Hybrid Encounters: Art Meets Science - Moods/Vibes

At the start of the semester, the literary theorist and specialist in comparative literature Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht meets the DJ Westbam.

18th October 2018, 7-9 pm
Georg-Neumann Saal, Einsteinufer 43 -53, 10587 Berlin
Performance lecture & discussion. Free Admission.
Talks are given in English language.

The bringing together of a literary theorist and a DJ may seem like a daring experiment. The renowned literary theorist and specialist in comparative literature Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (Professor Emeritus, Stanford University) is known for his critical-philosophical writings on political and social reality; the DJ and musician Maximilian Lenz aka Westbam is regarded as a founding instance of the German Techno scene. But both have one thing in common: they respond to moods and atmospheres. But what does “mood” mean for each of the respective disciplines and how can a mood be steered and musically or intellectually reflected? How important are correct intuition and having an “antenna” in society? How do underground phenomena manage to reach a mass audience? These and other questions will be addressed in the discussion. During the event, Westbam will play a set and comment upon the musical selection in the form of a performance lecture.

This is already the third event to be put on as part of the “Hybrid Encounters” series. Launched by the Hybrid Platform (an initiative of the Technische Universität Berlin and the Berlin University of the Arts) in cooperation with the Schering Foundation, the series brings art and science into dialogue. In it, eminent international guests meet personalities who, in addition to their own background, conduct research or are artistically active.

Hans Ulrich Gumbrechtis a German-American literary theorist, essayist and critic. Apart from his research on the literature of the Romance languages, he has written on the history of the humanities, philosophy and aesthetics. His spectrum of topics is vast: he deals both with topics in politics and the humanities and with figures from popular culture. For many years, he was the author of a blog for the website of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, in which he commented on social issues. His publications have been translated into more than 20 languages, he has received honorary doctorates from numerous universities, and he has been a guest professor at institutions of higher learning in Germany, France and Canada. Up until his retirement, he held the Chair in Comparative Literature at Stanford University.

Westbam is one of the pioneers of electronic music in Germany. In the mid-1980s, he co-founded the German Techno label Low Spirit, and he was one of the initiators of both the Mayday indoor-rave and the Love Parade in Berlin. Maximilian Lenz, as he is known in civilian life, substantially contributed to Techno becoming a mass phenomenon. Today, some 30 years later, he is still filling concert halls all around the world. 2015 he published an autobiography about his life as a DJ.

Organisers: The format »Hybrid Encounters« are organized and realized by Hybrid Plattform – a project platform of the Berlin University of the Arts and the Technische Universität Berlin – and Schering Stiftung.


Here you can find the documentation of the Hybrid Encounters.