Winter Term 2018/19: Surveillance 101 – art work & readings


Exposed. Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera, 2010, catalogue

Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish, 1975. English translation freely available online.

Giorgo Agamben: What is an Apparatus?
 (Was ist ein Dispositiv?) PDF available online

Gerhard Paul – „Video“ oder: Was haben die Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) mit Homer zu tun?

In the library:

Randolph Lewis: Under Surveillance: Being Watched in Modern America

CTRL [Space]: Rhetorics of Surveillance, from Bentham to Big Brother, Thomas Y. Levin, Ursula Frohne, and Peter Weibel, ed. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002)

Surveillance and Security, Technological Politics and Power in Everyday Life. Edited By Toren Monahan

Christopher Dandeker, Surveillance,Power & Modernity

Newell, Bryce Clayton [editor], Surveillance, Privacy and Public Space

Vian Bakir, Sousveillance, media and strategic political communication

Art works shown and discussed

Niels Bonde (seminar guest Nov 14, 2018), I Never had Hair on my Body or Head, 1996

Jonas Mekas, The Brig, 1964

Harun Farocki, Gefängnisbilder (Prison Images), 2000

Artur Zmijewski, Repetition, 2006

Gregor Schneider, Beach Cells, 2007

(20x20x2,5m each cell 4x4x2,5m), Kaldor Art Projects, Bondi Beach, Sydney 28.09.2007-21.10.2007

Lisa Domin – Faxen, 2018

not-to miss all-time favorites

The Conversation, Francis Ford Coppola, 1974

Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others), Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006

The Social Network Trailer, featuring a cover of Radiohead’s Creep

Using CCTV to bring down fascists

The Forensic Architecture team has release another masterful media investigation: THE MURDER OF PAVLOS FYSSAS

Here’s the quick summary. Full video linked below


In 2013, members of the Greek Nazi movement “Golden Dawn” murdered the antifascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas on the streets of Athens, a murder that was covered up by members of the Greek police, known to be riddled with Golden Dawn infiltrators, and abetted by Members of Parliament from Golden Dawn.

As the case works its way through the Greek courts, the University of London’s “Forensic Architecture” group has been called in to make sense of a welter of evidence about the crime and the cover-up, deploying their system of using “architectural techniques and technologies to investigate cases of state violence and violations of human rights around the world.”

The result is a 37 minute video that Talos on Metafilter a masterpiece of analytic exposition and impressively recreates the events surrounding the murder based on available data sources — it is.

The Fyssas trial has the potential to bring down Golden Dawn, to bring its true nature as an organized crime group into the open, to eliminate it from the Greek Parliament and to trigger a purge of Nazi elements from the Greek police. It is nothing short of seismic.

But even if you don’t care about any of that, this video is remarkable, a stitching-together of disparate and flawed evidence sources in a way that uses the strengths of one to overlap and fix the weaknesses of the other, creating a coherent and devastating story that is as well-told as any crime drama. It is truly virtuoso work.

Much of the original audio and video material was without an accurate timestamp, and it became apparent that attempts by the Greek police investigators to address this problem were insufficient. As a result, our researchers had to assess the material from scratch, and deduce the correct time and location of each piece of footage.

Audio recordings were assembled into a timed sequence through a process of sound analysis. CCTV footage from various locations around the scene was synchronised and given an accurate timestamp by reference to the sequence of audio recordings.

(via BoingBoing)

the vulnerable, saved

I’m just going to let this sit there and wait for your comments.

Here’s the video archived in case of depublication

Mid Term Review – Winter 2017

30 minute slots, presenting work-in-progress in small hotel rooms

Guest critic: Reut Shemesh

TUESDAY 5th December 2017 from 16.30 to 20.30 h

WEDNESDAY 6th December 2017 from 09.45 to 12.00 h

@ Motel One, Köln-Waidmarkt, Tel-Aviv-Strasse 6

room numbers will be posted to Megaphon as soon as we have checked in on Tuesday


— everyone welcome to practise with us — just turn up on time to join the review —



Mid Term Review Winter 2017 by Nikolai

poster by Nikolai

Winter Term readings & things to watch

Our topic for the Winter term 2017/18:

Real, Fake and the Imaginary

Here’s what to read and watch. The titles are in the library on the Semesterapparat shelf, unless otherwise noted.


  • Bruce Sterling , Distraction, novel, 1998
  • Bruce Sterling, Zeitgeist, novel, 2001



  • Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook his Wife For a Hat, 1970, (chapter “The President’s Speech”, on aphasia) – online i.e. here
  • Oliver Sacks,  Der Mann, der seine Frau mit einem Hut verwechselte, Hamburg 1993



  • For a  popular imagination, Hollywood take on this, (re-)watch Blade Runner, Fight Club, The Truman Show. Plus Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for a very contemporary mix of real and fake.

For a quick intro check out these trailers for two of the videos listed above:

There are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
There are known unknowns; the things we know we don’t know.
There are also the third category of unknown unknows; the things we dont know we don’t know. And you can only know more about those things by imagining what they might be.
Pearl Harbor was a failure of imagination. We didn’t know we didn’t know they could do what they did in the way they did it.

The Unknown Known, documentary by Errol Morris about master liar Donald Rumsfeld, 2013



You go into an office and sit at your desk. But maybe it is a fake job. Your real job is shopping. The true factories of our times are the shopping malls. That is where the real hard work is done.

A typical Adam Curtis, good intro to how he works.
Living in an Unreal World, trailer for HyperNormalisation