Affective Transformations: Politics. Algorithms. Media.
International conference focusing on the emergence of »affective media« (i.e. technologies capable of processing affect) and the simultaneous social and political transformations engendered by uncontrollable »media affects« like hate speech and public shaming etc.

The affective turn has recently come under pressure. The fascination with all things affective that emerged during the 1990s and peaked in the first decade of the 21st century has lost its former innocence and euphoria. Affect Studies and its adjacent disciplines have now to prove that they can cope with the return of the affective real that technology, economy and politics entail.

Two seemingly contradictory developments will be picked up as starting points for the conference. First, innovations in advanced disciplines such as affective computing, mood tracking, sentiment analysis, psycho-informatics and social robotics all share a focus on the recognition and modulation of human affectivity. Mechanisms like individual affect regulation or emotion management are being increasingly transferred onto personal digital devices. These algorithmic technologies collect affective data, process them and nudge users into normalized behavior and patterns of feeling. Affect gets measured, calculated, controlled.

Secondly, recent developments in politics, social media usage and journalism have contributed to a conspicuous rise of hate speech, cybermobbing, public shaming, »felt truths« and resentful populisms. In a very specific way, politics as well as power have become affective. In light of the rise of neo-nationalisms, religious and conspiratorial fanaticisms and presidentially decreed patriotism, the question what affective politics does, can or should mean attains an unparalleled urgency. Affects gets mobilized, fomented, unleashed.

We thus witness, on the one hand, the emergence of what we propose to call »affective media«, i.e. technologies and applications that rationalize affects by processing them algorithmically. On the other hand, we observe that (social) media affects become irrational and seem to have disruptive effects on the political as well as social order of (not only) Western democracies. These two developments appear to be linked. For example, while social media echo chambers are part of the affective media spectrum, their effects are very real and are radically altering our socio-political landscapes (e.g. Brexit, US election). What was invented to control affect has furthered uncontrollability on a potentially global scale.
By assembling scholars from different fields of research who have devoted a significant part of their careers to the question of affectivity, we want to examine this apparent paradox and put the emphasis on its historical, transformational nature. When the ways we deal with our affectivity get unsettled in such a dramatic fashion, we obviously have to rethink our ethical, aesthetical, political as well as legal regimes of affect organization. This is not just a purely academic task, but rather an issue of responsibility.

The conference will be organized by the research network »Affect- and Psychotechnology Studies«, a collaboration of researchers from such diverse fields as philosophy, media studies, psychology, sociology, and law. The network was founded in 2015 out of an impulse to critically engage with the manifold implications of emerging affect-related technologies, and is currently funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation). The Potsdam conference will mark the end of the first phase of its research agenda.

2:30 pm    Registration
3:30 pm    Bernd Bösel (Potsdam): Welcome and Introduction
3:45 pm    Performance Lecture and Installation
                Dina Boswank (Berlin), Timo Herbst (Berlin/Leipzig), Irina Kaldrack (Braunschweig):
                Transforming Political Gestures Through a Chain
4:30 pm    Opening Lecture
                Marie-Luise Angerer (Potsdam): Paradoxes of Becoming Intense. On ›Smart‹ Companionship,
                Significant Selfies and Animojis
                (Chair: Bernd Bösel)
5:30 pm    Coffee break
6:00 pm    Evening Lecture
                Richard Grusin (Wisconsin-Milwaukee): Counter-Mediations
                (Chair: Marie-Luise Angerer)

10:00 am    Lecture 1
                  Andrew A. G. Ross (Ohio): Digital Humanitarianism and the Cultural Politics
                  of a Planetary Nervous System
                  (Chair: Michaela Ott)
11:15 am    Coffee break
11:30 am    Panel 1: Aufklärung 2.0 / Enlightenment 2.0
                  Markus Rautzenberg (Essen): Alien Thinking. On the Return of the Sublime
                  Mathias Fuchs (Lüneburg): Affect Esoterics
                  Sandra Wachter (Oxford): Law and Ethics of Big Data, AI, and Robotics
                  (Chair: Jutta Weber)
1:00 pm      Lunch
2:30 pm      Lecture 2
                  Pierre Cassou-Noguès (Paris): The Synhaptic Monster
                  (Chair: Mathias Fuchs)
3:45 pm      Coffee break
4:00 pm      Panel 2: Techno(Ir)rationalities
                  Jutta Weber (Paderborn): Techno(ir)rationality and Technosecurity
                  Oliver Leistert (Lüneburg): Effective Affects with Social Bots
                  Bernd Bösel (Potsdam): Affective Media Regulation
                  (Chair: Serjoscha Wiemer)
5:30 pm      Coffee break
6:00 pm      Evening Lecture
                  Michaela Ott (Hamburg): Affective Media Politics
                  (Chair: Markus Rautzenberg)
8:00 pm      Conference Dinner

