The first Berlin screening of Christian’s new film “Desert of the Real” (edit: Halina Daugird) will take place in Berlin’s Acud Kino on Thursday Feb 21 at 9pm: https://acudkino.de/Programm/desert_of_the_real/15938. Christian and Halina will be there for a Q & A.

Two days later on Feb 23 5 pm the film will also screen in London’s Zabludovicz Collection: https://www.zabludowiczcollection.com/events/view/screening-prison-images-desert-of-the-real

Call for participation in a paper development workshop on “NOR. Reverse engineering the Laws of Form” (3-4 June 2019 in Dubrovnik)

Co-organizers:

  • Steffen Roth, La Rochelle Business School, France, and Yerevan State University, Armenia*
  • Markus Heidingsfelder, Xiamen University Malaysia
  • Lars Clausen, University College Lillebælt, Denmark, and University of Flensburg, Germany*
  • Klaus Brønd Laursen, Aarhus University, Denmark

*Corresponding co-organizers

Purpose: Participants in the workshop will brainstorm and discuss ideas as well as co-develop papers on an unpublished manuscript by George Spencer Brown.

Date and venue: 3-4 June 2019, Inter-University Center Dubrovnik, Don Frana Bulića 4, HR-20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Registration deadline: 3 March 2019. Applications are via email to the corresponding co-organizers* and ought to include a brief CV and statement of interest in the PDW. We particularly look forward to hearing from colleagues with backgrounds in engineering, information science, mathematics, logics, and philosophy. Friends and colleagues with backgrounds in social sciences or humanities are more than welcome to join us in this venture, too. 

It is anticipated that ideas developed in the workshop will transform into submissions to a special issue published in a S/SCI-listed journal. Participants are furthermore kindly invited to consider combined participations in precedent and subsequent events @Inter-University Center Dubrovnik such as the conference on Political communication: Observed with Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory (29-31 May 2019) and the 18th International Social Theory Consortium Conference (5-7 June 2019).

Image: Markus Heidingsfelder, Screen shot (2013)

Kompakt’s next Pop Ambient compilation, curated by Wolfgang Voigt, comes out on November 30th, 2018. My friend Yui Onodera, who’s working on the soundtrack of the cage I’m currently producing, has also contributed a track.

Here’s Voigt’s statement: “When a record label thrives after 25 years thanks to a focus of what was expected to be a short-lived music phenomenon called techno, then it stands to prove two things; that techno has taken its place amongst ‘serious’ genres. KOMPAKT has never been only for techno, but stands as a broad-minded entity that has set out to cross-pollinatewithin the realm of electronic music. Through its course, KOMPAKT has sent all kinds of sub-genres, and crossover adventures based on the non-negotiable 4/4 beat around the world. The 100% kick drum-free Pop Ambient series is the most endearing and enduring concept that I have had the pleasure to curate. I felt there was a strong need to add a certain elegance — ensouled by discourse as much as hedonism — to a sound that was recognized as ‘chill out’ music that could be heard in back rooms and forgotten festival areas. Over the years, I like to imagine that Pop Ambient has crystallized into musical universe of its own. I put together this year’s edition by plowing through an ocean of sonic jewelry from all over the world. For this special edition, I create a homogenous experience that would both appeal to our followers and continue our tradition while integrating new micro-facets from neighboring musical universes as much as possible. The headline ‘Ambient’ might sound a little too humble but it still helps as a necessary means of orientation in the best possible sense. Same goes for another dear tradition: Veronika Unland’s abstract-floral cover design that keeps on pleasing our sore eyes year after year. Although every Pop Ambient edition doesn’t shy away from diving into the relevant question of ‘What is contemporary discourse music’, in the end it boils down to that elevated moment where all theory dissolves into ambient air, into a higher state of cosmic bliss. Pop Ambient is sacral music for non-believers.”

Tracklist
A1 Thore Pfeiffer – Alles Wird
A2 Coupler – A Plain Of
A3 The Black Frame – The Uncertainty Principle
B1 Kenneth James Gibson – Gone Too Soon
B2 Morgen Wurde – Schien Immer feat. Maria Estrella
C1 Gregor Schwellenbach – Rot 2
C2 Last Train To Brooklyn – Bluebird
C3 Max Würden feat. Luis Reichard – Zweitens
C4 Thomas Fehlmann – Karenina
D1 Leandro Fresco – Araña De Vidrio
D2 Yui Onodera – Cromo 3
D3 Triola – Adren
D4 Max Würden – Core

political-communication

Place: International University Centre (IUC), Dubrovnik, Croatia

Address: Don Frana Bulicá 4 HR – 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dates: May 29th –31th, 2019

Theme: The conference committee invites contributions, which analyse and discuss political communication based on Niklas Luhmann’s perspective on systems theory. The overall theme of the conference is to promote a better understanding of how political communication codes various areas of contemporary society.

We welcome contributions from scholars who practice and study political communication at all levels of society. The conference is relevant for theoretical and empirical studies in politics, aesthetics, sociology, theology, history, economics, health, psychology, ecology and organization. Contributions are not limited to studies focusing solely on political systems, but may also include politically coded communication in other areas of society. Analytically, systems theory is empirically open. As it turns out, new semantics, different codes, and changing forms transform and develop structures at varying and opposed levels. As such, contributions could, for example, focus on how the media of power is formed; how the code government/opposition informs communication; how double contingency is handled within politically coded communication; which paradoxes emerge in conjunction with political coding and how they unfold. The conference aims to gather scholars working with theoretical and methodological clarifications, as well as empirical studies. Furthermore, contributions are welcome that compare or combine system analysis with other forms of analysis or aim at developing systems theory by including thoughts from other traditions (e.g. Foucault, Bourdieu, Deleuze, analysis of discourse, ANT, STS).

