Symposium II
Exhibition / 52-Hour-Lab
Thomas Macho
“faire l'âme monstrueuse”
Produktionsstrategien der Angst
in der künstlerischen Avantgarde

Jean-Baptiste Joly
The Artist’s Fear of Her-/Himself

Nikolaus A. Adams
Space Transportation and Dual Use
of Aerospace Technology

Dennis Farber
Fear is Just Another Word
for Someone Left to Please

Christofer Hierold
Carbon Nanotube Sensors

Petros Koumoutsakos
Computing: An Indispensable
Friend or Foe?

Maren Rieger
Dealing with Fear—
Keep Your Distance

Photo Gallery

The second symposium explored two special aspects of dealing with fear: a subjectively experienced fear of existence and a socially experienced fear of the future.

The recognizability of the artistic author is the precondition of success in today’s cultural world, although or even because everything seems to be possible. Only those who find their own position—and can hold onto it—will find their audience. In addition to the type of artist who wants to be recognizable by specification, there are those artists who like to keep adapting themselves by changeability. But while the first type can no longer seek the “other” in his/her work, the “self” is excluded from the second type. The fear of establishing an artistic identity, which is too narrow or too open, too easily exchangeable with others or too far outside of conventions, is therefore always present during the careers of artists. What happens if the criteria of value change? Is misconduct in the cultural field—unlike in politics and economy—irreversible?

Since the 1990s, fear of new technologies is one of the major phobias, culminating in the turn of the century when the public was holding its breath in expectation of a world-wide computer breakdown. Besides a resistance to using machines, the public is afraid of engineering developments and scientific research in the fields of nano-technology, nuclear energy, genetic research, etc. and its possible manipulations and unknown invisible impacts on everyday-life and future generations. People do not look at technology as a product of the human intellect—like music, literature, philosophy, architecture—but rather as independent, as far from the differentiated reality of human nature and, in this sense, as a constant threat. What are the causes for this cultural fear of technology and how can one establish trust as the opposite of fear?

The symposium Dealing with Fear II was hosted by Akademie Schloss Solitude on October 30/31, 2008. It began with the lecture “‘faire l’âme monstrueuse.’ Produktionsstrategien der Angst in der künstlerischen Avantgarde” (Production Strategies of Fear in the Artistic Avant-garde) by Thomas Macho, Humboldt University, Berlin. In the following lectures and panels, a number of fellows, jurors, and guest speakers who participated in the two-day symposium posed the above mentioned questions and tried to find answers through their scientific research or artistic practices.