Building Strength

Online – Wednesday, February 24, 19:00 Berlin/CET
TIER.cast hosted by Aouefa Amoussouvi, Olivia Berkowicz and Sasha Engelmann. Sound design by Sara Pereira
Listen at

TIER.cast is a long-term series of sonic encounters creating a platform for interdisciplinary intimate, process rather than goal-oriented conversations and listening session beginning in February 2021. In each session, the guests are invited to discuss and present with voices and sounds their past and current projects, intellectual and personal inspirations, works-in-progress, work/production methodologies, and practices.

The aim is also to address and challenge the capitalistically and individualistically driven practices of knowledge and art production, as well as the myth of the isolated genius.

The interdisciplinary encounter itself is an exercise of collective knowledge-based and practical exchange, and becomes an act of collective production itself.

The sonic and non-visual format is envisioned as a soft intrusion that infiltrates into the domestic spheres, forces self-imagination for the lacking esthetics and focuses on audio imprint of the conversations/speakers. It is a journey through voices, music, noise, sound and silence.

The first edition will be a three-way conversation with geographer Sasha Engelmann, curator Olivia Berkowicz and new artistic co-director of TIER, curator and biophysicist Aouefa Amoussouvi. They are currently fellows in residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude, and in a 3-part series they will discuss tarot, radio, rituals, technologies, feminist narratives in science and art, as well as personal experiences and reflections on transgenerational memories & migrations. Each encounter focuses on one practice, being tarot in this first edition.

This first series of episodes of TIER.cast is made in collaboration with the Akademie Schloss Solitude.

Olivia Berkowicz is a curator, writer and editor. Her practice explores the intersection of critical visuality studies and contemporary art theory. She is interested in vocabularies and practices which challenge modernist-colonial principles of exhibition histories, art production, and collaborations. Together with Marianna Feher, she organises Tentative Transmits (2020-2022), a discursive radio project investigating the ”former East”, supported by the artistic research funding of the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. She is a current fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart.

Sasha Engelmann explores interdisciplinary, feminist and creative approaches to environmental knowledge making. Her new book Sensing Art in the Atmosphere: Elemental Lures and Aerosolar Practices (Routledge, 2020) traces the potential of artistic, community-driven experiments to amplify our sensing of air and atmosphere. Together with Sophie Dyer she leads the feminist radio project open-weather. She is Lecturer in GeoHumanities at Royal Holloway University of London and a current fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart.

Aouefa Amoussouvi is a French-Beninese research scientist based in Berlin, Germany and holds a PhD in Theoretical Molecular Biophysics from the Berlin Humboldt University, Germany. Outside the lab, she researches and develops curatorial projects on history and alternative narratives of science in context of intersectional feminism and de-coloniality. Especially, she explores how the development of digital technologies creates opportunities as well as ethical challenges within western and non-Western contexts. She is also interested in the endotic exploration of the human psyche, body-mind relationship, group dynamics and transgenerational trauma and is training as a coach of process-oriented psychology. Between 2014 and 2019, she collaborated on several interdisciplinary projects at SAVVY Contemporary – Laboratory of Form-Ideas. She is currently a fellow in residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany.

Saturday, February 8, 19:00
Cartesian obscenities
An encounter with Sergio Zevallos

Sergio Zevallos’ contribution to the encounter at The Institute for Endotic Research follows his investigations of intentional language disorders. His methods include taking popular expressions and applying surgical operations to displace signifiers related to socioeconomic and racial categories, or connected to the normativity of the body and its affects. With this he creates syncopated structures by making use of the sonorities and meanings of language. He will present the development of these ideas from his drawing praxis to his recent sound compositions.

Sergio Zevallo‘s work is focused on the relation between individuals and power, and between private and public spheres. He is Co-founder of the Grupo Chaclacayo (1982-1995), a collective known for its performances denouncing the sexual and racial violence of the armed conflicts in Peru. He works with installations, drawings, writings, photography, sound and performance, often combining several of these practices. In 2018 he received the HAP Grieshaber Art Prize from the Stiftung Kunstfonds and the VG Bild-Kunst. He also participated at the documenta 14.

