The Center of Negativity

The Center of Negativity (CON) creates spaces in the field of art - at festivals, venues and in institutions - to share about bad feelings in one-on-one conversations. These conversations follow a number of protocols. They are open to everybody, usually last one hour and take place in a shielded setting. The topics discussed are treated confidentially. A series of one-on-one conversations is concluded by a public moment where participants can share their experience if they wish.

The CON is also a research place for negative patterns within the arts. It maps the specific emotional struggles of artists and places them in a larger socio-political context. To this end it conducts workshops in art institutions and collects testimonies from artists.

The conversations take place in private as well as in institutions and at festivals. So far, the CON has appeared publicly at:
Dies ist Authren, Hamburg (DE), 17/09/2022
auawirleben Bern (CH), 5 - 15/05/2022, see also: press
Gallery CRMI Langenthal (CH), 16 - 17/10/2021
Graduation Show KASK Ghent (BE), 1 - 4/07/2021
Codisco, radical_house Brussels (BE), 5.06.2021

Semi-public reflection moments:
KASK Ghent (BE), Autonomous Design Master, 1/12/2022
radical_house Brussels (BE), 5/12/2022
Office Auawirleben, Bern (CH), 9/01/2023

The Center of Negativity is supported by: Kultur Stadt Bern (CH) and radical_house (Brussels, BE)

organisation center of negativity


Conducted by Tanja Schwarz and Roger Fähndrich.

4 - 8/04/2022
The Art of Feeling Bad, ZHdK, Zürich, CH
transdisciplinary seminar for MA and BA students
in collaboration with Nicole Frei

19 - 23/04/2021
Hello Darkness My Old Friend, HKB, Bern, CH
transdisciplinary seminar (Y-Toolbox) for BA and MA students
in collaboration with Francesco Micieli

Protocols one-on-one conversations

All conversations are based on a practice of listening. At the beginning, the conversation partner chooses one of five proposed protocols. After the talk, the conversation partner receives a text that summarizes the meeting and corresponds with the chosen protocol. The recipient determines whether this text will be kept confidential or whether they wish to share it.


Agreement is an investigation that starts from how the two conversation partners relate. What kind of sensations and memories will occur in a setting in which everything needs to be agreed on? „Do we agree that we sit on a carpet on the floor? Do we agree that we face each other directly?“ Starting from these spacial aspects of the situation, questions can be asked and statements can be made. This synchronisation process can lead to creating new agreements or revise old ones. The conversation builds itself on what comes up in the moment. In the end, all agreements are revisited.

See below: Documentation of the room at Auawirleben theatre festival Bern 2022


The Center of Negativity offers the shortest study programs in the world. Diplomas can be obtained in a single interview. We assume that you are an avid practitioner of your negative behavioural patterns. Thus, you will only need to present your qualification and knowledge to the examination committee. To date, the CoN has awarded the following degrees to 25 graduates:

- Master of Arts in Depression (MAD)
- Bachelor of Arts in Avoiding Conflicts (BAAC)
- Bachelor of Arts in Romanticising the Blues (BARB)
- Master of Arts in Escapism (MAES)
- Master of Arts in Suppressing Anger (MASA)
- Bachelor of Arts in Self-Castigation (BASC)
- Professional Blamer of Parents (BOP)
- Master of Arts in Nothing (MANO)
- Master of Arts in Poisoning Atmospheres (MAPOI)
- Master of Arts in Self-Limitation (MASL)
- Master of Arts in People Pleasing (MAPP)
- Professional Blamer of Dad (BOD)
- Doctor of Happiness Sabotage (DHS)
- CAS Fear of Imposing on Others (FOIO)
- Master of Arts in Feeling Insulted (MAFI)
- Master of Arts in Hesitation (MAHE)

See our graduates below


Portfolio is a list of bad feelings that have been central to my artistic work and process. The partner chooses two emotions from this list. We then exchange on how they emerge in our lives and in particular how they relate to our artistic experiences and practices.

Job Interview

The partner applies to work in The Center of Negativity. They define what emotional work means to them and what it sould look like. We discuss about the potential of negative feelings in society and formulate a concrete idea they see themselves realising.


There is always the possibility to have a completely open talk without a set protocol. Or, it is also possible to combine two or more protocols.

Institute representatives

The conversations take place with the institute representatives. At the moment Roger Fähndrich is the only person in this function. But the Center of Negativity is expanding and we hope to soon have a bigger and diverse team of conversation partners.

If you want to have a conversation, please send an e-mail to:

graduates center of negativity
Image: The Center of Negativity at auawirleben, May 2022

Documentation agreement at auawirleben

ageement documentation


graduates center of negativity