Pascal Schwaighofer

Visual Artist
Postdoctoral Fellow at Franklin University Switzerland
Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, Cornell University
Mellon Graduate Fellow, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University (2022-23)

Works (Selection):

Economimesis, 2013 

The Murmuring of the Multitude (Royal Batik), 2017

Museé des Naïvtes, 2011

I am Champagne (21.6.1616), 2009-2011

¿Qué horas son en el Japon?, 2011

Opoyaz (Le monde nous échappe puisqu’il redevient lui-même), 2011

Opoyaz (yellow, red, white clay), 2010

Frutta secca (Written recipes are obsolete), 2012

Mimesis des Articulations, 2013

Gel Git / Back Forth, 2013

Barre di materia duttile, 2011

Mythological Re-enactment (Fontana), 2012-2015

Mythological Re-enactment (Converstation), 2012-2014

Mythological Re-enactment (Vol. 2),2012-2013


Pascal Schwaighofer is a postdoc teaching fellow in the programs of Comparative Literature and Culture Studies (CLCS), Art History, and Social Justice and Sustainability (SJS) at Franklin University Switzerland. He has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Cornell University (conferral May 2024) and holds an MA in Fine Arts from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. His research is grounded in environmental humanities, visual culture, and critical theory. Starting from the material culture of apiculture, his dissertation titled Domesticating Metaphors—The Use(s) of Honeybees in Times of Extinction explores the modern Western fascination with honeybees and its transdisciplinary influence on linguistics, cybernetics, economy, and ecology. In 2022-23, Pascal was a Mellon Graduate Fellow at the Society for the Humanities, Cornell University. His work has been awarded the Peter Uwe Hohendahl Graduate Essay Prize in Critical Theory, Cornell University and the Comparative Literature Graduate Students Essay Prize.

His artistic practice has been exhibited in several institutions across Europe such as the Center of Contemporary Art, Plovdiv, (BJ); Kunstmuseum Lucerne, (CH); MAGA museum, Gallarate, (IT); Aargauer Kunsthaus, (CH); Kolumba Museum, Cologne, (DE); Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, (FR); Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano, (CH); AR/GE kunst, Galerie museum, Bozen/Bolzano, (IT). Recent lectures include La classe sterile, with Christian Marazzi, at Museo Vincenzo Vela (2016); The Fable of the Bees, at Performa Festival (2015); Tulipmania, with Jan Verwoert, at Le Foyer, Zurich (2014). He was awarded the Manor Art Prize, Ticino, Switzerland and the Swiss Art Awards (2011). In January 2016 Tulipmania was released, a publication based on a dialogue between Jan Verwoert and Pascal Schwaighofer as an extension of a multi-part work called Economimesis. In 2011 he was selected for the Collection Cahier d’Artiste, a publication series promoted by the Swiss Art Council Pro Helvetia.

Pascal has written “The Book Hive: A Material Metaphor,” a forthcoming essay for the collection “Critical Insect Studies and the Long Eighteenth Century,” a special issue of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. In this essay, he discusses the epistemological implications of the hiving system designed in the form of a book and the visual impairment of its inventor, Genevan naturalist François Huber (1750–1831). In addition to his academic research, Pascal pursues a research-based artistic practice focused on the comparative strategies of technology and aesthetics. His artworks have been acquired by private and public collections and exhibited in major European museums, such as the Aargauer Kunsthaus (Switzerland); Kunstmuseum Luzern (Switzerland); Kolumba Museum (Cologne, Germany); MAGA museum (Gallarate, Italy); Centre Culturel Suisse (Paris, France); Center of Contemporary Art (Plovdiv, Bulgaria), and many others. In collaboration with art curator Jan Verwoert, Pascal is the author of Tulipmania, a publication focusing on the link between contemporary aesthetics and the abstract economy of tulips in the seventeenth century. He was awarded the prestigious Swiss Art Awards and the Manor Art Prize, Switzerland, and in 2019 he received a Production Grant from Cornell Council of the Arts and was awarded the Cornell University Comparative Literature Essay Prize.

Peter Uwe Hohendahl Graduate Essay Prize in Critical Theory, Cornell University, 2022
Production Grant, CCA, Cornell Council of the Arts, 2019
Comparative Literature Department Essay Prize, Cornell University, 2019
Canton Zurich Art Award, 2017
Production Grant, Pro Helvetia, 2017
Research Grant, Pro Helvetia, 2016
UBS Culture Foundation, 2015
Pro Helvetia Studio Residency, New Delhi, India, 2014
Manor Art Prize,Ticino, Switzerland, 2011
Swiss art awards, 2011
Collection Cahier d’Artistes, Pro Helvetia, 2011


Jury member Master Program, École cantonale d’art du Valais, ECAV, Valais, Switzerland

Jury member Bachelor Program École cantonale d’art du Valais, ECAV, Valais, Switzerland

Jury member Swiss Performance Award

Jury member Master Program, HEAD – Geneva School of Art and Design, Switzerland


Featured in:
Diacritics: A Review of Contemporary Criticism
Volume 46, number 3 (2018)

Pascal Schwaighofer, Jan Verwoert
Le Foyer, Zürich / edition fink, Zürich, 2016
German, 128 pages, 64 color illustrations, soft-cover.
ISBN 978-3-03746-194-5

Bex & Arts 2014, Émergences,
art&fiction publications, 2014
English, French, 21 x 28 cm
ISBN: 978-2-940377-79-4

Pascal Schwaighofer
Kolumba, Köln, 2013
Limited edition: 300 copies
21 x 16.5 cm

In Absent Places We Dwell
activeRat, Berne et Genève 2012
English, French, 66 x 45 cm
ISBN: 978-3-9521842-7-1

Pascal Schwaighofer /
Misha Stroj
AR/GE kunst - issue #13
Mousse Publishing, 2012
Limited edition: 800 copies (1 booklet, 1 Poster)
English, Italian, German, 21 x 15 cm

Pascal Schwaighofer
edition fink Zürich, 2012
Italian/English, 25,5 x 21 cm, 92 pages
ISBN: 978-3-03746-161-7

Cahiers d'Artiste Pascal Schwaighofer
Edizioni Periferia, Luzern, 2011
Edited by Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council
Italian/English, Softcover, 165x240 mm, 48 pages
ISBN 978–3–907474–88–4
Lectures & seminars

Repair, Society for the Humanities Spring Fellows’ Conference, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 2023

Polittico Research Lab, University of Pisa, Italy, 2019

The Sterile Class
November 21-22, 2016
CCC Research Master Programme at HEAD – Geneva School of Art and Design

The Common
15 Juli 2016
Pascal Schwaighofer im Gespräch mit Vesna Tomse, Stadtsoziologin und Daniela Kühne, Dozentin für Öffentliches Recht, Universität Luzern
Maagplatz, Zürich

Lecture performance
March 11, 2016
Le Foyer, Zürich

Lecture performance
January 31, 2016
Kunstmuseum Luzern

The Fable of the Bees
October 5, 2014
Performa festival, La Fabbrica, Losone

Lecture with Jan Verwoert
July 3, 2014
Le Foyer
Müllerstrasse 57, CH-8004 Zürich

Jacques Derrida trifft Alexander Kluge oder: Zur Aktualität des Poststrukturalismus für zeitgenössisches philosophisches und künstlerisches Handeln
May 8, 2014
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, ZHdK, Switzerland

Cannibalismes et autres «pratiques» d’assimilation
March 24 - 28, 2014
l'Ecole cantonale d'art du Valais, ECAV, Sierre, Switzerland

Mythological Reenactment Lecture/debate
December 4, 2013
with Nicola Soldini, architect, historian and lecturer
at SUPSI-Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana.
i2a, Istituto Internazionale di Architettura, Vico Morcote