Media & Paranoia

Clemens Apprich
Fine Arts and Media Art, Media Theory
2022S, scientific seminar (SEW), 4.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S03853

Description

The seminar examines the paranoid potentialities of digital media technologies and our computational imagination. In particular, it seeks innovative analyses of the productivity of paranoiac knowledge and new attentional forms – the emerging chimaeras of the “machinic unconscious” (Félix Guattari); the practices of resistance as part of a “poor person’s cognitive mapping” (Fredric Jameson); or the notion of paranoia as an “information-processing technique” (Wendy Hui Kyong Chun). How might these often-dismissed hermeneutics of suspicion provide new entry points for grappling with current crises in cognitive and imaginative forms, as well as larger technological, financial, or political flows? How can we contribute to or reframe debates about digital cultures and their politics by investigating the technological mechanisms at the heart of contemporary paranoia: from data violence and algorithmic segregation to new attention economies and uncertain futures? In short, the seminar asks how paranoid epistemologies may serve as a method to analyze cultural and political shifts shored up by digital media technologies.

Indeed, as Ned Rossiter has argued, paranoia can be deployed “as a diagnostic device that might assist our political and subjective orientation in worlds of algorithmic governance and data economies”. In light of Big Data, Smart Cities and the Internet of Things, cybernetic control is no longer science-fiction, but an ambivalent, even seemingly friendly or convenient part of our everyday reality. By highlighting new attentional forms, which correspond to the creative and productive side of paranoia, the seminar investigates strategies of coping and making do with paranoia in relation to digital media technologies. The paranoiac knowledge thus gained may inform what Eve Sedgwick calls “reparative critical practices”; practices that do not simply cover the exposed wounds, but actively work on healing them – thereby carving out new critical positions, languages and aesthetics.

Examination Modalities

At the core of this course lies the joint discussion of the texts, and therefore your presence and involvement are required. The class will be divided into six research groups, which correspond to the thematic foci of the seminar. Each group will be responsible for additional research on the topic and will present the results during the seminar on a rotating basis. The goal of the seminar is to build our own “cognitive map” by sharing research results.

At the end of the semester, we will have an 'editorial meeting' to help you find a research question for your term papers. For this, you will have to prepare an abstract, on the basis of which we commonly discuss the research scope, relevance and aim of each paper.

Comments

The seminar will be held in English. Papers/reviews can be submitted in English or German.

A course outline with the teaching material will be made available online.

Key Words

digital cultures, media theory, medientheorie, epistemology, paranoia, cognitive mapping

Dates

09 March 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
16 March 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
23 March 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
30 March 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
06 April 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
27 April 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
04 May 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
11 May 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
18 May 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
25 May 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
01 June 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
08 June 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
15 June 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"
22 June 2022, 14:30–16:00 Seminar Room 8 , "punctual"

Course Enrolment

From 17 January 2022, 12:49
Via online registration

co-registration: possible

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