Friday 17.05.2024 — Sunday 28.07.2024

Contact Zones — Pamela Breda, Victoria Keddie, Sajan Mani

Contact Zones Poster

Contact Zones—Pamela Breda, Victoria Keddie, Sajan Mani  is the second collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (MPIEA) and the Museum Angewandte Kunst. The initiative for this joint exhibition came from INHABIT, the Institute’s artist-in-residence program, which hosts two guest artists from different artistic disciplines each year for four months to pursue their work in dialogue and exchange with the researchers. This exhibition for the third and fourth iteration of INHABIT presents the works of Pamela Breda, Victoria Keddie, and Sajan Mani created during their residencies, in the context of a scientific research institute.

The opening will take place on Thursday, May 16, 2024 from 7 pm. Afterwards, the exhibition will be on view at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main until July 28, 2024.


The title Contact Zones alludes to the interaction between different cultures of knowledge and the challenge of not only fostering a conversation between the arts and natural sciences, but also creating a common language and opportunities for dialogue. While in cultural studies, the term “contact zone” describes a social space where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, in the context of this residency program it refers to the space of interaction between the artistic and scientific fields.

Without conceptual constraints, each iteration of INHABIT is entirely defined by the respective guest artists themselves in terms of the questions posed and the media employed.

In her film, Pamela Breda sketches a future scenario in which advanced artificial intelligence blurs the boundaries between human and machine actors, and poetically introduces us to the challenges of human relationships and interactions with AI systems.

Victoria Keddie focuses on the ongoing transformation of spoken language, exploring the auditory and rhythmic nuances of phonetic expression in a multimedia and expansive installation.

Sajan Mani works along his biography of Dalit history and the colonial history of Kerala, creating an alternative narrative based on colonial collections that counters the muteness and oppression of his ancestors with a different visibility.

All the artists have worked in very different ways during their residencies. Their projects are an expression of different approaches to the scientific environment and, not least, shaped by encounters, dialogues, and cooperation.

About the Artists

Pamela Breda

Pamela Breda’s practice as an artist and filmmaker navigates between experimental film, photography, constructed objects, and installations. She is particularly interested in exploring the connections between science and socio-cultural frameworks through the impact of digital technologies on individual and collective identities. The emphasis of her work is on the examination of virtual realities and artificial intelligence as well as the ethical, political, and psychological challenges and questions arising from the technological paradigm shift.

Pamela Breda holds an MA in Visual Arts from IUAV University, Venice, and a PhD in Visual Arts from Kingston University, London. She is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. Her films have been shown internationally at festivals and art institutions, including Sheffield DocFest; ECRA Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro; Revolutions Per Minute Festival, Boston; Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival; Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; Vision du Réel Film Festival, Nyon; Hazel Eye Film Festival, Tennessee; The Bomb Art Factory Film Festival, London; Sohonya Art Centre, Bangalore; Francesco Fabbri Foundation for Contemporary Art, Pieve di Soligo; Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation, Venice. Pamela Breda has received several art awards and scholarships, including an IMeRa Fellowship; an Italian Council Award; and a Kingston University PhD Scholarship. In 2019, she was appointed Artist-in-Residence Fellow at the Pratt Institute, New York.

Victoria Keddie

Victoria Keddie is an artist working across disciplines in sound, video, installation, and performance. Her work emphasizes the untold stories hidden within seemingly ordinary artifacts and spaces, illustrating their significant role in shaping our collective narrative. Keddie’s projects are characterized by the linking of disclosure and decoding of technological infrastructures—e.g., radio and television transmissions—with storytelling in order to enable different narratives of media, their apparatuses, and their conditions that expand a unified history of technology. The examination of acoustic phenomena and language is a recurring theme in her artistic work. Keddie’s current project navigates the cacophony of media ecologies, embracing the acoustic complexity of language and dialects.

Victoria Keddie is the co-director of E.S.P. TV, a durational live-broadcast project exploring the televisual medium for performance, video, and sound. She has performed live, with commissioned compositions, and exhibited internationally, among others at The Barbican, London; Fridman Gallery; Performa Arts; The Swiss Institute; Pioneer Works; The Kitchen; The Museum of Art and Design; Queens Museum of Art; Anthology Film Archives, New York; KØS Museum for Art in Public Spaces, Köge; Espace de l’Art Concret, Paris; Goethe Institute, Bogotá; Syros International Film Festival, Syros; Sight + Sound Festival, Montreal.

Her video works are distributed with Light Cone (France), and The Filmmakers’ Cooperative (USA). She has recently received fellowships from NYSCA/New York Foundation of Arts for Music/Sound (2022); the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (2023); the Bemis Foundation and Center for Contemporary Art (2024). Her albums are released with Chaikin Records and Fridman Gallery, New York. A forthcoming release with raster media is scheduled for Spring 2024.

Sajan Mani

Sajan Mani is an intersectional artist who comes from a family of rubber tappers in a remote village in the northern part of Kerala, South India. His artistic work expresses the concerns and issues of India’s marginalized and oppressed social groups through various media, materials, and practices. Often his black Dalit body is the instrument to express the brutality of Dalit history and its continuity. His ongoing research project Wake-Up Calls for My Ancestors engages with Western archival practices by critically examinating collections of South Indian photographs to redefine the narratives and representations of these marginalized voices and to challenge the traditional power structures in Western archives.

Sajan Mani holds an MA in Spatial Strategies from Weißensee School of Art Berlin, a BA in Applied Arts from Karnataka State Open University, India, and a BA in English Literature and Journalism from Kannur University, India. He has participated in international biennials, festivals, exhibitions, and residencies, including New Performance Turku Biennale; Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal; Lokame Tharavadu Kochi Biennale Foundation; Times Art Centre, Berlin; Nome Gallery, Berlin; CODA Oslo International Dance Festival; Ord & Bild, Stockholm; India Art Fair, New Delhi; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Dhaka Art Summit; Kampala Art Biennale; Kolkata International Performance Arts Festival; and Vancouver Biennale. Sajan Mani was awarded the Prince Claus Mentorship Award (2022), the Breakthrough Artist-of-the-Year by Hello India Art Awards (2022), and then Berlin Art Prize (2021). Between 2019 and 2022, he received an Artistic Research Fellowship from the Berlin Senate, a Braunschweig Projects Visual Arts Fellowship, and a Fellowship from the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart.


Curator: Eike Walkenhorst