Performance Philosophy 2017: Project Golem – Uncanny Acts of Creation between Art, Philosophy and Technology


Inspired by the legend of the Golem of Prague as created by Rabbi Loew with divine help and Kabbalistic formulas in 16th century, five scholars and three artists unfold a philosophical performance that includes reflections on both the creation of artificial beings and human beings as artificial, mastering the environment and forming it artistically. Creating means acting responsibly, since there are consequences and even dangers involved in the process: The Golem of Prague runs amok and destroys a part of the city. During the performance, boundaries between art, philosophy and technology are therefore questioned, in order to think through the act of creation in relation to the understanding of the human creators themselves – beyond the critique of technical dominance of the real on the one hand, and the liberty of artistic practice on the other hand, the scientific saturation of the real and the magically interrelated entities and actors.



Barbora Fastrová & Johana Pošová (sculpture, installation, Prague), Nadja Ben Khelifa (Cultural Studies, Free University Berlin); Manuela Klaut (Cultural and Media Studies, Leuphana-University Lüneburg); Kateřina Krtilová (Media Philosophy, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar); Petr Nikl (painter, performance artist, musician, photographer, Prague); Jörg Sternagel (Media Philosophy, Zürich University of the Arts);  Kateřina Svatoňová (Film and Media Studies, Charles University Prague); Moritz Wehrmann (photographer, performance artist, Weimar, Paris).

Barbora Fastrová and Johana Pošová have both studied photography the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague in Photography. The collaboration between them however began in earnest after they had independently spent some time in the rainforests of South America. Discussing their visits, they realized they were both interested in the overlapping but contrasting concepts of nature and culture. They document places where nature is artificial such as zoos or tropical amusement parks in urban settings, commenting on the absurdity. Their work together takes form in a large variety of media, and has an important element of playfulness in their attitude towards the topics they choose to address.

Nadja Ben Khelifa is a research associate at the Institute for English Language and Literature at the Freie Universität Berlin, and currently in the process of completing her dissertation on national myth. Her research interests comprise philosophy of culture, postcolonial studies, and media theory. She worked as an author and editor for online magazines and more recently as a translator for the “Internationales Jahrbuch für Medienphilosophie”. She was a member of the trilateral project “North-South Literary and Cultural Interactions“ (2011-14), a cooperation between the University of Cape Town/ South Africa, the Kenyatta University Nairobi/ Kenya and the FU Berlin.

Kateřina Krtilová (PhD) is a researcher and coordinator of the Center for Media Anthropology at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, where she finished her PhD with a thesis on Vilém Flusser’s media philosophy. In her research she focuses on media philosophy and the relations between reflexivity, performativity and materiality in 20th and 21st century philosophy. She initiated a number of German-Czech projects in the field of media theory and philosophy and edited, together with Kateřina Svatoňová, the volume Medienwissenschaft. Východiska a aktuální pozice německé filosofie a teorie médií [Medienwissenschaft. Starting Points and Current Positions of German Media Philosophy and Theory].

Manuela Klaut is a research associate at the Institute for Culture and Aesthetics of

Digital Media at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg. Having studied administrative science (FH Halberstadt) and Media Culture (Bauhaus University of Weimar) she worked for the IKKM in Weimar. From 2010 to 2013 she held a scholarship and was a member of the graduate college “Mediale Historiographien” in Weimar. Research interests: media theory, the history of science and media and cultural techniques of law.

Kateřina Svatoňová (PhD) is the Head of the Institute of Film Studies at Charles University in Prague and a member of the executive board of the Czech Society of Film Studies. Her research interests include media theory, history, archeology and philosophy, (Czech) modernity from a media-archeological perspective, changes in the (perception of) space and time arrangements in visual culture and the relation between film and other media. In 2017 she finished her habilitation on In Between Images. Cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera’s Media Practices [Mezi-obrazy: Mediální praktiky kameramana Jaroslava Kučery”], published in 2016.

Petr Nikl works in painting, drawing, graphic art, illustration, poetry, installation, performing art and music. A recipient of the prestigious Chalupecký Prize for young artists in 1995, he has had numerous exhibitions in the Czech republic and abroad. His later work has incorporated theater, live performance, and play. He developed the concept for The Garden of Fantasy and Music that was part of the Czech pavilion at EXPO 2005 in Aichi, Japan, and the collaborative projects Orbis Pictus, Labyrinth of Light or Play. He illustrated a number of prize-winning books, among them Vyhnání z ráje and O Rybabě a Mořské duši; in 2017 then Legenda o Golemovi.

Moritz Wehrmann works in Weimar, Berlin and Paris. He studied media art at the Bauhaus University and the College of Fine Arts Sydney. His works include mixed media installations, photography, video and assembled objects. His central discourse deals with mimetic constellation, aspects of subjectivity, perception and questions of the relationships of physical, temporal and mediated acts of self-location. He received scholarships by the German National Academic Foundation and the DAAD. He has a long-term interdisciplinary collaboration project with the neurophysiologist Alain Berthoz (Collége de France, Paris) and currently works at Humboldt University Berlin and the IKKM Weimar.

Jörg Sternagel (PhD) is Researcher at the Institute for Critical Theory at the Zürich University of the Arts. His work focuses on theories of alterity and the performative, image and medium, philosophy of existence. Recent publications include: Internationales Jahrbuch für Medienphilosophie, Volume 3: Pathos/Passibilität, (ed., with Michael Mayer, 2017), Pathos des Leibes. Phänomenologie ästhetischer Praxis (Zürich/Berlin 2016), Techniken des Leibes (ed., with Fabian Goppelsröder, Weilerwist 2016),  Kraft der Alterität. Ethische und aisthetische Dimensionen des Performativen (ed., with Dieter Mersch and Lisa Stertz, Bielefeld 2015). For more information go to:


Event detail

Event start
25. 6. 2017 10:00 - 12:30
Hybernská 4, Prague 1
Event type