Oliver Grau

“IMMERSION: Will we ever get used to it? On historically comparative image research”

Keynote 18.11.2016, 18:00, in German

Mark Zuckerberg’s dystopia of virtual spaces for as many as two billion researchers is aimed at his clients’ emotional worlds of experience and at the same time fulfils scenarios of desire envisaged by intelligence services. It falls into line with the history of immersion, which has always been about gaining visual power and control over viewers. This lecture will focus on important stages of this history of images in Europe, with all its diversions and disruptions, leading to reflections on our present times. The century of panoramas, Eisenstein’s space film, Renaissance frescoes and the phenomenon of world fairs will be explored as well as latest developments in digital art and mass phenomena of pop culture. At the same time, this lecture will join Cassirer, Adorno and Foster in marking critical distance as a fundamental requirement of aesthetic perception and of cognition. The focus will be on the paradox of immersion, which defines a core feature of understanding media development and yet only occurs once the medium has become invisible. Not least, the impact of the digital revolution on the liberal arts and cultural sciences will be explored.


Schule der Distanz No. 1