Susanne Schmitt

Dr. Susanne Schmitt


Susanne Schmitt is a sociocultural anthropologist and sensory ethnographer, interdisciplinary artist, and facilitator. Her work focusses on creative collaborations within and beyond the label of "art meets science", multispecies worlding, and the aesthetic dimensions of the workplace and sites of knowledge production like Museums of Natural History, aquariums, historical textile and fashion collections or Botanical Gardens. Her work includes choreographic audiowalks for Natural History Museums across the globe ("How to Not be A Stuffed Animal. Moving Museums of Natural History through Multispecies Choreogaphy", Creative Director/PI, funded by Volkwswagen Stiftung, with Laurie Young), broken cocktails for broken worlds ("Barfly, Danish National Gallery and other sites, with Kat Petroschkat), and ethnographic writing on workplace atmospheres and multispecies encounters. Her teaching and cooperation work includes guest professorships (MCTS Munich) and transnational residencies (Sense Lab, Montreal).

During her fellowship at the IASS she works on an installation on touch, routine, and politeness for the Botanical Gardens Berlin, accompanying and responding to an ethnographic research project on affective and sensory encounters between plants and humans by anthropologists at the FU Berlin:

  • multispecies worlds and worldings
  • cooperation and collaboration betwixt and between art and science
  • sensation and sensory ehtnography
  • multimodal storytelling
  • scenography
  • facilitation

Publications prior to joining the IASS

    1. "Barfly- Drinks for Insects." Together with Katrin Petroschkat, Tierstudien 10 (Special Issue on Extinction), 137-148.
    1. "Taxidermy in Motion, (not) from a Bird's-eye Perspective: Choreographing. Disappearance at the Australian Museum", Ethnologia Europaea 49(2), 98-114. doi:
    1. Making Charismatic Ecologies: Aquarium Atmospheres. In: Exploring Atmospheres Ethnographically. Anthropology of Creativity and Perception Series, with Sara Asu Schroer. London: Routledge.
    1. Exploring Atmospheres Ethnographically. Anthropology of Creativity and Perception Series (series editor Tim Ingold), with Sara Asu Schroer. London: Routledge
    1. Ein Wissenschaftsmuseum geht unter die Haut. Sensorische Ethnographie des Deutschen Hygiene- Museums. Bielefeld: transcript
  • 2021/22. Haptic Hortus. Cooperation with the 'Sonderforschungsbereich AffectivecSocieties'/ Prof. Dr. Sandra Calkins (Freie Universität Berlin) and the Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin (forthcoming)
    1. Glove and Touch Studies. Video installation/ Short film (14 minutes). With Andrea Keiz, Kerstin Kraft, Regina Lösel, Laurie Young.
    1. Along a path of folds. Choreographic Audiowalk/ artistic intervention. FrankfurtHistorical Museum: Special exhibition 'Kleidung in Bewegung "Clothes in Motion", with Laurie Young'
    1. Re-breathing dis-ease. Venting and reinventing the archive. StaatlicheKunstsammlung Dresden. Workshop/Intervention for the 'Whole Life Academy', Haus derKulturen der Welt Berlin, with Laurie Young *2018-2022. Barfly/Drinks for Insects. Olfactory Installation and Performance. Danish National Gallery, Copenhagen/ Unsplit Art and Science Festival Munich,/ Stiftung Nantesbusch (tbc), with Kat Petroschkat. *2017/18. A meeting point for scents and smells. Ruffinihaus residency München.
    1. Send out a pulse! Choreographic audiowalk in cooperation with the AustralianMuseum Sydney, with Laurie Young
    1. KHBi3 - 3. KloHäuschen Biennale: Biennial for neglected life forms. Munich. Head Curator.

Volkswagen Stiftung (Arts and Science in Motion) German National Merit Foundation (PhD Scholarship)