Before a book begins. A visual essay in 7 parts. 
Nils Röller (2022)

Before a book begins. A visual essay in 7 parts.
Nils Röller (2022)

For this lecture, Nils Röller has developed a visual essay in 7 parts. He discusses (muses on) the transition from note to book. In the situation between reading, writing and perceiving, disturbing noises from the environment emerge. Nils relates the book to the ship and the tram, to vehicles for "experiencing the world". In a reflection on Ban en Banlieue by Bhanu Kapil, a question arises: how does the "core" of a book differ from the notes? This leads to the discussion regarding how the decision is made as to whether a book can have a core content when it addresses multiple events with the aim of discharging them, i.e. taking away their tension. The visual essay recapitulates the making of Nils’ book Alpentram (Vienna: Klever, 2021).

Nils Röller is a professor at Zurich University of the Arts. His research focuses on the relation between text, image and philosophy (Iconography of Philosophy). He has published experimental texts in collaboration with artists and poets in the Journal for Art, Sex and Mathematics since 2006. Nils is a member of the editorial team for the platform Text-Image Parergon of the Shared Campus. Recent publications in English and German include Alpentram (Vienna: Klever, 2021) and “Interfacing Philosophy”, "Oswalds Hubble" on Dieter Roth and Oswald Wiener, and more.

He built up the Vilèm Flusser Archive together with Siegfried Zielinski and Silvia Wagnermaier. He also directed the festival Digitale (with Siegfried Zielinski). This led Nils to research at the interface of art, science and philosophy (Ahabs Steuer – Navigationen zwischen Kunst und Naturwissenschaft (Berlin: Merve, 2005). His literary work on Dieter Roth, Roth der Grosse, was awarded the Schiller Prize of the Zürcher Kantonalbank in 2014.

In addition: Dimensionen des Buchs by Nils Röller (German language text)
In: Medialität Historische Perspektiven - Newsletter Zentrum für Historische Mediologie Universität Zürich 23/2021, 
(pdf version)

ACTS 2022

The ACTS programme was established in 2020 to explore how artists might conceive of staging speculative events online. 

ACT VII (25/02/22) Nils Röller, ACT VI (28/01/22) Cédric Maridet, and RYBN.ORG

Amy Hale (03/03/2022) online lecture, Anne Tallentire (08/03/2022) open studio event at the ICA, Joanna Walsh (08/03/2022) Book launch.

Phainologies, sound composition in 2 parts and 6 pentads, 25’ with text 
Cédric Maridet (2019)

Phainologies, sound composition in 2 parts and 6 pentads, 25’ with text
Cédric Maridet (2019)

Phainologies explore alternative relations with nature and epistemology with different forms of writing through sound and text. The work is composed of a few pages taken from an unrealized fictional screenplay, a sound composition that stands as a soundtrack from that film. The text relies on scientific facts about the possibility to archive data in DNA. The sound is composed of archived field recordings from various locations (South Africa, the Arctic Circle, etc.) and synthesized sounds. It is linked to the solar calendar (yushui) with its 24 terms corresponding to the position of the sun that are each divided into 3 pentads. This work points at two positions of the sun (330° and 345°) and their interpretations (rain water and the awakening of insects). The 6 pentads in this 2 moments are referred to within the composition with Chinese sayings associated with the 6 pentads.

Cédric Maridet is an artist based in Hong Kong. His work explores the act of listening, collecting and archiving as a departure point for a possible reinterpretation of knowledge and fiction to construct alternative landscapes in the forms of video, installations, photography, sound compositions and works on paper. His works are presented internationally through residencies (Asia Art Archive), group and solo exhibitions (Blindspot Gallery, Art in General, Tate Modern, Para/Site, 2P Contemporary). He currently holds a position of Assistant Professor and Director of the PhD programme at the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Global Finance Walk Radio Report
RYBN.ORG (2021)


Global Finance Walk Radio Report
RYBN.ORG (2021)

This sound piece is a report from the “Global Finance Walk” workshop, held in Berlin on the 21st of august, 2021, led by RYBN.ORG together with Laura Calbet on the invitation of Supermarkt Berlin and ZK/U (Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, Berlin) (1). The workshop took place a few weeks before Berlin's referendum against real estate speculation ("Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen and Co.") (2), held on 26th September 2021.

Participants of the workshop were invited for a psychogeographic dérive in the newly constructed residential neighborhood of Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum. For their walk, the participants were equipped with a GPS loaded with geolocalized information on the urban developers of the neighborhood. The audiotour exposed to the participants the private equity investments, development funds and corporate networks in charge of the extreme financialization of the urban area. After the walk, participants gathered in a park and discussed together of the transformation of the urban landscape under extreme financial pressure, and in the perspective of the coming referendum.

The sound piece presents excerpts of the workshop conclusive discussion, mixed with phone messages let by the participants on a dedicated voicemail. The piece was broadcasted on the day of the referendum on Berlin's community radio RebootFM, 88.4 FM (3).

Workshop participants: Alejo, Estefania, Doma, Bernd, Caroline, Diana, Inke, Karen, Gerry, Laura, Pekko, Stéphanie.

(1) & (2)


RYBN.ORG is an artistic, experimental and independent research platform created in 1999, and based in Paris.

Dr. Amy Hale 

Esoteric Art, Women Artists: Evolution and Confluence

Hosted by Dr. Dean Kenning and recorded on 03/03/22 

This talk will explore the changing category of esoteric art from the “Occult revival” of the nineteenth century to the present day, with a focus on the women who have pioneered and innovated within the genre.  I will be addressing women’s visual art, performance and installation in exploring the different contexts in which esoteric art has emerged and how it has been received, ranging from early movements such as Symbolism and Surrealism, to the impact of Theosophy and Spiritualism. We will look at artists such as Florence Farr, Hilma af Klint, Georgiana Houghton, Ithell Colquhoun, and a wave of contemporary artists such as Tai Shani who are reconfiguring the boundaries of this exciting and fluctuating genre.

Dr. Amy Hale is an anthropologist and folklorist writing about esoteric history, art, and culture. Her biography of Ithell Colquhoun, Genius of the Fern Loved Gully, is available from Strange Attractor Press, and she is also the editor of Essays on Women in Western Esotericism: Beyond Seeresses and Sea Priestesses (Palgrave Macmillan).