About

Untiefen

The nautical word “Untiefen” in German is ambivalent, for it means, on the one hand, shallow waters, and on the other hand, simultaneously describes unexpected and obscure depths. In Psychoanalysis, the depths of the Unconscious become visible under disguised forms as they appear on the surface of conscious speech, i.e. through slips, jokes, and displacements. Discourse is always untief, deep and shallow at once, rational and passionate. This blog seeks to “measure” the Untiefen of our world by boldly intervening in it.

This blog focuses on identifying interrelations between arts, philosophical speculation and politics. The purpose of this venture is to publish academic contributions, intellectual & artistic interventions, which analyse and comment on politics, ideology, and society. For the editors of this blog, academic and humanist endeavours mean passionate involvement in the world’s matters. We are convinced that the humanities must find creative means to communicate their relevance in guiding the way toward a meaningful, contemplated and ethical life within a globalised world.

Most artists, teachers, and academics we know are passionate about their subjects. They have the power to inspire and change lives. Intellectuals should confront the challenges of our time and take on the role of becoming inspiring public figures. What can we teach our students and what impact can our research have on the world?

  • We offer our knowledge, ideas, and our particular perspective to solve conflicts (personal, psychological, political, ideological, etc.).
  • How do I read the world? We have answers! Considering the current challenges of ideology and reductive populism, today, nothing is more important than to learn how to understand the world and develop necessary analytical tools.
  • It is significant to be able to identify the greater contexts but also to enrich knowledge with passion and love. First, we must learn to understand things in-depth, and, in a second step, “translate” the acquired knowledge into meaningful (identity) narratives.

Our journal welcomes artistic and academic contributions from all disciplines which seek to intervene in the world with passion, subjectivity, and bold ideas. Whether we like it or not, passion motivates all academic and artistic activity. There is room to speculate, even to dare articulating grand meta-narratives, whose death Jean-François Lyotard proclaimed in the late 1970s. Contributions should be short interventions in essay form. They may include multimedia elements such as videos, images, or sound files.

Notes on Arts & Literature

Although it might not be ‘political’ at first glance, according to Jacques Rancière every literary text or piece of art has a deep impact on the human apprehension-apparatus, the social order, and ultimately, on the behavior of human beings. Aesthetics as a mode of world-perception is intrinsically linked to politics by its capacity to divide the visible from the invisible, the permitted from the prohibited, and the people embedded in a society from those who are excluded.

Through art, it’s not only the individual canon of values that undergo fundamental changes, but the concepts of life and art within a society also have the potential to develop towards a greater level of democracy. By analyzing how identity, reality, space, gender, social interaction, communication etc. are negotiated texts, one can discover hidden structures, which have subtle agency to alter thought. However, it is crucial to ask also which themes, groups or aspects of reality are not being represented, and the political effects of this lack of representation. Although contemporary German literature & arts are largely said to be harmless, as well as embedded in Neoliberalism, they always act out a masked agenda to alter the way we structure and negotiate reality. Schiller’s “aesthetic state of mind”, Kant’s “genius”, and Schelling’s definition of art as the identity of the conscious and the unconscious have all contributed to the democratization-process of art. In earlier centuries, anyone without a privileged social background could not be called an artist. After the “Classic” era, the title of artist became available to anyone with the talent to represent this new definition of art. Hence, art has a stronger impact on “real life” than we generally assume.