Before there is any object of science there is this one. To take anything in, to notice and consider anything, to start any process of knowing there is first a process of attending. Attention is at the start of all knowledge, but what is the science of attention? Is it hard or soft? Pseudo- or serious? Theoretical or applied? With what instruments can we observe it? What is it made of? How does it work? Can it really be drawn, paid, trained, tracked, shortened, bought, sold and lost? And what is happening to attention today, in an age of ubiquitous immersive media and advanced digitalization? A look from many perspectives gives us a richer grasp on this vital energy and organ at the core of our being conscious, human, and more than human.
In this course we take a look, many looks, at attention - as an object of special study in different disciplines and sciences, in art and design, art and design theory, wisdom practices, psychotherapy, media and communication industries, governance strategy, economic planning, and increasingly in self-help, social justice and conservancy efforts.
Work includes weekly readings, participation in seminar sessions, independent research, a small presentation and a final paper or project. The language of the course will be English, though readings and portions of the discussion can also be in German.
Each session will begin with a thematic introduction from a different perspective of inquiry delivered by the seminar leader, alternately with presentations by the students. The rest of the time will be given to discussion on the weekly main reading and optional side readings and to preparation and discussion of two brief studies that students will carry out of attention in media, design and the environment. In addition a guest lecture and an excursion are planned to deepen our encounter with the neuroscientific and wisdom practice perspectives in particular. Final projects can be extensions of the in-course assignments, or an essay or other project on a topic is of one's own choosing.
Das Seminar umfasst 2SWS und wird nach Absprache in Blöcken (10-13 Uhr) durchgeführt.