LECTURE Prof. Dr. Albert Newen: Who am I? - Transformations of the ego and memories of experiences of dissolution of boundaries

Thursday, 25 April 2024, 7 PM

DO 25. APRIL, 19 UHR

mit der Kuratorin Rebekka Seubert 
19:30-21 UHR LECTURE
Prof Dr Albert Newen (Professor of Philosophy of Mind, Ruhr University Bochum): Who am I? - Transformations of the self and memories of experiences of demarcation

Albert Newen studied philosophy, psychology and history at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg im Breisgau and at the University of Bielefeld from 1985 to 1990, where he completed his doctorate in 1994 with a dissertation entitled Kontext, Referenz und Bedeutung. Eine Bedeutungstheorie singulärer Terme bei Eike von Savigny und Wolfgang Spohn. From 1996, he worked as a research assistant at the University of Bonn, where he completed his habilitation in 2001 with a thesis on theories of self-consciousness. In 2002/03 he was a fellow at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg. In 2003, he was appointed Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tübingen, specializing in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. Since 2007, he has taught as Professor of Philosophy with a focus on philosophy of mind at the Ruhr University Bochum (Source: Wikipedia, 01.02.2024).


Considering the self as a continuous experience and distinct entity is an achievement of the human brain and at the same time serves culturally as an important basis for the individualism that dominates Western societies. This assumption is challenged by the influence of social developments and technical means such as social media, artificial intelligence and neuroscience. Questioning it through the means of “unselfing”, as suggested by the Irish philosopher Iris Murdoch (1919–1999) in the early 1970ies, can provide a guideline for contemporary challenges and enable a position of both artistic and personal resistance.

With newly developed performances, installations and interactive formats as well as videos and paintings, the exhibition explores the experience of self-dissolution: Possibilities of fluid identities, the death of one part of the self and the transformation of another, as well as feelings of empathy and oneness with the surrounding world—with humans or other species and nature. From mingled authorship and absorption in the collective, to physically and psychologically dissociating experiences through meditation, trance, pain or chemical substances, the exhibition seeks to outline a path and state of self-laterality, empathy and happiness.

Curated by Rebekka Seubert


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