Back to the Future of the Time-Image (AT)
According to Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, in his second cinema book “The Time-Image” (1985) presupposes a virtual time that, as the present moment, moves forward into the future, at the same time inscribing itself virtually into the past, so that it can be actualised or made present once again. According to Deleuze, film is a “time machine” capable of performing precisely this double movement, thus enabling this virtual aspect of time to be made visible.
In my theoretical doctoral project, I will conduct a re-evaluation of the term “time image” and especially the subcategory “crystal image”, within which Deleuze situates the reciprocal relationship of the actual and the virtual. Beginning with the auteur cinema of the 1940s and 1950s – in particular, with the first feature films of Alain Resnais, which serve Deleuze as a formulation of his new image typus – my focus is on films created after the publication of Deleuze’s work, or that were not considered by him. In addition to narrative films that tell of time and memory journeys, I will investigate works that go beyond an overt temporal aspect – such as the treatment of other (fictional) dimensions and of consciousness alterations such as dreaming and distorted perception. I will also attempt to identify further virtual potentials in the medium of film. Additionally, I expand the field of investigation to artistic films and film/video installations that, today, experiment far more intensively with time than cinema did in Deleuze’s era.
The artistic part of the promotion is provided by the video installation “Uncanny” (AT), which references the rebuilding of the Berliner Schloss and addresses aspects of the virtual, of the non-visible, of the uncanny (in the Freudian sense) and of the “horror vacui” (fear of emptiness) in architecture. Aside from the completed bare shell construction, which can be interpreted equally as an architectural reconstruction and as an artistic deconstruction of things subsequently not visible, the camera, as “genius loci” (the spirit of the place) passes through the Schloss construction workshop and a warehouse featuring the inventory of the Palast der Republik, thus showing the Schloss’s past.
The tree and the root inspire a sad image of thought: on forms of image combinatorics in post-internet art (WT)
The days are long past when the primary role of the fine visual arts was solely to originate images. In the context of the “digital turn”, the artistic appropriation of existing images, films, texts and audio material has significantly increased. My dissertation is therefore an investigation of the artistic treatment of the hypercirculation of images, artistic engagement with the reception and the distribution of images and information. The focus is on investigating the combination of images against the background of a rhizomatic structure – a network structure that permits a plurality of perspectives, constant change, crossovers, and associative couplings. What are the forms chosen by artists who work in so-called post-internet art in the face of this diverse mass of material, and to what extent has this dynamization of the thought space become a part of artistic works? What artistic strategies do artists use in order to cope with this flood of images? These artworks could be regarded as a vehicle for destabilization and discovery. They touch on processes of joining and dissolution, and think in terms of relationships that can be complex, sensitive, and wide-open. Not least, there is the implied question of how digital and media technologies have changed our perspective on the world, on language, and on identity. What does it mean when the digital is the structural present? To what extent does the Internet represent a model for image production?
Resonances of the virtual: the movement profile and the time profile of music
This dissertation addresses a problem in the relationship between music theory, philosophy, and musical composition: it starts from the question of whether the transition from a movement image to a time image in film, as described in detail by Gilles Deleuze in his two books on cinema, can also be identified in music – in an altered form. After methodical preliminary deliberations concerned with the systematic difficulties of the “transferability” of Deleuze’s filmic thought into music, the intention is to subject various different extracts of works from different composition epochs to the experiment of conceptually conceiving the movement profile and the time profile of music, based on a precise temporal analysis. Whilst the time in the movement profile proceeds from musical movement, it can be experienced in the time profile in its transcendental form aesthetically: as pure virtuality, that is, as self-affection through itself. This thesis, which, in a third stage, will be accompanied by audio material composed especially for the dissertation, characterizes this project as an attempt to develop a musical aesthetic of the virtual. This is an enquiry into the conditions under which the virtual can be perceived and felt musically.
Future II: it will have been: possibilities of anticipatory inscribing
This dissertation thesis is concerned with investigating types of aesthetic inscriptions that outline the near future with an inbuilt displacement of the current relationship. It involves the analysis of specific forms of science fiction or speculative fiction in terms of effectiveness with relation to re-projection upon the present day. The focus is on productions that, starting from a marginalized position, conceive a future that reflects the present and, through a displacement of present conditions, produces a transcription of the familiar narrative. The temporal and grammatical construct of Future II – the concept of something that will have been – demonstrates the possibilities for appropriating the future that exist in a narrative of the future. In film, for instance, there is an evident re-inscribing of a future past through the (repeatedly performed) projection of the already existing material. The material becoming current in specific contexts produces expressions of the virtual that lead to (minimal) displacements in the present. Speculative narratives are drawn from the areas of film, music, and the fine arts in order to determine their capacity for re-inscribing. In particular, the focus is on works in the feminist and postcolonial context.
Animism and figures of animation in the visual media
This dissertation investigates animism as a media-specific practice of animation forms, which is encountered both in knowledge dissemination, and in the arts. Museums and the virtual spaces of the internet - and, especially, the cinema - are regarded as potential animistic spaces. The forms of animation that can be observed in these contexts owe their existence to the use of (artistic) techniques and media, but also pose questions about reception and aesthetics. The primary intention of the sample analyses is to enquire into the “vitalistic” potential of images, and especially digital film images (in cinema and in contemporary art).
