Prof. Jens Schröter

Jens Schröter, Prof. Dr. phil., is professor for the theory and practice of multimedial systems at the University of Siegen. He was director of the graduate school "Locating Media", see: from 2008-2012. He is (together with Prof. Dr. Lorenz Engell, Weimar) director of the research project "TV Series as Reflection and Projection of Change", see: Main research topics are: Theory and history of digital media, theory and history of photography, theory and history of three-dimensional images, intermediality, copy protection, media theory in discussion with the critique of value, tv-series. Recent publications: "3D. History, Theory and Aesthetics of the Transplane Image", New York/London/New Delhi/Sydney, 2014 (Bloomsbury); "Handbuch Medienwissenschaft", Ed. Stuttgart, 2014 (Metzler).



Cultures of calculation and computation / Politics of simulation

The question concerning "Media Cultures of Computer Simulation" is obviously also the question concerning the role of calculation and computation for a given culture. The role that computer simulations have had since 1945 for the sciences, but also for economics, politics and finally for entertainment (e.g. special effects and computer games) can hardly be overestimated. Insofar, we are living in a culture of calculation and computation, as has been observed already early on and with a critical undertone by Martin Heidegger. But we are also living in a culture of calculation and computation in a different sense - and even longer so. Long before computing in the strict and modern sense, there was of course 'accounting', meaning the calculation of quantitative entities, the central operation of economies, as was underlined by Max Weber and others. Capitalism is basically about abstract quantification, calculation with and the accumulation of countable entities. This is a culture of calculation and computation, too.

My research projects focuses on the relation between these two cultures. Which premises from the economic culture of calculation and computation flow into today's simulation models? E.g. how does agent-based simulation relate to the highly problematic 'methodological individualism', which is presupposed by hegemonic economic theories? And on the other hand: How are simulations used for economic purposes? What is the relation of 'model' and 'accumulation'? In that sense, my research project analyzes at least one aspect of the politics of simulation.