Guest Lectures 8

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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
307HP8 Z 2 13S Czech summer

Subject guarantor

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


Course contents

OpenEye17 Winter Semester

Wed, Oct 4, 7pm (U1)Nikolay Spesivtsev / Dzina Zhuk – Eeefff

(Author Lecture)

Eeefff is a common initiative of an artistic duo of independent artists, researchers and facilitators, Nikolay Spesivtsev and Dzina Zhuk, who explore technology’s impact on a human and ways how to circumvent the present day to find ways for an alternative tomorrow. They combine artistic practices with computer science, economics, science fiction and creation of software and hardware hacks and tools. They problematize the relationships of a human being with inhuman entities in the context of creating complex autonomous systems of artificial intelligence and dealing with what IT workers desire to achieve. With their participative projects, they took part in festivals in Minsk (Work hard, play hard!, 2017), Momentum – 8th Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art (2015) and exhibited in ZKM Karlsruhe (Paranoiapp, 2015). The event takes place under the auspices of Fotograf Festival # 7, „Eye In The Sky“, and the Residential Programme of MeetFactory. |

Wed, Oct 11, 7pm (FAMU Screening)

Anton Vidokle – Immortality For All

The Russian philosophy school known as Cosmism has been largely forgotten. Its utopian tenets – combining Western Enlightenment with Russian Orthodox traditions and Marxism – inspired many key Soviet thinkers. In the three-part film project, Immortality For All, (2014-17), Anton Vidokle views Cosmism as an important intellectual concept of the 20th century, suggesting its relevance to the present day. The trilogy, in the form of free documentary performative essay, searches for traces of Cosmist influence in the remains of the post-Soviet era art, architecture and engineering, moving from the steppes of Kazakhstan to the museums of Moscow. These haunting images are accompanied by the quotations from the works of the founder of Cosmism, Nikolay Fedorov, and by John Cale's and Éliane Radigue's music.

Within the lecture at FAMU, the author will present the second part of the trilogy, The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun (2015, 33 min.) followed by a discussion. To be screened in Russian with English subtitles. The capacity of the screening hall is limited.

Anton Vidokle (born 1965, Moscow) is an artist based alternately in New York and Berlin. He is a founder of an important portal, journal and publishing house, e-flux. He has developed projects such as the Martha Rosler Library (2005–07), unitednationsplaza (2006–09), and Time/Bank (2010). In addition to an extensive trilogy on Russian Cosmism, he is an author of numerous film essays such as A Guiding Light (2010) for the Shanghai Biennial, or 2084: a science fiction show (2012-14). Vidokle’s work has been repeatedly exhibited internationally at venues such as Documenta13, the 56th Venice Biennial, Istanbul Biennial, Witte de With Rotterdam, Berlinale, Shanghai Biennial, Tedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Locarno Festival and Centre Pompidou.

Wed, Oct 18, 7pm (U1)

Michal Pěchouček – ...sparks were falling, falling down.. (Author Lecture)

The Author Lecture of Michal Pěchouček will present his current projects with the accent on the involvement of elements of a moveable image in the language of art and within the context of the theatre. Pěchouček (born 1973) is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1999), winner of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award (2003), curator and co-operator of Gallery 35M2 in Prague since 2007. A co-founder and regular director of the Studio Hrdinů theatre in Prague since 2012. His work covers, by its nature, various genres. It uses elements of painting, drawing, film, theatre, assemblage and textile. But, as he himself notes, multiple genres mean a natural outcome of the artistic opportunities his generation has had. He exhibited independently, in addition to other places, also in the GHMP gallery or in the Jiří Švestka gallery.

