Synthetic Geographies.

Piper, Keith ORCID logoORCID: (2004) Synthetic Geographies. [Show/Exhibition]


‘Synthetic Geographies' was a series of site-specific installations that were commissioned as part of the project Der Black Atlantic' at the Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin. Der Black Atlantic was an exhibition and German language publication exploring notions of diasporic exchange generated from Professor Paul Gilroy's book The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness, 1992, in relation to developing pan-European black presences.

‘Synthetic Geographies' was based on research into the historical location of the Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt in the Tiergarten as part of the greater cityscape of Berlin and as a metaphor for interrogating the broader theme of imperial expansion, using the Berlin Conference of 1885 as a pivotal moment. The resultant mixed-media installation employed multi-screen video projection and tent manufacturing material to echo the original use of the site dating from 1745 as the ‘Zeltenplatz' or ‘place of the marquees'.

One installation of the series was developed in collaboration with Professor Tina Campt, author of Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender and Memory in the Third Reich (Michigan 2005) and the Berlin based historian Nicola Laure al-Samarai. This was thematically based on the oral histories of three Afro-Germans who lived through the Third Reich. An English language version of this piece subsequently toured to the John Hope Franklin Center, Duke University, Durham NC, (November/December 2005) and was a key element of the conference ‘Gendering Diaspora and Race-ing the Transnational', at Duke University in November 2005.

Der Black Atlantic was accompanied by a publication [ISBN 3-9808851-5-1], to which Piper contributed a series of eleven artists' pages exploring the digital animation/photo sequence Go West Young Man, together with a set of nine double-page visual collages, which explored Black Atlantic exchange, transformation and retention through cultural and narrative artefacts.

Venue Details

  1. Synthetic Geographies.
    • Location: Der Black Atlantic, Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin, Germany.
    • Dates:

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Diasporas
Item ID: 444
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2008 13:26
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:11

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