Annual theme "The Present of the Future"
Interdisciplinary Lecture Series (2014/15)



Experimenting the Future

Jan St. Werner and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger


Jan St. Werner


Jan St. Werner works as a composer and musician in Berlin. He has instigated numerous music projects, including Lithops, Neuter River, Noisemashinetapes, Mouse on Mars (with Andi Toma), Microstoria (with Markus Popp), Von Südenfed (with Andi Toma and Mark E. Smith). His sound recordings include the series Fiepblatter Catalogue with Thrill Jockey Records and the Mouse on Mars 21 AGAIN project with Monkeytown Records in collaboration with the Berlin Hebbel am Ufer theatre and the CTM Festival in Berlin. Furthermore, Werner is co-founder of SONIG, a label for experimental, electronic and non-genre-specific music. From 2006 to 2008, he was Artistic Director at STEIM, the Institute of Electronic Music and Interface Technology in Amsterdam. He regularly works together with visual artists, for example at the IFREX Institute of Olafur Eliasson and the UdK Berlin, in 2012. His installations have been exhibited across Europe, for instance in the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, CUBITT Gallery in London, at the ICA in London, in the Radialsystem V Berlin, Kunstverein Munich, in the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin and the Cornerhouse in Manchester. Werner currently teaches «Kinetik Speakers and Experimental Sound Creations» at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Hans-Jörg Rheinberger is a molecular biologist and science historian. He studied philosophy, linguistics and biology at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen and at the Freie Universität and the Technical University in Berlin. From 1997 to 2014, he was Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. He is Honorary Professor of Science History at the TU Berlin, Dr. h.c. at the ETH Zurich and member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the Leopoldina. His current focuses of work are the history and epistemology of the experiment, and the relations between the arts and the sciences. His numerous publications include, amongst others, Experiment, Differenz, Schrift (Basilisken, 1992), Experimentalsysteme und epistemische Dinge (Wallstein, 2001), Iterationen (Merve, 2005); Epistemologie des Konkreten (Suhrkamp, 2006), Historische Epistemologie zur Einführung (Junius, 2007), Vererbung. Geschichte und Kultur eines biologischen Begriffs (with Staffan Müller-Wille, Fischer, 2009).