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International Conference

The Construction of Media-Authorships: History – Present – Future 
June 2 – June 4, 2016


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ABSTRACTS & BIOS 


 

 

Anke Finger (University of Connecticut)

Autopoietic Processes within the Avant-Gardes: Fragmenting Authorship

 
The traditional avant-gardes sought to rupture a Western intellectual understanding of perception and the experience and portrayal of everyday life in the early 20th century. This applied, too, to the questioning of traditional authorship in all arts and art production. In this presentation, I seek to re-investigate sound poetry (e.g., Hugo Ball), experimental films (e.g., Man Ray, Hans Richter, Walther Ruttmann) and iconic modernist media such as photomontage (e.g., Hannah Höch, Marianne Brandt) to highlight and analyze authorship as fragmented and in process. Ball, for example, took the stage in 1916 Zurich by obscuring the author of “verse without words” with a bizarre costume resembling a tube-y tech puppet. Richter and many of his contemporary first-film experimenters played with a variety of celluloid observations that we can read as fragments of the author observing him- or herself creating multiple versions of an artwork, hence documenting a process. I argue, therefore, that, within the traditional avant-garde movements, certain artists’ autopoietic processes serve as forerunners or modern expressions of exploring multi-dimensional spaces and creating iterations of an art product, dissecting, as a result, the practice of the omnipotent author-god. It is an experiment with fragmented authorship that develops into an almost phenomenological practice of allowing the medium to redefine authorship itself.
 
 
Anke Finger is Professor of German and Media Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut; and Program Director for Digital Humanities and Media Studies at the UConn Humanities Institute. Her research focuses on comparative modernism, intermedia and interarts studies, aesthetics and multimodal publishing. Latest publications: ed. with Gabi Kathöfer and Christopher Larkosh: KulturConfusão. On German-Brazilian Interculturalities (2015); ed. with Danielle Follett: The Aesthetics of the Total Artwork: On Borders and Fragments (2011).
 


 
 

Julia Meer (Humboldt University, Berlin)

The ›Bauhaus‹ – a Trademark without Author? Some Remarks on the History of Authorship in Design 

 
›Design‹ as a profession is the result of a division of labour. The work that was previously done by a single craftsman, was split between designers and producers. The authorship of design products therefore has always been divided, but only in recent years the topic gained relevance again. DTP, DIY, 3D printing, open source and creative commons change the design practice and are flanked by discussions on collective work, democratisation and the role of the recipient. Even branding experts postulate the value and necessity of participation. The analysis of a historical example shows, however, that the potential is not fully tapped yet: Since its opening in 1919, the Bauhaus has become a strong brand – the name ›Bauhaus‹ sells chairs, houses, lights, fonts, and more. Surprisingly this branding process took place (almost) without control or strategy. Today the combination of triangle, square and circle or the so-called Bauhaus typography function as graphic indicators for the Bauhaus. However, they were not designed or used as logos by the historic bauhaus. Only in the reception and with the participation of numerous players, they became effective logotypes. Designers who took up dominant form principles of the Bauhaus and adapted them play as large a role for the brand building process around the Bauhaus as do media, historians, museums and recipients. The Bauhaus should be considered as a ›participatory‹ and ›co-produced‹ brand. But although the potential of collective work was discussed and tested already at the historic Bauhaus, this thesis is considered to be provocative since the history of design is still dominated by narratives that stick to the myth of the creative genius and other heroic tales. The Bauhaus hence serves perfectly to reflect mechanisms of building authorship in design and design history as well as strategies to overcome these mechanisms.
 
 
Julia Meer majored in Communication Design and worked at the Institute of Art and Design Science at Bergische Universität Wuppertal (the University of Wuppertal). In her dissertation she analysed the reception of the New Typography movement and the professionalisation of the design discipline. In addition to her academic activities, she also works as a freelance designer, organises series of lectures, and publishes the magazine ff. At the Excellence Cluster Julia Meer is investigating the genesis and reception of the Bauhaus logo  as a liquid pictographic process and its development in the interplay between Gestaltproduktion and reception. The programmatic and aesthetic diversity inherent in Bauhaus permits appropriation, adaptation, and interpretation.
 