Wednesday, August 21, 19:00
Upright is fine, but downright is where I am
Intervention by Shannon Garden-Smith

I am not granite and should not be taken for it. I am not flint or diamond or any of that great hard stuff. If I am stone, I am some kind of shoddy crumbly stuff like sandstone or serpentine, or maybe schist. Or not even stone but clay, or not even clay but mud. And I wish that those who take me for granite would once in a while treat me like mud. –Ursula K. Le Guin

At TIER, Shannon Garden-Smith clothes a set of storage shelves in eccentric microplush polyester curtains. Exercising the capacity of the polyester material to retain marks wherever it is touched, she has imprinted a miscellany of shoes treads across the surface of the textiles to be joined by traces of touch made during the curtain’s everyday use. An accompanying artist’s book (with a text contribution from Parker Kay) muses on dozens of photographed tread prints, imprinted in sidewalk cement and road paint before the surfaces dried and hardened—like pseudo trace fossils, fossils that record biological activity (“burrows, boring, footprints, feeding marks” etc) rather than bodies themselves. During a public program on the evening of August 21, Garden-Smith will discuss the pedestrian sublimity of moving through the city searching for harried traces of touch along with the shape of production when moving through the city becomes a dominant site of thinking and making, as space increasingly and untenably belongs to real-estate capitalism.

Shannon Garden-Smith is an artist and (sometimes) writer who lives and works in Toronto/Tkaronto, Canada. She received an MFA from the University of Guelph and BA from the University of Toronto. She has recently exhibited at YYZ Artists’ Outlet (Toronto), Art Metropole (Toronto), Cambridge Art Galleries (Cambridge ON), Birch Contemporary (Toronto), Erin Stump Projects (Toronto), 8-11 Gallery (Toronto).

Her highly tactile, slow processes of sculpture-making explore unproductiveness in order to imagine ways of doing/making/performing that hold too much and too little.

Shannon gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council

Javier Bravo de Rueda: Ritual Containers
Workshop: July 31–August 2, 15:00–18:00 daily
Intervention: Saturday, August 10, 19:00

During the 3-day workshop starting Wednesday the 31st, we will create together the ceramic objects for the permanent intervention that will be presented on August 10th at TIER.

“Ritual Containers” is a way to propose the exploration of the idea of containers as artistic object with an applied sense in their utilitarian form and its narrative quality in a ritual environment of everyday practice. For the workshop and in-situ intervention, there will be a collaborative dynamic grouped in 5 main themes based on the theory of the five skins by the Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. This is an interpretation about how the individual relates with the different ideas or layers between the being and the outside. The forms are also inspired by the keros. Keros are the ritual prehispanic vases or cups from the Andes of ancient times. They were usually used to drink chicha by the high-level governors and nobility. These containers were made in wood with natural resin but also in terracotta and metalwork. While the shape of the keros was stylized in the Inca era, there is a lot of freedom in the proposals made before then by pre-Inca cultures from the coast and other sites in the Andes. On them, we can find a mix of natural and mythical representation, architecture and a variety of geometric patterns.

The results of the workshop will become part of the permanent intervention of Javier Bravo de Rueda at The Institute for Endotic Research, which will be presented August 10, 19:00.

The workshop (July 31–August 2, 15:00–18:00 daily) is limited to 15 people. Please RSVP at:

Javier Bravo de Rueda (1989)
Bravo de Rueda studied Fine Arts in the Facultad de Arte de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, complementing his studies in Chile, USA and Spain. He was part of the ceramic program of the contemporary ceramic workshop, Huara Huara in Santiago de Chile There, he would develop his interest for process and technical investigation of ceramics, later influencing in a major way his understanding of the pictorial. In 2012 he complements his studies in The Art Students League in New York, USA. After completing his studies, Bravo de Rueda receives the honorable mention of Premio a la Crítica granted by the PUCP (2014). His work is characterized, since then, by a constant revision of means and supports that finally determine an extensive body of work and procedural exercises. He has just completed a Postgraduate Studies program in Applied Arts / Escola Massana, Barcelona, Spain.
Influenced by the abstract and expressive informalism, during the first years of his career he exhibits in Lima, Miami and New York and in 2015 he has his first solo exhibition, Yaku’s Ride in the Secret Sixteen Gallery, Montauk, NY, and Il senso del Corpo, FISAD 2015 in the Pinacoteca dell’Accademia Albertina in Turin, Italy. That same year he co-founds Taller Dos Ríos, which focuses on contemporary and utilitarian ceramic.
Between 2016 and 2017 he attends the residence Goctalab in Amazonas, Peru. Within his subsequent exhibitions stand out Y Generation in Y Gallery (Lima), Bajo Un Mismo Ruido in Galería Crisis (Lima) and Diciembre in Galería Forum (Lima). In the year 2018, Bravo de Rueda exhibits his second and third solo: Visiones para ejercer, in the gallery Espacio 22 (Lima) and Trapos, Galeria Crisis (Lima).

