Nr. 07/1 (2016)

Verschwinden

Medien als Werkzeuge des Eintretens, Erscheinens oder Erscheinenlassens von etwas zu begreifen, ist eine gängige und überzeugende Konzeption. Ebenso kann das Medium auch das Material sein, in dem sich das Eintreten und Heranbilden von etwas vollzieht und das an diesen Prozessen stets Anteil hat, an ihnen mitwirkt. Auch die Medienwissenschaft scheint davon auszugehen, dass das Vorhandensein von etwas staunenswert und erklärungsbedürftig ist, nicht aber dessen Abwesendsein. In diesem Punkt geht bislang auch eine genuin medienwissenschaftliche Ontologie, die ontologische Kategorisierungen des Seienden auf innerweltliche Operationen zurückführt, möglicherweise unverändert von einem Primat der tabula rasa aus, von dem Raum, den es zu füllen gälte, von der Leinwand, auf der es etwas sehen zu lassen gäbe. Verschwinden scheint dagegen gleichsam von allein zu geschehen, keines eigenen Aufwandes, keiner technologischen Basis und keiner spezifischen Operation zu bedürfen, im Gegenteil. Sein, so scheint es, strengt an, Nichtsein nicht. Geht man in Umkehr dieser traditionellen Auffassung davon aus, dass die Welt nicht leer und zu füllen ist, sondern immer schon erfüllt, ja randlos voll, dann zeigt sich, dass die Dinge unablässig verschwinden müssen, allein schon, um in einer restlos überfüllten Welt anderen, neuen Dingen und neuen Erscheinungen Platz machen zu können und deren Eintreten zu ermöglichen. Damit etwas erscheinen kann, muss etwas verschwinden, und weicht es nicht von sich aus oder – wie am Beispiel der Warenzirkulation im Konsumkapitalismus ersichtlich – nicht schnell genug, müssen eigene Operationen des Verschwindens eingreifen. Die vorliegende Ausgabe der ZMK fokussiert daher Phänomene des Verschwindens in den Operationen der Kartographie, der surrealistischen Kunst, des Theaters oder der Bühnenzauberei, um nur einige Beispiele zu nennen.

Contents

Editorial Lorenz Engell, Bernhard Siegert

Walter Benjamin’s media theory and the tradition of the media diaphana Antonio Somaini

Die spätmittelalterlichen eingefassten Gärten oder horti conclusi in den Niederlanden Barbara Baert

Appearance In-Itself, Data-Propagation, and External Relationality: Towards a Realist Phenomenology of »Firstness« Mark Hansen

Debatte: Posthumanism Stefan Herbrechter, Karin Harrasser

Glimpses. Between Appearance and Disappearance Georges Didi-Huberman

Das verhüllte Rätsel. Verschwinden und Erscheinen in der surrealistischen Kunst Claudia Blümle

Aus der Welt gefallen. Eine geographische Phantasie Wolfgang Struck

Zeigen im Verschwinden Miroslav Petříček

Méliès und die Materialität moderner Magie Matthew Solomon

im auftreten/verschwinden – auf dem Schauplatz und anderswo Bettine Menke

Abstracts

Lorenz Engell, Bernhard Siegert Editorial

Warum, so fragt klassischerweise die Ontologie, ist überhaupt etwas und nicht vielmehr nichts? Die dieser Frage zu Grunde liegende Dichotomie von etwas und nichts, Sein und Nichtsein, ist aber selbst voraussetzungsreich und keineswegs zwingend selbstverständlich. Sie ist schon als Frage selbst etwas, das auch nicht sein könnte.

Download

Antonio Somaini Walter Benjamin’s media theory and the tradition of the media diaphana

The article presents an in-depth analysis of Benjamin’s use of the German term Medium, in order to show how his entire media theory may be interpreted as centered on the interaction between the historically changing realm of the technical and material Apparate, and what he calls in the artwork essay the »Medium of perception«: the spatially extended environment, the atmosphere, the milieu, the Umwelt in which sensory experience occurs. This notion of »Medium of perception« is then located within the long, post-Aristotelian tradition of the media diaphana, whose traces can be found in the 1920s and 1930s in the writings of authors such as Béla Balázs, Fritz Heider, and László Moholy-Nagy.

Download

Barbara Baert Die spätmittelalterlichen eingefassten Gärten oder horti conclusi in den Niederlanden

The early sixteenth-century Enclosed Gardens or horti conclusi of the Augustinian Hospital Sisters of Mechelen, Belgium, form an exceptional part of late medieval world heritage. Most Enclosed Gardens have been lost, through the ravages of time exacerbated by lack of understanding and interest. No fewer than seven Enclosed Gardens, however, were preserved until the late twentieth century in their original context: the small community of Augustinian nuns in Mechelen. Like ›sleeping beauties‹, they remained secluded in the sisters’ rooms as aids to devotion. In this paper I discuss these gardens as a symbolisation of Paradise and the mystical union, as a sanctuary for interiorisation, as a sublimation of the sensorium (particularly smell), as horticulture that gains meaning in the making process and as a paradigm for the nest.