This dissertation also aims to make a contribution to defining a location for animism within an aesthetic vocabulary, without seeking to suppress the tensions (the product of the history behind an idea) that are inherent in the term. The sphere of significance associated with animism is not exhausted by questions about technical or media decisions. The domain of significance for animism is not exhausted by questions of technical and media choices. The debate on what a new way of thinking about animism should look like, which has been reignited by Anselm Franke’s exhibition project of the same name, couples this concept inseparably with those parts of the theory that subject the dualistic worldview to a revision, overturning the concept of nature and culture, subject and object, analogue and digital facets of the world as separate spheres. Animism tells us about the capacity of things to act, and about a new conception of nature. Talking about animism demands that one should think speculatively – an attitude which has recently come to dominate in art discourse. At the same time, we are offered a corrective to this: along with the academic history behind the term, animism always also has within it a tradition of criticism, which this Ph.D. project also aims to reveal.
The virtuality of devastation: Nuclear landscapes and their reproducibility
In this Ph.D. thesis, I address the reproducibility of radioactivity in connection with photography. Its theme is the first beginnings of the atomic age, and it draws conclusions about the limitations and possibilities of the photographic medium. This work centers on the perspectives of a selection of Japanese and American photographers who photographed the devastation created by atomic bombs in their own countries, and contributed significantly to the reappraisal of “atomic history” in their own nations. The focus is on two places devastated by nuclear explosions: Hiroshima/Nagasaki after the atomic bomb drops of 1945, and the Nevada Test Site, the USA’s main atomic testing site from 1951 onwards. In their configuration as real spaces - and as cultural constructs - these places are paradigms for the implications of the history of atomic bomb testing.
A history of the present written in the future
Ever since the Romantic era, two different strands of thinking have existed in transcendental philosophy: the contemporary ethic that one encounters in Rawl’s philosophy, and the machine theory revealed by Gotthard Günther. To mediate between them, there is the concept of virtuality, which Kant uses to make the connection between a philosophy of the soul and a philosophy of the body. This relationship has since been reversed: in post-metaphysical social theories, ethics handles the treatment of bodies, whilst machine theory is concerned with the soul. With the advance of technology, we are seeing the rise of a phenomenon that hybridizes the body (disciplined by state institutions and by social norms) and the soul (the intellect’s object of desire): namely, the talking computer. My stated intention is to narrate its genesis in terms of the history of intellectual thought.
From Universe's View: on the significance of the vertical perspective in political iconography
This doctoral thesis project looks into the connections between the exploration of space in the 20th century and the current interest in space and the depiction of the Earth based on two examples: the short 1968/77 film “Powers of Ten”, in which Charles and Ray Eames introduced new perspectives – on both the microscopic and the macroscopic scale – into society’s repertoire of images, and the Internet-based application Google Earth, which has existed since 2005. How are the images from the era of exploration different from the pictures produced in our own era, which are characterized by the need to organize vast masses of data? What combinations of politics, technology, and aesthetics do the different forms of representation embody? How have imaging processes (both microscopic and macroscopic) changed?
The argument of this paper is based on historical and current digital visual material, with the different periods viewed in relation to one another. It is intended to be read with reference to virtuality and visibility theories, and to current media theories. Connected with this is the question of how discursive practices have changed. Two (camera) perspectives – the vertical and the interconnected (network-connected) perspective – are therefore also investigated with regard to their significance in terms of the politics of iconography. Mobile screens and cameras are the means by which the user is embedded in the digital space. The hypothesis is that the disembodied view from above comes up against an “embodied nature of vision” (Donna Haraway).
Digital traveling. New visual technological features of online mapping services in contemporary art
New information and communication technologies have changed cartography from the ground up: from the constant recording of georeferential data to the possibilities of taking a stroll in Street View mode. Google’s tireless endeavor to digitally reconstruct the world has transformed the world atlas into a multifunctional representational surface or a three-dimensional model, which can be viewed from different spatial and temporal perspectives, and on which every kind of information can be located. Using a map to represent and to perceive reality is a constantly recurring motif in art.
The intention of this research project is to catalogue, to categorize and to investigate artistic works that use the cartographic image and the formal vocuabulary of the online mapping services Google Maps, Google Street View, and Google Earth as their basis. Serial work, the multiplication of authorship, immersive techniques that depend upon audiovisual and tactile simulation of reality, and questions concerning the indexicality of hybrid pictures – hybrid topographical data and satellite imagery, for instance – are revealed to be significant shared parameters in the investigation of these artworks.
To move across a virtual version of the Earth’s surface with the aid of these diverse technological offerings, whilst they provide access to information and images of the ground covered, represents a new form of travel. In this context, maps have less to do with practicality than with fulfillment of a desire to discover the unknown. People can traverse urban environments - by taking a sightseeing flight around an already detailed three-dimensional model of the lagoon city of Venice, for instance – and they can also visit remote and inaccessible places such as the Siberian tundra. Digital traveling forms the starting point for this artistic and scientific discussion. It is coupled with the question of the role of physical presence in the era of virtual mobility – what materialization of virtual experiences can look like, and whether the real authentic physical experience can be virtualized at all.
The territorial ambitions of Google Maps
Cartography can look back on a long history, but never before has it been as popular and ubiquitous as it is today. More maps are being produced and used than ever before. Ever more information is being made available, recorded and stored digitally – and maps are very much a part of the current exponential flood of data. This is caused partly by companies like Google, and by the companies that make satnav systems, or develop apps. Transforming such masses of data into visualizable information that one can derive knowledge from represents a new challenge. Central to this enterprise is the question of how, under current conditions, one might use Web 2.0 mapping services in a bottom-up and empowering way: to facilitate participation by the wider public in urban planning projects, to organize decentralized political protest initiatives, or to generate collective knowledge, for instance.
This artistic/scientific dissertation project therefore analyzes the relationship between new technologies for visualizing and generating knowledge from online mapping services, and techniques of maintaining power: surveillance, censorship, manipulation, control, tracking, and the commercial use of information. The project therefore has two separate parts: a theoretical section, plus a practical case study: a Mexico City-based collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Mexico and Casa Del Lago JUAN JOSÉ ARREOLA (UNAM).
