Friedrich Balke

Porträt Friedrich Balke

Friedrich Balke

Professor of Media Sciences
Ruhr-Universität Bochum

In Residence

April 2014 – September 2014

Research Project

Lesser Mimesis

Mimesis seems in our modern age to have been effectively sidelined, not least because Modernism—in its various programmatic declarations of intent in art and culture—presents itself as largely anti-mimetic and in thrall to originality. My research project revisits the history—as told by Hans Blumenberg and others—of the “corrosion and deracination” of the notion of mimesis, for this history is still oriented toward the Platonic triad of reality, imitation, and illusion. The Platonic mode of mimesis breaks in proportion to the increasing provision, by modern mass media and by technical media particular, of forms of representation for, in fact, the “detritus of phenomena” (Freud) and the physical surfaces of the world, thereby ensuring a glittering future for a new mimesis that is no longer dependant on ideas or models in real life, a mimesis of the ephemeral and inconsequential. Mimetic mechanisms (according to the thesis that I propose to investigate) shatter not only the very foundations of aesthetics and the formation of media-science theories; following the example of Siegfried Kracauer, my intention is also to show what effect this media-revolution has on the notion of history and on the input of authorities that register and give form to history with all its various gaps, layers, and consequences. To this end, besides conducting an analysis of Kracauer’s film theory and his posthumous work Geschichte – Vor den letzten Dingen, I will also examine his First World War novel Ginster (1928).

Research Interests

  • Media and Mimesis
  • Supreme power and its delegation to the media
  • Cultural and media histories of things and artifacts
  • Difference and repetition. Serial images of time.
  • Techniques for making visible and the mediality of epistemic images


Sichtbarmachung, in: Handbuch der Mediologie. Signaturen des Medialen, Christina Bartz, Ludwig Jäger, Marcus Krause, and Erika Linz (eds.), Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag 2012, p. 253-264.

Asyl. Zur Umbesetzung eines politischen Ausnahmeraums, in: Konfigurationen. Gebrauchsweisen des Raums, Anna Echterhölter and Iris Därmann (eds.), Zurich: diaphanes 2012, p. 81-103.

Die Wiederkehr der Dinge, Friedrich Balke, Maria Muhle, and Antonia von Schöning (eds.), Berlin: Kadmos Kulturverlag 2011.

Für alle und keinen. Lektüre, Schrift und Leben bei Nietzsche und Kafka, Friedrich Balke, Joseph Vogl, and Benno Wagner (eds.), Berlin: Diaphanes 2009.

Figuren der Souveränität, Munich: Fink 2009.


Friedrich Balke

Center for Advanced Studies BildEvidenz

Arnimallee 10
14195 Berlin