18 Oktober 2023
20 Oktober 2023
  • Conference
ifk & ifk@Zoom

Messy Beginnings


The arts and sciences share many themes, practices, and methods, yet in a fundamental sense they also share the question of beginning, of getting started with a work of art, a text, an experiment, or a proposal. At the same time, the question of beginnings has been virulent since the early 19th century with the establishment of the modern humanities, predominantly as a question of origins. The conference, by contrast, takes as its basic premise that beginnings are not always and not necessarily origins, that we must begin anew, again and again, not only as individuals but also as groups and nation-states, for example after a pandemic, a war, or an economic crisis. Communities, such as nation-states, need foundational narratives, but these need to be permanently renegotiated. Supposed origins are usually messy beginnings, which are retrospectively smoothed over and ordered. In recent years, beginnings and a series of »firsts« in the history of humankind have been controversially discussed.The conference is therefore devoted to such current debates about beginnings with regard to core aspects of culture and society. Secondly, it is devoted to the question of how we can begin again and anew at all in times of political, ecological, and economic crises. A third line of inquiry is that of practices and poetics of beginning in the arts.


CONCEPT: Karin Harrasser (ifk, Wien / Kunstuniversität Linz), Heike Paul (FAU, Erlangen-Nürnberg)

PARTICIPANTS: Andreas Beyer (Universität Basel), Julia Boog-Kaminski (ifk, Wien), Stefanie Diekmann (Universität Hildesheim / ifk, Wien), Silvia Ferrara (Universität Bologna), Andreas Gehrlach (HU Berlin, IPU Berlin / ifk, Wien), Bernhard Jussen (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt), Gesa Mackenthun (Universität Rostock), Peter Maurits (FAU, Erlangen-Nürnberg), Avishek Ray (National Institute of Technology, Silchar), Alexis Shotwell (Carleton University, Ottawa), Käthe Wenzel (Europa-Universität Flensburg)


The main conference language is English.



To participate via Zoom, you need to register for the meeting with your name and email address. The Zoom link will then be emailed to you immediately. You can register for the individual days via the following links:

Wednesday, 18 October 2023

Thursday, 19 October 2023

Friday, 20 October 2023


To participate in person, no registration is currently required. 

Ort: ifk & ifk@Zoom