Posts Tagged ‘conference’

Perception, Aesthetics, and Encapsulation – Encountering Space and the Materiality of Railway and Ferry Terminal Buildings.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

Following is my abstract for our college’s concluding conference on Technological and Aesthetic (Trans)Formations of Society in October. Writing this has renewed my good feelings and motivation for this conference.

Terminals are places of modernity, of transport and communication. They are portals to the city, places of representation and power, but they are also places of deviance, decline and seduction. In this presentation, I will look at the polished stone, steel and glass surfaces but I will also look into the shadows and plumb the depths of these places. How do they interact with the people that use them? The aesthetics of the things, the technology and the architecture of railway and ferry terminals is perceived by women and men who use these places. Entering these places, people change direction, speed and mood. To capture and analyze these changes, happening in the crucial moment of entering a place, I want to introduce the term encapsulation (Einhhüllung).

With the aid of digital video recordings the different aspects of the process of encapsulation will be explored and displayed for consideration and critique. Encapsulation is projected as phenomenologically rooted term that has both passive and active components. Passive, because people are encapsulated by a specific, preexistent atmosphere when they enter a place. Active, because people encapsulate or envelop themselves when they enter a place. They build up a protective cover around them, to shield them from potential dangers and irritations. Confronting the abstract analytical term encapsulation with concrete everyday life in railway and ferry stations should demonstrate both its productivity and its limitations.

Proud and tired.

Sunday, April 10th, 2005

The conference is over. Preparations for the conference were the reason why I didn’t have any time to post during the last week. The conference was quite a success: people from all over the world (literally), people from a wide range of academic disciplines, and people from different non-academic backgrounds. And in spite of all these differences a very relaxed, friendly and productive atmosphere. It was even better than I would have hoped – all the work that we invested in the plannig and organization was definitely worth it.
Again, thanks again to the Studentischer Filmkreis Darmstadt, who made it possible to even offer a free movie for the participants of the conference!
*turns computer off to take a nap*

Conferences, conferences, conferences.

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

This seems to be the motto of the year. Sizzling hot from my inbox comes the newest announcement: our college’s concluding conference Technisierung/Ästhetisierung – Technological and Aesthetic (Trans)Formations of Society is now putting out it’s call for papers. Check out the conference website to learn more about potential panels, program, and registration.

I also encourage you to take a closer look into the next German issue of Le Monde Diplomatique – you should be able to find an announcement for our conference Negotiating Urban Conflicts.

Angenehme Störungen.

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005

Vorderseite des KonferenzflyersAm Freitag war ich in schönen Clubhaus der FU Berlin in Dahlem auf der Tagung Steuerung und Störung. Gute Vorträge, offene Diskussion, aufgeschlossene TeilnehmerInnen und ReferentInnen. Leider habe ich auf Grund schweren Verschlafens dem Vortrag von Christian Kehrt nicht lauschen können, auch wenn sein Thema (Das Fliegen ist immer noch ein gewagtes Risiko – Risiko und Kontrolle in der Flugzeugtechnik) für den Konferenzflyer Bildgebend war, wie man zur Linken sehen kann. Erfreulicherweise sind auch andere Menschen der Videoanalyse aufgeschlossen, auch wenn eine lästige Einordnung in die Lager der deutschen Methodenszene kaum vermeidbar erscheint. Das Spektrum der Vorträge am Freitag war breit, aber zueinander passend, geerdet und sich auf interessante Weise ergänzend.
Nett abgerundet wurde Abend noch durch eine wirklich gelungene Papiertheater Vorstellung von Rüdiger Koch aus Berlin. Die dargestellte Wolfschluchtszene aus dem Freischütz war dramatisch und die Aufklärung über die eingesetzte Tricktechnik erhellend und lustig.

Abstract for Negotiating Urban Conflicts.

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005

The following text summarizes what I currently think I will talk about in the upcoming conference Negotiating Urban Conflicts this April. If this sounds interesting to you – take a look at the even more exciting multitude of other talks held by people from far away places like Singapore, Nigeria, India, Russia and other countries from around the globe! And come to attend. This is it:

Conflicts take place in concrete environments. This talk will explore some of the subtle processes that channel conflicts into specific paths. Where these paths are leading to and what might happen while following them is influenced by certain spatial relations and by the materiality of urban places. The placement of things, the way visibility is established or barred, the closing or accessibility of areas, the marking of territorial boundaries – all of these aspects of built space participate in the production of human action in the city. Drawing on ethnographies of the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, of railway stations, and of passenger terminals in harbors, this talk will focus on the processes through which normalities are produced by tangible socio-spatial constellations. These places are centrally located and of a high symbolic and economic importance; the strategic socio-spatial constellations channeling human action in these places will be exposed in this talk.

Conference getting closer.

Thursday, January 20th, 2005

Today, Sergej has finished the website for our upcoming conference Negotiating Urban Conflicts. The conference will take place in Darmstadt, April 7th-9th. Yours truly will talk about Pacification by Design: An Ethnography of Normalization Techniques.

(Yes, the html has been generated by Dreamweaver and there are lots of ugly font tags – if I find some spare time, we’ll see if we can fix this.)


Saturday, September 18th, 2004

Last weekend I’ve been to my homestead Buchholz, where we had our annual graduation meeting (Abitreffen) – this time with the participation of two of our former teachers, which was really nice. After the meeting we spread out into the Buchholzer Stadtfest, trying to make the best of bad DJs and lackluster dance settings, and succeeding. After that I spent a few days in Kiel. The weather was most excellent: lots of wind and sun, and a short thunderstorm, all very matching to the coastal city style. The German Historian’s Conference was taking place there too, so I took the opportunity and listened to a few talks. Historians seem to be a bit older on average that sociologists, at least those that go to the biannual conferences of their respective discipline. Even more striking, though not particularly surprising, is that historians actually wear their name badges the whole time. Nerdy historians.

Still in the mountains.

Tuesday, October 14th, 2003

If you wonder why there is another posting gap – I have been on a conference in Darmstadt from at the end of last week and until tomorrow I am in the Harz Mountains in Germany. Yesterday we walked up the Brocken – with 1142m the highest mountain of northern Germany. It was my first time on the Brocken and the view over the northern plains in all directions was staggering.