Wed, Oct 25, 7pm (U1)

Vladimír Turner – Author Lecture

Vladimír Turner (born 1986) is an audiovisual artist and filmmaker. He studied audiovisual studies at FAMU and in the studio of intermedia confrontation at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (VŠUP). He's been on residency stays in Buenos Aires, Valencia, Brisbane, Toulouse and Rotterdam. In his work, he moves between documentary film, art in the public space and social and political activism. He combines these fields in a whole which he calls pro-active civic life. His work from around the world is on display in the streets, on film screens and in galleries. He exhibited, among others, in NTK, Jaroslav Frágner Gallery, DOX, Moravian Gallery Brno and others. His films include the ethnographic essay White-Black Film (2013), a documentary about a fictitious atomic explosion broadcasted by the Czech TV On Media Reality (2008) and the post-industrial essay The Funeral (2016). This year, he leads, as the guest, the studio at the FAMU Centre for Audiovisual Studies.

Wed, Nov 1, 7pm (U1)Denisa Kera – Homo Cryptographicus in the Republic of Alghoritms and Hashes: smart contracts, pacts with the devil and other techno-political rituals

Who will be the debtor, slave and free citizen in the age of blockchain technologies? I will use my attempt to design a smart contract of a last will on the Ethereum blockchain to discuss the convergence of identity with cryptography and transactions and to pose questions of future governance. Are these “smart contracts” the present-day “pacts with the devil” that make impossible transactions between human and non-human entities across various scales not only possible, but desirable and automatic? Do they transform politics into magical rituals that achieve its ends automatically rather than through agreements and collective action? Are we preparing ourselves for the ultimate posthuman experience of levelling all entities to cryptographic data exchanges between virtual wallets? While most blockchain stories still sound like something from William Gibson’s novels, the underlying technology is transforming our notions of ownership, identity and social bond. It changes our notions of history and time that become parameters of the self-evolving networks and blocks of algorithmically generated and distributed magic rituals.

The event takes place in co-operation with Fotograf Festival # 7, „Eye In The Sky“.

Denisa Kera is a philosopher and designer that experiments with various creative strategies of public engagement in science and technology, such as Ethereum blockchain platform, open science hardware, Tarot cards, consumer genomics and food. She is recognized for her ethnographic work on the hackerspaces and makerspaces in EU and Asia, which she discusses as a revival of tinkering culture of the 16th century mechanical arts and alchemy. She is part of GOSH initiative and the Hackteria network that supports science and research in the southern hemisphere. She spent the last decade as an Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore, Senior Lecturer at Charles University in Prague, and most recently as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Arizona State University.

Wed, Nov 8, 7pm (U1)Albert Grøndahl – Author Lecture

The Danish photographer, Albert Grøndahl (born 1985) is a graduate from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerpen and the FAMU Bachelor's degree programme. His photographic language develops the traditional photographic document in the direction of the issues of relationship a photographer has with his or her object. The subject matter of his interest is the social context. He engages personally in inspecting distant cultural references and personal narratives. In the course of his work, he left all the current standardised reproduction techniques, preferring the silver and golden emulsion and historical photochemical processes. The physical nature of his unique, non-reproducible photographs thus launches a movement in between reference and texture It enhances the singularity of the original, the unique captured moment as well as the spontaneity of the fleeting photographic gesture.

Wed, Nov 22, 7pm (U1)Daniel Rourke – #Additivism

In March 2015, Morehshinem Allahyari and Daniel Rourke released The 3D Additivist Manifesto, a call to push the 3D printer and other creative technologies, to their absolute limits and beyond into the realm of the speculative, the provocative and the weird. The 3D Additivist Cookbook is composed of the words activism and additive. It is a movement born out of criticism of new radical technologies of the contemporary labs, workshops and industrial operations on the social, environmental and global scale. Both artists develop this idea in the follow-up projects, such as the The 3D Additivist Cookbook a large artistic catalogue of digital forms, post-human methods, materials, actions and observations leading to the question of whether it's possible to change the world without changing ourselves.

