The Institute for Endotic Research (TIER) began in 2015 as a fictional institution understood as a habitable sculpture. It has since brought different practices together, namely architecture, art, mediation and curation, to foster a transdisciplinary approach. Its experimental program has been composed of series of workshops, seminars and public events to act as a support-structure, articulating collaborations with architects, scientists, artists, choreographers, philosophers, curators, cooks and others. TIER.space is a continuation of that project and was founded in spring 2018 as a virtual site and a physical location. This endotic institution serves as a host for TIER’s program in its many different forms, continually adapted and re-tooled for new uses. The space is a basis for experimenting with forms of institutionalization mediated through encounters between people, materials and devices.
The institute is dedicated to research about forms of generation and presentation of subject matter related to the endotic – an antonym for exotic. French writer George Perec used it as a conceptual tool to approach everyday life in one’s own immediate surroundings. With this idea, he proposed to preserve the fascination that comes with the act of exploring while also avoiding to produce the figure of the other. Considering that an institute is an organisational body created for a certain purpose, TIER takes the form of an institute to produce a host for a multidisciplinary approach for knowledge production. In the public sphere, TIER conducts a space based on notions directly related to the domestic, which are usually confined to the private sphere and reproductive labour. TIER.space foregrounds this relationship to the domestic by combining a public program with a habitable space for hosting transdisciplinary projects.
The purpose of this institute is to create a body of work operating from the endotic. The endotic is a subtle but powerful tool to generate a situated practice of an institution. It is subtle because it looks to the imperceptible of the everyday life, to the visible but hidden details of the space and gestures of bodies around us. It rescues the astonishment from the forgotten obvious, trapped by its naturalization. It is a powerful tool because it leads us to read and listen to our surroundings, always looking from unexplored stances. From this immanent display, the very local traces a priceless threshold from which to approach the complex global. In its well-known methodology, Oulipo—the group to which Perec belonged—was a great pioneer of crossing knowledge fields in order to practice a critical fascination. They developed a system in which constraints were an efficient driving force, merging mathematics, literature and artistic positions. These constraints can be translated from the writing to cultural practice to think about spatial design, funding or ways of cooperation, looking for more sustainable practices.
Since 2022, The Institute for Endotic Research is co-directed by Lorenzo Sandoval and Shoufay Derz. TIER was initiated by Lorenzo Sandoval in 2015. TIER.space was founded in 2018 by Co-Directors Lorenzo Sandoval and Benjamin Busch (2018–2022), who together shaped TIER conceptually and structurally. Co-Director Aouefa Amoussouvi (2021–2022) initiated TIER.cast and introduced new methods, topics and collaborators. Since 2018, the space is generously supported by the Berlin Senate with funds from the Arbeitsraumprogramm.