At a moment when millions of algorithmically generated stories circulate in the news, when collaborative textual systems challenge established ideas of point-of-view and authorship, and when algorithmic gatekeepers shape cultural access, it behooves us to think more critically about algorithms and their work. William Uricchio’s lecture takes up this challenge, considering algorithms as cultural practices and reflecting on their operations, implications, and distinctions from the logics of the Modern.
On the evening of February 24, interdisciplinary artist Sanford Biggers delivered the spring 2015 Guna S. Mundheim artist talk, “Moon Medicin,” at the American Academy in Berlin. Guests were greeted by Trustee-in-Residence Christine I. Wallich, followed by the editor of the art magazine Weltkunst, Lisa Zeitz, who spoke of Biggers’ abilities to masterfully combine concepts, signs, and metaphors of spirituality, hip-hop, 1970s TV, maps, mandalas, African-American ethnography, and jazz, in a manner than leads to new and uneasy constellations. »
The Fifty-Seventh Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 8, 2015, at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles. Among the winners was violinist Hilary Hahn, who received the award in the Best Chamber Music category, for her In 27 Pieces album of encores, recorded with pianist Cory Smythe. The album features 26 works (and one audition-winning work) commissioned by Hahn from contemporary composers -- among them the piece "Storm of the Eye," by Elliot Sharp, the spring 2015 Inga Maren Otto Music Composition Fellow at the American Academy. »
The American Academy mourns the death of founding chairman Thomas L. Farmer, who passed away in Washington, DC, on Thursday, February 5, at age 91. "We are greatly saddened by Tom Farmer's passing," said the Academy's Acting Chairman, Gahl Hodges Burt. "It is fair to say that without Tom there would be no American Academy in Berlin. He was instrumental not only in garnering support for the Academy, but in creating real enthusiasm for our institution in both Germany and the US. He will be greatly missed." »
On the evening of February 3, the lecture room of the Hans Arnhold Center was bursting at the seams: a huge crowd had come to hear Evgeny Morozov’s Bosch Public Policy lecture, “The Internet of Things: Solutionism at its Worst, or Humanity’s last Savior?” »
The American Academy in Berlin mourns the death of Bundespräsident Richard von Weizsäcker. "Richard von Weizsäcker was one of the great political leaders of our period," Henry A. Kissinger said today, "beyond politics, and an inspiration beyond the nation." Along with Henry Kissinger, Richard Holbrooke, and Thomas Farmer, Richard von Weizsäcker was one of the founders of the American Academy in Berlin, and he was a persistent champion of the German-American friendship. »