(Trans*) bodies //without bodies
“The transsexual body is an unnatural body.” (Stryker 2006)
In my dissertation project, I look for alternative, queer ways of representing trans*: theoretical approaches, and approaches actually implemented in artworks. Artistic presentations of trans*often show (naked) bodies that differ from the norm; visibly showing the consequences of surgery and hormone treatments. Representations of this kind are problematic: in these identifying visualizations, it is only certain kinds of bodies and identities that are shown: others are excluded from the field of what is recognized.
My response is to try to develop ways of non-representing bodies. These non-represented bodies can be located in time and space, and build on a knowledge and politics that relates to trans*, but do not depend upon a representation of biological bodily qualities. Beyond dichotomies and linear temporal body stories, I look for trans*-specific ambiguities, and ways of filling in the gaps, or interstitial spaces. By doing this, I appropriate the pathologized Wrong Body as a radically disturbing one: a body which, in displaced repetitions of the norm, betrays notions of the binary gender system, and of heteronormativity. This body should/can be imagined via the feelings and memories of the viewer as a trans*body without body in in-between_space/time.
Friedrich von Borries was born in 1974. He is an architect, and has been a professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg since 2009. He is head of the DFG’s Urbane Interventionen (Urban Interventions) project, which is based at the university. He has also conducted research in connection with the Aesthetics of the Virtual postgraduate program, and the research group Übersetzen und Rahmen (Translating and Framing). He operates a Berlin-based firm named Projektbüro Friedrich von Borries, whose activities combine architecture, design, art and urban planning.
For some decades now, techniques of the “virtual” have been gaining in social and artistic importance. By contrast, until now, the aesthetic and epistemic structure of the “virtual” has remained unclear. It is to this desideratum that the graduate program “Aesthetics of the Virtual” devotes itself. The objective is to give ten scholarship holders the opportunity to conduct academic and artistic research as part of the HFBK‘s doctorate program.
Their efforts will be supervised with great care by artists and academics from HFBK and the University of Hamburg. The substantive debate will then be conducted in depth in interdisciplinary colloquia, symposia, lectures series, seminars and method workshops. The school will be entering the public domain by means of exhibitions, performances and publications.
To put things in an extremely simplified way, different layers can be observed in the term “virtual”.
1. In current usage, it is, in the first instance, inspired by digital technologies, in which it is associated with ideas of what Jean Baudrillard calls a “simulation” of the kind of realities that are uncoupled from the “real” one and follow their own logics. Accordingly, Internet forums, worlds of “second lives” and computer games seemingly create “virtual worlds” which display all the characteristics of the apparent. Here, “real” and “virtual” worlds are in strict opposition to each other. Where terms describing the “virtual” came into more extensive usage they constituted a “projection” of data structures into our material reality, one that is produced under the conditions of “technical performativity” – as an illusion, chimera or hallucinated reality. This approach doubtless reflects actual processes in various areas of society. Not only the electronic media, but also other fields of design bear witness to the fact that shaped entities are increasingly being generated by digital programs (spline modelers, illustrations of data) and by machinery (3D printers). In particular, where the term design has been extended, for example, into socio‐design this proves that economic, social, political and technocratic structures are also increasingly displaying “virtualities of the first order”, something that engenders new questions and problems in the fields of knowledge and of the arts.
Accordingly, over the past decades within research into the history of art and visual culture new disciplines have emerged, namely digital art history and digital visual cultures, subjects that deal with the aesthetics of the virtual and with digital art (data art, software art, virtual art, mapping art).
2. These “virtualities of the first order” are accompanied by specific techniques which produce a “second‐order virtuality”. They are no longer separate from social realities. Nor do they articulate the dictates of any overarching, non‐sense‐related hierarchy that would come to hold sway over reality as latent paranoia might suggest. In particular, under today‘s conditions of technical miniaturization and multiple switching, such technologies migrate into the pores of realities themselves, are highly real and, at the same time, demonstrate their virtuality in what Hans‐Dieter Bahr calls their “versatility”, lending things and circumstances an unexpected twist. Examples include drawing up the kind of profiles of people‘s movements and interests by means of which subjectivizations are, in part, conditioned and wishes gauged, anticipated and engendered. Moreover, theories of the new media and of the discourse surrounding what is known as “big data“ are becoming more and more relevant and being reflected in info‐aesthetics and digital design.
At the same time, in this context, ways of symbolization and artistic practices come into play that initiate other kinds of subjectivization and the formation of collectives. Ceaselessly alternating between “application” and “versatility” – beyond hierarchical structures – new and uncontrollable micro times and spaces are opening up in which perception, cooperation and the worlds we live in change in leaps and bounds. These distribute the visible and invisible, the effable and the ineffable, the portrayable and the unportrayable in a different way and regroup their relationships.
By this point at the latest, artistic experiences become productive in understanding current processes because they raise questions about the interaction between “arts” and “technologies”. This because the arts have always moved in the “virtual” domain when they have worked on problems of “creating”, i.e., problems of genesis, the latter‘s rules and on what has come into being.
3. “Third‐order virtualities” go even further than the approaches that see the virtual as no more than the projection of a technological structure into the real world or as the interplay between applications and flexibilities in reality. Current philosophical debates are concerned with the status of the “real” itself. For example, Gilles Deleuze rejects all attempts at contrasting the virtual with the real, even stating that the former is itself one of the latter‘s dimensions. Unlike the organization of terms based on the relationships between reality, possibility and necessity these kinds of philosophies either in turn concede the virtual a degree of reality content or they allow a reality to emanate from something virtual that precedes it and is inseparable from it. But how can we comprehend this intertwining of the virtual and the real? To what shifts are spatial and temporal arrangements subject in particular, if they in turn are of a virtual nature? Of course, these three “orders” cannot be completely segregated from one another. In this respect they only boast a methodical character. They constantly interfere with and merge into one another, producing a restlessness that the graduate school‘s research program will be looking into.
