Masterstudiengang Spiel und Objekt

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weekend reading

The first semester has now come to a close, and I am left with all of the things I would have liked to discuss in class, but couldn’t because, well, you can’t have everything. But that’s what weekends are for!

We’ll start with a nicely condensed primer on the visual culture of the Anthropocene (because it’s transmediale) by Irmgard Emmelhainz for e-flux:

The Anthropocene has meant not a new image of the world, but rather a radical change in the conditions of visuality and the subsequent transformation of the world into images. These developments have had epistemological as well as phenomenological consequences: while images now participate in forming worlds, they have become forms of thought constituting a new kind of knowledge—one that is grounded in visual communication, and thereby dependent on perception, demanding the development of the optical mind.

And do you all remember the New Aesthetic? It’s a good reminder that you shouldn’t attach the word “new” to your proposal of a visual culture movement, unless you are certain it will last for, like, ever (or 5 years, whichever comes first):

Despite its acknowledgement of computers as weird artifacts that have taken on lives of their own, the New Aesthetic is still primarily interested in human experience. That is to say, the aesthetics of the New Aesthetic are human aesthetics, appearances and interactions that we people can experience and that, in so doing, trouble our understanding of what it means to live in the twenty-first century.

Off to more inter-human aesthetic negotiations! Unfortunately, we couldn’t properly discuss Claire Bishop’s Artificial Hells in class, so I’ll just leave this review by Leah Lovett here for your interpassive enjoyment:

Bishop draws on Rancière’s analysis of the overdetermined critiques of spectatorship through Brecht and Artaud to argue that there has been a disavowal of the aesthetic. Whilst this disregard for art may have resulted in artistic strategies of participation, it also presents a major weakness for Bishop, in the form of artists who use their exceptional status to intervene in the social but who fail to reconcile their work as art.

Another book that unfortunately fell by the wayside is Gareth White’s Audience Participation In Theatre. This short text may serve as a primer, and if you have the time, you can watch me interview Gob Squad for Berlinale 2 years ago.

And finally, two more recent articles. After all, time did not stand still in the past 6 years (even though Villem Flusser might argue otherwise). First off, the NZZ (which has become a horribly reactionary newspaper lately) has an essay on McLuhan. Of course, they manage to inject the good old “screens are bad for people” into their reading. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Sosehr das Buch seine Zeit widerspiegeln mag: Immer wieder stolpert der Leser zugleich über Sätze, die aufs Unheimlichste unsere Zeit und ihre Medien vorauszunehmen scheinen. Wenn wir von der «psychischen Leichenstarre» lesen, die sich der Menschen «gerade in Perioden neuer Technologie» bemächtige, denken wir gezwungenermassen an unsere pathologische Bildschirmfixierung (klein und gross). Aber umgekehrt gilt auch: Wenn McLuhan warnend schreibt, dass «die Art Involvierung, die unsere Sofort-Technologien voraussetzen, gerade die sozial Gesinntesten zu Konservativen macht», dann könnte er gut Menschen meinen, die sagen, sie hätten keinen Fernseher oder kein Smartphone und so klingen, als bildeten sie sich etwas darauf ein.

Last article for this weekend is a bit more lighthearted: Textures and Tilesets from neural networks nicely ties into what happened to the supposedly “new aesthetic” (via rockpapershotgun):

Pipkin fed a load of tile images (mostly ones licensed freely under Creative Commons, plus “some classic game rips”) into the software DCGAN-tensorflow, which used them as inspiration for glitchy images of its own. Its recreations are nudged towards being haunted and a little hellish, echoes of what they were supposed to be. It’s a strong look.

Y’all have a wonderful semester break.

weekend reading

In the past week we worked intensely until our brains turned a bit to mush in the end. Christiane Hütter gave us a lot of inputs for game design (check this article about game design and Trump if you are interested!) and we talked as well about systems. This in combination with our last week where we talked about tech and cyborg feminism brought me to some articles which are thinking of an other system for our predominantly patriarch society. However, maybe it´s interesting for you to read.. The first is looking on female farmers in India.

