Guest Lectures 6
Hynek ALT, Štěpánka ŠIMLOVÁ
Name of lecturer(s)
Hynek ALT, Štěpánka ŠIMLOVÁ
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Introduction to topics not part of usual study plans and the perspectives of important figures in the field.
Mode of study
Lectures and discussions.
Prerequisites and co-requisites
OPEN EYE- Guest lecture, Spring Term 2016/2017
Wednesday 15 February at 19:00
Vojtěch Vaněk – Dark Train
Vojtěch Vaněk's lecture will be dedicated to a freshly completed computer game called Dark Train. It is the first project of his home studio Paperash and represents an innovative combination of art practices and game forms. It is based on a technique unusual for this medium consisting in paper collages and hand drawings. During the lecture, Vaněk will present some of his applied fine-art solutions, including examples of developmental stages and technological processes and will continue to speak about design of the game mechanics on the border of the „click & point“ exploratory strategy and the atmospheric world of the visual art.
Vojtěch Vaněk graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno, the Intermedia Studio. During his studies, he focused mostly on animation, video and working with objects; he exhibited, among others, in the Futura gallery (2010), GVU Ostrava (2010), in the Pavilon gallery (2009) and others. He collaborated on stage realizations with the Kyklos Galaktikos group, in 2013, he co-founded the Brno-based game studio Paperash (http://www.paperash.com) which, after three years of development, launched its indie game called Dark Train.
Wednesday 22 February, 2017, 7pm.
Barbora Kleinhamplová: Anxiety
Everybody suffers from anxiety to some degree, yet, it remains taboo in some way, we are silent about it. We do not consider it a symptom of the times that says nothing about an individual as such but about the system in which he or she lives. Anxiety is of ambivalent nature. It does not only represent paralysis, fear to step out of one's place, it can also have the opposite effect. If we understand that the entire society suffers from anxiety, it can turn into a catalyst of a change.
Barbora Kleinhamplová graduated from FAMU and AVU. On a long-term basis, she examines the spectrum of symptoms that reveal the state of the contemporary society. Along with Tereza Stejskalová, she created a book of interviews entitled Who is an Artist? She worked as a photographer for A2larm. She has had several residential stays abroad: Gasworks London, MMCA Seoul, etc. Among other places, she exhibited her works at the Gwangju Biennale in Korea, Astrup Farnley Musset in Norway, in the New Museum in New York, etc.
Wednesday 1 March, 2017, 7pm.
Tereza Stöckelová and Pavel Sterec: Artistic research: science and art as parasites or fellow travellers?
The so-called artistic research is a popular slogan of contemporary cultural and artistic/educational policies. But what exactly is it and what can it be? What conditions and issues in the field of art and in the field of science does it respond to? How to do art that not only illustrates science and uses technology but critically transforms them? Pavel Sterec and Tereza Stöckelová will come to discuss the artistic research and the policy of creative work. In addition to other things, they will introduce their collaboration on a video-essay called Vital Syndicates (transit, 2016).
Doc. Tereza Stöckelová, Ph.D., works in the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v. v. i. and teaches at the Department of General Anthropology of the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University. Since 2013, she has been the editor-in-chief of the English issues of the Czech Sociological Review. She studies science, technology and medicine. Currently, she is engaged in a research of the interconnection of, conflicts and interface between conventional medicine and alternative therapeutic approaches. Her work is based on the actor-network theory and the related material-semiotic approaches. In Czech, she is an author or co-author of books Academic Cognition, Reporting and Doing Business: The Ethnography of the Transforming Czech Science (2009), The Critique of Depoliticized Reason: Reflections (not Only) on the New Normalisation (2010),// Dangerous Liaisons: On the Relation between the Social Sciences and the Society (2012) Ethnography: Improvisation in Theory and Field Practice (2013) and Politics and Everyday Life in Czech Universities: Ethnographic Perspectives of Education and Research (2014).
