Gertrud Koch: The Human Body as Generic Form. On Anthropomorphism in Media
In this lecture Gertrud Koch will examine the relationship between the human body, technology and media considered through models of cooperation rather than antagonism.
The relationship between the human body, technology and media is mostly discussed in terms of determination and domination: the body determines the technologies (prosthetic model); or technology and the whole technological complex determine what the human body will be (cyborg model) etc. Instead I try to look at the body as a generic form that cohabits with technical objects in a shared practice and world. Modern thoughts on this relationship as social fabric reach from Max Weber to Gilbert Simondon. The model of cooperation rather than antagonistic domination can be studied in the production of special effects in films and video art from where the cases will be taken from.
Gertrud Koch teaches Cinema Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin. Her many books and articles deal with aesthetic theory, feminist film theory, as well as questions of historical representation. She has written books on Herbert Marcuse and Siegfried Kracauer, the latter coming out in English in 2005 at Princeton UP, on feminist film theory and on the representation of Jewish history. She has edited volumes on Holocaust representation, perception and interaction, art and film theory. She is co-editor and board member of numerous German and international journals, such as Babylon, Frauen und Film, October, Constellations, Philosophy & Social Criticism. She has been Visiting Professor and Scholar at Columbia University, NYU, Washington University, at UIC, UPenn, the Getty Research Center in Los Angeles, the Sorbonne III in Paris, and many others.
In conjunction with her lecture, Koch will hold a PhD workshop. More info about this workshop here.