Johannes Bruder


Am Sande 5
Wallstr. 3
21335 Lüneburg

Johannes Bruder works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures and the Critical Media Lab Basel at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW. His research targets infrastructures & technologies that support epistemologies & empiricisms in art, design, science and their (sub)cultural distortions. He is determined to find alternative modes of being faithful to experience through observing, sensing, representing and exhibiting. Former affiliations include the Graduate School of Social Sciences at the University of Lucerne, eikones at the University of Basel and the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College London.

Research project

My current research activity concerns the colonisation of trauma, altered cognition and (psycho)pathology in and through discourses and practices of future-oriented design. I am particularly interested in how concepts of (mental) disturbance and distress originating in the psy-disciplines are employed in the process of reimagining catastrophic events as sources of creative reorganisation and technological innovation, on a scale that ranges from brains to the planet. Whether through modelling artificial intelligence on the neural mechanisms subtending schizophrenia and ADHD or the appropriation of environmental disaster as hotbed for the design of urban and planetary-scale infrastructure - in the face of always imminent catastrophe, trauma and pathology are marketed as both, ultimate challenge and opportunity for the future development of design thinking and practice in various fields.

During my time at MECS, I intend to further investigate how potentially pathological cognitive states such as mind wandering, stream of consciousness, and day dreaming are ‘tamed’ in the development of contemporary artificial intelligence. Research conducted at the nexus between artificial intelligence, (cognitive) neuroscience, and the psy-disciplines and by giant corporations such as Google and IBM is geared towards implementing mechanisms that subtend these only partly conscious, yet highly creative moments in machine learning algorithms and in turn provide the neurosciences with neural networks as plausible simulacra of biological brains. This renewed ‘cerebral alley,’ which links the neurosciences and artificial intelligence, will have a significant impact not only on our understanding of (human) cognition and cognitive labor; the technologies that emerge from said context might also redefine epistemologies of computer simulation in the context of managing planetary uncertainties.

Selected Publications

Collected editions

  • „Belagerung von Paris. 69 Freiballons, 381 Tauben und fast 11 Tonnen Post.“ In: Lars Nowak (Hg.). Medien – Krieg – Raum. München, Fink 2018, S. 141-160.
  • „À ballon perdu. Forscherohnmacht an einem bewölkten Septembernachmittag 1862.“ In: Irina Gradinari/Dorit Müller/Johannes Pause (Hg.). Versteckt – Verirrt – Verschollen. Reisen und Nicht-Wissen. Wiesbaden, Reichert 2016, S. 347-366.


  • (Borisch, Hannah). „Zeichenmaschinen ZM1, ZM2 und ZM3.“ In: BBK Hamburg (Hg.). POSITION. Forum/Ausstellung 2014. Kat. Ausst. Hamburg, Verlag für permanente Kunst 2015.
  • (Borisch, Hannah)/ Müller, Jan Philip: „Wind.“ In: Jan Philip Müller/ Volker Pantenburg/ Regina Wuzella u.a. (Hgg.): Wörterbuch kinematografischer Objekte. Berlin, August 2014, S. 172-173.