Pavel Sterec studied in several studios at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, he is currently completing his doctoral studies at the Studio of Photography at the Prague Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design. His work is based on personal or social encounters and situations which the author transforms into conceptual installations. They are a combination of his interest to reinterpret mythical, transcendent and cultural heritage and natural phenomena in the context of contemporary thinking, as well as engaged criticism of the social and political status quo. Sterec presented his work at numerous exhibitions mainly in the context of Central and Eastern Europe; he also participated in several prestigious residencies. He is the author of the following publications: Motionless Exchange, Brno 2012 and Second Nature, Prague 2014.
Wednesday 8 March, 2017, 7 pm,
Filip Cenek: Artist Talk
Questions concerning the possibility of capturing the reality, the subjective experiencing of the reality, the quest for one's own reflection in it or the understanding of memory as an uncontrollably transforming, falsifying archive of our lives can be raised by the projection of Filip Cenek in which one text information randomly illustrates various visual information, thereby constantly changing our understanding of the situation and reinterpreting the reality. The autobiographic quality and a diary record of life is then evoked by the work of Jonas Mekas, an avant-garde filmmaker, photographer and performer who, with incredible intensity and, at the same time, ease, strives to capture the reality using moving images, while going far behind the „recording event“ which is always, to some extent, arranged and thus deviated from real life.
Filip Cenek works as the head of the Department of Audiovisual Technologies at the Faculty of Fine Arts, VUT, in Brno where he has been teaching subjects related to the production and reception of moving images since 2003. Several recent projects from his residential stays in Rijeka, New York and Vilnius, where he worked mostly in the area of acoustic interventions, will be complemented by the reflection of his older works which were focused on specific audio-visual revision of remembering and imaginarity.
Wednesday 15 March, 2017, 7 pm
Michal Janata: Photographs between Image and Text
The privileged nature of sight in the context of the other sensory modalities in European culture has had its consequences in the form of hegemony of the visual culture that gradually marginalises the basic human need for conceptual appropriation of the world. In this context, it is necessary to ask a question about in what sense a photograph is an image and to what extent we can accept a statement that the photograph, as a product of theoretical thinking, differs from other types of images in that it latently contains a conceptual trace of its origin. A text, unlike an image, develops the ability of abstraction and conceptual thinking but, if we give the photograph a position between the image and the text, we can understand it as a means of liberation from the one-sided nature of images.
PhDr. Michal Janata studied history at Charles University. He is the author of books Science and Technology not a Commonplace (2013), The Constituting Continuity of Lines (2014), Knowing by Seeing. Photography as a Decision (2015), Big Cities in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Urban-development Strategy in Comparative Perspective (2016) and Lethe and Mnemosyne. The Future of Memory and the Past of Forgetting (2017).
Wednesday 22 March, 2017, 7 pm.
Martin Čihák: Cinegeometry of the Film Avant-garde
Cinegeometry is a film-science theory which stems from the parallelism of the film and geometric perception that allows us to inspect the shape of a film work as a result of a creative operation which is equivalent to the section of the lateral surface of a rotary cone by a planar surface. Similarly to music, having its underlying harmonies that can be expressed mathematically, behind the world of avant-garde film, we can perceive relations between conic sections. Through the insight into the cine-geometric world, we can, in retrospect, understand the phenomena of the cinematographic world and arrive at answers to such questions which we had not been able not only to ask but even to think about.
Due to time constraints which do not allow us to spend more time on examples, I suggest that the students get familiar, separately, with at least the following films that will serve us as representatives for easy sorting of individual disciplines of the film avant-garde:
Absolute Film – Hans Richter Rhythmus 21 (1921)
Pure Cinema – Fernand Léger Le Ballet Mécanique (1924)
Avant-garde Film – Alex Hammid and Maya Deren Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)
Assemblage Film – Bruce Conner A Movie (1957), Robert Breer Eyewash (1959)
Structural Film – Peter Kubelka, Adebar (1957), Kurt Kren 15/67 tv (1967)
Spontaneous Film – Jonas Mekas Walden: Diaries, Notes And Sketches (1969)
Martin Čihák (born 1964, Hradec Králové) studied teaching at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, later, he studied editing at FAMU and he did his postgraduate studies in the Department of Cinema Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University. In 2013, he published in NAMU the expanded version of his dissertation called Composition Techniques of Film Avant-Gardes called The Underground River of Cinema. As a co-author and editor he contributed to the publication called On Research of Forms of Montage Structures (PAF 2016) and Distance Montage of Artavazd Peleshian (NAMU, 2017). Currently, he works as a lecturer at the Department of Editing , FAMU. Since the mid-eighties, he has been occasionally making films as an independent filmmaker or as a hired cinematographer, film editor and script editor.
