Dr. Annika Haas


annika.haas(at)uni-hildesheim.de, Domäne, Haus 3


Beyond Repair. Aesthetic Practices in Response to Digital Damage

Working at the intersection of media studies and affect theory, this project focuses on aesthetic practices in contemporary art and how they relate to irreparable ecological damage and radical socio-economic upheavals in the wake of digital capitalism.

Media studies and research projects in the field of (sustainable) human-computer interaction are increasingly concerned with the material conditions, ecological costs and precarious working conditions associated with digital, networked infrastructures. At the same time, the exploitation of finite resources and workers in the technology sector, or the energy-intensive, climate-damaging storage and processing of user data, remain largely unnoticed and anaesthetic when accessing such infrastructures, devices, services and platforms. This research project builds on scholarly and artistic perspectives on this complex problem, but also questions their situated, often Western(ized) perspectives and aims to pluralise the discourse.

In this context, the research focus is on aesthetic practices in contemporary art that do not respond to damage and rupture with repairs, and thus implicitly with the restoration and reproduction of problematic, inequitable and dysfunctional structures. Of particular interest are artistic approaches that go beyond techno-capitalist solutionism. Instead, they deal with the manifestations and dimensions of 'digital damage' and develop practices out of the recognition of irrevocable upheavals and damages that make action and (continued) life beyond repair conceivable in the first place. Do these practices constitute their own form of critique of the digital?

The hypothesis is that artistic practices beyond repair develop non-sovereign responses to ‘digital damage.’ In doing so, they extend the spectrum of emancipatory critiques of the digital through precarious and largely indeterminate infrastructures and modes of thinking that have the potential to bring about radical changes in the long term. The basis of this approach is Lauren Berlant's writings in Affect and Cultural Theory, whose concept of infrastructure and thinking of non-sovereign relationality has yet to be explored beyond the North American context and in relation to digital capitalism. Berlant's theory of non-sovereign relationality is also reflected in the methodology of this research project. At its core is the development of polyphonic conversational formats, co-creative modes of writing and publishing to be used for the discursive integration of contemporary artists' approaches and practices.



Annika Haas is a media theorist and a postdoctoral researcher at the DFG Research Training Group "Aesthetic Practice" (since December 2023). She studied Media Studies in Potsdam and Istanbul as well as Art and Media at the Berlin University of the Arts and the California Institute of the Arts. In 2022, she obtained her PhD with the thesis Avant-Theorie. Hélène Cixous' écriture du corps at the Berlin University of the Arts. Numerous collaborative projects and experimental teaching formats characterise her way of doing theory at the intersection of media cultural studies and art.

From 2020 to 2023, Annika Haas was a research associate at the Institute for History and Theory of Design at the Berlin University of the Arts. Previously, she was a research associate in the DFG Research Training Group "The Knowledge of the Arts" (2017-2020), an associate researcher in the doctoral program "Epistemologies of Aesthetic Practices" at the Collegium Helveticum Zurich (2018-2022), and a visiting researcher at the Laboratoire d'études de genre et de sexualité at the Université Paris 8 (2020/21).



Selected Publications

Please find a full list of publications and projects under the following link: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1710-467X 



2023: Avant-Theorie. Hélène Cixous’ ‹écriture du corps›. Dissertation, Universität der Künste Berlin, Fakultät Gestaltung



Edited Volumes in English

2021: How to Relate: Wissen, Künste, Praktiken / Knowledge, Arts, Practices, ed. mit Maximilian Haas, Hanna Magauer, Dennis Pohl, Bielefeld: transcript.

open access online

2020: Théo rit: A Mimetic Approach to Writing Difference(s) with Hélène Cixous, in: Change Through Repetition. Mimesis as a Transformative Principle Between Art and Politics, hg. v. Babylonia Constandinides, Simon Gröger, Elisa Leroy, Doris Rebhan, Berlin: Neofelis, 111–126.

reading sample

2018: Windtunnel Bulletin no. 7, ed. mit Sarine Waltenspül, Zürich: Forschungsschwerpunkt Transdisziplinarität, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste.

open access online


Papers and Essays in English

2022: "Self-Hyphen-Publishing" in: Lerchenfeld Nr. 63, Oct. 2022

2022: "Not a Spectacle. Navigating the Broken Arena. Annika Haas on Nikita Gale at 52 Walker", New York in: Texte zur Kunst online, Jun. 3rd, 2022

2021: with Emily Apter: "Translation: A Relational Practice" in: How to Relate: Wissen, Künste, Praktiken / Knowledge, Arts, Practices, Schriftenreihe „Wissen der Künste“, hg. mit Maximilian Haas, Hanna Magauer, Dennis Pohl, Bielefeld: transcript, 144–159.

open access online


Selected Lectures

2024: "An Alphabet of Data Body-Feelings" Conference Archives of the Body—The Body in Archiving, HfBK Hamburg, Apr. 25-26, 2024

2023: "Liquifying Language" Workshop, Matter of Flux Festival, Art Laboratory Berlin, Jun. 17, 2023

Download Workshop-Zine

2023: "Auto-Archives" Lecture at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, within the framework of Dissenting Knowledges, Oxford X UdK Berlin Creative Collaborations, Apr. 25, 2023

2022: "Letters of Joys. Reading, Writing and Corresponding with Hélène Cixous" Lecture & Workshop at Trinity College, Dublin University. At the invitation of the Metaphysical Society, Feb. 22-23, 2022



Conferences and Workshops

2021: "Medienhaus Lectures: Performance. Peformance? Performance!" with Henrike Uthe, Universität der Künste Berlin, Nov. 17, 2021

2021: "Excavating the Present" with Christopher Weickenmeier. Workshop series at the Klosterruine Berlin as part of the seminar Archaeology of the Self. Guests: Enzo Camacho, Dina Khouri, Rossella Biscotti, Övül Durmusoglu; Jul. 2021

2021: "Hyperrêve. Reading Hélène Cixous" with Esther von der Osten. Reading workshop as part of the event series Der Alltag der Dekonstruktion an der Universität Zürich, organised by Philippe P. Haensler, Stefanie Heine, Philipp Hubmann and Thomas Traupmann; May. 28, 2021

2018: "How to Relate: Aneignen – Vermitteln – Figurieren" with Maximilian Haas, Hanna Magauer, Dennis Pohl; Universität der Künste Berlin, Jul. 5–7, 2018