Friday June 10th 12:00 – 16:30

At ACUD Studio. Veteranenstraße 21. 10119 Berlin

(U8 Rosenthaler Platz)



Scytale, Skype, Skynet

With Paul Feigelfeld

The workshop examines the defining role of cryptology, control, and centralisation in its technological development. From the earliest known coded communications to the massive intelligence campaigns today, what has to be analysed are the infrastructures, power mechanisms, epistemological and formal foundations of our present reality. What becomes clear is contrary to what many believe: Communication and media have never been more material and less transparent than today. From rare earth minerals and its new technocolonised geopolitics, to the climatic effects and territorial paradoxes of data centres, to the metaphor of cloud computing and the advent of true ubiquity and technorganisms, both theory and art have to develop new approaches that the talk wants to give first impacts for.
Crypto Party


Privacy is the space where ideas develop and to which you can retreat whenever you want. It’s not just physical, it’s also digital. Since corporations and governments do not respect it, we take matters into our own hands.


Bring your laptop/smartphone.




Saturday June 11th 11:00 – 18:00

At ACUD Studio. Veteranenstraße 21. 10119 Berlin

(U8 Rosenthaler Platz)


From Refugees to Students

With Katharina Dermühl – Kiron

On overcoming the obstacles refugees face in access to higher education. Kiron aims provide access to higher education with a classroom 2.0 solution and partner universities. Kiron is not a university, but an education provider and bridge builder between existing education and job market systems: Dermühl explains how the organisation was built involving students, volunteers and employees.


New Patrons
With Alexander Koch
Since 1992 New Patrons have developed a previously nonexistent approach to artistic production by creating a framework that provides citizens with the means and with the opportunity to commission artworks in response to their issues, conflicts, or visions. The triangular relationship between citizens, mediators and artists shapes a mode of collaboration in which all parties involved share responsibility, turning the usual hierarchies of cultural production upside down.


Call a Spy
With Peng! Collective
“If you look at the economics of corporations, their state of mind is: ‘let’s look at every possible gray area of laws and use them.’ And NGOs just don’t do that.” During this talk, Peng Collective will present some of their more recent projects, such as Intelexit: Call a Spy. Intelexit is the ‘world’s first exit programme for the intelligence community’. As part of this campaign, billboards in front of secret service hq’s in the USA, Germany and UK encouraged their employees to resign, leaflets advertising encrypted channels of communication and advice for potential dropouts were released by a drone over a German NSA location.


Hito Steyerl & Inke Arns in Conversation followed by discussion and Q&A
A conversation between curator Inke Arns and artist Hito Steyerl about surveillance, whistleblowing, electronic civil disobedience and how these relate to art. Inke Arns will introduce some of the pieces in her most recent show, “Whistleblowers & Vigilantes – Figures of Digital Resistance”, currently on view at HMKV in Dortmund, and discuss these works and themes with Hito Steyerl. The conversation is followed by a Q&A + discussion with the audience.




The Utopia between The Islands
With Nick Houde
Hiding in the particular are many images of Utopia – playing out so vividly in our imaginations, they rarely become a reality. Arguably this has less to do with the actual realizibility of these images, and more the product of an unwillingness to look past the tyrannical foreclosure of what has been or “the given.” Whereas so many desert islands fail to give traction or vision, tied up in their impossible particularities, our own navigations toward finding them could, in fact, be what we were looking to guide us all along This talk will focus on navigating these archipelogic forms.


Complexity, Commensurability, Anticipation
With Patricia Reed
How can an emancipatory political form, fit for our age of planetary complexity, be conceived? “Complexity” has often become a stand-in term to shut down debate and denote communicative ambiguity. Such a position stultifies possibility and often fosters a resignation to immediacy and presentness, leaving us ill-equipped to face the sets of pluri-disciplinary, abstract and interwoven demands urgently pressing upon us. With a non-absolutist ambition to leverage our complex condition otherwise, this talk will focus on the interplay between reality and ideality as a humble, conceptual necessity to even begin to approach to the scope of the propositions at hand.



Luca Iemi & Anna Zett, Sophie Jung, Nicholas Houde, Patricia Reed, Clemens Villinger, Boaz Levin and Eva Wilson



The Berlin Summit is the second of a tripartite series of workshops organized by Utopian Union. Held from June 9th – 13th in Berlin, the workshop will bring together a wide range of people and disciplines; from art, design, science, theory, economics and activism to other fields. This is a unique chance to meet and exchange ideas and methods with like-minded people of very different backgrounds.



The focus of The Berlin Summit will be to challenge anti-democratic structures in Techno-Europe, as materialized in mass surveillance architectures, opaque power structures and the maintenance of Fortress Europe at all costs. How can we as citizens of what we hope to be a democracy react towards this? In recent years we have seen different approaches. From vigorous counter-tactics and subversive aesthetics, online and irl, to global grassroots initiatives. We will examine this by inviting some of the actors behind exemplary projects and initiatives, such as CryptoParty and Refugee Phrasebook. What characterizes these is that they are community-driven, based on digital data and use the political and social potential of new technology. This lead us to the questions: What opportunities does technological development bring for new strategies, aesthetics and actions? If “utopia” is an essential part of radical political change, what does a viable utopia look like? What hopes and desires do we share for the future?


UU recognizes art as an imaginary space for new world models and seeks to create a platform where these can be developed. Various artists and researchers will present their current and recent projects, for instance Boaz Levin with the video “All That Is Solid Melts Into Data”, or Eva Wilson with her upcoming book “Manning-Lamo Chat Logs.” With these questions, initiatives and practices in mind we hope to examine and deepen different aspects of the themes at this year’s Berlin Summit.



The Berlin Summit will provide a new type of platform for interdisciplinary work, where research, discussion and the formation of impactful ideas, aesthetics and actions can take place. In the 5-day workshop UU will host excursions, talks, screenings and Q&As and examine and discuss different aspects of the themes. Apart from that, the workshop will function as a locus for playful experimentation and the practice of new, creative and subversive praxes. We seek to activate the potential of interdisciplinary work and non-institutional learning and ask all the participants to take active part in shaping the workshop.


The outcome of the summit is open-ended. Images, videos and other documentation of the summit will be published on the website.