Course Schedule


Digital Game Studies (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Jan Müggenburg

14-täglich | Donnerstag | 09:45 - 13:15 | 24.10.2022 - 03.02.2023 | HMS 139 | HMS

Inhalt: In the past two decades, digital games have evolved from a rather marginal phenomenon to a cultural practice that has permeated all areas of society. Building on the first pioneering works of computer game research in media and cultural studies (Pias, Wolf, etc.) at the turn of the millennium, academic research on computer and video games has also become professionalized in recent years and established itself as an academic discipline under the name Computer Game Studies (CGS). As a young research field, CGS is characterized by its highly interdisciplinary and heterogeneous perspective; on the other hand, its representatives are still busy defining the boundaries of their own discipline, canonizing its basic theoretical approaches, and developing new research perspectives. Building on the classical approaches of a narratological, ludological, or media-technological engagement with computer games, exciting new research questions have emerged in recent years. These include formal-aesthetic questions about space, perspective, or sound in computer games, as well as broader aspects such as the representation of gender in computer games, history in games, games as political media etc.

Digital Gurlitt: Curating Museum Data of a „Nazi Art Treasure“ (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Fabio Mariani, Lynn Rother

14-täglich | Donnerstag | 14:00 - 17:30 | 27.10.2022 - 03.02.2023 | HMS D19

Inhalt: In November 2014, the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland received a rather unusual bequest: a collection of 1,600 paintings, drawings, and graphic works by 19th- and 20th-century artists such as Henri Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Just a year earlier, this collection featured prominently on the cover of the German news magazine Focus under the title "The Nazi Treasure. Sensational discovery after 70 years" and has been making international headlines ever since. The collection and its discovery became a public scandal because customs authorities found the works in the Munich apartment and other homes of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt—one of Hitler's official art dealers. As the collection had been assembled during the National Socialist era, there was immediate suspicion that it contained works that had been looted from Germans of Jewish origin and now had to be returned to the previous owners or their heirs. In the meantime, almost nine years later, nine works have been restituted to the rightful owners, millions of euros have been spent on researching the history of the objects, and the Kunstmuseum Bern has published all the research data on its website earlier this year. In our course, we will use this exemplary dataset as a starting point to understand the possibilities and limitations of curating museum and cultural heritage data. What does it mean to transform complex historical information from analog to digital? From free text to structured, machine-readable, or even Linked Open Data? Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques help to overcome Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks and assist with the laborious transformation of large unstructured datasets? With a focus on provenance, that is, the history of objects, we will also explore data analysis and visualization methods using tools such as maps and timelines. The course will have theoretical and practical parts. The course is part of the teaching program of the Provenance Lab, a unique research and teaching hub for experimental knowledge production at the intersection of provenance research and data science, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung) and Leuphana University. See our blog here

Operational Images (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Robert Rapoport

14-täglich | Donnerstag | 14:00 - 17:30 | 17.10.2022 - 03.02.2023 | HMS 139 | HMS

Inhalt: Machine learning controls an ever-larger part of what we see and hear. The better machine learning gets at predicting our desires, the harder it becomes to 'see' it. This is a course about seeing in new ways, sometimes with and sometimes against machines. We will be looking at how our visual culture, with its endless streaming of images, has taken shape. Tracing the post-war synergies of art and technology, we will track early attempts to combine art and cybernetics up through the net art and into the present. With a core focus on visual culture, we will look at the ethics of image production in parallel.

Theory and Practice of Digital Visual Culture (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Vera Tollmann

14-täglich | Donnerstag | 09:45 - 13:15 | 17.10.2022 - 03.02.2023 | HMS 139

Inhalt: This seminar deals with the manifold functions and meanings of images in digital culture. How do apps and social media change visual culture? Why are memes so popular? Images communicate, symbolize, represent and organize; they can make data visible and hide their metadata. We will start by looking at the basics: What is a digital image? How do algorithmic image recognition and other automated processes change image culture? We will do this by using examples. For example, algorithm image recognition apps like ClearView are based on excessively large image databases. The transition from representation to the organization that is so typical of digital culture also affects the face. Machines can not only recognize faces, but they can also generate them, usually not without 'glitches' - shifted ear cups, slipped eyelids, or blurred backgrounds. Here, virtual production is represented as a digital effect. While the manipulation of faces is becoming increasingly realistic - as demonstrated by programmers like Philip Wang with StyleGAN or advertised on the site as "unique, worry-free photos" for which there is no copyright - facial recognition is also improving quickly, at airports, in hotels, and with our own devices. Seminar participants are invited to write an essay and critically examine examples of digital image culture. In doing so, the methodological skills and theoretical texts taught and discussed in the seminar will be applied. The essay will be developed during the semester. There will be time for peer reviews in the sessions.