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Symposium with live stream

»Return to Sender:
Utopias and the Limits of Circulating Images«

Various artists & lecturers

Since the first picture postcards of the 1880s, messages have been sent from near and far. But as personal greetings with photos became more widespread, government institutions tried increasingly harder to intercept such postcards in times of war and crisis in order to examine them for coded messages.

The symposium Return to Sender examines the dawn of circulating images and their ascent to a mass medium, concluding with their contemporary incarnation in social media. Has the idea of a participatory visual utopia come true in today’s culture of shared images, selfies, and likes? Or do the algorithm-led social platforms curate a Brave New World tailored to each user while real life is censored out?

This symposium lays the groundwork for the exhibition Send Me an Image. From the Postcard to Social Media, to take place from January 30 to April 24, 2021 at C/O Berlin. The symposium will help to shape both the exhibition itself and the accompanying publication with Steidl Verlag, which will launch at the exhibition opening.

Monday, 31/08/2020 . 6pm–8.30pm
Tuesday, 01/09/2020 . 10.45am–5pm

Access The streaming-link will be published on the C/O Berlin website shortly before the begin of the event.

This event is jointly organized by C/O Berlin and Das Technische Bild research team at Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte der Humboldt-Universität/Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik.

Monday, 31/08/2020

6pm . Welcome and introduction
Felix Hoffmann
Katja Müller-Helle
Kathrin Schönegg

6.30pm Von der Ikone zum Selfie. Über die Mobilmachung des Gesichts . Wolfgang Ullrich
7.15pm Response . Roland Meyer
7.30pm Discussion between Wolfgang Ullrich and Roland Meyer
Moderation Margarete Pratschke

Tuesday, 01.09.2020

10.45am Welcome
Felix Hoffmann
Katja Müller-Helle
Kathrin Schönegg

Panel 1

11am “The Sentimental ‘Green-back‘ of Civilization” Cartes de Visite, Postkarten und andere soziale Währungen . Friedrich Tietjen
11.20am Gleich(zeitig)e Bilder. Über die Anfänge und Störungen der Bildübertragung . Christian Kassung
11.40am Real Time. Anmerkungen zur Streambildzirkulation . Simon Rothöhler

12pm Discussion between Friedrich Tietjen, Christian Kassung and Simon Rothöhler
Moderation Eva Ehninger

Panel 2

2.30pm Technische Bildzensur. Infrastrukturen der Löschung . Katja Müller-Helle
2.50pm Bilder orten. Welt ordnen. Geotagging und die Fotografie . Estelle Blaschke
3.10pm Bildproteste in den Sozialen Medien und Resonanzen in der Gegenwartskunst . Kerstin Schankweiler

3.30pm Discussion between Katja Müller-Helle, Estelle Blaschke and Kerstin Schankweiler
Moderation Friedrich Balke

4.30pm Post Pictures . Matthias Bruhn

Aug 31 & Sep 1, 2020
Symposium with live stream:
Monday, Aug 31, 2020, 6 – 8.30 pm
Tuesday, Sep 1, 2020, 10:45 am – 5 pm


Amerika Haus, Hardenbergstraße 22-24, 10623 Berlin
[District: Charlottenburg | Borough: Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf]

Opening hours: Thu – Sun 11 am – 8 pm

Admission for exhibitions: 10 € / reduced 6 € | Online Ticket

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