Designed to last three years, the course will have five focal topics, each of which will be at the heart of debates, lectures, conferences and symposia for six months. In this context, the doctoral students will have the opportunity to put up their research questions and results for extensive discussion. The relevant focuses can be delineated as follows:
Currently, new kinds of shifts are occurring, accompanied by the overlapping of “physical” and “virtual” spaces. This has involved simulation techniques not only being used to generate “virtual worlds” but also to shape realities and intervene in “physical” spaces. Current microtechnologies such as cell phones, 3D printers, computers, motion detectors etc., are also autonomous tools and media for the production of art. They are effective in graphic design and typography, when designing e‐books or in the changing practice of “reading” in modern culture. They are to be found in photography and the ability to manipulate digital pictures. They are equally involved in design and in sculpture, where objects are shaped on the computer and manufactured using CNC cutting tools. Musicians and filmmakers discuss questions of copyrights and copylefts following the way that films are made in the age of YouTube. However, this applies equally to the measurement of climate change and to the development of military technologies, something that was anticipated as artistic experiments in cyberspace and in computer games. But also the realities of the financial market, the “money creation“ technologies that equate to taking out a loan point to something like “virtual“ usage in the future, one that is to be “realized“ at some indefinite point. This point corresponds to demanding too much of a present that is, so to speak, imploding. Everything from new military technologies (drones), surveillance technologies and cyberwar all the way to cyborgs and mind enhancement is the result of the kind of virtualization which fundamentally makes self‐images, selfies and selfunderstanding available. Investigating the technologies of the virtual culminates in the question of the relationship between an art of enablement and the technologies of monitoring, controlling, regulating and destroying. After this, we should reflect on in what areas models of the world based on simulation have determined reality, our perception of physical space and the development of trading models
Visualization technologies are aimed at elucidating, throwing light on things – sometimes at allowing things to be seen – but always with the possibility of a flip side. Whenever it becomes easier to look at something, for instance by using optical equipment and interpretations of what we have seen, at the same time, a dark zone, something opaque forms in it – in this respect, brushes with the sinister, fantastic or surreal themselves have their own “tale of being seen“. Accordingly, in the debate on visualization in should be understood that there is a movement in both directions. Firstly, a kind of visibility should be inferred, one that always springs from the invisible, with the focus on the relevant historical function of the media at the time. Secondly – and this is even more fundamental –we should withdraw from visibility and turn our attentions to invisibility. It is important to see the latter as an overlay and as an aesthetic function that, not least, links a “reality“ of the visible to the effectiveness of the invisible. This means that alongside disguise or camouflage mimicry and mimesis also play their part. Accordingly, the state of becoming (partially or relatively) invisible allows for an enhanced visibility that develops an emancipatory potential, for example in the case of postcolonial mimicry and masquerade or the kind that focuses on gender theory. This lends virtuality – as becomes apparent from the history of the word (vir) – a vector that reflects the fact that traditionally and genealogically it is men and not women who have been furnished with the authorization to lead governments and military affairs. Moreover, since camouflage techniques, as specifically modern design for surface areas is historically closely linked to the “invention of abstraction“, another objective is to focus on abstraction as an era and an approach to art.
Repetitions and differentiations
This key topic reflects the artistic/academic research on the real, with all the ambiguity associated with the term today and in light of virtuality. This focus on the versatility inherent in the real opens up shifts in both the aesthetic/philosophical spheres and in the artistic domain insofar as the contrast between the terms “original” and “copy”, “production“ and “reproduction“ entail questions of iteration/repetition and differentiation. Particularly in the age of the globalization of art, it appears inevitable to analyze aesthetic and epistemic postulates as kinds of repetition, intensification and recontextualization, and to bring out the minimal differences between these which lend them a certain aesthetic/epistemological particularity. Artistic/academic research is increasingly depending on the methods for compiling and including factors of framing and timing, on the latter‘s possible intercultural relationships and on their technological presentation and distribution. Here, a variety of questions become relevant, such as selfreflexive repetition, critical appropriation by means of aesthetic modification or recontextualization, of conscious and reevaluating quotation, of multiple references, in part to what has been articulated by other cultures.
In this way, the program will also come close to the scientific and sociological considerations such as are outlined in Bruno Latour’s “actor/network theory”. Latour not only frees hitherto unrecognized elements from their virtuality, but also develops a new “physical sociology”. In a related manner, today self‐reflexive artistic/academic research generate, “interdisciplinary” articulations and other aesthetics that oscillate between rendering something real and rendering it virtual: Labels such as “docufiction” attest to this. Above all, the changed understanding of reality calls for the simultaneous reflection on artistic, epistemic and technological approaches and their mutually influential conditions, iteration and differentiation – something we try to approximate by splitting up the virtual into its sub‐connotations and at the same time analyzing these.
Media revolutions in past decades have raised numerous questions that refer to the increasing dovetailing of scholarly, artistic and technological approaches. It is very clear firstly that technocratic structures of power are to an ever greater extent infused and shifted by semiocratic logics such as occur with technological/media developments. Everywhere, machine‐based sign systems conditions in multiple ways and through technical media our social relationships, public spaces, power relationships, the structures of our bodies and minds, and how we perceive things. What philosophers like Gilles Deleuze call the “control society” that has taken the place of traditional disciplinary powers, refers to new constitutions of social realities: They not only call for new concepts, but also for new ways of structuring perception and a corporeal state that can respond with resistance to such semiotic regimes.
