Tuesday 9th October 2018, 8:00pm
Session 202: “Das Ornament der Masse” von Siegfried Kracauer & “Der Horror, Vacui” von Colin Lang
For this session, Gian-Andri Toendury selected two articles: “Das Ornament der Masse” by Siegfried Kracauer (1929) and “Der Horror, Vacui” by Colin Lang (2018). The session was held in German.
Kracauer’s 1929 article analyses the cultural phenomenon of the mass ornament, most famously the Tiller Girls, but also other events, that involve large numbers of de-individualized actors like the representations in stadiums for opening celebrations that still exist today. His main point is that they are expressions of the irrationality of capitalism.
Lang’s 2018 article, from the latest Texte zur Kunst, connect’s Kracauer’s mass ornament to a “mass oration” happening currently on Twitter. Both are emptying gestures according to Lang, emptying the individual from sense in the mass ornament and emptying the medium from content/truth in the mass oration. But Lang does not call for a return to truth and content, but for another kind of emptying gesture.