Contact: miglemigloj@gmail.com

Today’s public debates seem to revolve more around the assumed universality of the Internet impact than on situated production and maintenance practices of its physical infrastructure.
With my research, I explore the Internet production and maintenance in post-socialist Lithua-nia through multi-sited fieldwork. I thus perceive the Internet not only as a media technology that produces global democratic, manipulative or other type of effects, but also as a situated phenomenon that needs constant maintenance. Inspired by infrastructural inversion (Susan Leigh Star, Geoffrey Bowker), media ethnography (Lisa Parks), but also telecom geopolitics (Wayne Winseck), I am interested in the ramification of infrastructuring practices that constitute and maintain the Internet in Lithuania by exploring them through open-ended and reflexive fieldwork with the focus on telecom industry.
Lithuania was re-established as an independent state in March 11, 1990. Here, the emergence of the new nation state coincided with the development of its first Internet connection. It was both symbolic and useful, because new network connectivity allowed from Moscow-indepen-dent communication with the world. On the 1st of January 1992 the biggest telecommunicati-on company “Lietuvos Telekomas” was established as a state enterprise, with more than 200 000 people waiting for a telephone line. Fast forward to 2017, and 75% of the households in Lithuania had access to the Internet1. Currently, the Internet in Lithuania is of exceptional quality, and its public Wi-Fi is one of the fastest in the world.2
How is the Internet maintained in the telecom industry in Lithuania nowadays? What kind of everyday geopolitics do current local telecom industry stakeholders practice by prescribing particular roles to both foreign and local telecom industry participants that have maintained the industry since the 1990s? What everyday remembrances and material legacies emerge in the telecom field during fieldwork that help situate and shift established historical narratives about industry’s development in the country?
Although with this research I situate the Internet production in Lithuania, situating is not a goal in itself. Instead, I hope to contribute to the field of media research by showing how “the Internet” is a complex material infrastructure both universal and particular that emerges through practice. Researching media technologies for me thus means analyzing it from diffe-rent practice layers: political, historical, cultural and labor.
1 Informacinės visuomenės plėtros komitetas prie susisiekimo ministerijos. Namų ūkiai, turinys interneto prieigą. In: Informacinės visuomenės plėtros komitetas prie Susisiekimo ministerijos. Online: statistika.ivpk.lt/temos/55 . Retrieved on: 5. June, 2018.
2 Zaliauskiene, L. The top 20 countries with the fastest public WiFi in 2016. In: Rotten Wifi. Online: blog.rottenwifi.com/top-20-countries-fastest-public-wifi-2016-infographic/ . Retrie-ved on: 1. June, 2018


Contact: elisabeth.heymer@leuphana.de


Contact: anna.koenigshofer@leuphana.de



Contact: Boaz.levin@gmail.com

In my PhD I explore the work of Allan Sekula, Martha Rosler, Fred Lonidier and Phel Steinmetz—known as the San Diego group—during the 1970s when they all studied, and later taught, at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Through a contextual survey of group’s work, I aim to show how they offered a critique and a reinvention of documentary practices in relation to the advent of neoliberalism. My work questions prevalent art-historical narratives concerning post-modern art as the cultural logic of neoliberalism, asking why the work of the group and their mode of critical documentary has long been overlooked. As I show, their critique-and-reinvention of the documentary—in releasing it from its dependency on the ‘myth of photographic truth’, in their
expansive use of media, exploration of the archive, notions of performativity, and photomontage—prefigures recent debates and artistic practices.


Ying Sze Pek

Con­tact: ypek@princeton.edu

As exemplary instances of developments in video and media art of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries in Germany, the works of Munich-born artist, filmmaker, and author Hito Steyerl (b. 1966) have modeled key strategies for engaged art in the age of globalized art production and exhibition. Focusing on Steyerl’s films and videos as its central objects of analysis, while also attending to the artist’s large body of theoretical and critical writing, my dissertation provides the first monographic account of Steyerl’s oeuvre. Fundamental to the dissertation’s account of Steyerl’s work is the historicization of the field of video and media art in Germany. The dissertation analyzes the failure of video art as an avant-garde medium, before going on to trace its domination of global art exhibitions in the 1990s to 2010s. In this setting, the conventions of video art merged with cinematic codes and took on spatial aspects of installation art. The dissertation also examines how these developments in the forms and mediums of art are related to the art biennial’s emergence as the preeminent site for the exhibition of contemporary art in Europe since the 1990s.

Juliane Rahn

Con­tact: juliane.rahn@posteo.de

Theatrical Yugospheres in Transition

What approaches to freedom and acts of citizenship do practices and dramaturgies of emancipatory theater and performance in late socialist Yugoslavia after Titoʼs death (1980) articulate? How do they perform and thus encourage a yugosphere yet to come? The dissertation examines these questions on the example of performative arts in the city of Sarajevo, the capital of the Yugoslav constituent republic Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly in the 1980s.