At the same time, this trend unleashes virtualities that do not fit the brief, as they generate no less uncontrollable effects. Micro‐technologies such as mobile phones, cameras, Blogs or Internet postings not only played a key role in the Arab Spring, where they served to help coordinate the uprisings. Even in the highly developed systems of the West, micro‐technologies subvert the centralized apparatuses and expose them to growing erosion. The crisis in the newspaper industry, in the public radio and TV stations, and the open issue how they can respond to media advances show this clearly. In fact, heterogeneous public spheres go micrological and increasingly evade the control of a media “HQ”.
Economic and social determinant do not suffice to analyze such processes. Each upheaval questions the hegemonial semiotic regime, tears its semiologies out of the existing orders, reconfigures them and turns them into elements of differential and differing states. Questions of aisthesis play a decisive role here. The corresponding semoises permeate the social fabric via the vritual and shatter it. Not least in the arts doe we find their harbingers and sensory devices. This is the starting point for exploring the relationships between “art”, the “media” and “revolts”. What importance, for example, do aesthetic and media semiotic orders or semioses have, what impact does the music have in the heart of a multiple upheaval, and what different approach to technological media and artistic experiences thus restructures the relationships of sensory data and thought? So how can revolutionary militancy be generated by creativities other than those traditionally encountered in revolutionary theory?
Time and temporality
Temporal structures are increasingly threatened by ruptures and turbulences that break all linearity, cause time horizons to collapse and shatter the continuity of any simple “course of time”. The interlocking of escalating speeds and paralyzing inability to move is already shaping how life is lived and things perceived at the level of everyday phenomenologies: The experience of what Paul Virilio calls “rushing standstill” infuses biographies and even their micrologics. Dis‐synchronicities arise in political, military, social and cultural domains that combine the structure of archaic mythemes with ultramodern IT and weaponry, as in terrorist movements today, creating asymmetrical armed conflict. Economically speaking, the linearity of time also implodes. While the principle of credit and debt once rested on the unlimited deferral of outstanding claims until some future, the unlimited now invaded the immediate “present” in the form of algorithmic trading. Temporality is subtly devastated and fragmented in what Joseph Vogl calls a “thicket of non‐linear historical developments”. In philosophy and cultural theory the notion of there being temporal continuities of sequences of “present‐tense points” has been questioned at the latest since the mid‐19th century, and the structure of art have always also articulated different forms of temporality than that of the consistent progression and orderly line of identifiable “temporal sequences”. In escalating bursts the virtuality of society as a whole erupts in temporal orders, increasingly thwarting all planning, any “projection of a future” and increasingly undermining the abilities of “forecasting”. Developments are becoming as unplannable as is an assessment of the risks they entail: It is no coincidence that the awareness of presence is gradually becoming one of their catastrophic possibilities. An academic and artistic enquiry into these experiences, such as the planned program wishes to undertake, is expected to establish more precisely how scholarly and artistic methods can take these virtualities into account. Problems of iteration take center stage here, hinging as much on questions of design and on those of an epistemic nature.
The intention is to explore “the Aesthetics of the Virtual” in both a scholarly and an artistic vein. Artistic/scholarly practices at the HFBK already reflect the above‐mentioned gap between meaning and usage of the term: Precisely the variety reflects the breadth of artistic and academic enquiry at an art college.
The program is thus geared not least to artists who likewise see themselves as academics. The program’s work will be just as much artistic/experimental as it will entail academic research. The interdisciplinary interaction between the two specialist areas will allow the two mentioned orders to permeate and intervene in each other. Questions of the virtuality of art will be investigated not just from a scholarly perspective (meaning in terms of cultural studies, philosophy and aesthetics...), but also through artistic experimentation that will be inputted into the findings through the respectively specific forms of exposition and representation. The creativity of the output will, in other words, not be the “object” of possible knowledge, but rather become part of generating it. The research projects can therefore be scientific/theoretical, artistic/exploratory or a hybrid thereof. This diversity of methodologies is itself something the program will reflect on, as it sees itself not just as thematically addressing the subject matter but as an experiment for “research‐driven art”. This approach is in line with the artistic/scholarly teaching and research method as is used in Performance Studies at the University of Hamburg. It is up to the future members of the program to flesh out the parameters set with their own academic and artistic efforts. In keeping with this open, transdisciplinary approach, the research results will evolve in a variety of media (book, image, film, exhibition, performance, etc.).
with Dr. Elke Bippus
professor für Kunsttheorie und -geschichte at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK)
head of Vertiefung Bildende Kunst im BA Medien&Kunst, associate at Institut für Theorie (ith)
with Julia Scher
professor of Medienkunst/Multimedia and Performance Surveillant Architectures at unsthochschule für Medien Köln (KHM)
with Jörg Franzbecker, independent curator, Berlin
„Virtuelles in Ästhetik / Philosophie / Kunstwissenschaft und Technologie“
im thematischen Anschluss an den Vortrag „Sexistenz“ von Jean-Luc Nancy
with Dr. Jean-Luc Nancy,
Prof. em. for Philosophy Université Marc Bloch, Strasbourg
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Chair at European Graduate School (EGS), Saas-fee, Schweiz
und Dr. Georg Christoph Tholen
Ordinarius em. für Medienwissenschaft mit kulturwissenschaftlichem Schwerpunkt at Universität Basel
with Natalie Bookchin
professor of Media and Associate Chair in the Visual Arts Department at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University
with Dr. Ines Schaber
professor of Photography and Media at California Institute of the Art
with Ingrid Cogne (Akademie der Künste Wien) and Mareike Bernien (Kunsthochschule Kassel)
07-08/07/2016; 17-18/11/2016; 13-14/04/2017
with Mareike Bernien, Kunsthochschule Kassel
Workshop „Deleuze und Kosmologie“
with Dr. Daniel Falb, author, Berlin
Workshop „Zur Aktualität von Bergsons ‚Dauer und Gleichzeitigkeit’ “
07/04/2017, 11-15 Uhr
with Dr. Christina Vagt
visiting professor of Wissens- und Kulturgeschichte an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Moritz Ahlert studied architecture from 2004 to 2009, in Hannover, and also at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. From 2013 to 2014, he was a research assistant on the DFG research project “Urbane Interventionen” at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) Hamburg. His subjects are: architecture, urban development and cartography. He is the author of several publications, most recently “Urbane Interventionen Istanbul” (Merve Verlag Berlin, 2014), which he also co-edited.