 
 

Hans Dieter Huber (Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart)

Artist, Author, Authenticity

 
Around 1500 the concept of the author develops in connection with collecting and dealing with art, forgeries or illegitimate copies and not yet existing copyright laws. Authorship is from the outset a complex construct that should protect above all the authenticity and originality of an artwork using a specific style as a typical signature. The handwriting and the signature later become the authentic proof of the originality of an artwork. Authorship can not be seen without a parallel emerging, economic market of collecting and appreciating art. In this context, also strategies of collective art production were developed. A corporate style was invented which aimed to look like the original hand of the master. The workshops of Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto produced collective mass products, where many hands were involved successively like in the production of a car. In the workshop of Paul Veronese the apprentices and journeymen were trained to imitate the painting and drawing style of the master perfectly. Who differed too much from that corporate style and cultivated an own, distinctive and recognizable handwriting, had to leave the workshop. The farther away the picture were delivered, the worser became their quality and the bigger was the signature.
 
 
Hans Dieter Huber. Artist, filmmaker, scientist. Studied painting and graphics, as well as art history, philosophy and psychology. 1997-1999 Professor at HGB Leipzig; since 1999 professor of contemporary art history, aesthetics and art theory at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart. 2007 Senior Fellow at the International Research Center for Cultural Studies in Vienna. 2009-2015 Board member of the Society for Interdisciplinary Visual Studies. 2006-2009 Professor at the Graduate School "Image, Body, Medium" HfG Karlsruhe. Since 2013 Member of the Scientific Committee of the International Institute for Subjective Experience and Research (ISER) at the MSH Medical School Hamburg. Since 2014 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Adolf Hölzel Foundation, Stuttgart.
 


 
 

Barbara Stoltz (Florence)

“Authorship” and the contemporary production of metal art

 
This paper focuses the problem of authorship within the contemporary production of metal art, regarding, in particular, the art foundry. Art foundries, as can be seen in art-bronze centres as Pietrasanta in Tuscany, are commercializing companies. But at the same time, these companies demonstrate a remarkable, “artistic” self-consciousness by producing art for “somebody else”, which is going to be discussed in this paper.
The examination of art foundries dues obviously to the historical tradition of bronze casting. But more than this, in order to understand the concept of authorship within the production of metal art, it is important to look at its actual steps and principles, which are inevitable bound to the concept of art making. This paper is going to present these principles from art historical point of view considering the main definitions of authorship in the Renaissance, between the aspects: manual and physical authenticity and the intellectual origin. 
Viewing then again the contemporary art foundries following question are to be discussed: 
• How art foundries see their “role” in the production of an art object?
• How art foundries consider “tradition” and “innovation” within their art production?
• Why the “tradition” is still important in bronze casting?
• How important are these aspects: manuality, technical precision, solution of specific problem during the production, for the concept of “authorship”, regarding the art foundry?
• What attitude does the commitment/artist have to the art foundry?
 
 
Barbara Stoltz studied History of Art and Italian Literature at the Philipps Universität Marburg and at the Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia. She was PhD-student at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence with the work about the theory of art and literature critics within Federico Zuccaro's drawings to the Divine Comedy. The thesis was published under the title: Gesetz der Kunst – Ordo der Welt. Federico Zuccaros Dante-Zeichnungen. From 2009 to 2015 she worked on a DFG-project about the theory of printmaking in the Renaissance, in Marburg and Florence. Currently she is working on contemporary metal art, and recently her article about bronze cast in contemporary art, Der Bronzeguss in der zeitgenössischen Kunst: Tradition einer Herausforderung was published at kunsttexte.de.
 


 
 

Janet Robinson (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Televisions’ Counter-Models: HBO’s True Blood, FX’s American Horror Story, and Netflix’s Orange is the New Black

 
My paper will specifically address Cable Television shows, including American Horror Story (FX), True Blood (HBO), and Orange is the New Black (Netflix), that stand in defiant resistance to traditional narrative models, both on the big and small screens. These television series reject many traditional American values, transgress genre codes to satirize suburbia and the American Dream, and create “counter-models” that clearly fascinate many viewers. My paper will consider how the production model of television is also being transformed, as prestigious shows by premium cable networks free authors from the constraints of past models. Thus, I will examine how these programs subvert the media pattern of American homogeneity, and in doing so, represent resistance to conventional framing of the visual politics of normalcy, dislodging old, entrenched models of television programming’s powerful influence on the typical American spectator. One strategy of my paper is to examine closely the opening title scenes of the three programs in order to address issues of changing modes of authorship. My topic includes the study of the history of American censorship and the influence of censorship on specific aspects of programming, including the representation of sex and violence on screen. American television series have never been so popular with the public, the critics, and fairly recently, with the academic community, a community only recently accepting television studies as a significant aspect of Media Studies as a cognate discipline.
 
