Streitraum 2019/20: »Brave New Bodies, Brave New Humanity?«

How is our concept and experience of the body and different physicalities changing in the 21st century – and what consequences does this have for our notion of the self? How we perceive our bodies, how we learn to handle them and how this is passed on to the next generation has always been an area of conflict with regard to cultural, religious and social practices and convictions. The way in which bodies are veiled, exposed, exhibited, cared for and treated, the images that categorize bodies as male or female, beautiful or ugly, healthy or sick and make them visible or invisible have always been shaped by normative and commercial considerations.

The 2019/20 »Streitraum« wants to explore how medicaltechnical developments in prosthetics, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, and also the total pervasiveness and use of digital technologies in every area of our lives, are changing our body(images) and self-identity. What does humanism mean, what is the social ‘us’ under these conditions? Which economic, commercial interests are controlling and programming the algorithms that increasingly determine our fitness, diet and health? How are our self-images and our concepts of desire, sexuality and death being changed by the new technologies?