HKW Logo

SYNAPSE Workshop 2015 | June 30 – July 4, 2015


Questions and Answers regarding the Open Call for SYNAPSE – The International Curators’ Network (June 30 – July 4, 2015):

  1. To whom is the call directed?

The Open Call for SYNAPSE – The International Curators’ Network is aimed at up-and-coming curators who already have initial curatorial experience. There are no age limits. We are looking for curators to present their curatorial work and/or papers focusing on the subjects and methodologies of art and science, specifically to the framework defined by the project “Ape Culture” (

  1. What application documents should I submit?
  • Application form with personal details (to be filled out online at
  • Either one portfolio of realized projects, including images and texts in English, in the format of a .pdf file with a maximum size of 10 MB OR one paper abstract (max. 1,800 characters including blanks) in English about a curatorial subject related to the thematic framework of SYNAPSE 2015 must be uploaded online. During the conference, all participants will be expected to hold presentations (20 minutes + discussion) based on the material included in their applications (curatorial portfolios or paper abstracts).
  • Applications arriving after the deadline of January 20, 2015 cannot be processed.
  1. What is the call offering?
  • The selected curators will participate in a five-day workshop at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin (June 30 – July 4, 2015) in the framework of SYNAPSE 2015 that will focus on theoretical and practical questions for curatorial practitioners with a thematic interest in art & science topics and the theme of “Ape Culture”. No fee will be charged.
  • The curators will have the opportunity to establish links with Haus der Kulturen der Welt and Berlin as well as with internationally known curators, artists, theoreticians and scientists whose work is related to the topic of SYNAPSE 2015. They will also receive access to an international network of curators, including its digital platform
  • Travel and accommodation expenses are covered by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (no per diems included, but catering and food during workshop hours)
  • Visits to galleries, museums, and project and exhibition spaces will connect SYNAPSE participants with the Berlin art scene.
  1. How will participants be selected?

An international jury comprising Anselm Franke (curator and Head of Visual Arts Department, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin), Chus Martínez (curator and Head of the Institute of Art at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel), Rachel Mayeri (artist, Los Angeles), and Cord Riechelmann (biologist, philosopher, journalist, Berlin) will select up to ten curators. Successful applicants will be informed by the end of February 2015. No details on the ongoing selection procedure will be made available before then.

  1. May a curator use third-party funding?

The selected curators will be allowed to seek additional subsidies in cooperation with and with the support of Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

  1. May curator teams also apply?

Both individual curators and teams of curators may apply. In the case of curator teams, one representative will be invited to participate in the workshop. That representative will remain the contact partner of SYNAPSE.

  1. May artists also apply?

The call is aimed exclusively at curators’ applications. Artists’ applications cannot be taken into consideration unless they fulfill the necessary criteria for curators (see points 1 and 2) and also present curatorial projects with works by other artists.

  1. What happens with the information I submit through the application form?

When applying, you accept that Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the SYNAPSE team use the materials and information given by you for SYNAPSE’s internal and PR purposes.  If you are chosen by the jury to participate in the 2015 workshop, some of the information submitted will be included in the webpage and will be publicly available (see disclaimer in the application form).

  1. What does it mean for me to be chosen as a participant?
  • Your profile and contact information will be uploaded and publicly available at
  • Haus der Kulturen der Welt will organize your travel and accommodation. To this end, we will require information from your side regarding flight, passport details, etc.
  • Participation in the complete workshop is compulsory and you are expected to take time off from daily activities in order to attend the events.
  • You will give a 20-minute presentation plus plenary discussion during the workshop presenting either the curatorial projects you have done related to SYNAPSE 2015’s thematic framework OR a theoretical work on the basis of the paper abstract submitted with your application.