Pool IX: The Arts of Prometheus: Technologies of Hubris and Liberation in Contemporary Art 

Rory Rowan (*1980, Belfast) is a political geographer and cultural critic. His research spans widely across critical social theory, political ecology and the environmental humanities, and currently focuses on the political and philosophical dimensions of the Anthropocene, planetary governance and the emergence of private industry in outer space. He is author with Claudio Minca of On Schmitt and Space (Routledge, 2015) and regularly contributes writing on politics, art and cultural criticism to a number of print and online publication as well as working collaboratively with artists and curators. From 2014-2017 he was a Lecturer and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Political Geography Research Unit at the University of Zurich.
Nummer und TypMAF-MAF-Po00.18F.009 / Moduldurchführung
VeranstalterDepartement Fine Arts
LeitungRory Rowan, Donatella Bernardi
Anzahl Teilnehmendemaximal 15
ECTS3 Credits
VoraussetzungenStudents MFA
Students from other Master Programs: (Master-Platform CH) please apply via mail after February 5 to: stefanie.lanfranconi@zhdk.ch
InhalteThe mythical figure of Prometheus has recently reemerged as a key reference in discussions in contemporary art and social theory, where it is used to frame present and future relationships between technology and society, the natural world, the body, gender and the nature of the human. Yet the figure of Prometheus has been understood in radically contrasting ways. On the one hand Prometheus has been celebrated as a symbol of technology’s power to advance progress and liberate society from social and natural constraints, whilst on the other it has been used as a symbol of human hubris and a dangerously misplaced faith in technology as a means to solve problems rather than an ultimately uncontrollable tool of domination.
These contending contemporary accounts of Prometheanism will serve as a lens through which to explore the various ways that contemporary artists are engaging with questions of technology and power, and how new technologies are being employed within contemporary practices in order to explore the shifting relations between the two today.
The course will closely engage key theoretical texts, a selection of contemporary artists’ work, cases drawn from the student’s own practices as well as excursions to exhibitions in and around Zurich and other relevant sites. All texts will be provided ahead of course start.
Bibliographie / LiteraturRequired
• Agee, Joel (2015) ‘Introduction’ in Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus.
• Kingsnorth, Paul & Hine, Dougland (2009) Uncivilization: The Dark Mountain Manifesto
• Laboria Cuboniks (2015) The Xenofeminist Manifesto
• Srnicek Nick & Williams, Alex (2013) The Accelerationist Manifesto
• Wakefield, Stephanie (2017) ‘Field Notes from the Anthropocene: Living in the Back Loop’

• The Breakthrough Institute (2015) The Ecomodernist Manifesto
• Brassier, Ray (2013) ‘On Prometheanism and its Critics’ [available on Youtube]
• Hester, Helen (2017) ‘Promethean Labors and Domestic Realism’
• Toscano, Alberto (2011) ‘The Prejudice Against Prometheus’
• Tsing, Anna (2016) ‘Earth Stalked by Man’
• Zerzan, John (1997) ‘Against Technology’
Leistungsnachweis / Testatanforderung80 % attendance
active participation
Termine20. 2. / 21. 2. / 22. 2./23.2., jeweils 10.00 bis 17.00 h
Bewertungsformbestanden / nicht bestanden
Termine (4)