Materials such as water, lithium, copper or crude oil are essential resources for industrial production, technological and infrastructural development. Although they are omnipresent in everyday life, their genealogies, epistemologies and ontologies are rarely called into question. This lecture series focuses on the ecological, socio-political and symbolic-cultural interrelationships that unfold around the industrial utilisation and commodification of materials. A historical-critical research perspective shows, among other things, that materials are often the result of and object to precarious geopolitics and biopolitics as well as unsustainable modes of production and consumption. As such the lecture series connects to discourses on material political and power/knowledge relations. It aims to problematise the understanding of materials as passive matter and to question a dualistic, modernist understanding of nature and culture. In contrast, and in line with new materialist thought, materials have increasingly been understood and researched as active entities and elementary components of hybrid natureculture constellations, relational ontologies and diversified knowledge systems.
The contributions to this lecture series come from cultural history and theory, social and cultural anthropology, design, arts and media studies. They use different case studies and examples to illuminate the multiple entanglements and disentanglement that can be associated with material politics and structures. The contributions also show different methodological approaches emerging at the interface of humanities, arts, design and curatorial practices.
The lecture series is planned as an online event. The lectures will be held in English. In addition to the lecture series a parallel seminar for BA students is offered.
The first lecture takes place at the 25th of October, 16:15–17:45.
To get access to the Zoom link for the lecture series and the key for the Moodle course please register via email: email@example.com