Vampyroteuthis Infernalis – The vampire squid from hell (Seminar)

Dr. Anita Jóri
Vampyroteuthis Infernalis – The vampire squid from hell

Seminar, Deutsch/English, 2 SWS, 2 LP
Donnerstags, 12-16 Uhr, circa 14-tägig, 8 Termine: 25.10, 8.11., 22.11., 6.12., 20.12.2018, 10.1., 17.1., 24.1.2019, Vilém Flusser Archiv, Grunewaldstr. 2-5, Raum 208

Imagine the circumstances of the deep sea, several thousand feet beneath the surface. It is dark there and the level of oxygen is extremely low. The vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis), named after its cloak-like appearance by the German scientist Carl Chun during the famous Valdivia Expedition, lives in this environment. This fascinating creature inspired the cultural theorist and philosopher Vilém Flusser (1920-1991), who dedicated his book “Vampyroteuthis infernalis” (1987) to his (bio-)artist friend Louis Bec (1936-2018). As an answer, Bec created sketches about imaginary deep-sea species that were published along with the text. This philosophical fiction brings us into the everyday life of the vampire squid – as the ultimate “other” from a human perspective – and analyses different phenomenological events of human life and the links between animality and embodiment.
During the seminar, we will learn about biological taxonomies and visit the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, where the original documentation of the above-mentioned Valdivia Expedition can be found too. On the contrary, we will also take a closer look at the artificial taxonomical system of the “Institut Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste“, founded by Louis Bec and devoted to “studying the incapability of living things to understand their own existence“.
The participants of the seminar will read and analyse not only this book by Flusser and Bec but also some other related texts and “scientific fictions“. The results of the seminar will be shown as an exhibition within the frames of the official programme of transmediale Vorspiel.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credit: regular and active participation, presentation

Ausrichtung der Veranstaltung: interkulturell, orientierend
Kompetenz/Aktivität der Teilnehmenden: reflektieren/denken, aneignen

Anita Jóri is a research assistant at the Vilém Flusser Archive, Berlin University of the Arts (since 01.10.2016). In 2010 she finished her master studies in history, pedagogy and applied linguistics at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, HU). In 2017, she finished her PhD thesis “The discourse community of electronic dance music“. During her studies she received different scholarships in Prague, Vilnius, and Berlin. Earlier as a research assistant at the University of Pécs (HU) and Macromedia University of Applied Sciences (Berlin), Anita Jóri took part in different research projects. Moreover, she was a lecturer in media studies (2013-16) of the study programme „Communication in Social and Economic Contexts” (seminar title: “Visual and Artifact Analysis through the example of Electronic Music“) at the Berlin University of the Arts. She gained her first work experience at the Vilém Flusser Archive as a scholarship holder of “Erasmus+” (2011/2012), later as a project coordinator of the “Vilém Flusser Residency Program for Artistic Research“ in cooperation with “transmediale“, festival for art and digital culture (Berlin). As a linguist, she is interested in Flusser’s early works on language and philosophy of language, in particular his structural (intercultural) analysis of languages and language families.