Isabel Paehr is an interdisciplinary designer working with queer play, crip technoscience and the materiality of network structures. In collaborative research and arts-design collectives, she follows material transformations and frictional imaginaries. For example, in her collaboration MELT with Loren Britton their work between chemistry, computing and trans*feminism engages melting as a shape shifting figuration. With her Berlin based game studio Topicbird, Isabel currently develops a game about time glitching crude oil.





  • 2017-18: Master class student, Prof. Joel Baumann, new media department, School of Art and Design Kassel, Germany
  • 2015: Exchange semester at Kyoto SEIKA University, Digital Creation department, Japan
  • 2011-17: Visual Communication, new media department, School of Art and Design Kassel, Germany (equals M.F.A)

Residencies and Fellowships (selection):

  • 2021: Vilém Flusser Residency Programme for Artistic Research 2021 by Vilém Flusser Archive at Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) and transmediale, with MELT (Loren Britton & Isabel Paehr)
  • 2021: Sonic Acts OVEREXPOSED Residency with MELT (Loren Britton & Isabel Paehr)
  • 2020-21: De-minimis Funding for Paradigm Shell with Topicbird UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
  • 2020: Hauptstadtkulturfonds with Fuzzy Binaires, Berlin
  • 2019: Recurse Center, programming retreat in Brooklyn, New York
  • 2018: Stugan, Sweden
  • 2017: Lieberum Fellowship, Kassel, Germany
  • 2015-18: German Academic Scholarship Foundation

Workshops, Talks, Publications (selection):

  • 2020: Miau ID with MELT (Loren Britton & Isabel Paehr), Workshop at Control Shift, Bristol, UK
  • 2020: Playing the Code / Matters Of Touch, online gamejam lab with Re:Coding Algorithmic Culture, Berlin and Kassel, DE
  • 2020 - Talk: Meltionary: Heating Matters / Change Flux with MELT (Loren Britton & Isabel Paehr), Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
  • 2020 - Workshop: Subtle Shifts: Instability Story Hour with MELT (Loren Britton & Isabel Paehr), Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
  • 2020 - Talk: Pixel::Plastik::Packeis:: Leaking als künstlerische Strategie. After Hours at IZfG, Greifswald, Germany
  • 2020: Taking a Walk through a Computer, online coding lab with Re:Coding Algorithmic Culture, Berlin and Kassel, DE
  • 2020 - Worksession: MELT DOWN: Climate CRYsis with MELT (Loren Britton & Isabel Paehr), dgtl fmnsm Hot Mess Online Edition
  • 2020: persisting flux : softening matter : heating for radical social change with MELT (Loren Britton & Isabel Paehr), Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe, DE
  • 2020: Disperse! Dissolve! Disintegrate! Cooking up flux., Class: Women in Computing, Workshop at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, DE
  • 2020 – Workshop: Queer Weaving, Threading, Webbing, or: A Set of Speculative Interventions into Virtual Space with Ipek Burçak, Johanna Schaffer, nicole voec, Cilian Woywod, Ethics of Curating Conference, Hildesheim, Germany
  • 2020 – Workshop: Code, Layers, Infrastructures. Workshop with Kamran Behrouz, Loren Britton, Jörn Röder, at the Common Room with Haus der Kulturen der Welt, New Delhi, India
  • 2019 – Workshop: Virtual Materials with Jasper Meiners and Rosa Menkman, School of Art and Design Kassel, Germany
  • 2019 – Talk: Making Trans*lucent: En/Countering Categorization with Loren Britton, dgtl fmnsm Labor, Hellerau, Germany
  • 2019 – Talk: Ambivalences of Visibility (Revised) with Johanna Schaffer, GCSC Keynote Lecture, Universität Giessen, Germany
  • 2019 – Talk: Was tun mit “Sichtbarkeit” in kritischen digitalen Realitäten? with Johanna Schaffer, Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald, Germany
  • 2019 – Talk: Lo-fi Augmented Reality, EnthusiastiCon, Berlin, Germany
  • 2019 - Text: Paehr, I. 2019. Materielle Gegenpraktiken zu Big Data. Nicole Burzan (Hg.) 2019: Komplexe Dynamiken globaler und lokaler Entwicklungen. Verhandlungen des 39. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in Göttingen 2018. . 39, (Okt. 2019).
  • 2019 – Talk: Developing speculative game mechanics, CF+, Kassel University, Germany
  • 2018 – Talk & Performance: Play Forward: EXP_eriments & EXP_eriences that question virtual gazes, DisruptEncodeConsolidate Workshop, Lancaster University, UK
  • 2018 – Conversation Piece: Alien Screens in Loren Britton’s Translation Conversation, stadium (gallery), Berlin, Germany
  • 2018 – Talk: Resistant material practices against big data regimes, DSG Congress in Göttingen, Germany
  • 2017 – Text: Invisible Machines in Privacy Arena, Kassel University Press
  • 2016 – Text: Webcamera Obscura in The Additivist Cookbook, edited by Morehshin Allahyari and Daniel Rourke