Friday, July 26, 19:00
Were we never fish
Intervention by Sophie Erlund and Stephen Kent
Space is limited to 20 participants

“Were We Never Fish”

Intercorpereity, according to the italian neuroscientist Vittorio Gallese, is a term used to describe when mirror neurons make us experience the actions of another as if we were performing the same actions ourselves. The mirror neurons are connected to our sense of empathy and is part of how we develop a sense of connectedness.

The we-ness we might feel together could be extrapolated upon in our connectivity with objects. Through the use of symbols, we create parallels in objects in order to navigate meaning and placement within our perceptions of reality.

In variations of myth making and oral traditions our relationship with objects can be a guide in establishing the self.  Perhaps, as we mirror ourselves through symbols, a play of intercorpereity extended through objects, becomes part of our interconnected paths of meaning.

With a guided evening of sound, food, images and objects paired with an exercise in oral meditations on the fish, we allow for an exploration of how we navigate interconnectivity through symbols.


Stephen Kent (Pennsylvania ’85) received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has been a student at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine, and received a Fellowship at the Oxbow School of Art and Artist residency in Michigan. In 2013 he moved to Berlin where he has continued to work around ideas of historical image production through the decorative gesture and the exploration of cultural codes embedded in everyday objects. He has recently exhibited with Elephant Kunsthall in Norway, Good Weather Gallery in the U.S., LVL 3 in Chicago, Philipp Haverkampf Galerie in Berlin, and has an upcoming exhibition at Die Brücke Museum. He is also the co-founder of, a continual online exhibition platform exploring the intersection of art blog aesthetics and hotel rental sites.

Sophie Erlund (b. 1978) is a danish born artist living and working in Berlin. She researches architecture as a synonym for the human body and mind, creating sculptures, installations and complex soundscapes, which deal with the central theme of transition and understanding the world through the irrational mind. Sophie Erlund’s work has been exhibited in galleries and institutions as well as participated in biennials across Europe and the US. She received a BA of Fine Art with Honours from Central St. Martins College of Art and Design (London) in 2003 and has been working in Berlin since. She has been represented by PSM since 2009 and recently had her 4th solo show with the gallery, which comprised of a large audio/visual, immersive installation.

Tuesday, July 16, 19:00. Space is limited to 12 participants
The Institute for Endotic Research’s yoga series
Instructed by Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock

We are very much looking forward to welcome you to another TIER-Yoga session:

Drop by for a slow and grounding Hatha-Vinyasa experience.
This time we will start with a short introduction and explanation of the Sanskrit meanings of the Asanas before we initiate our monthly yoga session.
Come and play with your patience, strength and flexibility, you’ll be rewarded with a generous generous cool down.
Expect mindful hands-on and gentle assists.

– the class will be held in English, all levels are welcome.

Limited spaces, please kindly rsvp via:

Suggested donation of 5-10€

Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock is a curator and researcher at S A V V Y Contemporary Berlin and is part of the participatory archive project Colonial Neighbours. She received her MA in Postcolonial Cultures and Global Policy at Goldsmiths University of London and moved to Berlin in 2013.
Lynhan received her 200-hour Yoga Alliance teaching certification through Spirit Yoga Berlin in 2017. In her own practice and teaching she seeks a more grounding momentum, the healing power of touch and creating the space to balance our hectic daily hustle.

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