Prof. Johan Frederik Hartle

Johan Frederik Hartle is professor for Art Studies and Media Theory at the University for Arts and Design, Karlsruhe. He teaches as an adjunct professor at the School of Intermedia Art at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. His most important publications are Der geöffnete Raum. Zur Politik der ästhetischen Form, München 2006, DADALENIN (ed. with Rainer Ganahl, Stuttgart/Zürich 2013), The Spell of Capital. Reification and Spectacle (ed. with Samir Gandesha, Amsterdam 2017) und Aesthetic Marx (ed. with Samir Gandesha, London 2017).


Technology anticipates many futures and never just one. That is good news. It also implies, however, that technology alone cannot guarantee any specific form of progress. To the extent that technological development is pre-structured by current forms of social practice, existing power relations, and structures of interest, it might even, more often than not, ossify the presence than anticipate the future. The paper will outline material conditions of contemporary immaterial cultures and, against the background of theories of reification and spectacle, discuss conditions of possible futures.