10:00 am    Lecture 3
                  Paul Stenner (London): Affect on the Turn. Liminal Media for Affective Transformation
                  (Chair: Thomas Slunecko)
11:15 am    Coffee break
11:30 am    Panel 3: Conceptualizing Interfaces of Affection
                  Dawid Kasprowicz (Witten-Herdecke): Encoding Proximity.
                  Intuition in Human-Robot Collaborations
                  Kathrin Friedrich (Berlin): Interfacing Trauma. Virtual Resilience Training in Military Contexts
                  Lisa Schreiber (Berlin): Empathy in Human-Machine Interaction.
                  A Concept of Interpersonal Relation in Affective Computing
                  (Chair: Oliver Leistert)
1:00 pm      Lunch
2:30 pm      Panel 4: Ambiguities of Algorithmic Care
                  Serjoscha Wiemer (Paderborn): Affective Robots that Care
                  Irina Kaldrack (Braunschweig): Distributed Autonomy
                  Gabriele Gramelsberger (Aachen): Promising Care, Longing for Data
                  (Chair: Bernd Bösel)
4:00 pm      Coffee break
4:30 pm      Closing Lecture
                  Jean Clam (Paris): Witnessing the Dismantlement of a Proven Structure of Belief.
                  Renews the Actuality of a (»Pathological«) Grammar of Assent
                  (Chair: Gabriele Gramelsberger)

When: November 1-3, 2017

University of Potsdam, Am Neuen Palais 10, 14469 Potsdam, House 8

Marie-Luise Angerer, Bernd Bösel, Kathrin Friedrich, Mathias Fuchs, Gabriele Gramelsberger, Irina Kaldrack, Andreas Kaminski, Dawid Kasprowicz, Oliver Leistert, Markus Rautzenberg, Sandra Wachter, Jutta Weber, Serjoscha Wiemer
Monitoring. Zum Phänomen der Desktop-Filme

22.06.2017 | Workshop mit Sven von Reden und Jan Distelmeyer

Der Workshop behandelt das bislang noch wenig diskutierte Aufkommen der Desktop-Filme, die in unterschiedlicher Form – vom Thriller Open Windows über den Horror-Film Unfriended bis zum Essay Transformers: A Premake – den Computermonitor und seine Interfacegestaltungen als Filmschauplatz nutzen. Wir diskutieren dieses Phänomen mit dem Filmkritiker Sven von Reden, der sich als Stipendiat des Siegfried-Kracauer-Preises 2015 mit Desktop-Filmen auseinandergesetzt hat. Wenn, so von Reden, „in der Folge von Siegfried Kracauer oder André Bazin das Kino eher als 'Fenster zur Welt' zu verstehen“ ist, wohin führt uns dann "dieses neue Genre, in dem ausschließlich das zu sehen ist, was sich auf dem Bildschirm eines Computers abspielt“? Diese und weitere Fragen wird der Workshop anhand von Beispielen der Desktop-Filme bearbeiten.

Sven von Reden arbeitet als Redakteur und Autor in Köln. Studium der Anglo-Amerikanischen Geschichte, Mittleren und Neueren Geschichte und Kunstgeschichte in Köln. Seit 1997 Filmkritiker u.a. für die tageszeitung, Der Standard, Berliner Zeitung, Welt am Sonntag, Spex. Seit 1998 Filmredakteur der StadtRevue – Das Monatsmagazin für Köln. Seit 2005 Mitarbeiter des Film Festival Cologne. 2005 bis Ende 2012 Autor für das 3sat Kinomagazin, u.a. Sendungen über Christian Petzold, Ken Loach, Apichatpong Weerasethakul und Todd Haynes.

