The first international Summer School for Media Studies, a
co-operation between the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Internationales
Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, IKKM) and
Princeton University (Department of German), will take place from June 6 – June 10, 2011 in Weimar, Germany. Conceived as the first in a series of annual summer schools that will be held alternately at the IKKM Weimar and at Princeton University, the 2011 program will be directed by Lorenz Engell (Weimar) and Thomas Levin (Princeton).
This year’s summer school will focus on the comparative analysis and
theoretical investigation of selected aspects of surveillance culture.
The weeklong series of seminars, workshops, and lectures will be
devoted to an examination of the technological, aesthetic, political,
and conceptual dimensions of surveillance practices. The summer school
will address these practices specifically within the categories of
monitoring, tracking, and data aggregation.
The concept of monitoring is especially relevant to surveillance
practices inherent in television technology and therefore refers to
new forms of engaging with the visual. Tracking, on the other hand,
refers to a wider scope of the politics of control, which are
promoted, for instance, by the use of devices such as GPS and cell
phone positionality services. Furthermore, these politics also
underlie the emerging cultures of social media.
The aggregation of vast databases of personal information gathered
from, for example, frequent flyer accounts, surfing history,
toll-roads, cell phone and credit card usage, all result from the
ability to track information. This process of data aggregation is
aimed at the production of cyber-portraiture—or the ‘data
shadow’—which exists for nearly everyone and calls into question the
notion of informational self-determination within the framework of
what one could call a surveillance ontology (I am surveilled therefore
The summer school will discuss and compare these practices of
surveillance and offer in-depth analyses of both the conceptual
framework and the media of surveillance.
For more information on the Princeton-Weimar Summer School visit
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