“Thought Exhibition” research project


Research project on Bruno Latour’s and Peter Weibel’s concept of “Thought Exhibition” within the framework of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship. See the CORDIS platform for a project description and funding details. The project is conducted at the Centre Art as Forum, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies (IKK), University of Copenhagen, under the supervision of Frederik Tygstrup and in collaboration with the research Cluster Art and Earth at IKK.

In the framework of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship grant (Horizon 2020), the postdoctoral research project “Thought Exhibition” investigates “the significance of Bruno Latour’s art exhibition concept for his work and as a model for art institutions”.

The project is not only based on Daniel’s research in art and media – at the Berlin University of the Arts, the University of Arts and Design (HfG) Karlsruhe, and the Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin – as well as on his own curatorial practice realizing research-based exhibitions. It also builds strongly on his work with Bruno Latour, as they together conducted a two-year seminar (2018–2020) conceptually preparing what should become Latour’s last exhibition at the Center fort art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany, “Critical Zones: Observatories for Earthly Politics” (2020–2022).

Aesthetically investigating the ruptures and upheavals of the new climatic regime (Latour), “Critical Zones” constructed an exhibition as a scale model to test new ways of inhabiting a common world beyond the bold distinctions of the Anthropocene, a world composed of human and more-than-human lifeforms alike. Here the museum space is intended to turn into a combination of thought experiment and exhibition for which Latour and the artist, scholar, and late director of ZKM, Peter Weibel, have coined the term “Thought Exhibition”.

The research project takes “Critical Zones” as a point of departure to investigate the four Thought Exhibitions realized by Latour and Weibel in collaboration with various scientists, scholars, curators, artists, activists, and other actors at ZKM. Besides “Critical Zones”, these exhibitions include “Iconoclash” (2002), “Making Things Public” (2005), and “Reset Modernity!” (2016). The project considers the relation between the exhibitions and Latour’s work in philosophy, anthropology, and STS as well as its viability of the “Thought Exhibition” concept as a distinct curatorial strategy. For a more detailed project description see the CORDIS platform of the European Commission, which also includes an overview of currently published research results – among others: “Exposition de pensée/Thought Exhibition. Sur les zones critiques, les cosmogrammes et l’impossibilité d’un dehors” in Les cahiers du Musée national d’Art moderne no. 164 (2023) and “Critical Zones and Thought Exhibitions” in Spool Landscape Metropolis no. 11 (upcoming November 2024).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement N° 101028379.