Utopian Cities, Programmed Societies: Victoria Summer Camp (Romania)

Foto: Somayyeh Shahhoseyni

Talk on Cybernetics & Fiction

Organizer: 2580 Association, Dana Diminescu, Tincuta Heinzel

24 – 29 of June 2019

As part of the research and exhibition project Utopian Cities, Programmed Societies, a group of doctoral candidates from the KHM participated in a summer camp in the city of Victoria, Brașov in Romania. The whole conference and stay was very well conducted and organized by Dana Diminescu and Tincuta Heinzel. It was a great experience for all of us! Some of us from the KHM Cologne gave a talk during the week. For the subjects see below:

GEORG TROGEMANN (KHM, Cologne) – Cybernetics and fiction

There is not one coherent theory of cybernetics but at least three different threads that focus on different concepts. First-order cybernetics, which is the theory of systems that are observed from the outside, is concerned with circular causal processes, e.g., control, negative feedback, information, adaptation, black boxes. Second-order cybernetics involves the observer as a constitutive part of a circular organization and is concerned with terms like self-organization, self-reference, epistemology, autonomy and autopoiesis. There third line of cybernetics is the British way of utopian-explanatory tinkering. The lecture will shed some light on the question which fictions are active within the different concepts of cybernetics.

KARIN LINGNAU (KHM, Cologne) – Architectural and social utopias in film and games

Nowadays Science Fiction in film and games functions foremost as a tool to visualize and build utopian ideas, making them palpable and approachable. But can the genre still uphold the complexity inherent in utopian concepts? Current technologies enable the creation of architectural and social utopian imagery in a wide range of media. The visualization of these concepts often seems to be more important than the actual critique and questioning of societal contemporary concepts through imagery. Can visualization transform utopian thinking to a valid reflection or is it rather a recurrence of surfaces and superficiality? By looking at examples in film and games of the Science Fiction genre, architectural and social settings are questioned for their validity in visualizing utopian ideas.

SOMAYYEH SHAHHOSEYNI (KHM, Cologne) – From other places to utopian cities

According to Michel Foucault, the era we live today is the era of space, of emplacement, and of localization. But in today binary-like urban planning, the interconnection of individual places to each other is neglected that causes the places in the same neighborhood become ‘other places’. To design utopian cities, one must address the locality and neighborhood as the core spaces of social interactions, which lead the growth of the cities in actual compatibility with human nature.

TOBIAS BIESEKE (KHM, Cologne) – Virtual-Realities-Hybrids

What are the narrative possibilities of virtual and augmented spaces? What are the relations between processes of disembodiment and the construction of subjective realities? How can the brain distinguish between an artificial picture of reality and the reception of the body sensual stimuli? With the 360°- and VR-Glasses the Pictures have lost their frame and this is the moment that they are no more isolated from the reality. Stories in Moving-Art-Medias are no more reachable only with a view, they have a place, a position, and a location. There is a topology of fiction in our mind. How can we use it for other ways of storytelling, for the presentation and new feelings of receptions? With the new Kinect, Laserscan or Photogrammetry Technics, the artist can copy the reality into a 3D working-space and generate a second VR-World in a simulated pre- or post-real space. The video game Industry has found an early way to use this technique for interactive games and narrations, but the theater directors and the story tellers can use this technique to tell stories in a new way, too.