 
Janet S. Robinson teaches for the Film Studies Department and the Libby Arts Residential Academic Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. She has published on David Cronenberg’s Crash, the historical figure Countess Elizabeth Bathory, and Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, and Blake Edwards’ filmic adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She is currently writing her dissertation on the films of Kathryn Bigelow as a Ph.D. candidate in the Media Studies department at the Philipps Universität Marburg, Germany.
 


 
 

Dietmar Kammerer (Marburg University)

What if ... film auteurs wore tights?

 
"Alternate Universe Comic Book Movies" is a series of fan-made fake trailers which pretend to be commercial announcements for superhero movies directed by well-known film auteurs like Wes Anderson, Werner Herzog or Ingmar Bergman. In a close reading of some of the films in this series, I will address and discuss a range of questions regarding auteur theory, film history, cinephilia and fan practices in the age of digital video platforms.
 
 
Dietmar Kammerer is a research fellow at the Institute for Media Studies at the University of Marburg in Germany. He completed his PhD in 2007 at the Humboldt-University, Berlin. His research interests include film aesthetics, film theory, media theory and surveillance studies, especially video surveillance and dataveillance.
 


 
 

Johannes Auer together with Christiane Maschajechi

search lutz!/searchSonata 181

 
Search Lutz! is the first part of the so called SEARCH TRILOGY and performs algorithmically generated texts by means of an anthropomorphic interface for the output. According to Max Bense's categorization, the SEARCH TRILOGY transforms artificial poetry into natural poetry.
The consistency of this trilogy are words that are typed into search engines like Google in real time, and words typed by the audience during the performance. These terms are processed by an algorithm for further use. In the first piece of work, Search Lutz (2006), the words are processed into texts, in the second piece, searchSongs (2008, together with Beat Suter and René Bauer), the words are transformed into sounds and melody, and in the latest piece, searchSonata 181 (2012, together with Beat Suter and René Bauer), into phonetics as an acoustic bridge between text and sound.
The web interface of Search Lutz! is a means to an end. The essence emerges in a live performance of this algorithmically generated texts. The texts are played back into real space: the message has to pass the algorithm without getting caught there.
 
 
Johannes Auer is a (net) artist and lives in Stuttgart, Germany. He is an author and creator of numerous projects in the field of net literature and net art for which he won several awards. He presented his works in several exhibitions and had performances in various countries. He also works on productions in the intersection of net literature and radio, broadcasting for the ORF Kunstradio, Radio Copernicus and RadioRevolten. He has published theoretical essays on net literature and net art and edits both netzliteratur.net and stuttgarter-schule.de. http://auer.netzliteratur.net
 


 
 

Ruth E. Iskin (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

Subversive Authorship in Contemporary Art: Geopolitics, Gender and Race

 
The paper demonstrates that contrary to Foucault’s stance in “What is an Author,” artists in the last several decades, have made artworks that proclaim that it does matter who speaks. It focuses on artworks that protest the exclusion of artists who belong to certain groups or nations, from representation in Western art museums and ultimately from the art canon. I identify subversive authorship as a repeated strategy undertaken by contemporary artists from the West and outside of the West, including men and women, American, African American, Chinese and Japanese. The artists appropriate masterpieces from the Western art canon, such as Leonardo’s Last Supper, or Manet’s Olympia, or interact with prominent artists, such as Duchamp, contesting exclusions based on gender, race, ethnicity and geopolitics. Their acts of subversive authorship often involve performance, impersonation, enactments, and use a range of media,  including performance, photography, video, mixed media and paintings. The paper argues that subversive authorship in the hands of these contemporary artists constitutes a complex and contradictory stance that at once inhabits the canon of Western art and protests its exclusions, destabilizes the canon with jarring inclusions, and renews its vitality.
 
