Economies of Visibility

A Lecture Series on Key Works of Art

Public Lecture Series at Zeppelin University

As early as the early 2000s, the Italian philosopher and activist Franco Berardi stated that we were living in an age characterized by an overdose of visibility and a “excess of expressivity”. Even before the development of smartphones and the spread of selfie culture, he diagnosed that our world was determined by a capitalism of signs and images.


The production of images has become an omnipresent practice that determines social life and is no longer in the hands of few experts. We live in an epoch in which the world is shaped by ubiquitous virally distributed images, bloggers, and influencers, a world in which algorithms direct our gaze, and social media platforms have risen to become the most influential global corporations. Attention economies structure global power relations in a new way and trigger new struggles for distribution. Is all this possible because today politics, power and the direction of attention and visibility are one and the same? How exactly do these developments differ from earlier image strategies? If we want to understand these processes more precisely, it is not only image strategies that need to be analyzed, but also the handling of images and the social effects of the distribution of images.

On February 4, 2020, a lecture series organized by Prof. Karen van den Berg and Prof. Jan Söffner will start at Zeppelin University. The lecture series will discuss the historical economies and orders of visibility from an art and cultural studies perspective. Within this framework, art and cultural studies scholars will discuss the connection between power, domination, presence and visibility using exemplary art works and projects. In twelve lectures, the spectrum will range from antiquity to the present.



The Events in Detail


1 TU 04.02.2020 | ZF Campus | Black Box | 19:15 pm
Opening of the Lecture Series "Ökonomien der Sichtbarkeit"

Prof. Dr. Jan Söffner (ZU):

Theorie und Ökonomie. Gedanken zu Platon.
Zur Veranstaltung


2 TU 18.02.2020 | Zf Campus | Black Box | 19.15 pm

Prof Dr Maren Lehmann (ZU):

Sehen, Beobachten, Zeichnen: Versuch über Adolph Menzel

Zur Veranstaltung


3 TU 25.02.2020 | ZF Campus | Black Box | 19.15 pm

Prof Dr Karin Leonhard (Universität Konstanz):

Schall und Rauch?
Die unsichtbaren Welten des David Baily (1584 - 1657)

Zur Veranstaltung


4 TU 03.03.2020 | ZF Campus | Black Box | 19.15 pm

Dr Joachim Landkammer (ZU):

"An der Musik alleine liegt ihnen nichts". Schumann, Berlioz und das Bilderverbot in der Musik

Zur Veranstaltung


5 TU 10.03.2020 | ZF Campus | Black Box | 19.15 pm

Prof Dr Michael Lüthy (Bauhaus Universität Weimar):

Sich zeigen, sich verschließen - Antinomien der Sichtbarkeit in Manets Malerei

Zur Veranstaltung


6 TU 17.03.2020 | ZF Campus | FAB 2.02 | 19.15 pm

Dr Jörg Bernardy (Hamburg):

Wie sichtbar und bunt ist das gute Leben?

Über die (Un-) Sichtbarkeit emotionaler Intelligenz, Eudaimonia und Glück

Zur Veranstaltung


7 TU 24.03.2020 | ZF Campus | Black Box | 19.15 pm

Prof Dr Karen van den Berg (ZU):

Damien Hirst und die Abschaffung des Unsichtbaren

Zur Veranstaltung


8 TU 31.03.2020 | ZF Campus | Black Box | 19.15 pm

Christine Frisinghelli (Camera Austria, Graz):

Das Dokumentarische als politische Praxis - im Werk von Ernest Cole, David Goldblatt, Darcy Lange, Jo Spence

Zur Veranstaltung


9 TU 7.04.2020 | ZF Campus | Black Box | 19.15 pm

Prof Dr Hannah Wojciehowski (University of Texas, Austin):

The Hand that Cannot Taste - Conundrums of Mimetic Desire in Shakespeare's a Midsummer Night's Dream

Zur Veranstaltung


10 TU 21.04.2020 | ZF Campus | Black Box | 19.15 pm

Dr Philipp Kleinmichel (ZU):

Die Kunst im Semiokapitalismus - Zur Funktion des Zeichenwerts

Zur Veranstaltung


11 TU 28.04.2020 | ZF Campus | Black Box | 19.15 pm

Prof Dr Beatrice von Bismarck (Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig): Pierre Bourdieu und das fotografische Archiv

Zur Veranstaltung

Annual theme "Economies of Visibility" 

Time to decide

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