Christian Blumberg studied film sciences and journalism at the Freie Universität Berlin. He is an independent writer on film and popular culture.
Eva Castringius studied fine arts at the Kunst an der Hochschule der Künste Berlin, and studied for her Master degree with Prof. Leiko Ikemura. She had previously completed a Magister qualification in art teaching, art history, and psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität in Munich. During an extended stay in the USA on a scholarship to the Villa Aurora, she began to take an interest in the industrial landscapes of the southwest United States. More recently, she has written about the nuclear test landscapes of the Nevada Test Site. She complimented her time in the USA with a trip to Japan in 2013, where a visit to the sites helped her in her research of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The artist has received a number of awards and scholarships. Her artworks are displayed in the galleries and museums of several countries.
Joachim Glaser studied communication design/film at the Merz Akademie in Stuttgart. His textual/filmic diploma work was on the theme of investigations into possibilities of non-linear narration in the medium of film. After working as an independent director, cameraman and director, he completed a Master of Fine Arts qualification in film at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) Hamburg, with Robert Bramkamp. His graduation film “Burn Out Love” was shown at festivals and exhibitions inside and outside of Germany. In 2014, Joachim Glaser and three other HFBK graduates founded “splitterfilm” for the purposes of producing films.
Joke Janssen studied German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf, Sociology (specializing in Postcolonial Studies), Gender Studies, and Queer Studies in Hamburg. His_ Magister thesis was a discourse analysis of negotiations of family and responsibility in relation to cochlear implants for children of deaf or hard of hearing parents. Joke’s working method is intersectional in character, centering the body within normative and normalizing circumstances, and pursuing a strategy of diversifying possibilities.
Tobias Muno studied philosophy at the Hochschule für Philosophie in Munich from 2008 to 2014. His Magister thesis was an investigation of dialectical structures in the nova methodo of Johann Gottlieb Fichte.
Johannes Oldendorf works as a fine artist. In 2013 he graduated from the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) Hamburg. Since 2008, he has been undertaking research trips to India, Laos, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Oldendorf’s work has been exhibited at venues including Kaikai Zingaro in Tokyo, Wiensowski & Harbord in Berlin, the Galerie der HFBK in Hamburg, the Stellwerk venue at Kulturbahnhof former railway station site in Kassel, and Silvershed Gallery in New York.
Merle Radtke studied Art History, Cultural Anthropology and Museum’s Management in Göttingen, Bordeaux and Hamburg from 2005 to 2012. After completing her studies, she worked as curatorial assistant at the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof. From 2013 to 2015, she was curatorial assistant at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, where she assisted with a number of exhibitions, among others »Fail Better. Moving Images«, »Eva Hesse, One More than One«, and »Gego. Line as Object«. In 2014, she curated the exhibitions »Lichtwark revisited. Artist’s View of Hamburg« and »SPOT ON. Masterpieces from the Hamburger Kunsthalle«. As an independent curator, she realized in 2015 the exhibition »The Feminist Avant Garde of the 1970s« at the Hamburger Kunsthalle as well as a feminist film program at the Metropolis Cinema Hamburg.
Merle Radtke works as curator and author. Her work focuses on the practice and theory of the Internet, digital art, performance, film, and video. In 2016, she curated aside from »Concrete Yet Unstable. Thoughts on Architecture and Virtuality« with »What I Claim as New« the first solo exhibition by Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann, with whom she just recently published »All in«, a book on performance art.
Benjamin Sprick studied cello, composition/music theory, and philosophy in Hamburg. He has performed as a cellist in Hamburg’s NDR symphony orchestra, and has been a member of a number of chamber music ensembles. His diploma thesis in music theory, completed at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, was concerned with the deconstructive analysis of the string quartet in B minor (op. 130) by Ludwig van Beethoven.
Anna Tautfest studied architecture and fine arts at the Universität der Künste in Berlin, the Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura del Vallès in Barcelona, the Art Students League in New York, and the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) Hamburg. In 2014, she completed a Master degree in Art and Theory at the HFBK on the subject of mimicry in feminist and postcolonial theory. In Berlin, she founded the project space Bau Kein Scheiss, which saw numerous exhibitions and talks by artists, and was home to the Workers Punk Art School. Her other collaborative partners have included transitlounge, Kino24, MaterialMafia. Other exhibitions that she has participated in include transmediale am Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin (2009), Program Gallery, Berlin (2009), Schuckert Höfe, Berlin (2010), BKS, Berlin (2010), ASA Studios, Hamburg (2012), P/ART, Kunstfrühling Bremen (2014).