 
Ruth E. Iskin’s new book, The Poster: Art, Advertising, Design, and Collecting, 1860s-1900s was published in 2014. Her first book Modern Women and Parisian Consumer Culture in Impressionist Painting was published in 2007 (paperback 2014; and in Chinese in 2010). Her edited volume, Revisioning the Contemporary Art Canon: Perspectives in a Global World, is forthcoming from Routledge. Iskin’s articles appeared in the Art Bulletin, Discourse, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Visual Resources, and Nineteenth-Century Art World Wide, and in anthologies and European museum catalogues. Her work has been translated into Czech, Danish, Spanish, Hebrew and Chinese. Teaching modern art, visual culture, museum & exhibition studies, she was a member of the faculty of the Department of the Arts, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev till 2014 and currently lectures and teaches in Israel and abroad.
 


 
 

Annika Richterich (Maastricht University)

Hacking Authorship: Creativity and Accountability in Contemporary Hacking Practices

 
The MAKE magazine – which is popular among techno-creative enthusiasts worldwide – was originally supposed to be called HACK. Its founder Dale Dougherty only decided against the latter title, since the term hack(ing) seemed too strongly associated with illegal, disruptive activities such as breaking into computer systems. In contrast, making is intuitively considered as creative, even artistic, practice. However, this paper opposes the common perception of hacking as mainly disruptive activity and emphasises its creative aspects. It describes hacking as productive civic engagement and explores how the idea of authorship applies to contemporary forms of hacking and hacktivism. In order to do so, the paper focuses on three aspects of hacking in relation to authorship: creativity and authorship; hacking and copyright; and accountability in hacktivism. While hacking is commonly associated with illegal digital activities, members of hacker communities have persistently tried to counter this misperception. To them, hacking is mainly a productive practice, based on values such as technological openness and freedom of information. Many hacking communities are closely related to the free/libre and open source software movement. Therefore, they are inspired by the assumption that citizens need to be allowed to interact with technology without built-in constraints. First, the paper addresses how authorship is asserted, communicated, and acknowledged in such hacking communities. Secondly, this paper discusses to what extent legally enforced forms of authorship, i.e. proprietary soft-/hardware, challenge and define basic assumptions of hacking. Thirdly, it shows how authorship is asserted in hacktivism and how hacktivists communicate their accountability for particular actions. By addressing these three aspects, the paper reflects on the idea of technological authorship, how it is established, maintained, and acknowledged. Likewise, it utilises the notion of authorship in order to substantiate an understanding of hacking as techno-creative practice. 
 
 
Annika Richterich (Dr phil.) is an assistant professor in Digital Culture at Maastricht University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (NL). She has studied sociology at University of Auckland (NZ) and media economics at University of Siegen (GER). Her most recent research focuses on two fields: hacking practices and Big Data. Together with Karin Wenz, she received funding for a research project on hackathons (June 2014−June 2015). Currently she works on an empirical research project on European hackerspaces. She is associate editor of the Digital Culture & Society journal, and currently coedits an issue on “Hacking and Making”.  Moreover, Annika has published on the utilisation of Big Data and critically evaluated its ethical implications for academic research.
 


 
 

Karin Wenz (Maastricht University)

Cultural Citizen or Author? User generated Content and its Implications

 
This presentation will discuss the concepts "cultural citizen", "producer" and "author" comparatively and apply them to gaming communities and their user practices. The focus will be on game video production - the so called machinima - and streaming. Both, machinima and streaming, are based on a game produced by the entertainment industry. The videos and streams however are produced by single gamers and gaming communities and published on YouTube channels and twitch.tv. The historical changes in production techniques, aesthetics, participation and the discussion of ownership are part of this presentation. 
 