„Ich habe meinen Ehemann gebeten, mir einen Hektar zu überlassen, um darauf rund 20 Pflanzenarten anzubauen, die nicht so viel Wasser brauchen“, erzählt sie. „Ich wollte etwas haben, um meine Familie zu ernähren, falls es mit dem Zuckerrohr nicht klappt, und ich wollte traditionelle Methoden anwenden und natürlichen Dünger einsetzen. Zuerst hat er gezögert, aber dann war er doch einverstanden. Als er ein Jahr später die Ergebnisse gesehen hat, hat er mir die Hälfte vom Acker überlassen.“

The next contribution is a talk with Roya Mahboob, a IT- entrepreneur from Afghanistan on Sternstunde Philosophie on SRF. She was 23 years old when she started her own Tech-business and got elected as one of the 100 most influential persons of the world by the “Time Magazine”. She provides young women in Afghanistan access to the digital world.

And an interview which is a bit older with Helen Hester about Biohacking and Care-Robots in die Zeit Online as well as one about woman in the AI-workingfield in Germany.

Hester: Weil die häufig unbezahlte Haus- oder Pflegearbeit, die traditionell von Frauen verrichtet wurde, in fast allen ökonomischen Theorien, auch bei Marx, meist nur als Nachgedanke vorkommt oder ganz vergessen wird. Zur Automatisierung und zu einer Post-Work-Gesellschaft gibt es ganz verschiedenen Studien. Deloitte zum Beispiel zählt den Pflege- und Gesundheitssektor zu den drei Branchen, die in nächster Zeit am stärksten automatisiert werden. Andere glauben, dieser Bereich wird wenig betroffen sein, weil es in ihm auf den human touch ankommt. Ich sage dann immer, dass mir überhaupt nicht klar ist, ob Menschen wirklich die bestmöglichen Pfleger sind. Es gibt so viele Fälle von Vernachlässigung, Überforderung oder Missbrauch in Pflegeeinrichtungen.

Then there is something a bit off topic but I just really really like it! Koka Nikoladze has the coolest gear for January 2019.

weekend reading

Here we go again. Janne Nora Kummer prepared an interesting range of texts and inputs for last weeks seminar about cyber feminism. We had a lot to discuss and also dived into the MEME-Culture which was complete stranger to me but is a very influential way of mobilize the people – used by right and left groups. If you are interested in this subject, you can watch the documentary “Lösch dich” to get an impression on how the right is trolling around in the social media. It is one point of view and they are not perfect but still..

About point of view, this article shows a very independent point of view of the «Spiegel»-Reporter Claas Relotius on journalism.

Die Fälschungen des «Spiegel»-Reporters Claas Relotius bieten dem Journalismus eine Chance: Er könnte sich endlich seinem unterkomplexen Realitätsbegriff stellen.

To collect Data is not a new phenomen but this does not mean that we should not inform us how this is done. This article from le monde diplomatique “Google sucht dich” can provide more information and “der dressierte Mensch” gives you an impression on how far a nation like China can go with the collection and publicly distribution of personal information. But not only China, also Switzerland had lately some argues about surveillance and the public voted “yes” to observe in case of suspected insurance swindel..

An diesem Spätnachmittag ist der Park rund um das Bürgeramt fast verlassen. Ein altes Paar in geflickten Kitteln erklärt uns den Grund: „Jetzt läuft im Fernsehen gerade ‚Das Leben des Volkes in 360 Grad‘, die meisten Leute hocken vor der Kiste.“ Jeden Abend sendet das Lokalfernsehen eine Zusammenstellung von allen Fehltritten, die innerhalb der letzten 24 Stunden von den Überwachungskameras aufgezeichnet wurden. (“Der dressierte Mensch” von René Raphaël und Ling Xi, le monde diplomatique vom 10.01.2019.)

Maybe a more positive contribution for in between about the thought and the benefit of open sorce “Freie Software für die Städte” which is a bit older but I like a lot.

