Technological Conditions of Interventions

History, Epistemology, Dramaturgy

Symposium, 19.–21.05.2015, Leuphana University of Lüneburg

Team: Timon Beyes, Irina Kaldrack, Martina Leeker, Nina Wakeford

With/Mit: Ulrike Bergermann (D), David Berry (GB), Howard Caygill (GB), Hervé Fischer (CA), Alexandre Monnin (F), Kati Röttger (NL), Imanuel Schipper (CH/D), Fred Turner (USA), Nina Wakeford (GB)

For video recordings, please follow the link:

 Experiments & Interventions web publication: Technological Conditions of Interventions


Since the 1990s so-called artistic interventions arise in such different social areas as e.g. urban space, organisations, digital networks or protest movements. Although these interventions are constituted of diverse artistic forms and build a heterogeneous field of political practices, they show a similarity in their intention to develop methods of interfering in concrete, questionable social and political situations and to interrupt and change them for more democratic and reflexive conditions. In this perspective the displacement of sense and the sensual is taken as a political act against exclusion and the power of representation. The political dimension of interventions is described in addition as the act of performing, as this corresponds to continuous transformation.

The proposition of the symposium is to re-visit the history, epistemology and dramaturgies of these interventions, regarding their relation to the technological conditions of digital cultures. These are seen from their constitution by technical infrastructures, which are involving human actors only as one element in a larger network of agents. The central question is, if and how interventions could have become a new technique to create frames and formats of agency, of the political sphere, of partcipation and of critique in this techno-logic of digital cultures. In this perspective it becomes eye-catching that acting in technical applications and in interventions oscillates between potentialisation and im-/potentialisation, whereas the political becomes an escalation of dissent, out of subjective control. This raises the question which epistemology is generated by interventions under technological conditions, concerning knowledge, subjectivity and governementality. The second question is which dramaturgies, understood as an aesthetic setting of instructions for acting and perceiving, could be detected in technological constellations and in interventions.

With this assumption the symposium aims to bring together scholars from media studies, political science, social science and practitioners in order to study forms and effects of interventions, especially their political agenda and dramaturgies, explicitly under their technological conditions.

The aim is to develop a critical approach to interventions as a cultural technique that creates power and scopes of action and participation, of politics and critique under technological conditions in order to find models, practices and dramaturgies that help to not be governed in the ways we are now.


  • What are interventions, and which relevance do they have for the generation of capacities for acting, participation, critique and the political?
  • Can interventions be seen as a new hype? Why? Is there a connection to technological conditions?
  • How to understand and analyze interventions as part of technological conditions?
  • What are interventions for?
  • Which dramaturgies of interventions go with the techno-logical and which can reflect them?

Program & Further Information

Please visit the DCRL’s Experiments&Interventions web publication for program details and video recordings.