Ipek Burçak is a multi-media artist focused on neurodiversity as an alternative to the extrovert supremacy (based on her being neurodiverse), mental health, and entanglements with non-humans and non-livings and their agency in public life.

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Becoming Things I,

16:9 HD video, 12 minutes and 35 seconds.

Becoming Things 1 is the first edition of the puppet performance video series, which looks at the potentials of puppetry in transcending categories and imagining of alternative realities with non-normative and non-humanoid bodies. As a continuation of ‘The Autistic Turn’, a former sci-fi and research project of Burçak, including speculations on an uncanny valley in a physical sense, bringing non-neurotypicals, robots and other species together in their chosen home, this project looks further at the possibilities of the intentional self positioning between human and non-human. Becoming Things carries traces/influenced by ‘Karagöz’ - Black Eye, an old traditional Turkish puppetry play known as from the 16th century, which represents the diversity of Ottoman people and criticises the ruling class similar to a political satire. This puppetry play like many others is known with having roots in shamanism and animism in the geographies where Ottoman Empire ruled, before Islam was imposed in the region. In the early 1900s Karagöz was overtaken by the the newly built nationalist government and was used to promote ‘Turkishness’. In the end the puppet play lost its developing identity and turned into a mere tool of the government. Becoming Thing 1’s structure is copied from Karagöz’s play structure with the 4 parts, an opening with music playing where the audience finds themselves in the details of the story, the second to gain an insight to the story, main part where the deep dialogue takes place and the closing with tambourine. The project brings together research on contemporary puppet practices, that go beyond the re-making of abled human bodies, affects of puppets and toys on the political phenomena and public space, and old Anatolian sayings that use non-livings for describing things. Video performance series engage with the material latex visually and aurally, of which the puppets are made, and so gaining an extensible form while playing with the boundaries of a puppet. Becoming Things series are funded by NEUSTART KULTUR, a German state funding program.

Ipek Burçak (b. 1988) is a multimedia artist, born in Istanbul and based in Berlin. She studied art with a focus on new media and video at the School of Arts Kassel in Germany and at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in Austria. Her working modes vary from video, sound, installation, performance, sculpture to publishing, while rejecting gaining expertise on one medium. Her main interests lie in neurodiversity as an alternative to the extrovert supremacy (based on her being neurodiverse), left field ways of beings, mental health and entanglements with non-humans and non-livings and their agency in public life. She usually forms speculative approaches to these issues without a purely optimistic utopic perspective. Between 2019-2021 she worked as an artistic associate in the interdisciplinary research project ‘Re:coding Algorithmic Culture’ at the School of Arts Kassel. She is 1/2 of the publishing collective Well Gedacht Publishing, who produces artists’ publications in various forms in collaboration with other diasporic artists. Recently she has exhibited and showed her works at venues and festivals such as Fluctoplasma Festival in Hamburg (DE), Andreas Züst Library in Oberegg (CH), Apartment Project Berlin (DE), Depo in Istanbul (TR), Arts of the Working Class in Berlin (DE), Mz Baltazar’s Lab in Vienna (AT), Kosminen in Helsinki (FI), Die Lage in Kassel (DE). She was a fellow at the Andreas Zuest Library in 2021 and recipient of other stipends such as the NEUSTART Kultur project fund (2021), Hessische Kulturstiftung project fund (2020), EUCIDA travel fund (2018), DAAD graduation project fund (2018), Rosa Luxemburg Foundation study grant (2013-2019). She took part in collectives such as Cura Han Hati (2020-), a group of POC artists living in Germany, founded to uplift and help each other in facing visa issues and racist structures in the art world, and Machine Perception (2018-2020), a group of a few artists founded to read and discuss about ways of perceiving as a machine.