Persons of Interest: The Status of the Self in Digital Cultures

A Presentation and Discussion with Andreas Bernard

The Wende Museum at The Armory
Culver City, California

March 1, 2018
6:00 pm

From social media to biometrics, today’s technologies of self-representation and self-perception derive from methods of criminology, psychology, and psychiatry that date to the late nineteenth century. Techniques that were long used exclusively by police or scientific authorities are now being applied to everyone who uses a smartphone. Biographical descriptions, GPS transmitters, and measuring devices installed on bodies are no longer just for tracking suspected criminals or patients but  for entertainment, daily communication, making money, or finding a romantic partner. An illuminating lecture traces the genealogies and criminological foundations of contemporary subjectivity.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Bernard is a professor of cultural studies at Leuphana University of Lüneburg and a lecturer in the university's Center for Digital Cultures. He studied literary criticism and cultural studies in Munich and was a research assistant at Bauhaus University, Weimar, and at the University of Konstanz. As a journalist, he currently writes for Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and ZEIT Magazin. Recent book publications include Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator (New York, 2014), Making Children: New Reproductive Technologies and the Order of Family (Frankfurt am Main, 2014), and Persons of Interest: The Self in Digital Cultures(Frankfurt am Main, 2017).

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This event is presented as part of Wende Conversations: A Discussion Series Supported by Susan Horowitz and Rick Feldman.