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Photo: Jon Solomon

Topic of the talk:

Ignorant audiences and how to address them in the age of »post-truth«?

The ZKM and HfG discussion series invites international guests from the fields of philosophy, literature and art to engage in an open exchange with members of the university, ZKM staff and the people of Karlsruhe. In the latest event, writer and cultural critic Boris Buden looks at the crisis in communication following the decline of binding knowledge.

Moderation: Constanze Fischbeck (HfG) and Alistair Hudson (ZKM)

One of the major aspects of the crises that has engulfed the world at the dawn of the twenty-first century refers to knowledge and its current status in the contemporary societies. We experience it first and foremost in terms of a growing epistemic precarity. Its most striking symptom is the erosion of a fact-based discourse often epitomized by the notions of »post-truth«, or »post-fact« and accompanied by a popular embrace of various conspiracy theories.

In dealing with its challenge the talk will focus on the concept of the so-called »vernacular«, i.e. locally based, audiences whose addressing – commodification – is today a well-known strategy of the techno-capitalist expansion. As its starting point the talk takes the traumatic experience of the so-called re-vernacularization of German language and culture (Jürgen Trabant); it evokes the anti-systemic concept of »vernacular values« (Ivan Illich) and reflects upon the ambivalent character of the »everyday life« (Michel de Certeau), its populist conservative character on the one side and its emancipatory potentials on the other.

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