Symposium: Imag(in)ing Technologies

The Department of Media & Communication will be hosting a one-day symposium on image technologies and imaging practices with Patricia Pisters (University of Amsterdam) Siegfried Zielinski (European Graduate School, Saas-Fee) and Matthias Bruhn (Humboldt University, Berlin).

NOTE: The conference is open to all interested, but participation requires registration and payment. The conference fee of NOK 100 covers lunch and beverages. Registration closes November 26th, or when the conference is fully booked. Payment and registration


To an increasing extent, imaging technologies are integral to the ways we understand our situation, position and roles in society. This situation is mediated, constituted and upheld through technological images. In our image-obsessed and image-dependent culture, socializing practices are facilitated and quasi-automatized through imaging processes. Analyzing imaging technologies in a range of social situations of cultural and political significance, this symposium aims to create a productive distance, to open up a space for culture to look at itself looking – to image and imagine.


10:00: Liv Hausken introduces the symposium.

10:15: Introduction of Patricia Pisters.

10:20: Patricia Pisters: "Follow the Metal: Mines, Media and Minds".

11:50: Lunch.

13:00: Introduction of Matthias Bruhn.

13:05: Matthias Bruhn: "Piction - Images as Objects of Operation".

14:35: Coffee break.

14:55 Introduction of Siegfried Zielinski.

15:00: Siegfried Zielinski: "On Deep Time of Techno-Imagination. Past & Future Connected as Potential Spaces".


The symposium ends around 16:40.




Patricia Pisters is professor of film studies at the Department of Media Studies of the University of Amsterdam and director of the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (ASCA). She is one of the founding editors of Necsus: European Journal of Media Studies. She is programme director of the research group Neuraesthetics and Neurocultures and co-director (with Josef Fruchtl) of the research group Film and Philosophy. Publications include The Matrix of Visual Culture: Working with Deleuze in Film Theory (Stanford University Press, 2003); Mind the Screen(ed. with Jaap Kooijman and Wanda Strauven, Amsterdam University Press, 2008) and  The Neuro-Image: A Deleuzian Film-Philosophy of Digital Screen Culture (Stanford University Press, 2012). Her latest book Filming for the Future is on the work of documentary filmmaker Louis van Gasteren (Amsterdam University Press, 2015). For articles, her blog and other information see also


Matthias Bruhn (Ph. D., Hamburg 1997) is an art historian and research associate at Humboldt University Berlin where he directs the research group The Technical Image, and a principal investigator and steering committee member of the Cluster of Excellence Image Knowledge Gestaltung – An Interdisciplinary Laboratory that aims at a comparative analysis of design processes in the humanities and the sciences. His main fields of interest are the ‘art history of science’, i.e. the contribution of artistic and aesthetic pratices to the production of knowledge; changing concepts of the image in relation to the evolution of modern media; and the role of imagery in the context of political iconology. He is the editor, with Claudia Blümle and Horst Bredekamp, of the bi-annual book series Bildwelten des Wissens established in 2003.


Siegfried Zielinski is a professor of mediology and technoculture at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. He is also the Chair of Media Theory – with a focus on Archaeology and Variantology of Media – in the Institute for Time Based Media at the Berlin University of Arts. He has recently been appointed rector of Karslruhe University of Arts and Design. Zielinski has published more than a dozen books and far over 150 essays, primarily in the areas of media history and theory. His most recent monographic book is published in 2014, in both English and German, titled Over the Head – Projecting Archaeology & Variantology of Arts & Media. Other recent publications include Deep Time of the Media – Towards an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means, which was published by MIT Press (Cambridge MA, 2006), and from 2007 to 2008 he worked on a five volume book series on Variantology – Deep Time Relations of Arts, Sciences and Technologies. Amongst others, Siegfried Zielinski was elected a member of the European Film Academy (EFA), the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Arts (Akademie der Künste), and the Magic Lantern Society of Great Britain.



Follow the Metal: Mines, Media and Minds.

Patricia Pisters


At the beginning of Wim Wenders’s documentary film The Salt of the Earth (2014) photographer Sebastiao Salgado, describes how at the border of the immense human anthill of the Serra Pelada gold mine in the 1980s, he saw in a flash the entire history of humanity: the construction of the pyramids, the tower of Babel, the gold mines of King Solomon. Salgado’s famous photos of the Serra  Pelada are the starting point of my presentation in which I’ll try to ‘follow the metal’ and connect our technological imag(in)ing to the metallic materiality of our contemporary media culture. This presentation is part of a larger project on the filmmaker as metallurgists that bend and shape our collective consciousness by mining the archives of our audio-visual past.  Filmmakers, however, are not just smiths of sorts in a metaphoric way. I will look at the geological dimensions of our media culture by following a nugget of gold, a piece of silver and other metals in their metallurgic transformations into material forms, images and stories that construct our world.


Piction – Images as Objects of Operation

Matthias Bruhn


“Image Guidance” is a recent concept to describe the active role of imaging technologies in combination with other instruments of operation. A widespread example is screen-based devices employed in operation theaters that are directly connected with surgical or radiological tools, often enhanced by further virtual and augmented reality applications. Due to the increased role of imaging as a means of diagnosis and therapy, this short-circuiting of technologies leads to an almost inseparable fusion of information – here referred to as piction – with direct effects on the users’ navigation and interventions, in particular under the real-time conditions of clinical practice. Since this fundamental change involves a large variety of disciplines and practices in respect to epistemological, medical, computational, practical and aesthetic aspects (currently under investigation by a specialized research group in Berlin), the paper takes a step back in order to dissect these different layers and to discuss the possible contribution of fields such as art history or media aesthetic.


On Deep Time of Techno-Imagination. Past & Future Connected as Potential Spaces

Siegfried Zielinski


In Order to secure a rich future for creation by and through technical means, it is very necessary that we allow the objects of our desire as researchers a past that is at least just as rich and multifarious as we hope the future will be. Methodologically I would go even further: It is logical to couple the desired diversity and heterogeneity that marches with the arrow of time pointing forward with the confusing multiplicities of past and submerged present-days. An Archaeology and Variantology of media, in the way that I practise it, is basically a special type of game with potentialities, with space of possibility. Just as we are little inclined to accept a future that is pre-programmed technologically, we are not in agreement with historians or physicists who see history as a collection of given columns of facts that must be ploughed through in a linear fashion.


Please note: the conference is open to all interested, but participation requires registration. The conference fee of NOK 100 covers lunch and beverages. Registration closes November 26th, or when the conference is fully booked.

Payment & registration

Published Nov. 23, 2015 1:53 PM - Last modified Oct. 26, 2016 9:30 AM