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© Jonathan Blaschke und Moritz Simon

From the perspective of media theory Theodor W. Adorno is one of the most ambivalent figures of the 20th century. His work as a music critic at a young age was already reaching a huge public. Since the 1940s, he and Max Horkheimer used the concept of "culture industry" to analyze the logic of mediatized culture and education. Adorno, who constantly emphasized and theorized the notion of mediation and mediality, was one of the most recognizable media intellectuals of his time. As a philosopher and sociologist he discussed the state of the public sphere and the individual under the conditions of industrialized media production. He did this in the form of media interventions, mainly interviews and lectures, which now have legendary status.

As relentlessly "negative" as Adorno's analyzes were, he nonetheless dealt in a practical-critical register with the world of the media, broadcasting and television, and knew how to use such mediums for the project of critical theory.

In contemporary debates, Adorno's sometimes apocalyptic tone has regained influence. With the spread of fake news, big data, social media and digital populism, critical theory once again serves as an important and productive reference for philosophically informed and sociologically substantiated media critique.

The conference, fifty years after Adorno's death, focuses on three topics:

  • Adorno's ambivalent attitude to the dangers and potentials of modern media
  • The impact of Adorno's theory in the media theoretical approaches of the last several decades
  • The relevance of Adorno's critical theory in the contemporary critique of digital culture

Registration:


Programme

FRIDAY, December 13, 2019

12:00 – 13:00h
Opening of the exhibition “Adorno and the Media”
(Museumsbalkon ZKM)

14:00 – 14:30h
Welcome: Peter Weibel, Johan F. Hartle, Lioudmila Voropai
(Medientheater ZKM)

14:30 – 16:00h
Keynote 1: Josef Früchtl - 'Message in a Bottle': Adornos kritische Theorie und die Popkultur

16:15 – 17:45h
Panel 1: »Audio«
Moderation: Roger Behrens

Antonia Hofstätter - Utopian Grooves
Ulrike Ramming - Waren-Hören und - Sehen und unreglementierte Erfahrung

Panel 2: »Film«
Moderation: Judith-Frederike Popp

Pola Groß - ‚Die Revuefilme sind meist die, welche dem Ideal der Montage am nächsten kommen‘: Adorno und die leichten Künste
Wonho Lee - Ein Beispiel ästhetischer Formbildung im Film

18:00 – 19:30h
Panel 1: »Digitale Medien 1«
Moderation: Gerhard Schweppenhäuser

Sarah Bianchi - Adorno, Foucault und der digitale Wandel
Henrik Holm - Ästhetische Bildung in der digitalen Kultur
Michael Meyer - Adornos kritische Theorie und die digitale Kultur

Panel 2: »TV 1«
Moderation: Johan F. Hartle

Roger Behrens - Adorno bei Monty Python in der Sesamstraße
Florian Wobser - Alexander Kluges Transformieren der Medienkritik Adornos im TV
Stefan Niklas - Will the Enlightenment be broadcasted (or is it on Twitter)?

Panel 3: »Media Theory and Philosophy 1«
(in English)
Moderation: Samir Gandesha

Tyrus Miller - Adorno, Stiegler, and the Industrial Schemata of Experience
Martin Ritter - Rethinking Social Mediation

20:00 – 21:30h
Keynote 2: Christiane Voss - Medienanthropologie im Lichte von Adornos Anthropologieskepsis

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SATURDAY, December 14, 2019

9:00 – 11:00h

Panel 1: »TV 2«
(in English)
Moderation: Tyrus Miller

Stefano Marino - Philosophical Anthropology vs. Negative Dialectics on TV
Stuart Walton - Sehen und Fernsehen: Adorno on Television

Panel 2: »Kulturindustrie digital«
Moderation: Johan F. Hartle

Cyrill Miksch - Kittler und Adorno
Sebastian Tränkle - Adornos negativ - anthropologische Medienkritik im digitalen Zeitalter
Tobias Litterst - Fake News - Über den Zusammenhang von Nachrichten und Ideologie
Olivier Voirol - ‚Kulturindustrie‘ as Pathology of the Public Sphere

11:15 – 12:45h
Keynote 3: Samir Gandesha - Adorno and the Spectre of Fascism

13:30 – 14:00h
Guided tour
Exhibition “Adorno and the Media”
(ZKM Museumsbalkon)

14:00 – 16:00h
Panel 1: »Digitale Medien 2«
(in English)
Moderation: Stefano Marino

Divya Nadkarni: Poetic autonomy?
Philipp Kleinmichel: Absolute Negativity: Art and Technological Media

Panel 2: »Medientheorie und Philosophie 2«
Moderation: Lioudmila Voropai

Christine Abbt - Nichtidentität und Kritik
Sulgi Lie - Synthetische Physiognomien
Judith-Frederike Popp - Aktuelle Formen medialer Selbstgestaltung auf Adornos Prüfstand
Malte Fabian Rauch - Medien des Zerfalls: Adorno – Benjamin – Bataille

