The expression ‘tension’ appears in manifold contexts with diverse meanings. We speak of social, religious, electrical, sexual, and creative tension. In all these cases, tension refers to a static but unstable state. Such a state is on the verge of a dynamic process that may be destructive as well as productive. Tension provides the condition for transformations, but determines neither their beginning nor outcome. As a state of undecided potentiality, tension promises us agency and demands our involvement, while also captivating us aesthetically. By exploring the critical role of tension, the ICI’s inaugural project also sought to reflect upon the Institute’s mission.

For a more detailed description of the project as it was initially conceived, see ICI Focus 2007–10: Tension/Spannung. The work of the initial three years led to the formulation of gradually shifting foci in subsequent years: Kippbilder / Multistable Figures (2010–11), Complementarity (2011–12), Wholes Which Are Not One (2012–13), and Constituting Wholes 2013-14. In September 2014, the subsequent core project, ERRANS, commenced.

Related Projects

  • Dante 2009–
  • Pasolini 2008–
  • VersusLaboratory 2008–09