Wednesday 29 March, 2017, 7 pm
Mikyta passionately accumulates books and other artefacts which represent an intense source of inspiration for him. He works using traditional techniques (drawing, graphics, ceramics) that he combines, makes topical, de-fetishises and shifts. As Fedor Blaščák says: Mikyta is the „worker“ of the art who does not confuse creation with production.
He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Studio of Free Graphics and Book Illustration (1992-1999). Since 2004, he has been working there as an assistant professor at the Department of Visual Communication, since 2008, in the Cabinet of Drawing. He attended several residencies: Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart (1992 -1996), DAAD scholarship at the HDK Berlin (2001 - 2002), PROGR – Artist in residence programme in Bern (2004), International Studio & Curatorial Program - ISCP, New York (2009). He was awarded the Oskár Čepan Award in 2008 and the underground award, Tatra Tiger (2008). In 2011, he received the Central European awards Strabag Art Award. In 2008, he founded the art centre Banská St a nica Contemporary in Banská Štiavnica which works as a residential platform supporting the creation of new works, publishing of artists' books, production of editions. Since 2012, he has been the head of the Drawing and Graphics Studio at the Faculty of Fine Arts (FaVU) in Brno. He lives in Ilija.
Wednesday, May 4, 2017, 7 pm,
Lea Petříková: Pharm’n'Film
The lecture Pharm’n’Film describes a unique topic from the film history - a complex of artistic films produced by the pharmaceutic company Sandoz. Several artistic characterised by visual qualities were made within the company’s specialised institution, Cinémathèque Sandoz, that was also responsible for the production of educational and promotional films. The lecture presents an interdisciplinary journey into surprising, so far almost overlooked phenomenon of the film history, that interconnects seemingly remote areas such as surrealistic film, pharmaceutic industry, Henri Michaux’s work or the production of LSD.
Lea Petříková graduated in the Center for Audiovisual Studies at FAMU in 2016. She studied also at Malmö Art Academy, Sweden, and, at the moment, she continues in her studies in the Master programme of Supermedia studio at Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (VŠUP). She is a visual artist and has participated in a range of festivals and exhibitions. in 2015 she became a nominee of ESSL ART AWARD, in 2016 she was awarded a Special Jury Award at Madatac Festival in Madrid. In her theoretical work she focuses on the peripheral themes of the film history, searching for intersections of fine arts and film.
Wednesday, April 12, 7pm
Petr Šprincl – Morava, Beautiful Land
Petr Šprincl will present his latest film Morava, Beautiful Land – An experimental western horror film set in Moravian Slovakia, an essay about the mythology of Bohemian and Moravian nationalism is a sarcastic depiction of meaningless tribal rituals that promote national identity but severely restrict “otherness”. The film sabotages the sanctity of folklore through the use of archaic film and video formats containing a number of mistakes and defects, a schmaltzy mix of brass band music, and the contrapuntal nature of the commentary.
Petr Šprincl studied under Václav Stratil at the FAVU Studio of Intermedia in Brno. He is the co-founder of the Flesh & Brain art project, which focuses on producing audiovisual projects. His filmography include short films Blue Box (2013), Warped Ján (2014) and Morava, Beautiful Land (2015–16), all made in collaboration with Marie Hájková.
Wednesday, April 19, 7pm
Mercedes Bunz – Look there is a baby with a baseball bat! How computers have learned to see our world (through which they soon will start driving)
Equipped with sensors, radar and cameras, computers have started to ‘see’ the world around them, and drive through it. They make sense of the world around them. They know how to find their way and can spot you standing behind them. They identify dangerous situations, inform you about the coffee being ready or warn you that someone is breaking into your house. But they may also mistake a baby playing with a toothbrush for a young boy holding a baseball bat. They have been unable to recognise black persons. And they may kill a driver by failing to distinguish a white truck against a bright summer sky. Machine learning has allowed computer to identify information they ‘see’ mostly correctly, they still don’t see the world as we do. What is it that they see? From auto-focus, to the ability to identify an object, and to finally self-drive a car, Mercedes Bunz will introduce the digital skill of seeing and its political implications. Besides surveillance, a very new and urgent question emerges on the horizon: Whose reality is recognized by our digital devices? And whose reality gets ignored?
