Seminars and Workshops

Thinking in figures: reading and drawing on philosophy of perception and visibility

Theory seminar, Institute for Language Arts, University of Applied Arts, Vienna

This seminar investigates in philosophical texts on perception and visibility (e.g. Merleau-Ponty, Butler, Lispector, Wittgenstein, Sartre, Hermann Schmitz). We read and we experiment with drawing and text-drawing-combinations in order to understand the texts, to interpret them, to analyze their form and play with their figures of thought.

A change of media makes it possible to jump between different forms of thinking and to observe the conditions and possibilities of both media in contrast with one another. In order to understand what happens when theoretical text meets drawing and how both interact, we will also read some theoretical texts on media and language.

No special drawing skills are required for this seminar.



Essays on Aesthetic Practices

Seminar at the HAW Hamburg, Department of Design, Department of Theory

In this seminar we read and write essays on aesthetic practices. These essays address questions such as: How could we understand aesthetic practice today? What kind of community do they establish? How can aesthetic perception be described? Etc.

The essay is an open and variable format. This seminar deals not only with the content, but also with the design of the essays: How is the essay structured? What language does he use? How does he argue? From what perspective is it written? What is it like to read this? Is it fun? Why? Why not? How are form and content related?

We will carry out many small experiments in theory-writing. The goal is to try out many things and to get a clearer idea about the possibilities and techniques of writing and about your personal interests.



Theories on Creativity

Theory Seminar at the HAW Hamburg, Department of Design, Department of Theory

Creativity is a fundamental human quality. At the same time, creativity is a buzzword that describes a desire and a (neoliberal?) ideal. Almost everyone wants and is supposed to be creative. Job advertisements, commercials, politics and countless self help books employ the term creativity.

In this seminar we read theoretical texts on questions like: What exactly is creativity? How does it work? What models and metaphors are used to describe it? How has society’s view of “creativity” and “creative” evolved over time? Why is the term so attractive in many contexts? With the help of the texts we will also think about the view of creativity in your environment: How do you, the students, understand your creative work? Which concepts and metaphors for creativity shape the teaching practice at the Design Department of the HAW? How do you perceive your role as a “creative person”? What view on creativity does social media show?

In the seminar we will read, reflect, discuss, research, organize thoughts, argue and write.



Reading, writing and drawing on theories of love

Theory Seminar at the HAW Hamburg, Department of Design, Department of Theory

How does love work? Are there patterns of how it starts, how it works, and why it fails? How do these concepts change over the last centuries? How do we choose who to fall in love with? Which values and models are depicted in our perspective on love?

In this seminar we work with reading, theoretical writing and drawing. Drawing – always in combination with speaking or writing – is tried out as an instrument of thinking: As a means of analysis, questioning and sometimes expension of the theoretical texts.

No special drawing skills are required.




Lecture performance between lecture and performance

Seminar at the HAW Hamburg, Department of Design, Department of Theory

Lecture performances have become a common format in both the cultural and the academic context over the past 20 years. In this seminar, methods, strategies and functions of the lecture performance are examined in different contexts. Lecture performances play with the tension between scientific and performative-artistic approaches. Therefore the scientific lecture on the one hand and the artistic performance on the other are central points of reference of this seminar.

In the sessions we alternate between theoretical work and practical performative experiments. In the course of the seminar, each student develops different approaches and stage experiments relating to a topic of their own choosing.

Theoretical content: theories of the lecture, performance theory, dramaturgy, etc.

Artistic content: dealing with voice, stage presence and persona, text development for the stage, different relationships between saying and showing, strategies for interacting with the audience, etc.



Workshop: Experiments in Reading Hegel

Museum Hölderlinturm, Tübingen

Reading Hegel’s texts is intense and exhausting. Often we are so busy trying to understand that we hardly perceive the sentence structure, the metaphors and the figures of thought. Hegel’s texts are not only interesting in terms of content, they are also employ very aesthetic forms, sometimes sensual and now and then even funny.

In this workshop we approach Hegel’s texts in a playful way. The focus is not on perfect understanding. Instead, we read Hegel like poetry, like a musical score, or like listening to a voice. We engage with short excerpts and approach them by converting them into movement, (simple) drawing and rhythm.

Previous knowledge on Hegel is not necessary.