Vera Tollmann studied applied cultural sciences and aesthetic praxis in Hildesheim, and cultural studies in Liverpool. Her work focuses on the practice and theory of the Internet. She has written numerous texts, reviews and essays about digital and contemporary culture, published in magazines, newspapers and catalogs. In 2013 she co-curated the 9th edition of Video Vortex conference at the Centre for Digital Cultures of Leuphana University Lüneburg. She has co-edited, together with Boaz Levin, Filippo Spreafico and Oliver Lerone Schultz, the online video-vortex Hybrid reader. Recently published essays: "The Uncanny Polar Bear. Activists Visually Attack an Overly Emotionalized Image Clone" was published in Image Politics of Climate Change. Visualizations, Imaginations, Documentations. (Birgit Schneider, Thomas Nocke (eds.), transcript 2014), "Exploding Images" in (networked) Every Whisper is a crash on my ears in Anthology (Arcadia Missa (ed.), London 2014) and “Watching “Powers of Ten” in 2014: A Blueprint for Same Old Power Structures?” on Regarding Spectatorship: Revolt and Distant Observer (Berlin 2015).
Wigger Bierma (*1958) studied typography at the Kunstakademie in Arnheim (the Netherlands) during its heyday, under Alexander Verberne, Jan Vermeulen and Karel Martens.
After serving as an assistant to Walter Nikkels, Bierma has worked as an independent designer since 1985. He has since won the “Most beautiful books in Holland” award 16 times.
Bierma’s areas of activity are primarily cultural, and include work for museums, special exhibitions, work for publishing houses and art in public spaces. He has designed catalogues for the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo and the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, and the companion book to the Arnheim Skulpturmanifestation Sonsbeek 92 project. As well as designing a number of façade signs, he has created the typographical concept for the permanent exhibition at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and the public memorial to the Jewish community of Doetinchen. Bierma designs publications for the Fondation Custodia, Paris to this day.
In 1998, he founded the successful Werkplaats Typografie Master programme in Arnheim (jointly with Karel Martens). Wigger Bierma has lectured at the HFBK Hamburg since 2006, and has published (artist) books through the university’s in-house materials publishing press.
Friedrich von Borries was born in 1974. He is an architect, and has been a professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg since 2009. He is head of the DFG’s Urbane Interventionen (Urban Interventions) project, which is based at the university. He has also conducted research in connection with the Aesthetics of the Virtual postgraduate program, and the research group Übersetzen und Rahmen (Translating and Framing). He operates a Berlin-based firm named Projektbüro Friedrich von Borries, whose activities combine architecture, design, art and urban planning.
Robert Bramkamp has been making experimental films that constantly combine fact and fiction in new ways for 25 years. He describes them as »prototypes«. In his oeuvre, the boundaries between documentary, essay and feature film are fluid. He finds unconventional perspectives that allow for narratives encompassing a wide range of themes. In the course of working on his films, he has collaborated with Alexander Kluge, Friedrich Kittler, Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet and Thomas Pynchon on a number of occasions.
Robert Bramkamp studied German studies from 1982 to 1988 at the Westfälische Wilhelms Universität and film at the Kunstakademie Münster, and was subsequently a student of Prof. Lutz Mommartz. From 1998 to 2004, he lectured on film direction at the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen Potsdam-Babelsberg. Since 2008 Robert Bramkamp has lectured at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg (HFBK) as Professor of Experimental Film.
The artist (*1964), who lives in Berlin and Los Angeles, studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich in the late 1980s, and subsequently studied Sculpture from 1990 to 1992 at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Fritz Schwegler. In 1994, he completed a Master degree at the Goldsmiths College in London. From 2010 to 2011, he was a Getty Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.
Demand has been exhibiting internationally since the mid-1990s, and is featured in prominent collections worldwide. In 2005, MoMA in New York held a solo exhibition of his work to mark the opening of its new building. The Fondazione Prada (in connection with the Venice Biennale, 2007), the Hamburger Kunsthalle (2008) and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin (2009/10) have also held major solo exhibitions of his work. In 2010, the Nouveau Musée National in Monaco appointed him as curator of the first exhibition in the newly opened museum.
Jesko Fezer (*1970) ist seit 2011 Professor für Experimentelles Design an der HFBK Hamburg. Fezer arbeitet als Architekt, Autor, Designer, Künstler und Ausstellungsgestalter. In Kooperation mit »ifau« (Institut für angewandte Urbanistik) realisierte er Architekturprojekte in München, Graz, Utrecht, Stuttgart, Berlin, New York und London.
Neben der Tätigkeit als Mitbetreiber der thematischen Buchhandlung zu Stadt, Politik, Pop, Ökonomiekritik, Architektur, Design, Kunst und Theorie, »Pro qm«, gibt er die politische Architekturzeitschrift »An Architektur. Produktion und Gebrauch gebauter Umwelt« mit heraus und ist Mitbegründer des Forschungs- und Ausstellungsgestaltungsstudios »Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik«.
Der Lehrtätigkeiten an verschiedenen Kunst- und Architekturhochschulen und einer Gastprofessur für Architekturtheorie und Urban Research an der Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Nürnberg folgte 2009 - 2010 die Leitung des Forschungsprojektes »Civic City. Design for the Post-Neoliberal City« am Institut für Designforschung der Züricher Hochschule der Künste.
Jesko Fezer forscht und publiziert zur Architektur- und Designgeschichte der Nachkriegszeit, zu Entwurfsmethodik, Prozessorientierung und Partizipation sowie zur Politik der Gestaltung. Seit 2011 gehört er dem Vorstand der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Designtheorie und -forschung (DGTF) an und ist Mitglied der Hamburger Kunstkommission.
Professor for Sociology of Human Movement and Dance at the Universität Hamburg (UHH) since 2002. Her main research areas include Urban Studies, Performance Studies, Dance Studies, Dance in pop/ular culture and urban environments, and transnationalisation of dance cultures. She is speaker of the research group “Translating and Framing. Practices of Medial Transformations”, deputy speaker of the graduate school “Collectivity in Urban and Digital Spaces” and PI of the graduate school “Virtuality of the aesthetic”, Director of the Center for Performance Studies Hamburg and Vice‐Director of the Research Center for Media and Communication at the University of Hamburg.