Mercedes Bunz is Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster, London. Her research explores digital media and the transformation of journalism, social media and the transformation of the public sphere, the internet of things, political economy of media and communication, critical theory and last but not least philosophy of technology. Her last book is The Silent Revolution: How Algorithms Changed Knowledge, Work, Journalism, and Politics Without Making Too Much Noise (2014). Mercedes has been the technology reporter of The Guardian, online editor-in-chief of the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, editor-in-chief of Berlin’s city magazine zitty, and co-founder and editor-in-chief of the techno magazine DE:BUG – magazine for electronic aspects of life. https://mercedesbunz.net
Wednesday 26 April, 2017, 7 pm.
Kateřina Svatoňová, In Between Images: Jaroslav Kučera's Media Practices
The lecture will introduce the recently released monograph called In Between Images: Jaroslav Kučera's Media Practices which is a critical processing of a completely unknown estate of one of the leading Czech cinematographers, Jaroslav Kučera, a longtime teacher at FAMU, a co-worker of Věra Chytilová, Vojtěch Jasný, Karel Kachyňa, Zdeněk Podskalský, Oldřich Lipský and Petr Weigl. The lecture, accompanied by materials from the estate, will try to theoretically address the work of a cinematographer and their basic media practices in general and also to describe specific approaches used by Jaroslav Kučera. Through this visual archive, it will allow to approach Kučera's view and examine the links between his own photography and private filmmaking and his professional shooting.
Kateřina Svatoňová is the head of the Department of Film Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, in Prague. On a long-term basis, she has been studying the theory, history and philosophy of the media, media/archaeological research of (Czech) modern art, the transformations of the (perception of) the space and time in visual culture and the relationship between film and other media. She is a curator of exhibitions concerning the history of film and media, an editor of several publications and monothematic periodicals and the author of books 2 ½ D: The Space (in) the Film in the Context of Literature and Visual Art (2008), Unbound Images: Archaeology of the Czech Virtual Space (2013) and In Between Images: Jaroslav Kučera's Media Practices (2016).
Wednesday 3 May, 2017 7 pm
Luke Likavčan – Digital Platforms as Post-capitalist Infrastructure
What is a platform? How does it differ from other organizational structures, such as the state and the market? Are they necessarily capitalist formations or do they have their emancipatory potential? According to the authors like Nick Srnicek, Tiziana Terranova or Yann Moulier-Boutang, capitalism mutates today, thanks to the development of digital technologies, into a new form of capitalism of platforms, or rather of cognitive capitalism. Using the terminology of Bruno Latour, Anna Tsing, Donna Haraway, Benjamin Bratton, Kathi Weeks and others, I will try to explore in my lecture the possibilities of ideological (re)framing of platforms. In this context, we will then be able to collectively consider the post-capitalist trajectories of feminism, post-work society, environmental justice and radical post-humanism.
Luke Likavčan works as a doctoral student at the Department of Environmental Studies of the FSS MU in Brno and as an environmental editor of an online daily providing commentaries, A2LARM. He studied philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, FFMU, he also worked at the Boğaziçi University in Istanbul and at the Vienna- based Wirtschaftsuniversität. He deals with contemporary materialistic, post-Marxist and post-structuralist philosophy, his main topics include philosophy and sociology of science, philosophy of technologies, political economy and ecology, as well as general political and social theory.
Wednesday 10. 5. 2017, 7 pm
Jussi Parikka: A Laboratory Fever
A lab after another, the landscape of creative contemporary industry and academia seems to be a hyperbolic imitation of the science-model: an experimental set up of specialised spaces of making; in the case of media and humanities labs, less making science but making things. This trend that penetrates Digital Humanities, design and media fields is one where the emergence of labs in the humanities needs however to be read against some historical considerations as well as critical evaluations.
