SFB 1187 ›Medien der Kooperation‹ an der Universität Siegen
Lecture Series: “Politics of Data – Politics of Semi-Autonomy” – Chris Salter: “Sensing Machines”
Wednesday, 07 December 2022, 14:15 - 15:45

“Sensing Machines”

In the early morning hours of October 22, 1850, Gustav Fechner, a renowned German medical doctor turned professor of physics who had suffered from a mysterious illness, came to a radical realization that there must be a relationship between spiritual and physical energy, a measurable correspondence between the world external to our sense perception and the internal world of our brain processes. This revelation forms the basis of this talk-how a forgotten 19 th century scientist’s startling revelation would forever change our understanding of the human senses and how they would come to interact with machines that fundamentally alter our relationship between ourselves and our environment.

Chris Salter is Professor for Immersive Arts and Director of the Immersive Arts Space at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). He is also Professor Emeritus, Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University in Montreal and former Co-Director of the Hexagram network for research-creation in arts, cultures and technology and Co-Founder of the Milieux Institute at Concordia. He studied philosophy, economics, theatre and computer music at Emory and Stanford Universities. His artistic work has been seen all over the world at such venues as the Venice Architecture Biennale, Barbican Centre, Berliner Festspiele, Wiener Festwochen, ZKM, Kunstfest Weimar, Musée d’art Contemporain, EXIT Festival and Place des Arts-Montreal, among many others. He is the author of Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance ( 2010), Alien Agency: Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making (2015) and Sensing Machines (2022), all from MIT Press.

About the Lecture Series

This semester we focus on concepts that can critically address the ongoing crises of the digital age (e.g. information, climate, resources, discrimination) and might help to develop new critical practices, an understanding of the present and the future that we are facing. These concepts are Aesthetics & Evidence, Critique and Imagineries, (Data) Governance and Activism, (Interactive/value-sensitive) Design and Decolonialism. Even though all of these concepts deserve a lecture series on their own, we chose to have for each of these topics one lecture in order to create a kaleidoscopic and interdisciplinary perspective on what critical practices and future “Politics of Data and Semi-Autonomy” can look like.


See also:

23|11|22 – Investigative Aesthetics with Matthew Fuller
18|1|23 – Politics of Data – Politics of Semi-Autonomy with Orit Halpern
31|1|23 – Hacking into Aesthetics and Politics of (AI-)Avatarization and algorithmic facialitiy with Alexander Gerner


Universität Siegen
Campus Herrengarten
AH-A 217/18