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Universität Bremen
09-50-M89-A9 / Online Seminar: Be Water! New forms of Researching from Below - Details
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General information

Course number 09-50-M89-A9 / Online
Semester WiSe 2020/2021
Current number of participants 24
expected number of participants 20
Home institute Kulturwissenschaft, B.A. /Mag.
Courses type Seminar in category Teaching
First date Mon , 02.11.2020 14:00 - 18:00
Pre-requisites test
Englischsprachige Veranstaltung Ja
Titel (fremdsprachlich) Be Water! New forms of Researching from Below

Course location / Course dates

n.a Monday: 14:00 - 18:00, weekly


In 2019, Hong Kong’s students rebelled against their government. Whereas previous generations of students had used the “umbrella” (protecting demonstrators against the police’s water cannons) as their guiding metaphor for protest, this new generation went further, and took inspiration from Karate fighter and actor Bruce Lee: “Be water!” became the name of the student’s method of short bursts of direct action that are immediately followed by all participants melting away into a crowd.

This is an art & ethnography & activism course that takes inspiration from the Hong Kong students’ practices of undermining power. We will explore approaches to research that operate from positions of weakness. We aim for new ways to generate knowledge, to act in everyday life, and to leave your mark in public, including those where you can't be traced. We will also question whether the context and position of the researcher can justify alternative ethical frameworks and approaches, looking at tactics of subversion and deception, covertness and anonymity, obfuscation and hiding in plain sight.

The course is hands-on and experimental. Both digital media and urban space will provide us with sites of action. We will engage with prominent and outsider art, activism, ethnography, theory as well as our everyday practices, while we search for new mergers of activism, art and research: beyond fine art, beyond classical academic research and beyond traditional forms of activism. You will also be tasked with doing and producing weird social games and art projects, pieces of idiosyncratic research and activist interventions (and mixes of these!) as parts of the final assessment.

In this course you will a.) learn about art, ethnography and activism by pushing and exploring their respective boundaries, b.) generate new ways of research and new publics in the spaces between these fields, c.) explore questions of visibility and invisibility, surveillance, anonymity and concealment.

The course is jointly hosted by a British artist (Simon Farid) and an ethnographer (Götz Bachmann).


Registration mode

After enrolment, participants will manually be selected.

Potential participants are given additional information before enroling to the course.