Selected Projects and Initiatives

The concept of “sustainability” underlines a specific faculty of human beings which today seems to be necessary in order for us to survive: unlike all other creatures, we have the capacity not only to perceive phenomena on the basis of previous experiences, but also to discern their potential - to grasp what they have not yet become. We can think about what the future may bring and, more importantly, we can think back from a future perspective to what should be happening now. And since we can perceive what has not yet happened, we are able to shape it. Achieving sustainability therefore requires not only addressing what actually exists, but also bringing our awareness to the world’s inherent potential.

Carpet Dialogues
Development and running of "carpet dialogues" as part of the art installation aus dem Gleichgewicht (out of balance) by artist Martin R. Wohlwend, Kunstraum Engländerbau, Vaduz, Liechtenstein, March – May 2016.

Cultures of Enlivenment
Co-initiator of explorations in “cultures of enlivenment”, with the und.Institute. Commencing in 2015, this ongoing series of enlivenment workshops draws on the publication “ Lebendigkeit sei! Für eine Politik des Lebens. Ein Manifest für das Anthropozän” (Towards Cultures of Aliveness. Politics and Poetics in a Postdualistic Age), written in collaboration with biologist and philosopher Andreas Weber and published by thinkOya.

Forum Agenda
Ongoing dialogue process taking place at the Freies Museum Berlin since 2012. More information on future opportunities to participate at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Die rote Blume. Ästhetische Praxis in Zeiten des Wandels
The Red Flower: Aesthetic Practices in Times of Change

This book documents a research project undertaken with artist Shelley Sacks and raises key questions concerning the path to a more sustainable world. What is needed to become free, active individuals and work collaboratively on the "Great Turning" (Joanna Macy) from an industrially-oriented society to a democratic, ecologically viable world? And: how do we learn? What understandings of ourselves as human beings do we need in order to achieve the necessary transformations?
Published by thinkOya in November 2013 - in German. An English language edition is forthcoming.


Research Project: On the Spiritual in Sustainability
In what sense is art a form of knowledge? How does an anthropologically expanded concept of art relate to the necessary rethinking of our concept of science? How can we embrace the dimension of the spiritual in a concept of culture that perceives both humans and nature in constant evolution? This project was undertaken within the und.Institut and supported by the Altner-Combecher-Foundation for Ecology and Peace. The results were published as a monograph (in German) titled Growing! On the Spiritual in Sustainability in 2010.


Heiligengeist School Lüneburg. A Growing Sculpture
Collaborative art project with Swiss artist George Steinmann. In September 2009 the work was declared an official project of the UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.


EcoArt South Florida (ESF)
Initiated by art historian Dr. Mary Jo Aagerstoun and curator Patricia Watts, EcoArt South Florida aims to create a strong presence for ecologically-themed art in South Florida. In March 2007 I was a scholar-in-residence at Florida Atlantic University, Fort Lauderdale, presenting model environmental amelioration and advocacy projects with art at their core. My visit initiated Phase One of the program - dedicated to developing an audience.


Origin Future - Initiative for Human Dignity
In 2007, I participated in the "Initiative for Human Dignity", organised by the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. Among the components of this initiative were the exhibition Social Sculpture Today (May - August 2007), the Congress on Human Dignity (18 -21 July 2007), and finally a "substance group": an interdisciplinary workspace exploring the notion of humanity, which commenced in February 2007. The aim was to develop new forms and understandings of humanity to support the shaping of humane and ecologically viable societies.


Culture is it!
Initiated within the und.Institut and sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, 'Culture is it!' investigates how innovative forms of collaboration between people engaged in cultural and civic sustainability initiatives can bring about societal change. The programme started in 2006 in Berlin and in the same year was honoured with the title of Official Project of the UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Since the beginning of 2007, 'Culture is it!' has been run by id22:Institute for Creative Sustainability in Berlin.


Exchange Values
In May 2004 I participated in a transdisciplinary thinktank on the topics of globalisation, Social Sculpture and sustainability as part of a presentation of the artwork "Exchange Values" by Shelley Sacks in Birmingham, England. The artwork later featured in the 2007 exhibition “Social Sculpture Today”, opened by myself at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, together with works by George Steinmann (Switzerland) and WochenKlausur (Austria).


c u l t u r a 21 - art and sustainability in rural space (Germany, 2002-ongoing)
In 2002, together with Heike Strelow, art historian, curator and co-founder of the und. Institut, I initiated c u l t u r a 21 as a transdisciplinary art project addressing rural space as a cultural challenge. Among the artists who have so far participated in this ongoing project are: Jackie Brookner (USA), Susan Leibovitz Steinmann (USA), Igor Sacharow-Ross (Russia-Germany) and George Steinmann (Switzerland). The involvement of local people in the creative process has been a common feature of all activities in the program, including workshops, seminars and art interventions.


Tutzinger Manifesto
In 2001 I co-initiated the "Tutzinger Manifesto for the strengthening of the cultural-aesthetic dimension of sustainable development". This initiative called for opening international sustainability strategies to the development potential of art and culture. In Germany, the manifesto and resulting activities triggered a wide discourse on sustainability as a cultural challenge and influenced sustainability policy at a national level.