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Re: <nettime> VW
Clemens Apprich on Sat, 3 Oct 2015 15:08:37 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> VW


> Am 27.09.15 um 23:09 schrieb Florian Cramer:
> 
>   There are other aspects in German media theory, cultural studies and
>   humanities academia that I find by far more objectionable. For example,
>   how the more or less biggest names of German media theory and cultural
>   studies - Friedrich Kittler, Peter Sloterdijk, Horst Bredekamp, Hans
>   Belting - got in bed with Germany's yellow press tycoon Hubert Burda
>   (owner of Hubert Burda Media, publisher of among others "Bunte",
>   "Focus", "Super-Illu", the German "Playboy" and minority shareholder of
>   German tv station RTL2) for Burda's conferences and publications on the
>   "iconic turn", as documented on the website
>   http://www.iconicturn.de <http://www.iconicturn.de/>. (The website itself is run by the Hubert
>   Burda Foundation.) For those who can read German:
>   http://www.welt.de/print/die_welt/kultur/article10863152/Bilder-rasc <http://www.welt.de/print/die_welt/kultur/article10863152/Bilder-rasc>
>   heln-nicht.html . Quick translation of the second paragraph:à
>   "Bazon Brock isn't Hubert Burda's only dialogue partner and
>   intellectual friend. Peter Sloterdijk, Friedrich Kittler, Horst
>   Bredekamp, Wolfgang Ullrich, Hans Belting are also part of the circle;
>   top-notch art historians and cultural analysts, and reliable
>   contributors to academic criticism. In Karlsruhe, where Burda's book
>   was presented, they all sat in a half circle, an honorable club of men.
>   It was quite touching how politely they all demonstrated their respect
>   for the author. Wolfgang Ullrich, wonderfully insubordinate younger
>   generation art historian, called his colleague, the Ph.D. art historian
>   Hubert Burda, an 'embedded scientist' who had managed to infiltrate the
>   business world for espionage work. Horst Bredekamp, wonderfully
>   down-to-the-earth mid-career art historian, showed a reproduction of a
>   'Hààrzu' (German 'TV Guide') double page to praise its structured view
>   on the world of television.âà

Dear Florian, if this is your biggest concern, than you should at least mention that a large section of so called âcritical net culturesâ in Europe has been close to Burda Foundation since a long time: http://www.akademie3000.de/content/mitglieder/start.htm <http://www.akademie3000.de/content/mitglieder/start.htm>. Now to pick at individual persons, who are considered to be German media theory (btw, an ascription mainly coming from the US/Canadian-discourse) is, begging your pardon, rather poor. Donât get me wrong, I am the last who wants to defend the Bazon Brocks (a media theorist, really?) out there, and the first who is eager to dismantle the technicist argumentation of media theory in Germany, but I donât think quoting an article by âDie Weltâ (!) really does the job. Instead we should use our brains and bring forward arguments.

 {AT} Centre for Digital Culture, Leuphana University: as one of the addressed, let me say that the Digital Cultures Research Lab (DCRL), which is the only (!) entity within the Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University that is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation (through a program called âNiedersaechsisches Vorabâ), has in the last two years tried hard to actually break with the tradition of âGerman Media Theoryâ (and especially a male-white European/US-discourse, also to be found here on nettime) by bringing in fellows from different fields and also from different regions of the world (e.g. Kavita Philip, Orit Halpern, and currently Lawrence Liang; none of those really under the suspicion to have been close to German Media Theory). So in line with Andreas point, I would suggest that you first inform yourself about the actual funding structure and also a bit about the work done with that money (e.g. an international conference called âTerms of Mediaâ you have been part of).

Sorry, if this email comes off a bit harsh, but knowing most of the people and the hard work they are providing to make this transdisciplinary and transregional space possible, makes me a bit thin-skinned towards rather obscure allegations.

Clemens


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