Opening talks by Johannes Jaeger, Bronwyn Lace and Marcus Neustetter of the works in process for the research: Pushing the Boundaries – Agency, Evolution, and the Dynamic Emergence of Expanding Possibilities

Image gallery of the studio

Julian Gough – The Egg and the Rock
THE ZONE presentation to select philosophers and scientists
27 April 2023

THE ZoNE sits down with writer and philosopher Julian Gough ( to discuss his project called “The Egg and the Rock” (, the End Poem in Minecraft (, and how to navigate that space between arts and science.

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ART ROOMS KYRENIA, CYPRUS, 2 November 2022 – 2 February 2023
an exhibition by Bronwyn Lace and Marcus Neustetter, curated Basak Senova

2Fold designates an ongoing process of a parallel act that discovers each other in the inquiry of doing. Two artists with different approaches and visual languages fold and unfold ideas of doing. Hence, they materialize this process with the use of paper. The act of folding always leaves a crease in paper, any other following act could never erase it. It is in the crease that new forms and questions emerge. Lace and Neustetter explore what happens in the crease as a place for revealing that which is hidden as well as that which is speculated and imagined. One of the chapters of the exhibition was dedicated to the undertakings of THE ZoNE.

THE ZONE presentation for the Octopus Programme
Tonkino Saalbau, Vienna
02 June 2022

We have undone Plato’s cave. God is dead. There are no ideal forms. Yet, there is no cave either anymore. Our experiences are no mere illusions. It is time to have a closer look at those shadows. They are all that remain. Yet how can we see what is not there? How can we pay attention to the hole, rather than what surrounds it? What if that hole, that absence, that shadow, is within us? We are avoiding it for fear of discovering what horrors may lurk there. But denial will not get us anywhere. Confront the shadows we must. Enter the shadows we will.

curated by Basak Senova

The Octopus Programme – a programme developed new critical perspectives to process artistic research and practices while bridging and acknowledging the diversity of socio-political realities – concludes with “the Octopus” exhibition as the most comprehensive iteration of the experimental curatorial and educational path theOctopus Programme has pursued. The Octopus Programme is a guided research-based educational programme that encourages artistic research and production-based collaborations in different geographical regions. The exhibition presents an accumulation of research and process-based works by its participants, associated actors, and its curated archive. the Octopus also features prominent examples from certain guest lecturers who have influenced the programme. THE ZoNE was featured with a re-staging of Symbiosis.

Wissenskunst – Serious Play with Evolutionary Ideas
THE ZONE presentation to select philosophers and scientists
12 March 2022
by Johannes Jaeger

This is a solo talk by Johannes Jaeger, held on Mar 12, 2022, at “Hope Recycling Station” ( in Prague as part of an arts & science event organized by the “Transparent Eyeball” collective (Adam Vačkář and Jindřich Brejcha).

It centers around William Irwin Thompson’s concept of “wissenskunst,” which deeply infuses and informs our creative efforts in THE ZONE. “Theory art” does not quite capture it. Through wissenskunst, we attempt no less than to establish a new narrative order for the 21st century by engaging in a secular kind of mythopoiesis. Mind you, we are not likely to succeed. In fact, our quixotic quest is highly paradoxical, since proper myths cannot be deliberately created. They must grow in the context of a suitable set of cultural and historical conditions. To create such conditions, we must first understand the meaning-making engine that underlies all attempts at philosophically sound and scientifically informed myth-making. In this presentation, Jaeger explores the evolution-like process of relevance realization as the medium in which a new mythology may grow.

The talk is also available as a blog post:

Undoing The Cave
THE ZONE presentation to select philosophers and scientists
9 March 2022
by Johannes Jaeger and Marcus Neustetter

The last time we entered Plato’s Cave, we ended up inverting his parable. Anagoge, instead of an ascent out of the cave, becomes a descent into our shadows. But before we can take the plunge, there’s some housekeeping to do, and Nietzsche will be our janitor. In six short paragraphs, he tells us how the cave was born and how it was undone. Between those paragraphs, 2,400 years have passed. We end up in a diffuse fog, surrounded by a pile of rubble. Deconstruction complete. That was the easy part. But how to rebuild? What will guide us on our onward journey? It is all a matter of perspective. Our perspective. The experience that grounds us, empowers us to choose our own pro and contra. There is nothing more we could ask for.

