Media Culture

Research on media culture in Lüneburg focuses less on specific media cultures characterized by digitality, which have today replaced the traditional individual media. After the “end of media” (Zielinski), it deals foremost with overarching media-cultural facts that shape the diverse modes of existence and forms of life under the technological conditions of the 20th and 21st centuries: algorithmization, data drivenness, fascination with control and regulation, connectivity, cooperation, affectivity, simulation, environmentality, participation, and post-mediality are among the central keywords used to describe our situation.

In order to understand these media-cultural facts, it is necessary to work in an historical and systematic manner. The history of cybernation from around 1900 to our neo-cybernetic present, unfolding along the mentioned fields of phenomena and problems, must be precisely examined and a corresponding theory formation must be pursued to support and focus the research work on media, knowledge and culture. To mention a few examples, we are interested in the concrete changes in infrastructures, the genesis of an “augmented relationality” (Thrift) in the wake of the assertion of relational technologies, or the rise of a behavioral economy in times of environmental media of a third cybernetics, but also in questions related to the attendant engineering of affectivity and modes of subjectivization, or, finally, whether something like a new, technological humanism abreast with today’s conditions of alienation is possible. Moreover, farther reaching conceptual and theoretical political transformations induced by media technologies must be evaluated: With which conceptual map must we operate in the first place in order to appropriately grasp our own media technological condition? What other fields of knowledge provide conceptualizations that we can use for our work, adopt and translate? And what questions spur media studies beyond their (today so conspicuous and at times exaggerated) relation to the present, what is the constantly insisting aspect of media that we as media scholars must confront? To engage with these problems and questions, a praxeological oriented media culture research should in the ideal case be combined with concise theoretical work. The historical-systematic focus of the faculty is on the development of a general ecology of media and technologies as a method of thought and description that does justice to the “technosphere” (Peter Haff) and the accompanying technoecological culture of meaning in which we live.

The concepts and methods we employ are drawn from many disciplinary backgrounds and origins. Among the great thinkers who continue to inspire our work on account of their concept-political audacity and conceptual richness are above all Gilbert Simondon, Donna Haraway, Félix Guattari, Gilles Deleuze, Friedrich Kittler, Jacques Derrida, Tim Ingold, Michel Foucault, Hans Blumenberg, and Karl Marx.


Research Assistants