ZeM – Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften
Hermann-Elflein-Straße 18
14467 Potsdam
Salon für Ästhetische Experimente #2
24.04.2017 | Configuring Corporeality: Performing bodies and autonomous machines

Marco Donnarumma, artist, scholar and Research Fellow at Berlin University of the Arts, hosts a one-day symposium investigating the hidden threads across posthuman affect, cognitive robotics, ritual performance and art. Three stakeholders engage in a series of lectures and an ensuing collective conversation so as to offer a transdisciplinary insight into how today's forms of (intelligent?) computation can affect - and be affected by - bodies, machines and the arts. Coupling theory with practice, the event features the exhibition of a prototype for Donnarumma's forthcoming new artwork, an autonomous prosthetic sculpture named Amygdala, as well as a screening documenting the creative process of the artist and his collaborators.

The event is part of Configurations (2016-18), an artistic research project exploring the abject and intimate borders between human and machine through performance, ritual and sound. The project is funded by Graduiertenschule at Berlin U. of the Arts, Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences and Einstein Stiftung Foundation. It is made possible by a partnership with the Neurorobotics Research Laboratory (DE),  a collaboration with Ana Rajcevic Studio (DE/UK), and support from Hack the Body, Baltan Laboratories (NL).

Open to the public, no prior registration is needed.

Invited speakers:

Marie-Luise Angerer
Chair for Media Theory / Media Studies, Institute of Arts and Media, Potsdam University, Berlin, and author of the forthcoming Ecology of Affect (Meson Press)

Irini Papadimitriou
Digital Programmes Manager, Victoria & Albert Museum, and Head of New Media Arts Development at Watermans, London

Manfred Hild
Professor of Digital Systems at the Beuth University of Applied Science, and Head of the Neurorobotics Research Laboratory, Berlin

Monday, 24 April 2017

Haus der Kulturen der Welt
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin

[event was held in English]

Screen-Images (Bildschirmbilder) - In-Game Photography and Screenshots as Photographical Praxis
July 6-7, 2017 in Brandenburg Center for Media Studies (ZeM), Potsdam (Germany)

Starting from the phenomenon of In-Game Photography this workshop investigates the status of the screenshot as a photographical genre which includes but is not limited to computer games. Both, Screen-Photography and In-Game Photography belong to a number of everyday photographical practices that are performed within the digitally produced realities as well as the digitized realities we inhabit and which are largely mediated via screens and screen-like surfaces. Amongst those practices are the so-called “screenshotting” in computer games (e.g. in order to document unusual in-game events and to share those), photorealistic captures of digital 3D models (as they often occur in architecture or design contexts) or, much simpler, the screenshot as a form of camera-less photography. In addition there exist hybrid cases such as photography in augmented realities (which most recently became popular through the smartphone game Pokémon Go (2016)), screen captures with real cameras in artistic contexts, and the creation of screenshots of digital photographs in the computer. Eventually, in the history of “real-world” photography exists a significant amount of photographs which show 1) tv or computer screens, 2) billboards showing photographs of real physical screens and 3) photographs of photographs which are held in hands. 
Such practices and phenomena have hitherto rarely been subjected to scientific investigation. There is a considerable lack of aesthetical, cultural, technical and historical analyses as well as a lack of theories and theory production in relevant disciplines. The goal of the workshop is hence to describe screenshot-like practices and phenomena and to ask questions regarding the status, the ontology, the aesthetics, as well as the cultural and artistic significance of such phenomena and practices. The workshop thereby intends to investigate the potential of a new subject area for future research from the perspective of media studies, media aesthetics, and media history, as well as image studies, photography theory and game studies.  
Thursday, July 6, 2017
10:00 Winfried Gerling and Sebastian Möring: Welcome und Introduction of ZeM and DIGAREC
10:30 - 11:15 Stephan Günzel: From Screen to Screen – A Dislimitation of the Photographic Image 
11:15 - 12:00 Birgit Schneider: Framing the frame - media mimicry from a historical perspective
12:00 - 13:30 Lunch break
13:30 - 14:15 Sebastian Möring: Artistic In-Game Photography and the Conditional Image of the Computer Game
14:15 - 15:00 Cindy Poremba: Constructing through Creating: In-Game Photography
15:00 - 15:30 Coffee break
15:30 - 16:15 Margarete Pratschke: The Materiality of Screenshots. Historical Screenshots as Photo-Objects and their Role within Visual Culture 
16:15 - 17:00 Marco de Mutiis: Photo Modes - sketches for a post-photographic apparatus
17:00 - 17:30 Hans Kannewitz: How to Frame Screenshots of Operating Systems – On the Arrangement of a Collection

