künste Berlin at the Museum für Fotografie. Its aim is to rethink curatorial and artistic strategies in dealing with contemporary photography. Employees and students of the Universität der Künste Berlin receive free admission to the exhibition.

A special exhibition of the Kunstbibliothek – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in cooperation with the Universität der Künste Berlin

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