• Fri 28 05 – Sat 12 06 2021 •
Times of Hands A Symposium in 3 Chapters


28 + 29 05 2021 | Times of Hands – and paws and leaves and wings and fins and
04 + 05 06 2021 | Times of Hands – Covid Glossary
11 + 12 06 2021 | Times of Hands – Gamifications vs Play

Venue: online
Languages: German | English | Portuguese
Free of charge

The growing mistrust in hands that has resulted from measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic could become a symbol of a new global system. Hands as tools, as carriers of skills and memories, hands as caregivers and symbol of care work, hands as gesture, as symbol of touch and emotion, hands thus as overdetermined cultural signifier – the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally challenged all of these: hands are now a source of contamination, bodies are categorized according to their potential risk. This could lead to a precarization of a large part of the population, whose legitimacy will in the future be strictly measured to new standards of productivity and security.

The concepts of internationalism and globalization have been shaken by the scale of the pandemic, and with the restrictions on travel and gatherings, the ability to network and interact is breaking down. The spread of the virus has lead to various forms of isolation and brought new more threatening limits to our lives, limits that have a broad social acceptance as they are seemingly founded in biological safety and not out of political considerations. In order to create resilient interactions between different populations in the future, other standards for community identification should be developed. The existing clusters of geographical, linguistic, religious and historical commonalities and/or political affiliations seem inadequate in the current context.

The restrictions on public life and public space are accompanied by an acceleration of digitalization processes and reorientation toward online events. This offers the possibility to address a broader more heterogeneous audience, however it is often forgotten that live online events are potentially taking place in the middle of the night for people in other parts of the world. Corresponding to the time-zone cluster, the symposium Times of Hands takes place in three strategic locations that cover three different time zones.

The symposium Times of Hands is divided into three chapters with academic partner institutions in Cologne, Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro in the fields of digital studies, infrastructure/urban studies and performance studies. As a part of the curriculum of each institution, the students will take part in the respective research and exchange formats. All contributions to the symposium and the complete artistic and research materials will be freely available online. Across the time zones of the globe, spaces of solidarity and exchange will be generated, sharing the light of the day.

Times of Hands is initiated by Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World (ADKDW) Cologne, in cooperation with Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), School of Environment and Architecture Mumbai (SEA), Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM)