Driving the Human Festival
On the left is "Driving the Human Festival 20-22.11." and a wave then winds diagonally across the image format.
Online, free and broadcasted live
Fri, November 20, 2020 – Sun, November 22, 2020

++ The video recordings of the festival are available only in English and without subtitles. You can find them here on the »Topic Pages« ++

The online festival of »Driving the Human« will publicly discuss and condense questions and visions for shaping a sustainable and collective future by combining science, technology, and art.

The Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) and the ZKM invite scholars, artists, designers, and other multidisciplinary participants to launch a debate on the themes currently defining our existence – from the human to non-human, from existence to co-existence, from digital to analogue. As a catalyst for experimentation, the festival formulates the questions that will orient the next phase of the three-years-long investigation »Driving the Human«.

The festival will take place via live stream. The program brings inspiring speakers and visionary voices to the fore, in search of the constructive frictions that define our contemporary moment.

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Frédérique Aït-Touati, Albert-László Barabási, Michel Bauwens, Bio Design Lab (Lisa Ertel, Ina Grabosch, Julia Ihls, Anne-Sophie Oberkrome), Jan Boelen, Melanie Bonajo, Joanna Bourke, Claudia Chwalisz, Alba G. Corral & Tutu, Sasha Costanza-Chock, Ariana Dongus, Jan Fermon, Sabine Faller, Feral Atlas Collective (Lili Carr, Feifei Zhou), Anett Holzheid, Maximilian Ilse, Indy Johar, Susanne Kadner, Michael Kaethler, Karrabing Film Collective, Barbara Kiolbassa, Bogna Konior, Kim André Lange, Sarat Maharaj, Freo Majer, Julien McHardy, Daria Mille, Alexandre Monnin, Simone Niquille, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Alexandra Pirici, Guillaume Pitron, Lena Reitschuster, Teresa Retzer, Vera Sacchetti, Martina Schraudner, Jeremy Shaw, Jonas Staal, Isabelle Stengers, Jenna Sutela, John Thackara, Vivien Tauchmann, Julijonas Urbonas, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, Peter Weibel, Cary Wolfe, Richard D. Wolff.

The critical situation of the Earth leads to the necessity to find different ways to deal with it constructively. The exhibition »Critical Zones«, currently on display at ZKM, attempts to discuss the current ecological and socio-political challenges of our time and to explore new forms of coexistence of all forms of life. Similarly investigating local resources and sustainable possibilities to redesign and rethink production methods, the »Bio Design Lab« of the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design will introduce several formats to discuss practical and sustainable visions for the future.

From 2020 to 2023, the scientific and artistic collaboration »Driving the Human« will become a catalyst for experimentation, shaping sustainable and collective futures that combine science, technology, and the arts in a transdisciplinary and collaborative approach.

»Driving the Human« develops and produces seven tangible prototypes responding to complex contemporary scenarios. The project is jointly led by four partner institutions: »acatech« – National Academy of Science and Engineering, »Forecast«, the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design and ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe – and relies on the expert knowledge and skills of their combined networks. Together, these partners will work to enrich the various developments and outcomes of the initiative.

The festival will be held in English language.


For the entire festival the Workshop »THERE ARE BIOCOMPOSITES GROWING IN MY GARDEN« by Kim André Lange & Bio Design Lab will be offered at Instagram @biodesignlab_hfgk.

Friday, November 20 | Time Zone: CET

6.30 pm 

Welcome and Introduction to the Program

Barbara Kiolbassa (art mediator), Julien McHardy (researcher, curator)

6.45 pm 


Jan Boelen (rector of HfG) and Peter Weibel (CEO of ZKM | Karlsruhe)

6.55 pm 

Music and Visuals

Alba G. Corral & Tutu

7 pm 

Presentation of the Exhibition »Critical Zones« at the ZKM

Daria Mille (curator at ZKM)

7.15 pm 

Project presentation of the »Bio Design Lab« at the HfG

Lisa Ertel, Ina Grabosch, Julia Ihls, Anne-Sophie Oberkrome (HfG alumni and students)

7.30 pm 

What are the urgencies of our times?

