Präsenz / Presence—A Public Workshop

Organizer: Chair of Prof. Ursprung
Date: Saturday, 2 February 2013 to Saturday, 2 February 2013
Time: 09.30 to 17.00
Location: Zurich, Cabaret Voltaire, Spiegelgasse 1, 8001 Zürich

Präsenz / Presence—A Public Workshop
This workshop is open to the public. No registration necessary.

With: Elisabeth Bronfen, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Michael Hampe, Mark Jarzombek, Amelia Jones, Thomas Levin, Dieter Mersch, Isabel Mundry, Carey Young, Rebecca Schneider, Philip Ursprung, Mechtild Widrich, Nina Zschocke and Peter Zumthor

Presence, signifying both immediacy and being someplace at a particular moment, is one of the most controversial terms in contemporary culture and politics. The visual arts and philosophy in particular have seen much controversy about the various claims (positive and negative) related to concepts ranging from neurobiology to deconstruction. Even though the latter has shaped cultural discourse since the late 1960s, from today’s point of view it seems doubtful that we can dispense with the concept of presence too easily. Certain questions persist: how do we describe consciousness, experience, and temporality with reference to our bodies and the surrounding world? Can we understand and communicate these relations without falling into a false sense of security?

Scholars and practitioners from philosophy, art, architecture, performance studies, and music will discuss this contested term in several public roundtables.

Idea and concept: Philip Ursprung, Mechtild Widrich


9:30-11:00 Welcome and Introduction by Philip Ursprung and Mechtild Widrich
Roundtable 1
- Amelia Jones, McGill University, Montreal
- Rebecca Schneider, Brown University, Providence
- Mechtild Widrich, ETH Zürich
- Carey Young, artist, London

Coffee Break

11:30—13:00 Roundtable 2
- Michael Hampe, ETH Zürich
- Mark Jarzombek, MIT, Cambridge, Mass.
- Thomas Levin, Princeton University
- Nina Zschocke, ETH Zürich

Lunch Break

14:00-15:30 Roundtable 3
- Elisabeth Bronfen, University of Zürich
- Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Stanford University
- Dieter Mersch, University of Potsdam
- Isabel Mundry, University of Applied Arts Zürich / University of Music and Performing Arts Munich
- Philip Ursprung, ETH Zürich
- Peter Zumthor, Architect, Chur

Coffee Break

16:00-17:00 Open Discussion