Inhaltspezifische Aktionen

GCSC/GGK-Lecture: Johanna Schaffer & Isabel Paehr: Ambivalences of Visibility (Revised)


12.11.2019 von 18:00 bis 20:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC100)


Phil I, GCSC, R.001

Name des Kontakts

Telefon des Kontakts

+49 641 / 99-30 053

Termin zum Kalender hinzufügen


The book ‘Ambivalences of Visibility’, that Johanna published in 2008, was above all a plea to engage with the forms of specific representations, and not with questions of quantity (‘more visibility for…’). For, as Peggy Phelan has argued, if there were a causal connection between visual representability and political power, then in the liberal democracies of the West, young, scantily-clad heteronormative female performing persons would necessarily have quite a bit of power. In our changed media realities, we need to rethink the analytical/political usefulness of the concept ‘visibility,’ for in digital media realities visibility (= views = monetization) almost entirely loses its oppositional connotations. If ‘visibility’ is a concept that belongs to historically specific media realities and their critical languages, what can be learned from them for our current examinations? We also would like to suggest some other terms along the lines of ‘distributed agency’ and ‘infrastructure’ in order to discuss crucial interventions in the field of digital visuality and data-rich environments.



// Johanna Schaffer (Kunsthochschule Kassel) teaches and publishes in the fields of visual culture and material aesthetics with a queer-feminist, anti-racist focus. At the Kunsthochschule Kassel she has been building up the platform Theory and Practice of Visual Communication, and she has served as vice dean for study affairs for the past two years.


// Isabel Paehr (Berlin) researches the relations between virtuality and concepts of the nonhuman. Her practice touches and connects different fields of knowledge production such as game development, media arts and theory.