7.45 pm 

Statement and Performance

Vivien Tauchmann, »Self-As-Other-Training: Smartphone (1)«

8 pm 

Project presentation

Hans Ulrich Obrist, »IT’S URGENT!«

8.35 pm 

Film screening

Melanie Bonajo, »TouchMETell«, 2019, 25 min, installation in collaboration with Théo Demans (film still), courtesy the artist & AKINCI

9 pm 

Music and Visuals

Alba G. Corral & Tutu


Saturday, November 21 | Time Zone: CET

11 am – 12 pm   


Kim André Lange, Bio Design Lab

Assignments and Q&A via this live stream (exception), Instagram @biodesignlab_hfgk

3 pm 

Welcome and Introduction to the Program

Barbara Kiolbassa (art mediator ZKM), Julien McHardy (researcher, curator)

Section 1: (NON-)HUMAN

3.15 pm 


Alexandra Pirici, »Future ground: A movement-lecture on nurturing different sensibilities, pleasures, and collaborations with land«
3.40 pm 

Panel Discussion

Joanna Bourke (social and cultural historian), Bogna Konior (writer, academic), Cary Wolfe (professor of English, Rice University), moderated by Lena Reitschuster
4.30 pm 

Film screening

Jenna Sutela, »nimiia cétiï«, 2018, 12 min

Section 2: HABITAT

4.50 pm    


Julijonas Urbonas (artist, designer, researcher, engineer and founder of Lithuanian Space Agency) with Jan Boelen

5.15 pm 


Julijonas Urbonas, »Rehearsing a planet made of human bodies«
5.30 pm 

Panel Discussion

Frédérique Aït-Touati (historian of literature and modern science, theater director), Guillaume Pitron (journalist, author and documentary filmmaker), Alexandre Monnin (philosopher, Scientific Director of Origens Media Lab), moderated by Sabine Faller
6.25 pm 


Gediminas & Nomeda Urbonas, »The Swamp Observatory«
6.40 pm 


Vivien Tauchmann, »Self-As-Other-Training: Smartphone (2)«

Section 3: ECONOMY

7.35 pm    


John Thackara (philosopher, writer, curator)

7.45 pm 

Panel Discussion

Michel Bauwens (theorist, writer, advisor, and founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives), Susanne Kadner (Managing Director Circular Economy Initiative Germany at acatech), Richard D. Wolff (Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and founder of Democracy at Work), moderated by Anett Holzheid
8.30 pm 


Vivien Tauchmann, »Self-As-Other-Training: Retail«
8.50 pm 

Film screening 

Jeremy Shaw, »I CAN SEE FOREVER«, 2018, 43 min,

courtesy Jeremy Shaw and KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin, London & Tokyo

Sunday, November 22 | Time Zone: CET

11 am–12 pm 


Kim André Lange, Bio Design Lab

Assignments and Q&A via this live stream (exception), Instagram @biodesignlab_hfgk

11 am–1.30 pm 

Workshop »Feral Atlas as a Verb«

Lili Carr, Feifei Zhou

Registration required, not part of the live stream

3 pm 

Welcome and Introduction to the Program

Barbara Kiolbassa (ard mediator ZKM), Julien McHardy (researcher, curator)


3.15 pm 


Albert-László Barabási (physicist, network scientist) with Teresa Retzer (curator at ZKM)
3.30 pm    

Panel Discussion

Maximilian Ilse (PhD candidate at the Amsterdam Machine Learning Lab (AMLab), Simone Niquille (designer, researcher), moderated by Ariana Dongus
4.15 pm Performance
Vivien Tauchmann, »Self-As-Other-Training: Textiles«

