Computersimulationen sind Medien unterschiedlicher Wissenschaften. Traditionell spielen sie in den Natur- und Sozialwissenschaften eine mittlerweile bedeutende Rolle. Die DFG-Kolleg-Forschergruppe "Medienkulturen der Computersimulation" (MECS) untersucht seit 2013 den Einfluss von Computersimulationen auf die Wissensproduktion durch die Zusammenarbeit von Forscherinnen und Forschern vor Ort und von internationalen Fellows.

Die Fellows des MECS in diesem Semester sind: Yvonne Förster, Christian Kassung, Christina Vagt, Jan Müggenburg, Matthias Koch, Anna-Lena Wiechern und David Grier. Sie werden zu jeweils einer Seminarsitzung eingeladen, um über ihre Arbeit zu sprechen. Wir bereiten diese Sitzung durch Lektüre ihrer Publikationen auf und erarbeiten uns so einen tiefen Einblick in rezente Forschungen zum Thema der Computersimulationen in der Wissenschaftspraxis.

  • Agenda


25.10.2016 Introduction and Overview    

01.11.2016 Organizational Structure 

08.11.2016 David Alan Grier Text    

15.11.2016 David Alan Grier Lecture   

22.11.2016 Christina Vagt Text 

29.11.2016 Christina Vagt Lecture 

06.12.2016 Matthias Koch Lecture 

13.12.2016 Christian Kassung Lecture   

20.12.2016 Yvonne Förster Lecture  

10.01.2017 Jan Müggenburg Lecture 

17.01.2017 Anna-Lena Wiechern Text   

24.01.2017 Anna-Lena Wiechern Lecture 

31.01.2017 Final Discussion 

  • Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Martin Warnke
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hagen (†)


I’m working on a project that deals with the interaction of organizations and information technology, specifically with the interaction between the abstractions of computer software that simulate organizations and the organizations themselves. I view the process as a dialogue in which the organizations acquire certain aspects of the software and the software captures some but not all of organizational behavior. In this work, I’m following the model established by John Dewey in his classic 1927 book “The Public and Its Problems” and Herb Simon’s great “Administrative Behavior.” I’m tracing the interaction of software and organizations by mining the literature on software engineering and organizational behavior.  This work has been appearing in a variety of places, notably my column in Computer magazine and my podcast “How We Manage Stuff.” 


Global Design. Buckminster Fuller, John McHale and the World Resource Simulation Center

My project investigates the micro history of the World Resource Simulation Center that was designed between 1964 and 1972 at the Southern University of Illinois in Carbondale, and contextualizes it in reference to macro historical perspectives, such as emerging computer technologies, cybernetic discourses, Cold War politics, future planning, the aesthetics of media architecture, and educational programs.


Methodology and Contemporary History of Media Historiography in German Media Studies

My project deals with the theory and history of media historical research in German Media Studies and thereby contributes to the historicization of said discipline. It focusses on the function of historical work in the process of Media Studies’ instutionalization and therefore takes the perspective of contemporary history, meaning that it starts in the 1960s and ends in present days.


Cultural Techniques of Analogue Simulation

My research project aims to transfer the question of computer simulation as a specific, digital-born form of knowledge production to experimental systems which already before the advent of the computer as »universal medium« enabled to process massive amounts of data in parallel. The key example is the wind tunnel in which very different physical modellings are simulated. Its history and epistemology are to be studied with a strong focus on the facilities of the »Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt« at Berlin/Adlershof as an analogue computing system in which the contemporary hydrodynamical knowledge emerged as fine streaks, swirling mist, or waving wind vanes.


From Neural Nets to Artificial Intelligences

During my stay at MECS I will investigate visualizations of embodied and disembodied cognition in science, media art and AI on the basis of phenomenological accounts of embodied cognition. Complementary to that movies staging artificial intelligences will be analyzed with respect to their images of future intelligences. I am reading film as a medium, which is informative for the way humans conceptualizes and imagine their relation with technology and the changes this brings about. Ultimately the project aims at understanding the impact of neuroscientific images on conceptualizations of cognition between embodiment and disembodiment, between human cognition and its transcendence in posthuman visions.


Nature as Principle. On Simulation in Bionics

My project examines the use of computer simulation in bionics. Since the biomimetic approach within engineering and computer science aims at »scrutinizing and transferring ›natural inventions‹ into technological applications« (, scientific media such as models and simulations play a crucial epistemic role in its research practice. Within the framework of a media archeology of Bionics and its precursor discourses (›Biotechnik‹, Biocybernetics etc.) this project initially looks at the general use of scientific media in the history of bionic approaches. In a second step, specific media-theoretical tools will be developed that facilitate the analysis of computer simulation within modern Bionics.


Capturing Presences. A Genealogy of the Relationship between Sensor and Simulation

In the course of my project, I would like to uncover the historic developments that lead to the “sensing” technologies of today.  What is at the heart of this, is the »drawing« activities of sensors in intelligent environments and the necessity to rethink the concept of the user in a way that splits up the notion into a deliberately acting operator as well as a passive supplier digital sensor technologies can extract data from.