Establishing a Transatlantic Collaboration between the Brandenburg Center for Media Studies and the Center for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cincinnati
The collaborative research project Daring Media brings together scholars from Germany and the United States to discuss urgent issues of the global present. Their individual contributions focus on topics such as global movements and migration, border regimes, war and conflict, surveillance and risk management, environmental changes and challenges, representations of gender and sexuality as well as forms of embodiment and performance. The common framework for the interdisciplinary, diachronic, and methodologically broad explorations is a shared interest in media studies and media theories, taking into account that the fields under discussion are navigated by and through media – be they established or emerging. The project is built around the idea that Daring Media first and foremost “have the heart” (a synonym for to dare) to investigate and question situations of crisis, risk, conflict and uncertainty. It thus assumes that Daring Media carry out investigations and intervene before traditional or established mass-media pick up, tame and normalize the daring themes for a broader media public. Following this claim, the project seeks to tease out and establish Daring Media as a concept that ties together thematic and methodological concerns, thereby complementing the well-established yet ongoing debates about the relationship between aesthetics and politics with respect to media theories and practices.
The range of meaning regarding Daring Media can be seen as threefold:
- Daring Media refer to media practices, i.e. doing things with media. They point towards risky or bold actions that are enabled and energized through the use of media artifacts and formations, an example of which is the use of action cams such as the GoPro.
- Daring Media address media artifacts and media formations, bringing the concept in conversation with current discussions about media ecology and the respective role of the computer, the programs and algorithms that govern its––and the user’s––actions, and the networks that lie at the heart of its techno-material configuration.
- Daring Media points towards reflexive but also often contradictory attitudes in the use and the cultural imaginary of media artifacts and formations. The different art forms play a crucial role in reflecting upon contemporary political constellations and their mediated forms of expression , as they “help us see the historical moment that we find ourselves in,” but also and most importantly allow “us see how the historical moment could be different.” (Trevor Paglen)