18:00 UhrGottfried Schnödl: "Naturalisieren, Ontologisieren, Ökologisieren - Zu Naturvorstellungen in Technik- und Medientheorie 
18:00 UhrRupert Gaderer: "Shitstorm. Agitation, Simulation und Kampf in digitalen Lebenswelten"

18:00 Uhr


Gabriele Schabacher: "Digital Regimes of Control. Between Social Utopia and Technical Failure"

18:00 Uhr

Ben Peters: "On the Proverbial Stupid History of Smart Technology"

18:00 UhrMartin Woesler: "Society 5.0 in China"

18:00 Uhr


Shane Denson: "Images of Discorrelation"


Die Veranstaltungen sind kostenlos und für die Öffentlichkeit frei zugänglich.

CDC Leuphana
Am Sande 5
21335 Lüneburg

Abstracts Evening Colloquia Summer Semester 2019

  • Shane Denson
  • Rupert Gaderer
  • Ben Peters
  • Gabriele Schabacher
  • Gottfried Schnödl
  • Martin Woesler

Abstracts Evening Colloquia Summer Semester 2019

Shane Denson

"Images of Discorrelation"

“Images of Discorrelation” is anexploration of the transitional spacetime between cinema and post-cinema. More precisely, this talk seeks to understand the transformational temporal and spatial articulations of contemporary moving images and our perceptual, actional, and affective interfaces with them as they migrate from conventional forms of cinema and enter the computational systems that now encompass every aspect of audiovisual mediation. While the generation, composition, distribution, and playback of images increasingly become a matter of algorithms, software, networks, and codecs, our sensory ratios (as McLuhan called them) are being reordered, our perceptual faculties are being reformed in accordance with the new speeds and scales of imaging processes. In a post-cinematic media regime, that is, both the subjects and the objects of perception are radically transformed. Older relations—such as that between a human subject and a photographically fixed object—are dissolving, and new relations are being forged in the microtemporal intervals of algorithmic processing. With the new objects of computational images emerge new subjectivities, new affects, and uncertain potentials for perception and action.

At the heart of these transformations lie the generative dynamics of high-speed (often “real-time”) feedback and feed-forward processes, which introduce (and modulate) new contingencies at the heart of post-cinematic mediation. We glimpse such processes in digital glitches, for example, which derail perception and inject the microtemporal misfirings of the computer into our subjective awareness. The underlying contingencies, however, are beyond the purview of subjective perception; the algorithms and hardware operations responsible for the glitch are fundamentally “discorrelated” from phenomenological processes of noetic intentionality. Moreover, the glitch reveals a more general instability attaching to computationally mediated images, which are highly volatile and always in danger of dissolution. Processed on the fly in an interval that is inaccessible to human perception, the images that populate our world are themselves discorrelated from human subjectivity. Nevertheless, various forms and manifestations of contemporary audiovisual media mediate to us these processes, providing sensory complements to sub-perceptual events, helping us in a sense to negotiate the transition to a truly posthuman, post-perceptual media regime. These mediations and negotiations are the focus of my presentation.


Rupert Gaderer

 "Shitstorm. Agitation, Simulation und Kampf in digitalen Lebenswelten"

Der Begriff Shitstorm bezeichnet eine unvorhergesehene, kurz anhaltende Welle der Empörung in sozialen Medien. Die oft beleidigenden Kommentare verbreiten sich äußerst schnell und weichen vom eigentlichen Thema des Konflikts ab. Der Anglizismus taucht in aktuellen Diskussionen immer dann auf, wenn über den ›Hass im Netz‹, ›Cyber-Mobbing‹ oder die ›Macht der Namenlosen‹ in einer ›digitalen Öffentlichkeit‹ berichtet wird. Die Herabwürdigung und Missachtung des Gegenübers besteht beim Shitstorm nicht in physischer Gewalt, sondern erfolgt über die Macht der Sprache und jene Medien, die ein Kollektiv konstituieren und beleidigende Botschaften transportieren. Die digitale Diffamierung beginnt mit der Empörung einzelner Menschen und entwickelt sich aufgrund medientechnologischer Bedingungen zu einer heftigen Auseinandersetzung vieler Sender und Empfänger: Aus einem antiautoritären und partizipatorischen Medium des Dialogs, so könnte man zunächst vermuten, ist ein Forum für Ressentiments und Hassbotschaften geworden. Vor diesem Hintergrund beschäftigt sich der Vortrag mit der Simulation und Virtualität digitaler Agitation und Empörung. Dabei stehen drei Problemfelder im Zentrum: Erstens stellt sich die Frage nach den soziotechnischen Infrastrukturen der Skandalisierung. Der zweite Bereich betrifft die Computergeschichte digitaler Konflikte. Und das dritte Problemfeld berührt die Simulation des Shitstorms für konsiliarische Zwecke.