Section 5: KNOWLEDGE

4.30 pm 


Isabelle Stengers (philosopher)

4.45 pm    

Panel Discussion

Indy Johar (architect, co-founder of 00 (project00.cc)), Sarat Maharaj (Professor of Visual Art and Knowledge Systems, Lund University and Malmö Art Academy), moderated by Michael Kaethler
5.30 pm 

Film screening

Karrabing Film Collective, »The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland«, 2018, 27 min

Section 6: ACCESS

6.45 pm 

Project Presentation

Lili Carr, Feifei Zhou, »Feral Atlas Collective«

7 pm 

Panel Discussion

Claudia Chwalisz (author, leads the OECD’s work on innovative citizen participation), Sasha Costanza-Chock (researcher, designer, activist), moderated by Vera Sacchetti

7.45 pm 

Project Presentation

Jonas Staal and Jan Fermon, »Collectivize Facebook«, 2020
8.20 pm 


Vivien Tauchmann, »Self-As-Other-Training: Household«
8.30 pm 


What Is, Then, Urgent? How Can Driving the Human Do Something About It?

Jan Boelen, Freo Majer, Martina Schraudner, Peter Weibel

9.20 pm 

Music and Visuals

Alba G. Corral & Tutu

9.30 pm 

Film screening

Bruno Latour and Frédérique Aït-Touati, theatre play: »Moving Earths«, 2019, 72 min

The festival is accompanied by the Telegram group t.me/drivingthehuman. We are looking forward to questions, thoughts and joint discussions!

Please click here to download the instructions for Telegram.

»If we want different futures, we need different stories. What kind of stories and storytellers are you missing (dreaming of)?«

»If you could take the next three years to build a prototype relationship, togetherness, machine, dream, reality – what would it be?«

Driving the Human – The Website

The international Website of the Project

To the Website

It is written "Driving the Human". Under the "The" is a straight arrow from left to right. Under "Driving" there is a downward arrow and under "Human" there is an upward arrow.


This festival is organized and hosted by ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design

Concept and Idea of the Festival
Jan Boelen & Peter Weibel with Sarah Donderer & Teresa Retzer

Sarah Donderer, Laura Morcillo (HfG Filmcrew), Teresa Retzer, Vera Sacchetti, Philipp Ziegler

Project Assistance
Annina Guntli, Laura C. Schmidt

Main Moderation
Barbara Kiolbassa, Julien McHardy

Panel Moderation
Ariana Dongus, Sabine Faller, Anett Holzheid, Michael Kaethler, Lena Reitschuster, Vera Sacchetti

Technical Lead & Direction
Moritz Büchner

Camera & Editing
Johannes Bauer, Benjamin Breitkopf, Moritz Büchner, Mustafa Emin Büyükcoskun, Pauline Cemeris, Jule Heinzmann, Alejandra Miranda Janus, Andy Koch, Xenia Leidig, Peter Müller, Olga Öhler, Sophie Reißfelder, Quirin Thalhammer, Victor van Wetten, Christina Zartmann

Driving the Human Visual Identity
Studio Yukiko, Berlin

Graphic Design
Felix Plachtzik

Communication & Social Media
Lena Becker, Luisa Cossu, Sarah Donderer, Alexandra Hermann, Juliane Hohlbaum, Sabine Jäger, Nikola Joetze, Greta Kallsen, Jessica Menger, Beate Münzenmaier, Teresa Retzer, Inês Revés, Vera Sacchetti, Laura C. Schmidt, Lena Schneider, Dominika Szope, Johannes Wiesel

Zoom Host
Clara Runge

Uli Deck, Felix Grünschloss

Yannick Schütte

Sotirios Noutsos

Special Thanks to
Nikola Joetze, Anna Maganuco, Freo Majer, Daria Mille, Martina Schraudner, Jan Speckenbach, Desiree Weiler


Part of the Future Architecture program

A project by