Didem Pekün (1978, Istanbul) combines research and practice. Previously in her films, she addressed how violence and displacement define and destroy life. Currently she researches on a roaming art education platform titled “Elemental Lab”. Her documentaries and video installations have been shown internationally and received different awards. She is a founding member of Center for Spatial Justice (MAD). She holds a BA in Music from SOAS, an MA in Documentary from Goldsmiths, and a practice-based PhD in Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths, University of London.
She is currently a visiting lecturer at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. (on leave 2022-23) and the recipient of Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme (2022-3). She loves cats, very dark chocolate, and Istanbul.
Jan Verwoert teaches at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam, and the de Appel curatorial programme, Amsterdam. Jan Verwoert is a critic and writer on contemporary art and cultural theory. He is a contributing editor of frieze magazine and his writing has appeared in different journals, anthologies and monographs. He is the author of «Bas Jan Ader: In Search of the Miraculous» (MIT Press/Afterall Books, 2006), the essay collection «Tell Me What You Want What You Really Really Want» (Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute, 2010), «Animal Spirits—Fables in the Parlance of Our Time» together with Michael Stevenson, (Christoph Keller Editions, JRP, Zurich, 2013) and a second collection of his essays «Cookie!» published by Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute (2014). His work is focussed around the desire to develop concepts that redescribe the role of emotion, motion, action, intuition and sentience in the practice of art and thinking. His criticism is directed against a new system of control in which the pressure to perform (imposed by ourselves on ourselves, at all times) goes hand in hand with the demand to produce events, deliver results, represent identities and surrender to evaluation.