In recent decades, scholars tried to look beyond vision in order to include other, long more excluded senses of sound, touch, smell, taste and synaesthesia in their account of media, science and society. This seminar explores new ways of studying optical media, for example by integrating the findings of studies on other senses and their media. We will work with selected objects from collections of nearby museums (e.g. Deutsches Optisches Museum in Jena), to reconstruct the mediality of historical perceptual practices. The central questions of this seminar are methodological: How to include material objects and sense experiences when studying media history? How can we work with these old optical devices to make them challenge our current-day understanding of media and perception? Against a background of readings from Media Archaeology, History of instruments, History of Science, Museum Studies, and the latest explorations in Historical Reconstructions, and Digital Exhibitions (e.g. 3D animations, or visualised databases), the participants will work on one object and design a new way of access to it.
The seminar will be offered in English. Several sessions will take place on location. In the framework of the Bauhaus semester SoSe2019, this seminar is open for all faculties, and is explicitly welcoming students from Media Informatics, Art and Design, and Media Architecture, interested in the history of perception, in methodological reflections, and in exploring a more material and sensory approach to media history.