 
Karin Wenz is Assistant Professor for Media Culture (since 2003) and Director of Studies of the MA Programme Media Culture at Maastricht University (The Netherlands). Her Ph.D. thesis on "Space, Spatial Language and Textual Space" (Raum, Raumsprache und Sprachräume, 1995) won the award of the German Association of Semiotics in 1996. She worked as a Guest Professor at Brown University, Providence, RI (USA) in 1998, and as a postdoc researcher in the project  "Intercultural Study, Brazil and Germany, of Word and Image relations in the Media (Newspapers, Advertising, and Hypermedia)" at the Catholic University of Sao Paulo (PUC), Brazil in 2000. She is principal applicant of the research project “Narrative Fan Practices, 2010-2015 and of the research project “Hacking Heritage” (2014-2015) both funded by NWO (The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). Her disciplinary profile is in media culture with a focus on digital culture, digital literature, digital games, and hacking. Her recent research focuses on gaming culture (theorycrafting, modding and game art, machinima), death in digital games and hacking communities.
Karin Wenz is member of the Advisory Council of the Dutch Research School for Media Studies (RMES) since 2014, was a member of the Advisory Board of the German Association of Semiotics (DGS), from 2003 to 2008 and a member of the Board of Directors of the German Association of Semiotics (DGS) from 2008 to 2011.
She is editor of the academic journal Digital Culture and Society together with Pablo Abend, Mathias Fuchs, Ramón Reichert and Annika Richterich.
 


 
 

Christiane Heibach (Regensburg University)

Authorship, Collectivity, Creativity and the Media

 
The dominant notion of (artistic) creativity is inherently bound to the concept of individuality. At least since 1800, when the idea of the arts as a field in its own rights became prominent, the artists claimed the need to unfold their individual creativity as essential and existential precondition for their aesthetic practice. Creativity was understood as a sort of character trait defining the artist’s personality. In fact, this argument had its very pragmatic roots in the dominant economic structures: The autonomous artists were reliant on earning their lives with their art works – which means that their individual authorship (and therefore the individual creativity) had to be clearly identifiable. This need had a strong impact on the choice of artistic means: Media like the printed book were preferred because they could be treated like a good – and this again influenced artistic practice: The dominance of the printed book for instance lead to the marginalization of oral forms of literature while the novel became (and still is) the prominent literary genre. 
Nevertheless, there have always been cooperations between artists and artistic collectives that worked together and co-created works. These practices also broadened the range of media used for artistic practice – this  has become obvious since the networked electronic media, especially the internet and the world wide web, have entered the stage of Western cultures. Since then, collective creativity has been prominently discussed and practiced in many ways although these initiatives do still not fit the economic system of individual originators. This resistance of the market has recently lit theoretical thinking on collective creativity in different fields from aesthetics to sociology and economics. These attempts emphasize that the „networked society“ (Manuel Castells) changes the relation between authorship and creativity and favorizes concepts of collectivity like the multitude (Antonio Negri/Michael Hart) or the molecular masses (Pierre Lévy). 
In my contribution I will discuss and analyze some of the historical and contemporary concepts of collective creativity and try to sketch a ‚typology‘ of the relation between authorship, creativity and collectivity in looking specifically at the role the media play in the theoretical construction of this trias. 
 
 
Christiane Heibach is a Professor of Media Aesthetics at the University of Regensburg and senior researcher at the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures of the Academy of Arts and Design FHNW in Basel where she leads a project on the interrelation of new technologies and atmosphere. Her main research interests lie in the fields of media epistemology, theory and aesthetics of digital media, intermedia and interarts studies, aesthetics of performative art forms. Latest publications: ed. with Carsten Rohde: Ästhetik der Materialität (2015), ed.: Atmosphären. Dimensionen eines diffusen Phänomens (2012).
 


 
 

Vera Cuntz-Leng (Marburg University)

Authors, fans, pirates: Fan practices and authorship

 
Today, we live in a culture of constant appropriation and re-appropriation. The phenomenon has many names; you can call it “bastard culture” (Mirko Tobias Schäfer), a culture of “remix” (David J. Gunkel) and “mashups” (Eckart Voigts), a “piracy culture” (Manuel Castells/Gustavo Cardoso) of “textual poachers” (Henry Jenkins) that is perceived among other things “archontic” (Abigail Derecho) and “free” (Richard Stallman & Lawrence Lessig). Phenomena of active participation in fan cultures such as the writing of fan fiction, vidding, and memes constantly challenge the still prevalent understanding of authorship. The question is: How does it make sense to distinguish authors from writers and poachers or which concepts to describe the creators of texts seem to be a more appropriate fit to describe the conditions of today’s culture. 
The aim of this talk is to highlight the similarities between ‘official’ and ‘inofficial’ forms of appropriation by critically discussing the writings of Stephenie Meyer (Twilight), E.L. James (50 Shades of Grey), and associated fan works in order to understand that Meyer’s strategies of writing from other texts can hardly be distinguished from the writing practices we can witness in fan fiction.
 
