TAGUNG: Mimetic Mutations

21.05. – 22.05.2015
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar


Ausgerichtet vom Teilprojekt „Mimesis des bewegten Bildes“


PosterMimetic Mutations



Maria Muhle (Academy of Fine Arts, Munich)

Sudeep Dasgupta (Amsterdam University)

Lisa Åkervall (Bauhaus-University Weimar)

Mara Mills (NYU)

Erika Balsom (King’s College London)

Kirsten Maar (Free University Berlin)

Seb Franklin (King’s College London)

Daniela Wentz (Bauhaus-University Weimar)


What are the cultural techniques of mimesis that define contemporary arts and media? The proliferation of memes and selfies, the appropriation of a corporate aesthetics in post-internet art (e.g. K–Hole, DIS), and the rapid increase of the remake in contemporary television series and music videos (e.g. Homeland, House of Cards, Girls, Bound 2) shed light on the mimetic mutations in contemporary arts and media.

These phenomena indicate a mutation of the cultural techniques of mimesis while also rearticulating a change instigated by the aesthetic strategies of advertising deployed by Andy Warhol’s pop art and described as simulacra by Jean Baudrillard.

Traditionally denoting the relationship between an object and its imitation, and described by Aristotle as the result of the human desire to produce imitations, mimesis has undergone a number of changes in recent years. Whereasthe relation of twentieth century arts and media to mimesis was often marked by critical distance and a certain self-awareness, twenty-first century digitally networked media cultures display a more affirmative relationship towards mimesis. This shift in perspective not only articulates a shift in the cultural techniques of mimesis, but also blurs the boarders between the critique and affirmation. Today we are no longer dealing with an anti-mimetic aesthetics of distance and irony; rather distance and irony are replaced by a mimetic aesthetics of affirmation and immersion.

The conference Mimetic Mutations aims at discussing art historical, film, TV and digital media studies contributions on the vexed relationship between critique and affirmation in the cultural techniques of mimesis as well as the more general mimetic mutations in contemporary arts and media.