European Media Art Festiaval Osnabrück


With the debates on surveillance, data protection and big data in mind, the lectures provide an outlook of today’s and tomorrow’s digital technologies, which are starting to regulate, restrict and control humans. So the question arises as to how social transparency can be ensured if programmes decide which decisions we take.

Curated by Alfred Rotert.

Expiry dates of the future. The transparency dream of the avant-garde

Prof. Manfred Schneider (Ruhr Uni Bochum)

Ever since the 19th century, the artistic and political avant-garde have been penetrating the denseness of the future and attempting to immobilise it. The transparency dream provides the imaginary powers to do so. Such dreams of making the world and its people transparent are equally alive in Charles Fourier's utopian Phalanstères, in the Russian avant-garde, in surrealism and in Walter Benjamin’s idea of a rebarbarised proletarian future. But the transparency dream has only now ‘come to itself’, as Hegel would put it: in the seizure of power by the big IT corporations that attempt to liquidate all traditional forms of society and policy.

22 April, 13:00 h, Haus der Jugend

Public Preposition – models of altered publicities

Prof. Mischa Kuball (KHM)

“(…) At the same time, however, what is known as “public space” has become further particularised and economised – suddenly light in the sense of “lighting” became an expression of prosperity and the feel-good scenario in the public perception and had considerably fewer associations with “enlightenment”. This had consequences – I had to reject no end of projects where it was clearly the case that I would have been unable to achieve a clear-cut division between artistic areas of activity and, broadly speaking, city marketing. The role played by art and the artist is undergoing tough tests.” (Mischa Kuball)

22 April, 14:00 h, Haus der Jugend

Walking a daydream

Philip Rizk (Artist, Kairo)

I think the utopic as an act of social daydreaming, an insistence on imagining deeply rooted in reality, a stance of opposition to the harsh realities of now.
I will take you on a walk through some places I know and don’t, to reach a point somewhere far past the cliché.

22 April, 16:00 h, Haus der Jugend

Predicting the Past and Narrating the Future: The Techie in Networked Societies

Dr. Nishant Shah (Leuphana University, Lüneburg/Centre for Internet & Society, Bangalore, India)

One of the most ubiquitous figures of the digital turn is the techie. The techie comes out of nowhere, suddenly erupts on the landscape, and gets activated by networked technologies into building a nation of the future. The techie becomes a figure that is made bereft of history and unmarked by pasts. At the same time, the futures that techies build are planned visions that regulate, contain and control the body of the techie. I propose that the figure of the techie helps understand the role digital technologies play in marking us as subjects of history and subject to futures.

23 April, 13:00 h, Haus der Jugend

Leibniz and Contemporary Calculation

Ramon Amaro (Goldsmiths University of London)

This talk begins with Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz and his contributions to enrichments in fields of computational intelligence and learning processes to better understand present obsessions with data and our new sociability in mathematical performance. Today this is articulated most readily in contemporary deep mining and machine learning applications, where generalised pattern recognition and prediction limit techno-human relations.

23 April, 14:00 h, Haus der Jugend

Big data as a permanent future

Marcus Burkhardt (TU München) and Francis Hunger (Artist, Leipzig)
Moderation: Lena Brüggemann

Under the banner of big data, states and enterprises are collecting data with the intention of using it some time in the future. Seen from the perspective of databases, humans are transformed into data bodies and data potentials that are to be saved and algorithmically processed. While states, for example, allow their police to experiment with systems to predict criminal activities and their political parties to mobilise the electorate for their election campaign using big data, enterprises such as Amazon, Allianz Insurance and Deutsche Bank use their customers’ data for strategic business development purposes.

23 April, 15:30 h, Haus der Jugend

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