Clumsy Utterings and Gestures – annotated in 5 parts
by Johannes Jaeger, Marcus Neustetter and Bronwyn Lace

“Clumsy Utterings and Gestures” is a performance and a journey at the same time. Our art is always in the making. This project originated with the commission to present a public lecture on art and science at the “Pint of Science Vienna” festival in May 2021. To be honest, it is really neither art nor science—most certainly not an attempt at reconciliation or unification. Rather, it has to be understood as wissenskunst, a playful exploration of the space between the two. Our first public appearance, it constitutes a true origination event, yet no singularity. Due to the pandemic, the performance had to be moved online. On top of that, we had to rerecord because of a glitch with the software. The result is a bit patched up, like Frankenstein’s monster, which seems rather fitting to our purpose. The lecture itself only provides the shortest of glimpses into our process (a single patch of the patchwork). While it shows the generation of Rorschach blots and electronic drawings, the origin of the text itself remains hidden. In fact, it is obscure even to us, as it arose by mere coincidence from our investigations of mysterious scholarly figure Alexís O. van Tlön. But that is beside the point. What is important here is: the genealogy of texts that accompanies the video of the performance is at best a retroactive attempt at revisionism, an annotative resolution of confusion that suggests linear clarity where there was none. Origins are messy, inchoate; and at the end, the text is again completely erased, written out of existence. Annotations and art is what remains. And so story is layered on top of story, generating a stratigraphy of fossilized context.

Access annotations in 5 parts here

Inverting Plato’s Cave
THE ZONE presentation at the Octopus Programme, The Universtiy of Applied Arts Vienna
11 January 2022
by Johannes Jaeger and Marcus Neustetter

THE ZONE is a trans-disciplinary experiment to establish an ecology of practices that address the current crisis of meaning in the arts, philosophy, and science. We use an immersive experience of Plato’s parable of the cave to illustrate what it could mean to make sense of ourselves and our lives through the cultivation of wisdom.

More information about Inverting Plato’s Cave by Johannes Jaeger: Tethering the Platonic Realm

Clumsy Utterings and Gestures
PINT OF SCIENCE, 17-19 May 2021, Zoom

A performative venture into worlds brought forth beyond the confines of arts or science.
A series of philosophical openings and closings.
A conversation triggered.

FÄRGFABRIKEN, STOCKHOLM, August 28 – November 28 2021
curated by Björn Norberg

More about Symbiosis

ANGEWANDTE FESTIVAL, The Universtiy of Applied Arts Vienna
2 July 2021
Chapter IV of PLAY, the Octopus Programme

endZONE is a performative venture into worlds brought forth beyond the confines of arts or science. A series of gestures towards physically manifesting our world-making processes by transgressing, subverting, and inverting boundaries. It explores an open-ended (infinite) game and reveals the inner workings and tools that ground and guide our deliberations.

Metamorphosis | A Kafka Moment
The Center for the Less Good Idea – Johannesburg, South Africa
April 2021
as part of Bronwyn Lace’s contribution to the mini-season: A Kafka Moment

Kafka’s Metamorphosis: Translation and Transformation a report for Bronwyn Lace by Johannes Jaeger


The Mixed Reality Workshop – Johannesburg, South Africa
6 November – 22 January 2022
as part of the exhibition Lead The Way Again by Marcus Neustetter

“Worldmaking: Generating an account of the world, we also create the objects our account refers to. The world seen as mind, where differences constitute basic ideas, where the relation between content and context is more fundamental. All relations are the foundation of all knowledge. Things don’t exist out there. They are generated by the mind’s interaction with the physical world. Objects become ideas through this interaction.”
Johannes Jaeger, The Zone

“No exercise of power can make a world. A world must be its own source.”
Alexís O. Van Tlön

More about the exhibition: Lead the Way Again