Interdisciplinary Conference


in Art & Science

27-29 September 2023, Malta Society of Arts, Valletta

Homo ludens of the information age
Event Hours: 28/09/2023 (09:00)
Location: Concert Hall [H]
Polona Tratnik
Keywords: smart apparatuses, information age, homo ludens, captivation, Umwelt

With the shift from industrial to digital age, communication structure has changed from the mode of broadcasting to the mode of reciprocal communication. Smart apparatuses engage their users. The activity of the users has increased. In her lecture, the author will address the question, what sort is this activity. Vilém Flusser claimed that the functionary of the apparatus is in the mode of playing. Apparatuses designate the essential difference between homo faber of the preindustrial and industrial man on the one hand, and homo ludens of the information age on the other hand. Giorgio Agamben linked apparatuses to the biopolitical – apparatuses are that in which, and through which, one realizes a pure activity of governance devoid of any foundation in being. Apparatuses must, accordingly, always imply a process of subjectification, they are producing subjects. If one is deriving from the Jakob von Uexküll’s theory of die Umwelt in conceptualizing apparatuses, the subject is captivated by the apparatus in a similar manner as a tick is animal is signified in its relation with the disinhibitor, which means its captivation within its Umwelt. The author will discuss, what does this captivation mean and how does it affect activity and social participation of the users. Finally, she will examine the role of the art in this regard.

Polona Tratnik

Polona Tratnik is Scientific Councilor at Institute IRRIS, Full Professor and Dean of Faculty for Slovene and International Studies of New University. She was a Fulbright visiting scholar and guest professor in the USA, China, Finland, and Mexico. She is the president of the Slovenian Society of Aesthetics, and vice-secretary general of the International Association of Aesthetics. She has authored Umetnost u savremenosti (Orion, 2018), Conquest of Body. Biopower with Biotechnology (Springer, 2017), Hacer-vivir más allá del cuerpo y del medio (Herder, 2013). Her research fields comprise: aesthetics, philosophy of art and science, media theory and interdisciplinary studies of fairy tales. She is a pioneer bio artist. URL:;


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