Conference “Capabilities and refusals of the techno body. Participation and design in medical engineering”

Hi Robot – Das Mensch Maschine Festival

Sat 16.03. 10:00 – 19:30 HI, ROBOT!

Narratives and images for prosthetic bodies have turned increasingly futuristic in recent times, the prosthetics themselves becoming ever smarter and more fashionable. They seem to have shed stigma and shame a long time ago. Concurrently, new and old normalisation tendencies are at play: We expect a technically well-endowed human to be a high performer, to be motivated, and present in the ubiquitous programme of self-optimisation. It would certainly be best if we ourselves were the avant-garde. In contrast, we see innumerable individual techno biographies and idiosyncratic techno bodies on the one hand and a stronger insight into the need for the involvement of those affected into the design aspects of medical engineering on the other hand. Plus, we also face the question for the relation between innovation in medical engineering and social participation: When do prosthetics enhance performance and the ability to act and when do they, employed as mere “quick fixes”, replace a necessary political discussion about the conditions of participation?

Devised by Austrian media and cultural scientist professor Karin Harrasser, PhD, the conference unlocks those zones in which possibilities of technical body expansion revert into normative discourse, via a course of design theory and design practice, media history, technological philosophy, science fiction and dance. 


10:00 Opening conversation "Design, participation and experience"/ in German and English

Karin Harrasser, Philipp Kampas (Otto Bock Medizintechnik, Mechatronic Prosthetic Systems), Ashana Hohgräve (Otto Bock Medizintechnik, Brand Consulting & Design Management) und Claire Cunningham (Choreographer, Dancer, Factory Artist at tanzhaus nrw)

11:00 Klaus Birnstiel (Literary Studies, University of Greifswald) „Prothesengötter. Körper, Technik, Lebensformen“ / In German

12:00 Jan Müggenburg (Media Studies, Leuphana University Lüneburg) „Von Mäusen und Anderen. Assistive Medien und die Zugänglichkeit des Computers“ / In German

Lunch break

15.00 Beate Ochnser (Media Studies, University of Konstanz) „Smartes Hören oder: Technosensorien des (Hör-)Sinns“ / in German

16.00 Robin Bekrater-Bodmann (Neuro Psychology, Central Institute of Mental Health) „Von Prothesen und Phantomen. Erkenntnisse der Neuropsychologie zur Körperwahrnehmung bei Amputierten“ / in German

17.00 Maria Czernohorszky, Andrea Maria Handler, Martyna Lorenc „Into Touch. Phantom Bodies’ Universes“ / in English

18.30 Adam Harper (Music Critic and Pop Theorist, Goldsmith College London) „Out of Touch? Tangible Music in a Disembodied Age“ / In English

Location: NRW-Forum, Ehrenhof 2, 40479 Düsseldorf
Tickets via

„Phantoms in the paradise“ by Martyna Lorenc.

Image: „Phantoms in the paradise“ by Martyna Lorenc. An event by tanzhaus nrw in cooperation with NRW-Forum as part of META Marathon. HI, ROBOT! is a festival about the future of the human body, initiated by tanzhaus nrw and in cooperation with NRW-Forum Düsseldorf and Black Box / Kino im Filmmuseum Düsseldorf, funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes. Media partner: Monopol.

tanzhaus nrw_Hi Robot_Konferenz Was der Technokörper vermag_von Karin Harrasser_16.03.2019