Friday, July 7, 2017
10:30 - 11:15 Jan Distelmeyer: Using Depresentation. Observations on/by Desktop Movies  
11:15 - 12:00 Winfried Gerling: The Schirmbild - The Long and Short History of Screenphotography 
12:00-13:30 Lunch break
13:30 - 14:15 Matteo Bittanti: tba
14:15 - 15:00 Markus Rautzenberg: Ways of Vanishing. Ludic Mediality in Computer Games and Photography
15:00 - 15:30 Coffee break
15:30 Final Discussion/Outlook 
This workshop is a collaboration between Brandenburg Center for Media Studies (ZeM), Digital Games Research Center (DIGAREC), European Media Studies (EMW,), University of Applied Sciences Potsdam (FHP) and University of Potsdam (UP). The workshop is supported by Potsdam Graduate School (PoGS).
The workshop is organized by Winfried Gerling and Sebastian Möring.
ZeM – Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften 
Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 4 
14467 Potsdam
Approach/Site plan:
Workshop - Remix practices in art and new media within the digital paradigm


29.06.2017 | Workshop - Remix practices in art and new media within the digital paradigm

This workshop will focus on the notion of remix in art and digital art. Many elements like the technicality of the medium, the malleability of the contents, the banalisation of copyright infringement or the unprecedented availability of materials impact creation directly. All this has given birth to multiple creation strategies by, for, with or out of the Internet. Artworks are open, processual, interactive. Digital art is a flourishing movement and remix occupies a key place within. It is thus in the long history of artistic remix and the new emerging history of digital creation that I choose to enrol as a Ph.D candidate on this subject. My research focus on how the digitalisation of nearly all types of media and their increase accessibility with the Internet change the paradigm of remix practice in art. I defended this Ph.D in 2016 in the University of Toulouse II (France).

The first part of this workshop will include a presentation about remix theory, and remix practises in art and digital art. I will start with an introduction about the three different types of remix, their differences, their common points (for example the collection, the sustainability of the fragment, the question of originality and plagiarism). Then will follow a presentation on the history of remix in art since 1900 and a focus on contemporary artistic practice on the Internet. This last part of the presentation will include a screening of a selection of artworks related to this theme. For the second part of the workshop I will make a presentation of my artistic work for the past decade in relation to this theme (

(The next part depends on the time left) The last part of the workshop will be more practical. Students will be invited to use simple digital tools and the contents of others found on the Internet to create a new version, a remix to obtain after using a multitude of sources, an « original work ».

KOORDINATION Torsten Schöbel, Fachhochschule Potsdam

Nicolas Boillot is a French/Swiss artist living and working in Berlin (DE) and Nice (FR). His works, mostly real-time processed video installations have been shown in various new media exhibitions/festivals in Europe and America since 2005.

Torsten Schöbel, M.A./Art in Context, ist seit 2008 Lehrkraft für besondere Aufgaben im Studiengang Europäische Medienwissenschaft. Torsten Schöbel war von 2003 bis 2008 Künstlerischer Mitarbeiter im Fachgebiet Bildende Kunst / Intermediäre künstlerische Praxis an der Technischen Universität Berlin und von 2001 bis 2012 Lehrbeauftragter am Institut für Kunst im Kontext an der Universität der Künste Berlin. 2007 und 2009 Gastprofessur für Medienkunst an der Universität der Künste Berlin im Chinesisch-Deutschen Masterstudiengang Bildende Kunst an der China Academy of Art in Hangzhou.


ZeM – Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften
Hermann-Elflein-Straße 18
14467 Potsdam