She was a Guest Professor i.a. at the University in Bern, Switzerland, the ‘Mozarteum’ Salzburg/ Austria, the Smith College (USA), the University of Stellenbosch/ South Africa and Osaka City University/Japan.
Martin Köttering (*1964 in Lingen/Ems) studied Cultural Sciences and Aesthetic Practice at the Universität Hildesheim, and Fine Art in Bath in the UK. He subsequently acted as assistant to the artistic director of documenta 9, Jan Hoet. In 1995, he took over as head of the Städtische Galerie in Nordhorn, and was the originator, artistic director and general manager of the »kunstwegen« open museum. In connection with these roles, he designed and implemented a large number of exhibitions, publications and projects for public spaces featuring well-known international artists such as Guillaume Bijl, Mark Dion, Olafur Eliasson, Luciano Fabro, Fischli/Weiss, Hamish Fulton, Dan Graham, Katharina Grosse, Beate Gütschow, Jenny Holzer, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Suchan Kinoshita, Michel Majerus, Tobias Rehberger and Andreas Slominski. He has also implemented artistic projects for the Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst der niedersächsischen Landesregierung (the ministry for sciences and art of the regional government of Lower Saxony), such as the Koppelschleuse youth cultural guest house in Meppen (in collaboration with Franz Erhard Walther).
Martin Köttering has been president of the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg since 2002.
He is a member of a number of juries, panels, supervisory councils and foundations, including the Hamburg Media School and the ACQUIN accreditation institute’s specialist committee on art. Prior to 2008, he sat on the supervisory board of the Kulturfabrik Kampnagel, an internationally-oriented institution. As artistic director, he initiated »subvision.kunst.festival.off« - an international exhibition on strategies for communicating and presenting art initiatives in the HafenCity Hamburg. Prior to 2011, he was a member of the Niedersächsische Kunstkommission (the commission on art for Lower Saxony), culminating in a term in office as chairman, and of the board of trustees of the Sammlung Hamburger Kunstmuseen (the association of art museums in Hamburg).
Hans-Joachim Lenger (*1952) studied philosophy and literature studies in Hamburg. In the 1980s, he was head editor of the HFBK magazine »SPUREN in Kunst und Gesellschaft« (published by Karola Bloch). Lenger gained the Dr. phil. qualification with a work on »Sein, Technik, Aisthesis. Zur philosophischen Grundlegung ästhetischer Kategorien« (Existence, technique, aisthesis: the fundamental philosophical principles of aesthetic categories). He regularly publishes articles on philosophy, art and media theory in magazines, anthology volumes and catalogues, and is the author of a number of pieces for radio for various German networks, in which he discusses topical issues on a regular basis.
Dr. Hanne Loreck is professor of Art and Cultural Sciences/ Gender Studies and a member of the department of Theory and History. She is also a freelance author and art critic. Her research specialisms are subject theory, issues connected with aesthetic-political acts and theories of the image and of perception. She has been a lecturer and visiting professor at a number of universities and art institutions before being appointed at the HFBK Hamburg in 2004.
Melián, born in 1956 in Munich, initially studied music (at the Richard-Strauss-Konservatorium in Munich and at other institutions), before studying art at the Münchener Akademie der Bildenden Künste and in London. In the 1980, she began to sing and to play bass with the band F.S.K. (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle), and from 1980 onwards she was co-editor of the literary magazine »Mode und Verzweiflung«. As a musician, she has also produced several independent albums. In addition to her activities at the HFBK Hamburg, Melián has previous experience of teaching at the Münchener Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, and at the ETH Zürich, department for Art and Architecture.
In her artistic work, Melián develops many-layered fields of memory, manufacturing complex contexts from contentual references and quotations. She once described her method as »a politics of memory«. Melián’s artworks are preceded by intensive research. From a multiplicity of diverse narrative strands, the artist creates narrative arcs that contrast historic facts with private memories and histories. She combines objects, photographs, films, music and texts to create cross-genre installations and audiovisual projects whose interactions and references reach deep into the sociopolitical and historical context.
After lecturing as a visiting professor in the previous summer semester, Anselm Reyle has been a professor in the department of Painting/Drawing at the HFBK Hamburg since autumn 2009.
Anselm Reyle (*1970) studied painting at the Akademie der Künste in Karlsruhe. He lives and works in Berlin. Anselm Reyle is known for his images, reliefs and sculptures, which he creates in an experimental process deploying materials like PVC film, car body paint, putty, acrylic, mirrors concrete and LED lights. Found objects – the painterly gestures and motifs of other painters, everyday objects or sculptures - play a major role in both his paintings and his sculptures. He appropriates these – not least in order to evoke the cliches associated with them and to exaggerate them.
Peter Müller currently works in the field of video/installation and in a social philosophy perspective on questions regarding mass media aesthetics and the materiality of society in audio visual domains. He studied Visual Arts at Hochschule für Gestaltung ( HfG ) Offenbach am Main and Sculpture at University of Cape Town.
Peter Müller held a visiting scholar position in the Comparative Media Studies program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA, and a researcher position in the Fine Art Department of Jan van Eyck Academie Maastricht in the Netherlands. Peter Müller received travel grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (South Africa/ North America) and the Hessische Kulturstiftung (Japan and Ireland). He was fellow of DFG-Graduiertenkolleg »Visibility and Visualisation« at the University of Potsdam.
Recent artistic contributions have been in Berlin (Haus der Kulturen der Welt; Archive Books), Cologne (Museum Ludwig), Madrid (Cineteca), Munich (Lothringer13), Paris (Palais de Tokyo) und Stuttgart (Projektraum Römerstraße).