Daniel Rourke is a British born artist and theoretician currently based in London. In his work he uses collaborative platforms and theoretical tool sets for exploring the intersection of digital materiality, art and posthumanism. These frameworks often hinge on speculative elements taken from science, science-fiction and pop culture, using fictional figures and fabulation that might offer a glimpse of a radical ‘outside’ to the humanities. His writing, lecturing, and artistic profile is extensive, including work with AND Festival, The V&A London, FACT, Centre Pompidou, Transmediale, Tate Modern and Sonic Acts Amsterdam. He also published in the HOLO, Media-N, Alluvium and AfterImage magazines. He is a regular contributor to and servers. |

Wed, Nov 29, 7pm (FAMU screening)

Dominik Gajarský – Author Lecture

Dominik Gajarský (born in 1986) is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (Anna Daučíková, Studio of New Media II), he also went on a study stay at the UdK in Berlin (Josephine Pryde) and was on a residency under the EIB Artists' Development Programme in Luxembourg. He expresses himself mainly through the medium of photography and moving images with a special feel for analogue technology including its history. He often makes formal references to modernist role-models, but simultaneously adopts a critical approach to the canons and hegemony of western culture, particularly in relation to post-colonial discourse, feminism and ecology. He regularly displays his work in solo and group exhibitions and shows in the Czech Republic and abroad, such as the Close-Up Cinema in London, the Czech Centre in Berlin or the National Gallery in Prague. In 2014 he was one of the finalists of the Leinemann Foundation Award, he is the finalist of the CJCH 2017. Besides visual art, he is also an active musician.

Wed, Dec 6, 7pm (U1)

Martin Kohout – Slides

Martin Kohout's short-film debut Slides (2017, 22 min.), presented at this year's CJCH exhibition in Brno, traces the couple, Asli and Bora. Their speculative/melancholic romance takes place in contemporary London, at the moments of loneliness in the middle of a big city where life is framed by voice messages and mobile phone displays. The film will be featured in the presence of the author. The screening will be followed by a discussion and presentation of other Martin Kohout's projects from recent years.

Martin Kohout (born in 1984) graduated from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU, Department of Cinematography) and from the Städelschule in Frankfurt (Simon Starling Studio). He also spent two years studying at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. His multimedia work reacts to various life situations, the incomprehensibility of the contemporary world and the inability of individuals to find their bearings in it. Kohout’s major theme is the medium of the Internet and the self-reflection of a human in global communication which brings conflicting experience – both intimacy and aggression, self-confidence and helplessness. In the recent years, he has introduced his work in the Czech as well as international context at solo and collective exhibitions, e.g. in New York, Beijing, Tokyo, Berlin, Paris and Sofia. In 2010, he was one of the finalists of Germany’s Marler Videokunst-Preis. He was a finalist of Jindřich Chalupecký Award in 2014 and 2017. He has been living in Berlin since 2008.

Wed, Dec 13, 7pm (U1)

Mark Ther – Author Lecture

Mark Ther (born 1979) is a Czech artist, author of videoart and the Jindřich Chalupecký Award winner. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts (Vladimír Skrepl) and later began to work in the field of new media under the leadership of his professor, Michael Bielický. His short videos, shocking for many, break open both sexual and historical taboos in the Czech society. An important reflection of Ther's work was the premature closure of his exhibition in the GHMP gallery at the Prague Old Town Hall in 2008 due to „homosexual and nazi propaganda“. In 2011, Ther won the Jindřich Chalupecký Award for his video Das wandernde Sternlein which narrated the fictional story of the disappearance of children in the borderland in the thirties. The video shocked by its natural aesthetics – it indirectly portrayed a paedophile act and also contained a number of symbolic references and metaphors. An indictment was filed against the DOX gallery for spreading child pornography.

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 and

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.



Further information

This course is an elective for all AMU students

Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:

room 107
Room No. 1

(Lažanský palác)
(lecture parallel1)
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Wed 19:00–20:35 Štěpánka ŠIMLOVÁ Room No. 1
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1

The subject is a part of the following study plans