Mark Hansen Appearance In-Itself, Data-Propagation, and External Relationality: Towards a Realist Phenomenology of »Firstness«

Drawing on American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce’s »phaneroscopy«, and particularly on its point of disjunction from more orthodox phenomenology concerning the status and necessity of reception, this article argues that today’s databases phenomenalize the aesthetic dimension of worldly sensibility. Although database phenomenalizing explicitly substitutes for the phenomenalizing performed by consciousness on standard accounts of phenomenology, the important point is that it does so without severing contact with human experience. What is ultimately at stake here is the status of the phenomenon itself: insofar as it hosts the self-manifestation of the world without necessarily manifesting it to anyone or anything, the phenomenon can be disjoined from its subjective anchoring in consciousness (or any of its avatars) and ascribed to the operationality of worldly sensibility itself.

Stefan Herbrechter, Karin Harrasser Debatte: Posthumanism

Posthumanism has established itself as a new paradigm of theory. Like all social discourses, it is a sum of power struggles, subject positions, identities – and thus full of conflict. In this discourse, which includes mainly contemporary and hence techno cultural motifs, but which of course also has a long history, there is no agreement about what the posthuman actually is, that is if it is the best or the worst that could happen to man, to his humanity, to mankind and the humanistic tradition in general. Neither is there agreement as to whether posthumanism is inevitable, already a reality or just a mirage; or whether it is politically, culturally, socially progressive or to the contrary perhaps even regressive; whether it is solely produced by technological change or mainly constructed and thus ideologically motivated. The debate between Stefan Herbrechter and Karin Harrasser explores the reasons for the career of posthumanistic motives as well as related fears and hopes.

Download

Georges Didi-Huberman Glimpses. Between Appearance and Disappearance

Some fragmentary reflections, in a poetic and philosophical way, about appearance and disappearance.

Claudia Blümle Das verhüllte Rätsel. Verschwinden und Erscheinen in der surrealistischen Kunst

No epoch of the visual arts has treated the relation of disappearance and appearance as explicitly as surrealism. Especially Giorgio de Chirico’s The Enigma of the Oracle and Man Ray’s The Enigma of Isidore Ducasse can be used as examples. Framed by a manifesto on the role of the dream, Man Ray’s Enigma was printed on the first page of the first issue of the journal La révolution surréaliste. In this paper I show how in surrealism, the relation of disappearance and appearance is not only visualized, but dissected in an analytical and at the same time sensual way.

Wolfgang Struck Aus der Welt gefallen. Eine geographische Phantasie

While, during the 19th century, the ›white spots‹ disappear from the maps, a peculiar figure appears in the geographical imagination: the figure of a researcher who has been lost. However, the disappearance takes place under observation, it is organized in narratives and maps, it is inscribed in protocols that make the disappearance perceptible and simultaneously form the perception of a homogeneous geographical space and the conditions of its representation.

Miroslav Petříček Zeigen im Verschwinden

The article deals with the figure of thought »appearance in disappearance« at the interface between phenomenology and semiotics. The interest in this figure of thought manifests itself in the phenomena of the trace, the ellipse or the secret, especially in French philosophy since the 1960s. The main question is: Is there an appearance that appears only in its disappearance?

Matthew Solomon Méliès und die Materialität moderner Magie

The article deals with the specific materials that enabled the Magician and cinema pioneer Georges Méliès to produce his illusions. The materiality that accomplished the illusions created by him on stage and screen consists equally of the use of electricity, mechanics, pneumatics, optics, acoustics and chemistry. The use of these resources can not be divided into theater illusions and screen illusions; on the contrary, any reflection on Méliès’ effects of disappearance has to consider the co-presence of theatrical and cinematic techniques.

Bettine Menke im auftreten/verschwinden – auf dem Schauplatz und anderswo

As entrances and exits, appearance and disappearance are physical and symbolic operations, which refer to the border between onstage and backstage that constitutes the scene and with it the action on stage. To make an entrance is thus a risky and unstable operation between appearance and disappearance. Using the example of contemporary explorations of the conditions of theater that use the stage as a structure of various presentation areas and -spaces, the dependence of the theatrical presentation on an Elsewhere produces a specific pun on disappearance: that which ›disappears‹ here is somewhere else.