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How do laws, case law, and historical power relations influence the potential for the emergence of new musical forms? According to the thesis of this essay from Mel Stanfill, the copyright dispute over the song “Blurred Lines” (2013) from Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Clifford Harris Jr., which an American court found to be a plagiarism of the song “Got to Give It Up” from Marvin Gaye from 1977 demonstrates that: The legal position is one side; case law, determined by subjective factors as well as historical conditions, is another. To article...

Struggles for social justice have long since been waged in the technological sphere, above all in the Internet. In the process, the media theorist Sarah Sharma has identified an especially hostile protagonist: the Social Injustice Warrior. Often misogynistic, often male, he attempts to organize the social field according to his wishes with the aid of technology. In her essay Sharma reveals how best to combat him. To article...

The artist Ulrike Ottinger experienced Paris during the 1960s, in times of radical political, social, and cultural upheavals. Her current film Paris Calligrammes (2019) is devoted to this time in her life, looking back at personal encounters and utopias. Literary scholar Aleida Assmann introduces us to Ottinger’s showcase of historical archival material and her own film works from Paris. To article...

Language is more than just phonetics, it is information. The literary scholar Lydia H. Lui describes how, after World War II, different scientific disciplines – from cybernetics, linguistics, and psychoanalysis to molecular biology – participated in the inscription of alphabetic written language into digital information processes, thus creating a new species, the “Freudian Robot”. To article...

How, one hundred years after the founding of the Bauhaus, can culture be rethought as a social project? And how does the design school continue to inspire visionary practices and discourses today? The curators of bauhaus imaginista Marion von Osten and Grant Watson discuss with art historian Mona Schieren the Bauhaus’s transnational relationships, correspondences, and migration stories, and its relevance for an art, design, and education of the future. To article...

What does it sound like when trees communicate? In the Berlin premiere of Conference of Trees, Hendrik Weber aka Pantha du Prince transforms the scientifically proven cellular-biological communication of forests and trees into an audiovisual composition between avant-garde music and electronic club sounds, visual poetry and speculative science. In discussion with the philosopher Melanie Sehgal, he describes his working method, reveals his sources of inspiration in nature, shamanism and historical and contemporary literature, and explains how one can become a tree. To article in German...

Around 100 years ago radio began to change our listening habits and revolutionize the cultural technique of transmitting and receiving. The term “radiophonic” refers to the emerging constellation of transmitted sound and ambient noise. For Radiophonic Spaces Nathalie Singer, Professor for Experimental Radio, has curated a walk-in archive, a listening room within which visitors can move through several decades of radio history and works from over 200 radio artists. Together with sound artist Jacob Eriksen, who will explore the archive with students of the UdK Sound Studies, she discusses the transformation of the medium, the new timelessness of the digital, and Samuel Beckett. To article...

In 1957 the artist Guy Debord, together with other left-wing European intellectuals, founded the Situationist International (S.I.). The movement understood itself as a “revolutionary front within culture”, critiquing the spectacle of the commodity society of the time using the methods of play and the so-called communication guerrilla. In an age in which the principles of the market economy now exercise an even more pervasive influence on life, the exhibition project The Most Dangerous Game at HKW initiates a reassessment of the Situationist critique. In discussion with HKW director Bernd Scherer, the curators Wolfgang Scheppe and Roberto Ohrt explore how the S.I. understood the sublation of art, while its members nevertheless perceived themselves as professional revolutionaries in the field of art, demonstrating intellectual flexibility within this dichotomy. To article in German...

Who benefits from ideas of ownership, control, and exploitation of music? And what could alternatives look like? The legal ethnographer and DJ Larisa Kingston Mann talks with Jan Kedves about Dub, dancehall traditions and sound systems, about collective authorship, oral tradition strategies, and the reproduction of colonial relationships in the global music industry. To article...

1970 saw the start of production for an unusual vehicle under President Salvador Allende in Chile. The Yagán stood for Chilean socialism’s approach to technologies and the materialization of Allende’s utopian project. Eden Medina tells the tale of an inexpensive utility vehicle and how it entered Chile’s history. To article...