Ob die dahinterliegenden Algorithmen öffentlich kontrolliert oder als Geschäftsgeheimnisse privater Unternehmen gehütet werden, ist letztlich auch für die Legitimation der Demokratie von Belang. Es bieten sich viele Möglichkeiten, die smarte Stadt auch technologisch souverän zu machen – mit eigens entwickelter Software und Hardware, die offen ist und der Öffentlichkeit gehört.

To finish for this weekend, a friend of mine recommended me an articles of the music artist Sam Kidel who deals with the collection of Data in his music “Rave im Datenzentrum” and I have also read a nice interview with Anelise Cheng on how she managed to continue writing while questioning the world.

Anelise Chen: “Then I changed it to third-person clam, and that was exactly how it was meant to be.” The writer shares a collection of digital fragments that have shaped her practice, including an image depicting cycling exercises, a photo of Kafka’s diaries, and a video of her mother’s first time seeing snow.

Fabian who did the weekend reading last month send me also this: “londons victorian hyperloop forgotten pneumatic railway beneath capitals street” – quite funny to see how one can forget what one used to have .

weekend reading

Now I have to tell you, that I always wrote under a pseudonym, my real name is Leoni! No of corse not, but for this time, I am really Leoni who is writing the blog post for this weekend. This is only because Fabian was so kind to borrow me his account until my account is ready. Thank you Fabian for your interesting readings in the last weeks!

I should probably introduce myself properly so you don’t get confused because of the names. I am Leoni, also a student of the new Master Spiel && Objekt, I finished my Bachelor in History and History of Arts in Basel (CH) and have now the chance to experience to work in a more practical way in the field of Art and I’m really curious of everything that is still coming up to us. Hi.
As an Example, this first week of class after Christmas was a nice one. In fact we played a lot of games and laughed a lot, but also got a good impression what it means to design games and how to build Möglichkeitsräume.

Hm, I started the week with some interviews of possibility spaces in politics. There was a interview in the NZZ with Bernd Stegeman about liberal populism, one with Gretchen Dutschke about political protests 1968 and 2018.

But there is also an interesting change going on in Mexico, which is well portrayed in this article by le monde diplomatique.

Seit dem 1. Dezember ist Mexikos neuer Präsident López Obrador im Amt. Amlo, wie er genannt wird, will auf dem alten Sumpf einen neuen Staat errichten. Die Widerstände sind enorm, der Terror der Drogenmafia lässt nicht nach und die Methoden des Präsidenten sind nicht immer demokratisch.

To close the possibility spaces in politics for now there is an article about listening to each other in politics..

Alle reden über das Zuhören – als Forderung, als Wunsch und als Diagnose, dass es am Zuhören mangle. Woher kommt die Idee, dass die Demokratie „Zuhören“ verlangt – und was könnte daran falsch sein? Eine Spurensuche.

And something about Plastic. Finito.

Plastik war der demokratische Stoff schlechthin. In der Nachkriegszeit stand er für wachsenden Massenwohlstand und revolutionierte in Form der Vinyl-Schallplatte die Populärkultur. Selbst die Kritik an der Konsumgesellschaft wurde im Medium der Rock- und Popmusik formuliert – auf global vermarkteten Plastikscheiben.

weekend reading


Just before the last week of of this year, in which we will start our very first S&O game jam, here’s some more stuff to read.
Let’s start with the weekly facebook-hate: Apparently, there are more black live matter posters than black employees, as written in this (oh, the irony) facebook-note by a former employee.

There is this amazing piece by Thomas B. Edsall, who draws connections between the industrialization and the de-industrialization in England and the automation-age in the rust belt, with its up- and down-sides. So when you are still in doubt, how the change towards a robot-based economy will and did affect society, read this article, relying on a lot of very recents studies and articles.

While there are parallels between conditions of workers during industrialization in England and during the deindustrialization of regions of this country now, one big difference stands out from a political vantage point: In England, workers turned sharply to the left while here they have moved sharply to the right.