Ben Peters

 "On the proverbial stupid history of smart technology"

In this talk, Peters will annotate some working materials central to his current book project on alternative approaches to artificial intelligence (and history of so-called smart technology). Setting aside the better known English-language midcentury material that largely pedestals the computer as a logical brain, his comments will focus on previously understudied Russian and Soviet approaches to inscribing triangulating ways to mediate intelligence. He argues throughout that Russian and Soviet artificial intelligence, broadly understood from the Russian Cosmists to current election hacking situations, are neither good nor old-fashioned nor least of all "good old-fashioned artificial intelligence" (GOFAI: a once-dominant paradigm for description AI as an attempt to model the computer after human cognition understood as symbolic manipulation of declarative statements). Instead, while not consistently any one thing, the Soviet resources sometimes present varied nonhuman, perhaps even inhuman, understandings of artificial intelligence and smart technologies in two chapters on the first and second half of the Soviet century. The first half, dubbed the "radiant mind" approach, catalogs a radio and mass media prehistory of AI scholars and scientists thinking about intelligence as embedded in collective relationships that extend beyond the brain. The second half, dubbed the "nylon heart" approach, features how postwar research traditions, especially in veteran surgery and medical cybernetics, sought to automate sensory intelligence in collective relationships that extend beyond the body. The combined force of these materials is, for Peters, to begin to narrate and refresh conceptions of nonhuman, non-technocapitalist artificial intelligence, perhaps even to give breathe to voiceless stories of inhuman artifice and Russian media theory in the Anthropocene.  

Gabriele Schabacher

"Digital Regimes of Control. Between Social Utopia and Technical Failure" 

Surveillant technologies are prominent in contemporary cultures. Especially automated recognition systems are frequently used, combining visual surveillance with big data analysis, thereby creating what Kevin D. Haggerty and Richard V. Ericson have called the "surveillant assemblages" of today's control societies. Whereas this process spreads exponentially in countries such as Great Britain, the USA, or China, because of less strict data protection provisions, the situation in Germany is different.

As urban settings and especially transport hubs are sites where diverse flows of people, goods and vehicles intermingle and have to be regulated, the train station is of special interest as an object of study with respect to surveillance technologies.

The talk focusses on a test conducted by the Federal Government, the Federal Police as well as the Deutsche Bahn at Berlin's Südkreuz station since 2017, testing facial recognition systems on the one hand, pattern recognition concerning movements on the other. The negotiation of these projects shows the paradoxes and problems posed by surveillance technologies in greater detail, as the diverse actors have to articulate their interests or objections publicly and explicitly.

The analysis will question the following aspects: First, the discrepancy between poor test results and the claim that it had been a success (first test); second, the idea of constructing 'scenarios' with 'actors' to generate the training data for the respective algorithms (second test) without questioning the 'objectivity' attributed to machines.


Gabriele Schabacher is Professor of Media and Culture Studies (Medienkulturwissenschaft) at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany. Her research areas include media and cultural theory, the media history of traffic, mobility, and infrastructures, the cultural techniques of repair, the media history of seriality, and the theory of autobiography. Among her recent publications are co-edited volumes on the cultures of repair (2018, together with Stefan Krebs and Heike Weber) and on the practices of workarounds (2017, together with Holger Brohm, Sebastian Gießmann, and Sandra Schramke), as well as the articles "Staged Wrecks. The Railroad Crash between Infrastructural Lesson and Amusement" (forthcoming), and "Abandoned Infrastructures. Technical Networks beyond Nature and Culture" (2018).

Gottfried Schnödl

 "Naturalisieren, Ökologisieren, Ontologisieren. Zu Naturvorstellungen in Technik- und Medientheorie 

Der Vortrag widmet sich den Naturvorstellungen innerhalb einiger Stränge der Technik- und Medientheorie. Die Abgrenzungen von Naturvorstellungen, deren Annahme eine Dualität bedingen, treffen sich hier mit einer Nähe zu naturwissenschaftlichen bzw. -philosophischen Konzepten, in denen das Natürliche soweit entgrenzt wird, dass sich die Annahme einer Dichotomie gerade verbietet. Anstelle dichotomischer Verhältnisse wird hierbei auf radikal vorgängige Relationen gesetzt. Diese nehmen in solchen Modellen jedoch tendenziell selbst die Rolle ein, die gängigerweise „der Natur“ überantwortet worden war – indem sie das Bedingende im Gegensatz zum Bedingten, das Basale im Gegensatz zum aus diesem Folgenden bzw. das Gegebene im Gegensatz zum Gemachten bezeichnen.

