Mathias Denecke


Mathias Denecke
Am Sande 5
21335 Lüneburg


Mathias Denecke is a doctoral student at Leuphana university of Lüneburg. After finishing his B.A. and M.A. in literature-arts-media studies at university of Konstanz he received a doctoral scholarship at university of Lüneburg and was subsequently junior research fellow at the Centre for Digital Cultures (CDC) Lüneburg. In his doctoral project «Stream metaphors in digital cultures – scenes on the knowledge of mediation» he works on a history of knowledge. Focusing on theoretical positions in cultural and media studies describing technically mediated communication, the project maps discursive shifts concerning the relationship of user and environment. Here, stream metaphors serve as an access to the narrative fabrication of knowledge formations on digital cultures.

Reserach Project

concept of simulation within a cultural- and media scholarly discourse around 2000

Focusing on a concept of simulation within a cultural- and media scholarly discourse around 2000, the theoretical background is provided by Tholen’s (2002) conceptualisation of simulation. Accordingly, in regards to the ‹computer as a universal medium› and its specific logic of representation, we are living in an «age of simulation» (ibid.). Concerning the theoretical outlining of simulation, questions of representation and of the interface are pivotal (vgl. Burckhardt 1998; Krämer 1995; Rötzer 1991; Tholen 1999). This implies a theoretical focus on visibility and making visible, as well as on spatial and temporal modes of simulation. 

Within this framework the project draws particularly on such conceptualisations of simulation which assume a form of liquefaction. This approach assumes that the interfaced space of calculation and calculability is becoming liquid. Therefore, the project focuses on theoretical endeavours which both describe simulation in regards to interfaces and make profound use of the vocabulary of liquidity. In order to illustrate this notion of simulation the project’s focus is on scholarly descriptions of financial markets. Knorr-Cetina’s study on financial transactions serves as a case study: «In such markets, a scopic system is an arrangement of hardware, software, and human feeds that together function like a scope: like a mechanism of observation and projection, here collecting, augmenting, and transmitting the reality of the markets, their internal environments and external context.» (2009, 4) Here, computer screens can be interrogated as simulating interfaces which ultimately create an ‹ontology of fludity› (Knorr-Cetina 2009).

The analysis is divided in two parts. First, the project seeks to interrogate the effect of metaphors of liquidity on the cultural and media scholarly knowledge of computer simulation. Here, metaphors provide an access to the knowledge of simulation in digital cultures (cf. Behnstedt 2007, 9).The project focuses on «epistemologies of narration» in the respective theoretical position (Kilcher u.a. 2014, 9; vgl. Gugerli u.a. 2014). Following a ‹playful› approach on metaphors (Gehring 2014, 202; Blumenberg 2012; 1971) the project aims on a critique of knowledge through the metaphors. Second, the project searches for possible theoretical backsides of the usage of liquid vocabulary in general (Simonsen 2004; Sutherland 2013), and specifically in regards to financial markets (Roberts/Joseph 2015). Seeking for descriptive potentials as well as challenges in cultural and media scholarly writings, the analysis focuses on the theoretical settings in which interfaced simulation is described with regard to metaphors of liquidity.