Course Schedule


21st Century Images (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Robert Rapoport

14-täglich | Dienstag | 14:00 - 17:30 | 05.04.2022 - 28.06.2022 | HMS 139 | Hörsaal Film 113 on 05.04.

Inhalt: How has our understanding of representation, authenticity, and reproduction changed in our current culture of images? How has the idea of neural networks as image-makers entered our social imaginary? Now that we hear about machines beginning ‘to dream,’ how does it change our relationship to our own cognition? We will be looking at how visual culture comes to terms with machine learning—beginning with the post-war synergies of art and technology; we will track early attempts to combine art and cybernetics up through net art and into the present. Additionally, we will think critically about the social construction of meaning--How do images mean different things in different places? Now that machines are also making meaning and interpreting images, what is the role of interpretation?

Communities and Manifestos (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Vera Tollmann

14-täglich | Dienstag | 14:00 - 17:30 | 12.04.2022 - 05.07.2022 | HMS 231/232

Inhalt: In 2006, Fred Turner examined in his book "From Counterculture to Cyberculture" how the first virtual community emerged on the Net - and drew a connection from the DIY culture on the West Coast to the first modern startups in Silicon Valley. Since then, online communities have become more diverse, platforms have changed (many have disappeared, many have been added), the frequency of posts and, in general, the amount of communication has increased exponentially. Attempts at political influence have also grown considerably. While the controlling power of digital platforms has been widely analyzed, this seminar looks into arguments from media studies, social science, and anthropology, and follows the question of how social media can be understood as ambivalent for governance, sometimes an 'emancipatory medium' despite everything. Which collective strategies enable discussions and interventions within the large platforms? How do Social Media program sociality? What concepts are the platforms based on, drawn from mimetic theory, for example? How do echo chambers determine the spread of post-truth? Platforms respond by deplatforming extremists, while these far-right communities relocate onto platforms of the Alt-Tech movement. This course will be about the histories of Social Media, forerunners such as forums and mailing lists, methods to study the technological, ideological, and practical aspects of Social Media as well as its digital culture. It includes academic works on regional perspectives in social media.