Media Literacy 20/21

The seminar Medienliteralität 20/21 is designed for the fifth semester in the Minor Digitale Medien / Kulturinformatik (Bachelor). The seminar focuses on the individual main topics of the students. The goal is to create a multimedia presentation or ‘digital portfolio’ as part of documenting and reflecting on the main focus of the study. The corresponding artefacts will be developed in small groups and presented together.

As an approach for the conception of one’s own work, it is planned to draw a conclusion of the previous studies of Digitale Medien / Kulturinformatik. For the following practical elaboration of the own projects, it is planned to give special space to the self-determined, reflected use of digital media, so that experimental procedures in the design of interfaces and aesthetic artefacts can be explored.

Two films, ‘The Gadget Lover’ and ‘copy.paste’, among others, emerged from the winter semester 20/21 as practical works, which can be seen below.

The Gadget Lover

Jost Wessel & Lennard Knop

“The film ‘The Gadget Lover’ by Jost Wessel and Lennard Knop depicts an imagined everyday scenario of a person in the future. By means of the fictional AI system “SYMBIOTEC”, the protagonist has entered into an extensive symbiosis with various technical devices, including earplugs, AR glasses, a neurochip and a smart watch, which regulate his everyday actions. The neurochip reads the protagonist’s brain data, while the smartwatch determines his physical data, such as blood pressure. The central AI of “SYMBIOTEC” uses this data to determine the optimal settings and action instructions to modify the protagonist’s cognitive as well as physical perception and behavior. For example, the colour settings of the AR-Glasses adjust to the calculated needs of the eyes, disturbing environmental noises are suppressed by the earplugs, or meditation sessions are guided to maintain the neurochemical balance. In an abstract and symbolic way, the film will illustrate the psychological and social consequences that the use of the depicted AI system could bring about and, moreover, negotiate aspects of transhumanism. In this context, the film will deal with the overarching question of what it means when the entire sensual conduct of human life is left to the total logic of cool, technical rationality of purpose, which makes any cognition beyond instrumental reason impossible, and illustrate the danger that life could thereby flatten to the point of meaninglessness. The predominant first-person perspective of the camera work and the spherical sound panorama are furthermore intended to achieve the effect of a virtual immersion experience, which is why it is recommended to watch the film with headphones and ideally VR glasses.” (Jost Wessel & Lennard Knop 2021) “The film ‘The Gadget Lover’ by Jost Wessel and Lennard Knop presents an imagined everyday scenario of a person in the future. By means of the fictional AI system “SYMBIOTEC”, the protagonist has entered into an extensive symbiosis with various technical devices, including earplugs, AR glasses, a neurochip and a smart watch, which regulate his everyday actions.

copy.paste

Julie Hervé, Leonore del Mestre, Noa da Costa Henriques & Johanna Heß

“After going through and planning the possibilities of actual meetings, we realised what major barriers exist in times of a pandemic (physical distance, contact restrictions, cold, technology access in lockdown, etc). Therefore, we embarked on a digital search, we explored and reassembled both individually and publicly accumulated digital material. Spatially separated as well as temporally staggered, a common artefact has thus formed. Recognising a reciprocal relationship, we have understood the computer not as a tool but as a co-producer, actively integrating its agentiality into the production of our artefact. This also means that copy.paste could only emerge in digitality. We did not recreate an analogue reality of communication and collaboration, but experienced the digital in its own specific reality.” (Julie Hervé, Leonore del Mestre, Noa da Costa Henriques & Johanna Heß 2021)

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