Privatdozent für Kunstgeschichte am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT); Gast- und Vertretungsprofessuren am Exzellenzcluster »Asia and Europe in a Global Context« der Universität Heidelberg, an der Universität Jena, der Tallinn University sowie der Kunstakademie Karlsruhe; Fellowships am »Internationalen Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie« (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar) und am »Internationalen Forum Kulturwissenschaften« (Wien); Wissenschaftlicher Koordinator des DFG-Graduiertenkollegs »Bild, Körper, Medium. Eine anthropologische Perspektive« an der Staatlichen Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe (2000–2009).
Image and mask. On the anachronism of TV faces
The project brings an intercultural perspective to the anthropological and morphological relation between face, mask, image and medium, a relation that is always of contemporary importance but which especially concerns the figurative narration of social roles and societal identity. In the perspective of a longue durée, there is a sustained continuity in the history of the European portrait from the start of the modern era to the facial images in current electronic media. In the morphome of the artificial face staged and generated by the media, the singular features of each case become suffused with the exemplary and, correspondingly, the individual and momentary specificum is also suffused with very ancient conventions. This kind of venture hence differs from the thinking based on caesurae that often dominates analyses of discourse and technology; it does so in order to make clear that, despite all the technical and cultural differences, there is an on-going history of images that spans cultures and media, inherent to which is a chronic anachronism. In pursuit of this, the focus will above all be on the intercultural migrations, translations and mixtures of facial images. The central point of the investigations is the medial layerings between ›natural‹ and ›artificial‹ faces. They show that in certain strongly ritualised images, such as those of current television, there are pre-conditions and modes of representation that bear within them much older, but still active layers of a global history: the close connection between face, mask, image and medium, in which the singular and the exemplary, life and death, ‘life imaging’ and the anonymous, are all at once inscribed.