16:00 – 17:30h
Keynote 4: Christian Fuchs - Adorno and the Media in Digital Capitalism


Program Flyer "Adorno and the Media" (German & English)

Participants

Christine Abbt Dr. phil., Professorin am Philosophischen Seminar der kultur- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Luzern

Roger Behrens Dr. phil., Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft der Bundeswehruniversität Hamburg

Sarah Bianchi Dr. phil., Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Institut für Philosophie, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

Christian Fuchs Prof. Dr., Professor at the Communication and Media Research Institute, University of Westminster

Josef Früchtl Prof. Dr., Professor für Philosophie, Universität Amsterdam

Samir Gandesha Director of the Institute for the Humanities, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver

Pola Groß Dr. phil., Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung Berlin

Johan F. Hartle Prof. Dr., Rektor der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien

Antonia Hofstätter Lecturer in German at the University of Stockholm

Philipp Kleinmichel Dr. phil., Assistant Professor am Lehrstuhl für Kunsttheorie und inszenatorische Praxis, Zeppelin Universität Friedrichshafen

Henrik Holm Ph.D., Professor für Philosophie an der Universität Oslo

Wonho Lee Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin bei der Korea Foundation Europe

Sulgi Lie Dr. phil., Vertretungsprofessur Filmwissenschaft/Audiovisuelle

Medienkulturen am Institut für Sprach-, Medien- und Musikwissenschaft der Universität Bonn

Tobias Litterst Promotionsstudent an der Universität Tübingen

Stefano Marino Ph.D., Senior assistant Professor, Universität Bologna

Michael Meyer Dr. phil., Freischaffender Philosoph

Cyrill Miksch Promotionsstudent Media Studies, Universität Basel

Tyrus Miller Ph.D., Professor of English and Art History, University of California Irvine

Divya Nadkarni Ph.D. Student at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, Universität Amsterdam

Stefan Niklas Ph.D., Assistant Professor für Philosophie, Universität Amsterdam

Judith-Frederike Popp Dr. phil., Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin an der Fakultät Gestaltung der Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften Würzburg-Schweinfurt

Ulrike Ramming Dr. phil., Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Institut für Philosophie der Universität Stuttgart

Malte Fabian Rauch Promotionsstudent an der Universität der Künste Berlin

Martin Ritter Ph.D., Senior Researcher at the Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute for Philosophy, Prague

Gerhard Schweppenhäuser Prof. Dr., Professor für Design-, Kommunikations- und Medientheorie, Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften Würzburg-Schweinfurt

Sebastian Tränkle Wissenschaftliche Assistenz am Arbeitsbereich Geschichte der Philosophie, FU Berlin

Olivier Voirol Ph.D., Associated researcher at the Institut für Sozialforschung at the Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main; Maître d’enseignement et de recherche at the University of Lausanne, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences

Lioudmila Voropai Dr. phil., Vertretungsprofessur für Kunstwissenschaft und Medientheorie, Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe

Christiane Voss Dr. Prof., Professorin für Medienphilosophie/Philosophie audiovisueller Medien am IKKM Weimar

Stuart Walton Author and Critic, Torquay England

Peter Weibel Prof. Dr.h.c.mult., Vorstand ZKM

Florian Wobser Gymnasiallehrer für Philosophie, Ethik und Deutsch am Gebrüder-Montgolfier-Gymnasium Berlin


Exhibition

The philosopher Theodor W. Adorno (1903—1969) described the media of his time as powerful instruments of ideological manipulation belonging to the culture indus- try. However, he also artfully used the very mass-media he analyzed as a megaphone to deliver this media critique to a broad public. Even more than half a century later, his critique remains relevant – not the least in the context of emancipatory promises of digitalization and prosumer culture.
It is before this background that the participating artists consider the actuality and impact of Adorno’s social critique, as well as its delivery and reception within inter- national culture- and media-production from the 1950s until today. That the works occasionally embody a “joyful cultural pessimism” is perhaps a necessary dialectical turn. That which was for Adorno the central antinomy of art — fait social versus autonomy — cannot escape its inevitable update: A fait social can hardly possess a more di erent character than a fait medial.

From December 13 to 22, 2019 at the Museumsbalkon/ ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien.

Artists: Nino Alonso / Mascha Danzis / Toninho Dingl / fwd: yingduckz:semester! / Marco Kempf /Jason King / Alexander Kluge / Ira Konyukhova / Leander Kurscheidt / Alejandro Moncada / Ilja Morgenstern / people of accent / Tibor Pilz / Louisa Raspé / Patrick Scislowski / Christina Vinke / Vadim Zakharov

Curatorial Team: Lioudmila Voropai, Moritz Nebenführ, Jandra Böttger

Graphic Design: Jonathan Blaschke & Moritz Simon

An exhibition by HfG Karlsruhe in cooperation with ZKM

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