Abstracts of no more than 400 – 800 words should be send to the conference organisers by March 1, 2019 – full papers should be circulated prior to the conference.

Course directors:

Klaus Laursen, Aarhus University, Denmark klausb.laursen@mgmt.au.dk

Steffen Roth, La Rochelle Business School/Yerevan State University, France strot@me.com

Markus Heidingsfelder, Xiamen University Malaysia, markus.heidingsfelder@xmu.edu.my

Gorm Harste, Aarhus University, Denmark

Gina Atzeni, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany

trump images

Z: Congratulations to your latest publication on Trump in the Journal of European Studies.

M: Thank you.

Z:  Tell us about your paper! What was your motivation to do research on Donald Trump?

M: Well, you can’t escape him, can you? So far, the mass media are controlling the Trump discourse, and they do it by using moralistic distinctions, by demonizing him, and by placing themselves on the other side as the ‘good guys’, using this whole idea of the press as the fourth estate. I think it’s amazing that the Washington Post changed its slogan to ‘Democracy dies in darkness’ – this is clearly a Trump effect. But what they are actually saying is of course: We won’t let that happen, we’re here to shine a light, to ‘enlighten’ the world.

Z: But wait – so you agree to his thesis that they are organizing a ‘witch hunt’ against him?

M: (laughs) No, of course not. It’s not that simple. But he kind of has a point here. It’s a hunt for information and from the perspective of communication theory, information is anything that surprises you. Anything new. And he gives them that – another breaking of norms, another attack on a political opponent or on the press, another funny or mysterious tweet, more embarrassing behaviour – they’re complicit in this – also in making Trump bigger than he actually is. Especially as one of their main selection mechanisms is conflict, and as you know, Trump is a master of conflict ceremony. It is his favourite communication strategy, for a number of reasons. But I think the biggest problem is the mass media’s interest in persons, in heroes and in villains. They overestimate the importance of individual actions. So that’s the deficit I tried to compensate – to point at the structures that are at the heart of all those conflicts. And by doing that, live up to my social responsibility as a scientist.

Z: Which is?

M: I would say to ‘tell the truth’. Sounds pathetic, doesn’t it?

Z: Indeed!

M: Well, you have to take it with a grain of salt – it is not ‘the’ truth of course. But that’s our social monopoly, we have the license to distinguish between fake and real, between what is true and what isn’t. Which is why I find it amazing that the mass media are trying to claim this as their main function these days. And why do they do that? Because Trump says they’re spreading fake news. So again, they are just reacting to him, they’re playing his game. He calls them the enemy of the people, and what do they do? They create this strange kind of ‘functional movement’, led by the Boston Globe, appealing to the people: ‘Please listen to us, we are not your enemy!’

Z: I heard you already have a contract for a book on Trump. Is that fake news? And if it’s not, how does that relate to your article, will it be a part of it?

M: No, that’s actually true. The book looks systematically at Trump, relating the phenomenon to the different areas of society, like politics, economy, the law, the mass media, etc. Whereas the article compares Trump to the AfD (Alternative for Germany) –

Z: Which is this new German party.

M: Right. Dr. Tasneem, who is one of the editors of the Journal of European Studies asked me to contribute something to their latest issue of radicalization, so I kind of extended my Trump research and looked at this German equivalent. I consider both as a part of a bigger trend I call the crisis of politics.

Z: In one sentence, how do you define that crisis?

M: In one sentence: Politics has lost its claim to make generally valid decisions for the whole of society. Can I have two more please?

Z: Just two!

M: Well, normally the AfD or Trump or the right-wing movement in general are seen as problems. What I do is, I’m inverting this perspective. They are there for some reason, right? So I see them as solutions. They solve something. And my job is to construct this something, this problem.

Z: And this problem is the crisis of politics?

M: Yes, the mistrust on politics, the mistrust in the ‘political class’ if you like, in the political elite. From that perspective, the people didn’t vote so much for Trump or the AfD – they voted against politics, against that class.

Z: And what can we do about the rise of populism and right wing-ideology?

M: Well, I can only answer that as a researcher: we need to carefully observe these things – and offer our observations to society. I disagree with Marx, in that it’s not enough to simply describe things, that it is our job to change them. And even the Marxists don’t agree with me here, at least someone like Manuel Castells does.

Z: What is Castells saying?

M: Basically that trying to frame political practice with social theory is a dead end. That our task is to free people from uncritical adherence to ideology, that we should not tell them what to do, but offer them different interpretations of what is going on. That’s what I try to do with my Trump research – offer a different interpretation of the phenomenon.

Z: Thank you very much for this interview. And please keep us posted about your Trump research.

M: I will.

Z: One last question – do you think he will be impeached?

M: Absolutely no idea. So far it doesn’t look like it. But I’m not a prophet. The future is uncertain, that is its exact definition.

Link: https://habib.edu.pk/HU-news/donald-trump-and-alternative-fur-deutshland-afd-the-crisis-of-politics-dr-markus-heidingsfelders-paper-published-by-the-journal-of-european-studies/

Images: SPIEGEL-Cover by Edel Rodriguez