 
Vera Cuntz-Leng is a postdoctoral research fellow at the department of media studies at the Philipps-Universität Marburg and the chief editor of the academic journal MEDIENwissenschaft. She studied film and theatre science in Mainz, Marburg, and Vienna. Further, she was a visiting researcher at the Berkeley Center for New Media of UC Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. from the department of media studies at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen with a thesis about the intersecting relations between queer reading, slash fandom, and the fantasy genre in Harry Potter.
 


 
 

Angela Krewani (Marburg University)

Urban Spaces, Locative Media and Collective Authorships

 
Locative media bring about in intersection of technology and space, which is usually defined by media technology. In this context space is transformed through communication, especially urban spaces are defined through their mediality and they usually offer a variety of spacial and communicative strategies. This is to be found in location-based-services (LBS) media companies offer, like GoogleEarth or Foursquare.
Michel de Certeau’s concept of the practice of everyday life labels urban spaces as spaces to be re-appropriated by citizens. Against this theoretical background the paper seeks to explore performative and enunciative strategies of re-appropriation of public spaces to individual meanings. The respective art-works in the context of locative media offer an alternative in the experience of urban and social spaces. These projects very often compensate commercial location-based-services and propose an alternative. 
In this process different strategies of authorship are to be taken into account. Starting from street art as a form of anonymous authorship, the paper inquires into the strategies of locative media in the re-definition of space and the different concepts of authorship which are employed in this process. An exemplary analysis of these projects displays the complex interplay between software, technology and user, in which different forms and agencies of authorship interact.
 
 
Angela Krewani is professor for Media Studies at Marburg University.  She is the author of Moderne und Weiblichkeit: Amerikanische Schriftstellerinnen in Paris (Heidelberg 1992) and Hybrid Forms: New British Cinema – Television Drama – Hypermedia (Trier: WVT, 2001) and the editor of Artefacts/Artefictions: Transformational Processes in Contemporary Literatures, Media, Arts and Architectures (Heidelberg: Winter Verlag, 2000) and with Carmen Birkle and Martin Kuester co-editor of a book on Marshall McLuhan, Transatlantic Perspectives (2014).With Karen Ritzenhoff she also co-edited The Apocalypse in Film. Dystopias, Disasters and Other Visions abut the End of the World. (2016. Her monograph in media-art Medienkunst. Theorie - Praxis - Ästhetik is in print with the WVT Trier.
She has also published on the image in contemporary natural sciences such as biomedicine and nanotechnology. From 2006-2007 she was a fellow at  the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Bielefeld and visiting professor at Brooklyn College, New York in 2008.
 


 
 

Grischka Petri (Bonn University)

Is Copyright Law the Zombie of Authorship?

 
Modern artists have in different ways endeavoured to deconstruct authorship as a creative element. The list includes (but is not limited to) Duchamp’s Ready-mades, strategies of conceptual art, and various degrees of appropriation. However, traditional notions of authorship have also been reinstated by the same artists, as the examples of Duchamp and Donald Judd show. In this regard two vital factors can be distinguished, namely the needs of the art market, which depends on attributions and provenances, and artists’ desire to control their works. Copyright law is a key concept fulfilling these functions. This paper will outline some of the underlying legal structures of authorship with the help of a few chosen examples from modern history of art. If the author is dead, copyright law is its zombie.
 
 
Grischka Petri teaches art history at the University of Bonn (Germany). He holds doctorates in art history and law, and has trained as a lawyer. His research interests include the relationship between art and law, the history of art copyright, the history of the art market, European transnational historiography of art and more generally 19th-century art, in particular the works of James McNeill Whistler. He is currently associated member of the research group ‘The Ethics of Copying’ at the Centre for interdisciplinary research (ZiF), Bielefeld.
 


