Cinema and Media Studies PhD Gerrit Krueper presents at the Bodies in Flux: Foot 2020, 8th Annual Conference!

Gerrit Krueper

Gerrit Krueper

In the first co-hort of our Cinema and Media Studies PhD program, Gerrit Krueper heads to Toronto for the Bodies in Flux: Foot 2020, 8th Annual Conference in the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto, February 27 – 28, 2020.

He will be presenting his paper “Performing on Virtual Stages: Liberating the Species-Being in Cognitive Capital” in the Paper Panel: Horizons, Animacy, Artificial Intelligence, and Cyborg Endbodiment.

A short abstract:

To become human, one must become cyborg.

This paper presents an understanding of the actions of human and being human in material historical terms in relation to performance across a variety of platforms with internet performance art at its center.

Though the aim of this paper is to present a theoretical exploration and to illustrate key components and aspects of debate, I will use an example of performance art by the artist Joseph DeLappe, who, to counter-act against the military propaganda of the video game America’s Army, logged into the game with the user name Dead-in-Iraq and by manually typing in name and information of actual dead soldiers confronts the players with the gruesome reality of war in an abstracting game environment. In doing so, I hope to demonstrate how medium-specific notions of performance can be reframed, theoretically, to bridge otherwise competing understandings of the cyborg body and Karl Marx’s species-being concepts.

Through the reading of online performance, this paper creates a theoretical conceptualization of both the cyborg body and species-being concept, bringing forth a renewed interpretation of Marx’ capital critique. Methodologically, this will be achieved through dialogue between old notions of Marx with contemporary capital theories by such as Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri and Donna Haraway – extending their concepts with that of the species-being.


Gerrit Krueper

(BA, American, English and German Studies, University of Wuerzburg, Germany; MA, Comparative Literature, University of Rochester, New York.)

Current Studies: Ph.D. Cinema and Media Studies

Supervisor: Dr. Ernest Mathijs

Gerrit proposes a trans-/post-humanistic theory of the cyborg theorized with the help of Japanese cyberpunk animation. His theory reads the cyborg on the means of both the cyber-body (production, resources, labor force, tools of labor/production, organization) and the cyber-brain, its immaterial realm (consciousness, species-being, social-relations, power struggles, networks). Illuminating the depth of Marx’s concept of humanity’s species-being, he demonstrates that its theorization reveals the true potential of liberation and transcendence in both sense consciousness/species-being progression, and towards an alternative to capitalism. Inspired and influenced by theorists such as Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, and Nick Dyer-Witheford, he further develops a cyber-Marxist understanding of culture, economy and politics – one that argues that in order to become human, one must become cyborg.

Bodies in Flux: Foot 2020:

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