Festival / Conference Curation (selection):

  • 2020: B[ORDERS], techno-artistic workshop program with Fuzzy Binaires, 26.07.-02.08.20 Berlin & online, funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin, DE
  • 2019: Connections, techno-artistic workshop program with Fuzzy Binaires, 26.08.-01.09.19 Munich, DE
  • 2016: Tiny Palace, game festival in Kassel, DE

Membership in Groups and Collectives

  • since 2019: MELT, with Loren Britton
  • since 2019: Saftladen, Berlin Indie Games Collective
  • since 2019: Fuzzy Binaires, artist collective
  • since 2019: Machinistic Perception, self-organized research group
  • since 2018: CF+ network, associated with GeDis Lab, Kassel University
  • since 2015: Topicbird, artist duo and indie game studio

Exhibitions (selection):

  • 2019/06: KUNST#quer#KOPF: Where Arts and Neuroscience meet, exhibition at HBK Braunschweig, Germany
  • 2019: Bauhaus and Photography – On new visions in Contemporary Art, commissioned VR installation, Museum für Fotografie in Berlin, Germany
  • 2019: Visionary Spaces. Kandinsky, Mondrian, Lissitzky and the Abstract-Constructivist Avant-Garde in Dresden 1919 – 1932, commissioned VR installation, Albertinum Dresden, Germany
  • 2018/12: Bauhaus and Photography – On new visions in contemporary art, VR installation, NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 2018/10: Casual Connect Games Festival, awarded with the ‘Most Innovative Game’ award for SHI•RO in Belgrade, Serbia
  • 2018/09: Urban AR Lab Performance, Organe der Veddel in Hamburg, Germany
  • 2018/09: CAA Hangzhou, Groupshow in Hangzhou, China
  • 2018/09: Global Connect Games Conference in Helsinki, Finland
  • 2018/08: Aktion, Groupshow in Kassel, Germany
  • 2018/07: Rules and Play, Groupshow in Kentucky, USA
  • 2018/04: European Media Arts Festival INIT, Groupshow in Osnabrück, Germany
  • 2018/01: Ludicious Game Festival in Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2017/11: Monitoring Media Art Exhibition, Groupshow in Kassel, Germany
  • 2017/10: Less Adorno, More Play, Groupshow, Kasseler Kunstverein, Germany
  • 2017/09: Stadttfinden Festival, Urban AR Lab Performance in Leipzig, Germany
  • 2017/05: GameZone itfs, Groupshow in Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2017/02: Make it fit, Groupshow, Panke Gallery in Berlin, Germany
  • 2017/02: Panel Additivism Cookbook Launch, transmediale in Berlin, Germany
  • 2016/12: [r] klaʊd, Groupshow, x-pon-art Gallery, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2016/10: Privacy Arena, exhibition, Interim, Kassel, Germany
  • 2016/07: Bitsummit Festival, Kyoto, Japan
  • 2015/07: ROOMing, Groupshow, kara-S gallery, Kyoto, Japan
  • 2015/02: Textstelle, exhibition with Freya Chakour and Ida Lorbach, Kunsttempel in Kassel, Germany