 
 

Rachel Mader (Luzern University)

Communicative Authorships. Remarks on Promises and Misunderstandings in Participatory Art Production

 
Communicative authorship, usually claimed in participatory art projects, brings up different kind of problems:  not only is it hard to trace it in the first place, as the concrete encounters obviously aren't recorded accurately, the interpretation done in retrospect of what is or was going on in the moments of authorial negotiations then uses criteria and categories that, lacking a specific vocabulary from within the realm of the aesthetics, are coming from all kind of other contexts. A fact that the art historian Claire Bishop in her article 'The social turn' (Artforum, February 2006) apostrophized as a shift from aesthetic towards ethic judgments in art criticism. 
The talk will approach the issue from two sides: first by analyzing the above mentioned mechanisms of interpretation of communicative authorship on chosen cases. This analysis will not only distinguish the used arguments, but also critically discuss the concept and societal positioning of authorship at stake in 'conversation pieces', a term used by art historian Grant Kester. The other approach will reconstruct these these kind of communicative negotiations from an insight perspective I could gain while being project director of 'Stadt auf Achse'. This project (2012-14, Lucerne and Zurich) intended to foster the engagement of a local community towards their area by different participatory art practices. The whole process was accompanied by sociologists, that not only gave advise during the conceptualization of participatory moments, they also did an evaluation on how the participatory aspects have been implemented. 
By comparing these two discourses I will describe the thereby appearing contested notions of authorship and link them with their respective disciplinary logics.
 
 
Rachel Mader is an art researcher; since 2012 she has directed the competence centre Art, Design & Public Spheres, at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art; 2009-14 head of project Organising contemporary arts' at the Zurich University of the Arts; Selected Publications: radikal ambivalent, diaphanes 2014; 'How to move in/an institution', in: New Institutionalism, On Curating No. 21, 2013/14; www.on-curating.org, Kollektive Autorschaft in der Kunst, Peter Lang 2012; Conferences: Formen von Arbeit in zeitgenössischer Kunst, Basel 2016; Kulturpolitik, Zürich 2013; Das Kunstprojekt, Bern April 2011.
 


 
 

Irene Schütze (Academy of Fine Arts, Mainz University)

Concepts of Non-Authorship – in Conflict with the Art System?

 
In the last decades, diverse attempts in various fields of art have been made to overcome the concept of the individual (genuine) author. These attempts could be observed in writing in art history, artistic practice and theoretical deliberations. Art historians focusing on collective style defined authorship as something which goes beyond individual mastery. Looking at artistic practices, movements like action art, new genre public art or relational art defocused individual authorship in favour of collective activities. The participation and collaboration of audiences merged art practice with mundane social life; in addition, the material art work often vanished. Furthermore, in recent years several artists have been influenced by theories of transhumanism, media ecology, actor-network theory and other theories of assemblage. Artists like Julieta Aranda, Pierre Huyghe or Thomas Feuerstein attempted to initiate processes that are self-sustaining or are accomplished by non-human entities like machines, animals or biological material. 
However, at the same time the art system still is highly reliant on the singular author with her or his individual biography: Academic education, lists of exhibitions, gallery activities, acquisitions by museums have to be presented in order to be invited to additional exhibitions, to let critics write further texts, to sell more works to collectors, and to gain chairs at art academies. Even if art is produced in large studios as it is the case with the studio Ólafur Elíasson, nevertheless the identification of a piece of art with a single author remains to be decisive.  
My paper focuses on the peculiar contradiction between concepts and art practices of overcoming authorship, on the one hand, and the factual “institutional” keeping of a firm hold on individual authorship by galleries, museums, art institutions, and collectors, on the other. It describes and analyses the various “tacit” working structures for handling, defocusing, legitimizing, rationalizing and/or even disguising the said contradiction. 
 
 
Irene Schütze is an art historian. She is research associate at the Academy of Fine Arts at Mainz University. Her research is focusing on art theory, visual and media studies in contemporary art, art of the 20th century and art in early modern age. She is recently working on a monograph on artist-biopics and picturality. Thematically related publications: (in cooperation with A. Krause-Wahl) Aspekte künstlerischen Schaffens der Gegenwart, Weimar: VDG, 2015; Gianni Caravaggio. Über das Essenzielle in der Kunst, Weimar: VDG, 2011; Der Maler als Regisseur: Julian Schnabel und seine Filmkunst, in: Keazor, Henry, Fabienne Liptay a. Susanne Marschall (Hg.): FilmKunst. Studien an den Grenzen der Künste und Medien, Marburg: Schüren-Verlag, 2011, S. 343-359.
 


