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Berit Hummel


IGK Fellow; Extra Parental Year (DFG Funded)


Taking Over the City: Cinematic Practices and Urban Change in 1960s New York.
Filmmaking in independent and underground cinema, working outside the film
industry with almost non-existent budgets, depended strongly on the
resources accessible in the immediate everyday environment. Furthermore
these films often premiered in the very same urban milieu in which they were
made. The dissertation project investigates the spaces generated by these
artistic practices and their relation to the respective urban surroundings.
Examining the ways in which mass- and subcultural representations are
assimilated into experimental filmic approaches focusing on new forms and
contents, the study investigates the restructuring of urban perceptions in
New York's avant-garde and underground cinema between 1959 and 65, in a time
of a socially paradigmatic change.
The historical and sociocultural context of radical urban and societal
change is placed in relation to artistic-cinematic practices by applying a
production aesthetic perspective. The subject of the study is therefore both
the manner in which the city is represented in the films as well as the
social space created by their exhibition. The films and the milieu
associated with their production and dissemination not only provide
information about the perception of urban change, but make the spaces
originating in this process visible. Assuming that cinema, in its wider
sense, is a spatial practice located in the city, the films and the
practices of production and distribution associated with them are taken as a
lense through which to decipher the perception of transforming urban
environments. Cinema in this context is understood as a symbolic practice
which restructures the perception of a transformed everyday urban
environment, producing a new image of the city.
Archival research has been carried out in New York at Anthology Film
Archives, Film Makers Cooperative, MoMA Film Study Center, New School for
Social Research, the NYPL Performing Arts Research Library and at the
Special Collection Libraries at NYU and Columbia as well as at the Getty
Research Institute (GRI), Los Angeles and Stanford Special Collections &
University Archives.


05/2012 – 04/2016
DFG Fellow at the International Graduate Research Program Berlin - New York - Toronto, Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University of Berlin
2004 – 2008
Institute of Art in Context, University of the Arts, Berlin; M.A.
1998 – 2004
Visual Arts and Media Art at Academy of Visual Arts (Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst), Leipzig; Dipl.
1994 – 1997
Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin; Vordiplom
Urban space in cinema and media,
Media as historical artifact,
Institutional history,
Artistic production and spatial politics,
Methods of artistic research
04/2016 - Present 
Lecturer (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) at the Department of Visual Arts,
Institute of Architecture, TU Berlin
04/2016 - Present
Associate Lecturer (Lehrbeauftragte) at Institute for German and Dutch
Philology / Berlin-Studies, FU Berlin, courses taught: Perceptions of
Urbanity. A Visual Culture Approach to Berlin (summer 16); The City in
Cinema ­ Histories of Place (fall/winter 2016/17); From Rubble Films to
Berlin School. Urban Memory and Identity in German Cinema (planned for
summer 17)
12/2014 - Present
Conceptualized and organized 2-day conference “New Visions. Cinema and
Cinematic Practices in Times of Radical Urban Transformation³ with 12
international presenters and 3 invited keynote speakers
2009 – 2012
Project Manager for KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
Production Manager for Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
2006 – 2009
Cofounder and organizer of artist run gallery Stedefreund, Berlin
Realization of annual exhibition program
2004 - 2009
visual artist, national and international exhibitions and projects
2004 - 2007
Production manager, Barbara Thumm Gallery, Berlin
Spirits of Listlessness. Metropolitan Temporalities in Films from the
Underground; Conference: Underground Adventures: Temporal Experimentation in
Postwar Countercultures, Humboldt University, Berlin, 03/2017 [forthcoming]
Entgrenzungen des Raums. Performative Stadtinszenierung in Dick Higgins
Flaming City, Workshop: “Performance und Architektur in der Fotografie,
Universität der Künste, Berlin
„Ästhetische Strategien der Besetzung von Stadtraum. Kinematographische Verarbeitung metropolitaner Zeiterfahrung“ at the conference „Bilder: Zeitzeichen und Zeitphänomene / Images: Signs and Phenomena of Time,“ Universität Hamburg
„Topographies of Liminality in 1960s New York Underground Cinema,“ Princeton-Mellon Works in Progress Series; Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities; School of Architecture; Princeton / NJ
Topographies of Ambiguity. Mappings of a Peripatetic City in Films from the New York Underground, 'Geographies of co-production' - Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society, London/GB
Continuous Wanderings. Driftende Protagonisten in Peter Emanuel Goldman’s 'Echoes of Silence', 27. Film- und Fernsehwissenschaftliches Kolloquium, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München/D
Shifting Perspectives: 1960s Avant-Garde Film and the Gaze of the Flâneur, Conference: 'Capital' - Annual Conference of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), New York University, New York City/USA
Cartography of the Modern City. Space and Movement in Alphaville and Playtime, Conference: Cinematic Urban Geographies / University of Cambridge, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Cambridge/GB
Mapping Dériville. The Recapturing of Urban Space in 1960s Cinema, Conference: Art and Maps Since 1945, University of Essex, School of Philosophy and Art History, Colchester/GB
“Topographies of Liminality in 1960s New York Underground Cinema,³ in:
re·bus - Journal of art history and theory, Issue 8, 2017 [forthcoming
spring 2017]
„Urbane Wanderungen und städtischer Wandel. Der Drifter im New Yorker Underground- Film der 1960er Jahre am Beispiel von Peter Emanuel Goldmans Echoes of Silence,“ in: Beiträge des 27. Film- und Fernsehwissenschaftlichen Kolloquiums, Marburg: Schüren. 10/2016.
„Topographies of Liminality in 1960s New York Underground Cinema,“ in: Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, Vol. 3.1/2016, Bristol: Intellect. [Peer Review]


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