‘cartes blanches.’ About the Vagueness of the Body in the Present


by Prof. Dr. Marc Ries

In a world whose furthest corner we think we have surveyed and can access, we are gradually becoming aware of objects for which only “blank spaces” are at our disposal, spaces as such that do not allow for orientation or dominance, but confront us with uncertainty and frankness. These objects are our own bodies, whose manipulation and modification we support through the structures of technological media, whose plasticity and resistance we can scarcely surmise, and which, on a daily basis, increasingly present themselves as over-exercised and disciplined, yet inadaptable and stubborn. At a time when geographical and urban space has been rendered transparent at the hands of the most diverse inscription techniques, the “blank space of our bodies” deserves more than a simple post-humanist interpretation, for, “no one yet has been able to determine all of the body’s abilities” (Spinoza).

Marc Ries is professor for Media Theory and Sociology at the University of Art and Design, Offenbach

The lecture is to listen on Youtube .