 
 

Sally Jane Norman (University of Sussex)

Who<=>Authors <=>You<=>Authors<=>Who

 
Our ability to identify current and future models of authorship is conditioned by how we have viewed authors and artists in the past: diverse, sometimes contradictory ways of recognising authorship reflect cultural values as much as the substantiated historical knowledge with which they are tightly intertwined. This tension is evident, for example, in the mythical-cum-biographical status of authors including Homer, legendary founder of the rhapsodists' guild, and eminently human writer of the Iliad, and Vyasa (Sanskrit for 'compiler'), Vishnu's avatar, and author (and character) of the Mahabharata. When the orally relayed epics that had previously bound preliterate societies were recorded as manuscripts, the sponsors and authors of these remediated products gained unprecedented cultural status. In turn, mechanised reproduction of texts and images, and their more recent digital proliferation, have spawned novel forms of, and challenges to, authorship and ownership. 
While geared towards present and future concerns, this paper is anchored in their historical underpinnings: the vertiginous potential of emerging means calls for heightened awareness of their legacies, thus their resonance with bygone traditions. Our longstanding attempts to author liveness and immediate experience today drive shifts from alphanumeric inscriptive modalities to the embodied literacies afforded by 'gesturohaptic' digital sampling (Rotman ). Similarly, ancient self-profiling techniques using masks and avatars are today manifest via social software that promotes the customised authoring - deliberate or inadvertent - of online identities. Focussing on concepts of liveness, I will try to set such recent (non) authorship developments in broader historical contexts.
 
 
Sally Jane Norman (Aotearoa-NZ/France), performing arts historian and practitioner, holds a Doctorat d'état from the Institut d'études théâtrales, Paris III. She led the 1993 Louvre New Images Symposium, and the 1994 motion capture workshop at the International Institute of Puppetry. After working at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (Karlsruhe), and as Artistic Co-Director of the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music (Amsterdam), she directed the Ecole européenne supérieure de l'image (Angoulême-Poitiers), moving to Newcastle University in 2004 to found Culture Lab. From 2010 she steered a major cultural centre refurbishment project as Professor of Performance Technologies at Sussex, and leads Digital Performance as founding Co-Director of the Sussex Humanities Lab since 2015.  
 


 
 

Johannes Bruder (Academy of Arts & Design, Basel)

Deep Architectures and the Darkness that surrounds them

 
In March 2016, AlphaGo defeated Go World Champion Lee Sedol in the Google DeepMind Challenge Match. Experts and lay persons alike were surprised if not shocked about the fact that a ‘machine’ was able to master such a complex board game that supposedly requires human capacities such as intuition, creativity and strategic thinking. Indeed, an anthropocentric understanding of intelligence is technologically implicated in the protocols of the algorithm, which is based on studies of human episodic memory and its importance for imagining future scenarios. (Schacter et al. 2012) 
Simultaneously, its imaginary architecture calls up a rather posthuman understanding of intelligence based on stacks or layerings of restless technologies that escape conscious control and grant access to dark territories unaccessible to the human mind - a topological imaginary, as it were, where the relations between elements are in constant flux (Lury et al. 2012). But what is it that we are exploring within this ‘relational field of emergence’ (Manning 2009)? 
In this paper, I suggest a diffractive reading (Kaiser & Thiele 2014) of deep neural nets and modular synthesis in electronic music that generates an understanding of the depths explored via contemporary artificial intelligence and the particular challenge to authorship these technologies represent.
 
 
Johannes Bruder (*1983) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures and the Critical Media Lab Basel. His research targets infrastructures & technologies that support epistemologies & empiricisms in art, design, science and their (sub)cultural distortions. He is determined to find alternative modes of being faithful to experience in observing, sensing, representing and exhibiting. Former affiliations include the Graduate School of Social Sciences at the University of Lucerne, eikones at the University of Basel and the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College London.
 
 




Zuletzt aktualisiert: 13.05.2016 · Julia Eckel, Institut für Medienwissenschaft

 
 
 
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