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weekend reading

This week was mainly structured by ourselves in Janne‘s dramaturgy class- which is great! Spending a week with dramaturgy and thinking about the concepts, we would like to realize during our masters or at the very end of our studies, was pretty nice. Introducing our different concepts to one another was a real wow-moment to me. I realized again, that we are quite a cool gang of students. So: High five to us.

I spend my week mostly reading about work and what one could to avoid it. So, i read a few anarchists from the 80ies, most popular this essay by Bob Black, which already starts with a BOOM!: Read more

weekend reading


So, hello again. As my first week got such great feedback by thousands of readers, I have the great pleasure to go again.

As we talked about immersion, hypermediacy and transparency this week and played the great game Stories Untold to be more aware of those theoretical concepts, the concept of immersion also crossed my way in Sarah Masons Text on gamification in the gig economy.

The algorithm is at the heart of the ride-hailing game, and of the coercion that the game conceals. In their foundational text Algorithmic Labor and Information Asymmetries: A Case Study of Uber’s Drivers, Alex Rosenblat and Luke Stark write: “Uber’s self-proclaimed role as a connective intermediary belies the important employment structures and hierarchies that emerge through its software and interface design.” “Algorithmic management” is the term Rosenblat and Stark use to describe the mechanisms through which Uber and Lyft drivers are directed. To be clear, there is no singular algorithm. Rather, there are a number of algorithms operating and interacting with one another at any given moment. Taken together, they produce a seamless system of automatic decision-making that requires very little human intervention.

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Artist Talk: Heiko Kirschner – Research Based Art und Temporalisierung von Wissen

(This coming week’s talk will be in German.)

Heiko wird uns einen Einblick in seine momentane wissenschaftliche Forschungsarbeit zur temporalisierung von Wissen in Pioniergemeinschaften geben und ueber die Rolle von Research Based Art in Wissenschaft und Kunst referieren.

Heiko Kirschner arbeitet seit Mai 2018 als wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (Projektangestellter) am Zentrum für Kommunikations- Medien- und Informationswissenschaften der Universität Bremen im DFG-Projekt “Pioniergemeinschaften: Die Quantified-Self- und Maker-Bewegung als kollektive Akteure tiefgreifender Mediatisierung”. Zuvor war er Research Assistant am Human-Drone Interaction Lab der University of Southern Denmark (SDU) und Mitarbeiter im DFG-Projekt “Mediatisierung als Geschäftsmodell III” (Schwerpunktprogramm 1505 Mediatisierte Welten) an der Universität Wien. Nach seinem Masterstudium der sozialwissenschaftlichen Innovationsforschung an der TU Dortmund war er wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Lehrstuhl für allgemeinse Soziologie an der TU Dortmund und wissenschaftlich geprüfte Hilfskraft im DFG-Projekt “Skopische Medien” (Schwerpunktprogramm 1505 Mediatisierte Welten) an der Universität Konstanz.

When:

Monday, 3rd of December 2018, 20:00

Where:

Room 1.50, Zinnowitzer Str. 11, Berlin

weekend reading

It’s time to take over! Friedrich’s time on the weekend reading spot is over (for now) and now we students are in charge. Me gusta!

I thought, it could be nice to introduce myself before I write my first blog post on this blog, so: HI! I am Fabian, formerly finished a Double Master Degree in Frankfurt (Oder) and Istanbul, wrote my thesis about migration narratives in German pop music and also worked a little in the political field, before I decided that I would rather like to work in a theatrical context. And to add something more private: The last concert I went to were those lovely people.

This week, I saw Simon Stones piece “Griechische Trilogie” at Berliner Ensemble, which focuses on the role of women in Greek dramas. This reminded of the amazing Zündfunk Generator (which is a recommendation in general) podcast episode about women in Tech- maybe because we also had a daily coding task on our schedule. Nonetheless, all of that came together as I read Kate Julian’s longread Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex?where she looks at almost every aspect of the topic.
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