— Cultural Sources of Newness

How do we know newness when we see it?

Sign of newness--designed by Bernhard Koppmeyer (photo Barbara Schlueter)

Sign of newness–designed by Bernhard Koppmeyer
(photo Barbara Schlueter)

How do you know newness when you see it?“–that was the question 20 participants at the Objects of Newness symposium worked on yesterday at the WZB. They had each brought an object that somehow represented newness to them. These included items as diverse as a magnifying glass, the cloud that enables big data research, an empty white plate, a small plant, and a mosaic with a (Luhmannèsque Differenz-)line found in a souk.

 

Sharing and comparing objects of newness (photo Barbara Schlueter)

Sharing and comparing objects of newness
(photo Barbara Schlueter)

Over the course of 65 minutes (the timing coincided symbolically with the 65th birthday of Michael Hutter that the symposium was intended to honor) the participants circulated from table to table, sharing and comparing their objects of newness.

Michael Hutter examines two objects of newness from the artist Dennis Farber (photo Barbara Schlueter)

Michael Hutter examines two objects of newness from the artist Dennis Farber
(photo Barbara Schlueter)

The participants wrote down the words that emerged during their multiple conversations around the objects, permitting us to document the key concepts that experts from diverse domains find useful to characterize newness. (We will be analysing the results in the coming weeks.)

Sorting concepts of newness (photo Barbara Schlueter)

Sorting concepts of newness
(photo Barbara Schlueter)

Concepts characterizing newness

Some concepts characterizing newness

The next challenge was to create an ephemeral exhibition of “Objects of Newness”  that would  reflect the relationships that the participants had discovered between their objects during their explorations of  newness.  The exhibition was opened at 11:30 by Jutta Allmendinger, with a laudatio to Michael Hutter, followed by the presentation of the newest object: a Festschrift edited by Dirk Baecker and Birger Priddat (Ökonomie der Werte/ Economics of Values, published by Metropolis Verlag, Marburg):

Editors presenting the Festschrift  (photo ABA)

Editors presenting the Festschrift
(photo ABA)

 

Michael Hutter reflects on newness and Festschrift  (photo Nona Schulte-Roemer)

Michael Hutter reflects on newness and Festschrift
(photo Nona Schulte-Roemer)

At the ephemeral exhibition: curiosity, surprise, conversations….

Curiosity awakened by objects of newness (photo Barbara Schlueter)

Curiosity awakened by objects of newness
(photo Barbara Schlueter)

Conversations about objects of newness: Whistle made with 3D printer  (photo Barbara Schlueter)

Conversations about objects of newness: Whistle made with 3D printer
(photo Barbara Schlueter)

 

The symposium closed with the second WZB Lunchbeat--this time with new sets of WZB-related DJ’s: Ruud Koopmans and Merlin Schaeffer, and Michael and Leo Hutter.

Lunchbeat with WZB DJs May 30 2013  (photo Barbara Schlueter)

Lunchbeat with WZB DJs May 30 2013
(photo Barbara Schlueter)