Der Vortrag hat zum Ziel, drei Phasen dieser Entwicklung zu unterschieden, die jeweils auf bestimmte Natur- und Lebenskonzepte zurückgreifen und daraus wiederum bestimmte Konzepte technischer Verhältnisse ableiten. Im Nachweis der großen Bedeutung monistischen Denkens für die Technikphilosophie Ernst Kapps wird versucht, dessen Technik als Form einer quasinatürlichen Emanation deutlich werden zu lassen. Unter Hinweis auf deren Anlehnung an die zeitgenössische Lebensphilosophie und Umwelttheorie geht der Vortrag daran, die Umkehrung nachzuzeichnen, die Oswald Spengler und Martin Heidegger vollziehen, wenn sie anstelle einer Technik, die Natur vermittelt, ein vorgängiges technisches Verhältnis setzen, das allererst bestimmte Naturvorstellungen produziert. Zuletzt wird gezeigt, dass auch die jüngst von Erich Hörl konstatierte Ausstreichung der Natur im Bereich der aktuellen Medienökologie insofern in diese Geschichte fällt, als sie den Raum dafür öffnet, das technische Verhältnis in noch einmal radikalisierter Weise als basales zu setzen.



Martin Woesler


"Society 5.0 in China"

Chinese Society is strongly controlled: There is almost total surveillance, big data and algorithmic analysis, almost no privacy/data protection and disciplinary sanctions. The media characteristics go beyond Luhmann’s Media Epoch 4.0 (1997). He described the machine by surface and depth, in China we are inside the machine, the communication moves from men to machines.

The individual is controlled with a Social Credit System (SCS, to be realized largely by 2020) digitally and externally. According to Warnke 2019, the SCS can partly be described as a protocol (Galloway 2004). It technically requires adherence to the rules, non-adherence results in non-participation (gamification logic). Since SCS is a creative and flexible combination of different data sources (which are not always available and may contradict each other), it can also partly be described as platform and stack (Bratton 2015).

How far is the individual controllable? Behaviourism says largely (Skinner 1974), totalitarist ideologies try to control the thoughts with different means (see the “blank sheet” by Mao 1958). Neoliberalist Facebook knows the individual better than it knows itself and manipulates the individual. The SCS gets positive feedback due to brainwash, the unfree survey setting and the happiness of the simple-minded (with outbreaks of critique/violence).

The Chinese individual is educated and guided from preschool until after retirement with 10 percent of school classes, university courses and training-on-the-job being devoted to ideological indoctrination – starting from any leadership position – which is reinforced by personal tutors, psychological pressure and group dynamics. To go to university, one has to serve in the military first. Military camps are located close to university campuses.

China develops a Digital System for Society-Management (DSSM, to be realized largely by 2025): Algorithms take over decisions, which stands in the Chinese tradition of meritist and legalist ideas. The human factor is replaced by learning algorithms: From the rule of men to rule of law – however, the party is always first. The Chinese understanding is that the planned economy failed because of the human factor (mentality of fulfillment, sugarcoated figures), China’s Society is the third digital attempt to realize Socialism with digitalization, after Cybersin and TRAN failed.

The SCS also contains social components, like encouraging visiting ones parents and enhancing societal credibility.While the transaction costs for this society are high (ca. 7% of the annual budget is spent on inner security), it is still economically more successful than (neo)liberal societies. The main resource for the future information economy is data. How far will neoliberalism use the totalitarian data and technologies and therefore support the system? How far will Western societies adapt to the Chinese model.

To control each process in reality, it is copied into a simulated reality. Predictive scenarios include avatars and group reactions. Chinese writers envision a future of endless technological progress.



Warnke 2019: Warnke, Martin. „Himmel und Erde. Das Territorium des Internet“. Internet und Staat. Nomos, 2019.

Bratton 2015: Bratton, Benjamin. The Stack: On Sovereignty and Software. MIT press, 2015.

Luhmann 1997: Luhmann, Niklas. Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft: Bd. 1. Suhrkamp, 1997.

Galloway 2004: Galloway, Alexander R. Protocol: How control exists after decentralization. MIT press, 2004.

Skinner 1974: Skinner, Burrhus Frederic. About behaviorism. Knopf, 1974.

Mao, Zedong 1958: "Introducing a Co-operative" (April 15, 1958), in: Hongqi (Red Flag), 1958 7:16-22.