September 7-8, (workshop). Shoufay Derz: Towards the Unknown: Rituals of Alienship

Shoufay Derz: Towards the Unknown: Rituals of Alienship

Part of the project Aurora: A Platform on Ecology, Interdependence and Mutual Aid

Wednesday, September 7 and Thursday, September 8, 15:00 – 19:00

Location: Meeting at TIER, followed by an excursion to Volkspark Hasenheide. The exact location pin will be shared with registered participants.

Participants are invited to take part in the relational project “Ritual of Eels, loving the alien. This workshop invites acquaintances and strangers to become green creatures in the midst of various parks, gardens and uncultivated green spaces. The project is an ongoing collaboration and social gathering of green creatures, of which there are more than 100 so far. They first appeared in performances at Gulgadya Muru, the grass tree trail at Manly Dam Reserve in Sydney. From the sacred waters of the Gayamaygal people to the parks of Berlin and the lava beds of Lanzarote, these aliens/eels continue to gravitate to verdant realms and watery depths. For the artist, the figure of the alien, conjured in the work’s title and her sitters’ green faces, stands as a metaphor for transformation and our shared unknowns. The potentials of disappearance and transformation are shared, mirrored between the landscape and green faces. Engaging in a conversation about belonging, alienation and the possibilities of kinship with others and planet earth, her latest work proposes rituals for the end of the world so that together we can imagine other possibilities.

This workshop will involve green face painting, performing on camera, conversing and eating. Please wear black clothing and optionally bring any food you’d like to share during the picnic. QTBIPOC communities are strongly encouraged to join.

Limited places for the workshop are available. Registration is required at

Shoufay Derz is an Australian artist, researcher and educator of Taiwanese and German descent currently living in Berlin. Derz’s work explores the limits and possibilities of language and the ambiguities we confront when attempting to visually articulate the edges of the known. Deeply engaged with poetic potentiality her projects attempt to connect the silences in language with holes in social, structural and geological landscapes to contemplate the voids in time and also the uncertainties of future landscapes.




Aurora. A Platform on Ecology, Interdependence and Mutual Aid
June–November 2022
A project assembled by The Institute for Endotic Research with MELT (Ren Loren Britton & Isabel Paehr), Linda Zhang & Dr. Biko Mandela Gray, Nnenna Onuoha, Shoufay Derz, mordo (Aline Baiana, Camila de Caux & Eric Macedo), Ana Alenso & Andrea Acosta, and Romuald Krężel.

For Nzeyimana this is umwaku: a piece of information, some news, or a comment, actual or false, that is troubling to the mind. The notion of umwaku is of an animistic origin. What makes such comment stirring is not so much its unsolicited delivery, but its pre-emptive, anticipatory resonance to a possibly feared, relatively undesired image of the oneself.
—Christian Nyampeta
Life did not take over the world by combat,
but by networking.
—Lynn Margulis


“Aurora. A Platform on Ecology, Interdependence and Mutual Aid” is an interdisciplinary project initiated by TIER. It departs from the notion of mutual aid, as a way to understand connections between ecology and interdependence. Aurora, which stands for dawn, is among the most common symbols for hope. The project goes beyond criticism, proposing actionable strategies for imagining better futures.

Zoologist and political scientist Piotr Kropotkin used the term mutual aid starting in 1880 to describe a model in which nature, in many observed cases, functions through collaborative entanglements. This perspective was confronting the one based on competition, proposed by the Neo-Darwinists, who sought a model of nature that justified the exploitative and competitive logic of capitalism from a scientific point of view. This capitalist model based on perpetual extraction is arguably one of the main reasons for the climate collapse.

Instead, the mutual aid model looked for a system that understands how all entities are entangled, and how species developed through collaboration in many cases. Scientist Lynn Margulis expanded on this model analyzing how symbiosis is at the basis of all life on Earth, and how this process is based on interdependence. Can the notion of mutual aid (understood both from biology and from politics) offer the tools to face the climate crisis and the developing collapse? By placing focus on interdependence, could it be possible to anticipate strategies against the climate collapse, learning from historical processes inscribed in the colonial program? What role does machine learning play?

The Institute for Endotic Research (TIER) seeks to combine these views and methodologies to produce a platform together with other institutions and collaborators, who work in a critical position between art, activism and science: how can we think and work within ecology from a decolonial perspective, and with the logic of mutual aid? Which kind of speculative fictions are possible to foster the imagination of alternative, more sustainable ways of coexistence among humans, nonhuman lifeforms and nonliving entities based on interdependence?

The platform “Aurora will be presented from June to November 2022. Every month, there will be a new artistic installment at TIER, working as a spatial setting for hosting a workshop led by the invited contributors.

All events are free of charge. Limited places for the workshops are available. Registration for the workshops is required at

MELT (Ren Loren Britton & Isabel Paehr): Conspiring Timelines: Shimmering Temporalities
Workshop: Thursday, June 2 & Friday, June 3, 16:00-20:00
Spatial Setting: June 4–18, Th, Fr & Sa 14:00-18:00

Linda Zhang and Dr. Biko Mandela Gray: Phenomenology of the Road: Tracing the Materiality of Loss
3D Scanning Workshop: Friday, July 15, 16:00-20:00 & Saturday, July 16, 14:00-18:00

Shoufay Derz: Towards the Unknown: Rituals of Alienship
Workshop: Tuesday, September 6, Wednesday, September 7 & Thursday, September 8

Nnenna Onuoha: Apocalypse Where: Scenes from the Ends of the World
Workshop: Tuesday, September 13 & Wednesday, September 14

mordo (Aline Baiana, Camila de Caux & Eric Macedo): Merographic Relations: Steps to an Ecology of the Partial
Workshop: Friday, September 23 & Saturday, September 24

Romuald Krężel: Microclimate
Workshop: October (dates tbc)

Ana Alenso and Andrea Acosta: We are Satellites, Experimental Observations in Semi-Industrial Territories.
Workshop: November (dates tbc)


Design by Lilia Di Bella/Archive Appendix

Aurora. A platform on ecology, interdependence and mutual aid is supported by: