My research revolves around the study of embodied aesthetics and environmental media. As part of my research I explore ways to incorporate additional sensory modalities into the current aesthetic frameworks, such as thermoception, interoception, chemoception, in order to access and describe the thereby enabled aesthetic experience. Taking on the perspective of process philosophy and media-aesthetics, I investigate the role that pre-reflective experience plays in situating the human subject apart from a conscious reference to the world. My PhD thesis "Aesthetic Experience of Metabolic Processes" asks questions such as: in how far can an aesthetic framework inspired by pragmatism, process philosophy, and biological concepts such as metabolism provide new understandings to the human-environment relation?
I graduated with a PhD from the University of Potsdam, where I was advised by Birgit Schneider (Potsdam) and Sha Xin Wei (Arizona State University). Since July 2020 I am a Postdoc at the Department for Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago, where I have been a Visiting Scholar since January 2019. Before, I graduated an MA in Media Studies at the University of Düsseldorf and a BA in Philosophy/Literature at the Ruhr University Bochum. I typically present my work at conferences such as the annual conference of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts and the annual meeting of the Social Studies of Science (4S). I have lectured workshops on Foucault's “heteropia” at the Utopia School in Copenhagen'15 and in Athens'16. In 2017, I was awarded the Emergent Scholar Award of the New Directions in the Humanities Research Network. Also, I worked as a program assistant for the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW in Berlin) and as a curator in Berlin.
Aesthetics, Media Ecologies, Affective Media, Embodiment, Phenomenology, Embodied Cognition, Enactivism, Process Philosophy, Immersive Environments.
How can we use unseen sensual experiences, such as interoception, to improve our understanding of the relationship between a human body and its atmospheric surroundings? How can we create immersive environments that induce meaningful perceptual experiences for thermal, climatic, meteorological processes? To engage with these questions, I created an interative experiment together with designers and artists from Berlin and Basel. This is an interactive VR simulation that utilizes thermal feedback and sensing technologies. The project was the starting point for a multi-media installation at IXDM. The immersive environment induced a perceptional link with thermal, climatic, meteorological processes that were enacted in partial response to the engaging individual.
I am especially interested in exploring VR technology to shift our conscious awareness towards processes in our surroundings that we are usually unaware of.
Thesis: Aesthetic Experience of Metabolic Processes (Jan 2020)
With my PhD thesis “Aesthetic Experience of Metabolic Processes” I explore how aesthetic theory can be extended to account for bio-chemical processes. The concept of an “aesthetics of metabolism” makes it possible to explore how bio-chemical processes, such as energy production in respiration, impact our subjective experience. What is thereby subjectively experienced is not so much a concrete feeling, thought, or invitation to act, but rather how feelings, thoughts, and behavior arise in different phases of experience, sometimes leading to one another. An aesthetics of metabolism enables to become aware of different phases in experience and how they relate to each other as well as to processes that happen outside of the experiencing subject’s body, in the immediate surrounding. Thereby, I propose, an aesthetics of metabolism offers a new perspective on the human-environment relation, one that is processual, relational, and not depended on a conscious reference to the environment. Ultimately, an aesthetics of metabolism highlights that meaning-making is not only reserved for conscious thought but happens on a pre-reflective layer as well.
Postdoc at the Department for Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago.
PhD, Institute for Arts and Media (Philosophy), Potsdam, Germany
Hybrid Ecologies, Affective Atmospheres and Metabolic Systems in Art and Design
Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), 8/30- 9/3 2017, Boston, Massachusetts, US
The Cognitive Shift: Ecological Figurations of the Human in Art and Design
Fifteenth International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities (Special Focus: New Directions of the Humanities in a Knowledge Society), 7/5–7/7 2017, London, UK
Affective Atmospheres and Hybrid Ecologies
The SLSAeu Conference 2017 “Empathies”, 7/21-7/24 2017, Basel, Switzerland.
Negotiations of instability of life itself in technologies of interoception: the interface as epistemic object
Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), 8/31-9/3 2016, Barcelona, Spain.
Beyond human senses – technologies of new interspecies-entanglements
SCOS 2016 – The Animal, 7/11-7/14 2016, Uppsala University, Sweden.
The monster lies in between. On the motif of the precarious in artistic practices
Promises of Monsters, 4/28-4/29 2016 University of Stavanger.
Contamination, Abstraction, Interoception – New Artistic Strategies Challenging The Human Condition
Strata: Art and Science Collaborations in the Anthropocene, 1/15 2016, Aberysthwyth, Wales, UK
Arts in Collaboration: New Artistic Practices with a New Ecoaestetic
Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), 11/11-11/14 2015, Denver, US.
BioArt. Über die Möglichkeit nichtmenschlicher Perspektiven in der Kunst (German)
Evolution in Menschenhand? Synthetische Biologie aus Labor und Atelier, 3/13 2015, organized by Schering Foundation, the National Academy oft he Sciences Leopoldina and the Berlin-Brandenburgischen Academy of the Sciences.
Arts in Collaboration
Ninth International Conference on the Arts in Society “The Lives of Art”, 6/25-6/27 2014 Rome, Italy.
Under the surface, under the skin.
Man, Meat, and Method ,6/5-6/6 2013, Bergen, Norway.
Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), 10/17 – 10/20 2012, Kopenhagen, Denmark.
VJing jenseits der Clubkultur. Konzeptionierung urbaner und kommerzieller Räume (in German)
11/23 2010, University Siegen, Germany.
Bioart – Vom Laborprojekt zum sozialen Subjekt (in German)
International Graduate Conference „Biopolitik, Bioökonomie und Biopoetik im Zeichen der Krisis“ , 1/20-1/23 2010 Heinrich-Heine Universität, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Figurations of Hybrid Ecologies in Artistic Practice (buy book)
In: Dialogues Between Artistic Research and Science and Technology Studies. Edited by Henk Borgdorff, Peter Peters, Trevor Pinch, Routledge, 2019.
Being Interspecies. Negotiation Processes of Subjectivity and Event Beyond Representation (buy book)
In: Andreas Greiner: Anatomy of a Fairytale. Verlag für Moderne Kunst, 2016.
Bioart – Vom Laborprojekt zum sozialen Subjekt (in German, buy book)
In: Wissen und Leben – Wissen für das Leben. Hg. v. Vittoria Borsò, Michele Cometa, Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, 2014.
Die Immersion des Bildes. Notizen zum VJing als eine hybride Bildpraxis (in German, buy book)
In: Im Kontinuum der Bilder. VJing als Medienkunst. Hg.v. Prof. Dr. R. Görling, D. Förster, A. Olbrisch, L. Handel, Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt a. M., 2011.
Aesthetics of Engagement (Bachelor / Masters level, 1 semester, 2018)
Course taught & designed by Desiree Foerster at University of Potsdam.
Conducting the amplified body - a matinee of electrically [de]controlled musicians
A week-long research residency, which culminated with public talks & performances by Michaela Davies (artist), Ian Douglas-Moore (guitarist), Jonathan Heilbron (double bassist), Robert Lindenberg (neuroscientist), Pedro Lopes (researcher & turntablist), ACUD Macht Neu, Berlin.