Analog/Digital Cultures: Mind & Machines

Clemens Apprich
Fine Arts and Media Art, Media Theory
2021W, Lecture and Discussion (VD), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S03851

Description

What are digital cultures? The question is typically answered by reference to social media platforms, online services, or the computer in general. However, despite the ubiquity of digital media technologies in our everyday culture, a lack of knowledge prevails as to what ‘the digital’ actually is. The lecture series poses this seemingly simple, but all the more complex question by interrogating the ‘deep history’ of the digital in relation to non-digital (i.e. analog) cultures. Based on key references from media as well as cultural studies, we will look into the transition from analog to digital cultures not simply in terms of a linear media change, but rather as a complex, often complicated interweaving between the two – an interrelation which affects the way we think, perceive and act in the world.

This semester the focus will be on the relationship of the mind and the machine with regard to digital media technologies. We will trace some of the history as well as epistemology of digital cultures back to their analog sources. We will discuss topics such as analog computing, binary systems, or neural networks, focusing specifically on early cybernetics’ fascination with the human brain that has since set the agenda in the quest for artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Examination Modalities

Students will be responsible to write a final essay (ca. 15.000 characters, including spaces and footnotes, but excluding appendices, references, or figures) by the end of the term. The essay should demonstrate a critical engagement with the semester's topic of the lecture, applying some of the discussed literature. Further inspiration on the question of what constitutes digital cultures can be found in this interview series.

Comments

The lecture will be held in English. Essays can be submitted in English or German.

As preparation, read Florian Cramer’s essay “What is ‘Post-digital’?” and think of an example of digital media that does not (necessarily) build on electronic computers.

Key Words

digital cultures, analog computing, cybernetics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, media genealogy

Dates

05 October 2021, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
12 October 2021, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
19 October 2021, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
09 November 2021, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
16 November 2021, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
23 November 2021, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
30 November 2021, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
07 December 2021, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
14 December 2021, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
11 January 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 24 , "Session will be held at Seminar Room 24."
18 January 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 24 , "Session will be held at Seminar Room 24."
25 January 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 24 , "Session will be held at Seminar Room 24."
01 February 2022, 10:30–11:30 Seminar Room 20

Course Enrolment

Via online registration

co-registration: possible

Art Education: subject kkp (Bachelor): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

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Art Education: subject dae (Bachelor): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject dae (additional subject): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject dex (Bachelor): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

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