This talk will discuss the laboratory fever: the fever that penetrates the changing university landscape as much as it has forced a rethinking of some particular details concerning humanities too. It is perhaps a maker turn for some, but it is also something that seems to characterise a wider interest in the idea of a laboratory as a specialised space of expertise. What are those sites that have since the 1980s been branded as places of invention of future (like the MIT Media Lab had it) but might also be fruitfully places of inventions of the past (media archaeology labs) as well as places of invention of other realities – like some critical and speculative design labs? What makes the lab so desirable?
Dr Jussi Parikka is Professor at the Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton) and Docent at University of Turku. His various books have addressed a wide range of topics relevant to a critical understanding of network culture, aesthetics and media archaeology of contemporary technologies. The books include the media ecology-trilogy Digital Contagions (2007, 2nd. ed 2016), the award-winning Insect Media (2010) and most recently, A Geology of Media (2015), which addresses the environmental contexts of technical media culture. In addition, Parikka has published such books as What is Media Archaeology (2012) and edited various books, recently Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History (2015, with Joasia Krysa) on the Finnish media art pioneer Erkki Kurenniemi. He is also the co-editor of Across and Beyond: – A transmediale Reader on Post-digital Practices, Concepts, and Institutions (Sternberg Press, 2016, co-edited with Ryan Bishop, Kristoffer Gansing and Elvia Wilk).Parikka's website/blog is at http://jussiparikka.net and you can find him on Twitter as @juspar.
Wednesday 17. 5. 2017, 7 pm,
Decasia: Matter that ‘Images’
The medium of film has entertained a most complex relation to time from its early beginnings onward: film promised to [re]present temporal dynamics – and the temporality of things – directly, unmediated, a paradox that gives rise to the different strategies of what Gilles Deleuze calls the movement-image and the time-image respectively. Such a representation, however, is not only an effect of a perceptive illusion, but also of the repression of the very materiality of film itself. If such an interest in the possibilities of the celluloid had already driven much of the 60s avant-garde [Brakhage, Jacobs, etc.], Bill Morrison’s Decasia in addition does not only focus on film’s ‘thingness,’ but also its own, particular ‘temporality.’ Put together from found footage and archive material in various states of ‘dying,’ this film reveals the ‘collaboration’ of time and matter as in itself ‘creative’: here, time and matter produce their own filmic image.
Bernd Herzogenrath is professor of American literature and culture at Goethe University of Frankfurt/Main, Germany. He is the author of An Art of Desire. Reading Paul Auster (Rodopi 2001), An American Body|Politic: A Deleuzian Approach (Dartmouth College Press 2010) and editor of two books on Tod Browning, two books on Edgar G. Ulmer, two books on Deleuze and Ec
ology, The Farthest Place: The Music of John Luther Adams (Northeastern UP 2012), Time and History in Deleuze and Serres (Continuum 2012), media|matter (Bloomsbury 2014) and, most recently, Film as Philosophy (U of Minnesota P) and sonic thinking (Bloomsbury). At the moment, he is planning a project, cinapses: thinking|film that brings together scholars from film studies, philosophy, and the neurosciences (members include Alva Noë and Antonio Damasio).
Recommended or required reading
according to the invited guests.
Assessment methods and criteria
To receive credits for „Guest lectures“, you must (1) meet the attendance requirements (you may miss max. 2 lectures per semester); (2) submit a written evaluation of the course, at least one-page (300 words) assessment stating which of the lectures you found important, relevant or interesting, which you didn't find so and why; you may also suggest what kind of guests should be invited in the next semester. Send your papers by 17 May 2018 as a pdf attachment simultaneously to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
In case you miss the deadline, you will have to deliver the semester assessment plus a 1-page critical commentary on one lecture of your choice. Send both texts in the same way by 21 June 2019. No further extension will be possible.
This course is an elective for all AMU students
Schedule for winter semester 2018/2019:
The schedule has not yet been prepared
Schedule for summer semester 2018/2019:
Room No. 1
The subject is a part of the following study plans
- Photography CZ - Bachelor - 1819 (required subject)