Contemporary theories on art and culture and the esthetics of new technologies


Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

The Transformation of Modern Thought – Philosophy, psychoanalysis, culture

Course code: 25

Year of study: Not specified

Course principal:
Prof. Marina Gržinić Mauhler, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective 

Languages: Slovene 

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, discussions classes 


Course syllabus


None required.


Content (Syllabus outline):

Europe, the World of Cyborgs, and the Other:

  • Matrices of the Esthetic and Political (Donna Haraway, Jacques Rancière, Maria Lugones)
  • Spectralization of Europe (Jacques Derrida, Marx, Paolo Virno)
  • The Sexual Difference (Jacques Lacan, Joan Copjec, Judith Butler, Aihwa Ong)


Esthetics of the Cyber World and the Effects of De-Realization:

  • The Global, Multicultural, and Spiritual (Alain Badiou, Walter Mignolo)
  • Production of Life and Death (Giorgio Agamben, Achille Mbembe)
  • The Artificial Life (Peter Weibel, Sarah Franklin)
  • Terminal Positioning (Sarah Kember, Paul Virilio)


Agamben and the Anthropological Machine:

  • Apathy and Boredom (Rosi Braidotti, Giorgio Agamben, Heidegger, Slavoj Žižek)
  • Out of Being (Sartre, Deleuze, Badiou)



  • Agamben, Giorgio. 2004. The Open: Man and Animal, Stanford: University Press.
  • Biotehnologija, filozofija in spol: zbornik, Ljubljana: Maska, 2002.
  • Baudrillard, Jean. 1999. Simulaker in simulacija, Ljubljana: Študentska organizacija Univerze.
  • Debord, Guy. 1999. Družba spektakla, Ljubljana: Študentska organizacija Univerze.
  • Gržinić, Marina. 2005. O repolitizaciji umetnosti skozi kontaminacijo, Filozofski vestnik, XXVI/3. Ljubljana.
  • Haraway, Donna J. 1999. Opice, kiborgi in ženske, Ljubljana: Študentska organizacija Univerze.
  • Rancière, Jacques. 2005. Nevedni učitelj: Pet lekcij o intelektualni emancipaciji, Ljubljana: Zavod EN-KNAP.
  • Stelarc: zbornik, Ljubljana: Maska, MKC: Maribor, 2002.
  • Šumič-Riha, Jelica. 2005. Transmisija in arheologija neuspehov, spremna študija k Jean Claude Milner, Jasno delo: Lacan, znanost, filozofija, Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • Virilio, Paul. 1996. Hitrost osvoboditve, Ljubljana: Študentska organizacija Univerze.
  • Virno, Paolo. 2003. Slovnica mnoštva: k analizi oblik sodobnega življenja, Ljubljana: Krtina.
  • Žižek, Slavoj. 2006. The Parallax View, Boston: MIT Press.


Objectives and competences:

This course addresses issues in esthetics, philosophy, politics, and culture in relation to theories of the virtual, new technologies, and media realities. In addition, it involves theoretical and philosophical contextualization of new media and contemporary art conditions for the constitution of the postmodern subject and as well the implications of such conditions for art, culture, theory, politics, and activist practices. The challenges outlined above involve dealing with borders and posing questions such as whether we can really live innocently disinterested within various regimes of art, technology, and databases, and how we are to push our way through a relevant re-articulation of philosophy and theory today. To answer these questions, it is necessary to combine philosophy, esthetics, theory, fiction, history, and political research; this last element is open to the rigorous study of democracy and (national) politics and is entering contemporary art, science, and technology. As a result, we face the reinstatement of utmost controversial matrices of politics of representation, reading, and narratives that could be regarded as art, science, history, philosophy, knowledge, and non-knowledge. The course also focuses on issues concerning contaminated, implicated, and troubled narratives, interpretations, articulations, constructions, and fantastic scenarios, as well as discourses, instruments, and means that are today seen as constitutive elements of (the global) system of art, culture, theory, and philosophy.


Intended learning outcomes:
Students use the knowledge acquired in the course to write a piece of academic writing that can serve as a draft of a dissertation chapter or a research article.


Learning and teaching methods:

Types of learning/teaching:

  • Frontal teaching
  • Independent students work
  • e-learning


Teaching methods:

  • Explanation
  • Conversation/discussion/debate
  • Work with texts
  • Case studies



  • 80 % Long written assignments
  • 20 % Final examination (written/oral)


Contemporary philosophy and modernist literature

Assist. Prof. Rok Benčin, Ph.D.,


Critical Aesthetics and Twentieth-Century Art

Prof. Aleš Erjavec, Ph. D. ,

Prof. Lev Kreft, Ph. D. ,


Formation of the Concepts

Assist. Prof. Aleš Bunta, Ph. D. ,

Assist. Prof. Tadej Troha, Ph. D. ,


German idealism and its consequences

Assoc. Prof. Frank Ruda, Ph. D. ,


Ideology and Philosophy

Assoc. Prof. Jan Völker, Ph. D. ,


Philosophy and Psychoanalysis

Prof. Jelica Šumič Riha, Ph. D.,


Philosophy and scientific revolution

Assoc. Prof. Matjaž Vesel, Ph.D.,


Psychoanalysis and the social bond

Prof. Alenka Zupančič, Ph.D.,

Assoc. Prof. Peter Klepec, Ph. D.,