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The Concept ‘Industry 4.0’ Seen from a Cultural and Media Studies Perspective

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The Concept ‘Industry 4.0’ Seen from a Cultural and Media Studies Perspective

The idea of the forth industrial revolution is based not on the steam engine (first industrial revolution in the late 18th century), continuous production lines with conveyor belts (second industrial revolution, late 19th century), or digital programming of automation systems (third inudustrial revolution, after WWII), but on cyberphysical production systems. It is also called Smart Industry or Industrial Internet. During his lecture, Andreas Böhn from University of Karlsruhe  will focus on the concept of ‘Industry 4.0’ from a cultural and media perspective.

The lecture, which is a part of the Polish Institute of Advanced Studies (PIASt) scholarship program, will be delivered in English.
Free admission.

June 8
17.00
Warsaw
Free admission

Industry 4.0

The term ‘Industry 4.0’ was coined at the Hanover Fair in 2011 to promote new understanding of the development of technology since the Industrial Revolution, but also to shift the focus of the ongoing debate on modernization, globalization and technological change in the industry, i.e. production, work and machinery instead of mere virtual settings. Leaving aside the question whether the concept itself is a ‘hit or hype’, we have to notice increasing interest in it, not only in Germany and other European countries, but also e.g. in China. It seems to be particularly attractive to countries with a strong industrial background, trying to make the next step with the use of digital technologies.

The idea of the forth industrial revolution, in English also called Smart Industry or Industrial Internet, is not as new as the neologism insinuates. It has been anticipated in works of fiction like many other actual technological innovations before. And whereas the promoters of Industry 4.0 are looking out for positive narrations displaying the possibilities and perspectives for a better life in the future, fictional works in literature, film and TV often present dystopias of a world where the human workforce is no longer needed, the use of ubiquitous computing in everyday life has turned into a nightmare of surveillance and control, and robots in factories as artificial companions have blurred the boundaries between humans and machines and threaten the human supremacy.

Additionally, the increasing nostalgia for former stages of technology, for analogue media, rusty industrial plants from the coal-and-steel-age or simply technology that does not overall appear as a black box, but still allows a do-it-yourself approach can be regarded as a cultural reaction to and reflection of the utopias of technological innovation the Industry 4.0 is  apart of.

Speaker

258 andreas bohn

Andreas Böhn – holds a post-doctoral degree in literature and media studies. He is currently Professor of literary and media studies at the University of Karlsruhe (KIT). Author and co-author of four monographs, editor and co-editor of six academic text books. Author of close to 70 articles in academic journals. He has published widely on intertextuality and intermediality, mimesis, fictionality and metafiction in literature, film and other arts and media. His current research interests include media nostalgia as well as the relation of technology and culture.

Date and Location

June 8, 2018, 17.00

SWPS University, Room: 400
Chodakowska 19/31, Warsaw

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