David Bowie – vita, melancholia and political economy

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 @ MaMa

A colloquium takes place on the year from the death of David Bowie. Extensive reactions after the death of a famous singer signal that this phenomenon seeks deeper psychological, sociological but also philosophical interpretations. With this time distance, the colloquium will try to approach the phenomenon clear headed. Questions of interest to the colloquium include, but are not limited to:

– Why Bowie himself provoked such reactions? Is not an artist that uncovered the fundamental myth of pop-culture – the myth of eternal youth? What can be sad on his artistic preoccupations – themes such as time and death?

– The discursive practices on the Internet resembled the saint’s vita as the specific spiritual imitation. Can we say that Bowie constitutes a modern “occupation of the spirit” (Geistesbeschäftigung) in which the role of the story is to bring us into a spiritual condition in which we can transform ourselves?

– Can we say that celebrity deaths constitute an event in Heideggerian sense? Or it is another way around – the perpetuation of the eventfulness leads us to non-eventfulness.

– Further, the psychoanalytical question of a character of mourning arises. Can we say that the collective mourning on the Internet signalizes a form of a pathology – a melancholia, that, as Freud suggested, has its base in narcissism?

– Can we even identify the Internet as the space of the unconscious where all inhibitions fall, which makes it an ideal space for the occurrence of jouissance?

– Finally, the question of political economy as the framework of this event occurs – can we say that political economy has anything to do with the mourning for celebrities? Could it be sad that the sign “available on iTunes”, that occurred under the videos shared on the social networks by many fans in days after the death of David Bowie, has any meaning, or such details must be ignored as a pure accidentalities?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017
10:20 – 10:30 Introductory note
10:30 – 10:50 prof. dr. sc. Tatjana Jukić, Zagreb University: “Bowie, Schrader, Tarantino”
10:50 – 11:10 doc. dr. sc. Katarina Peović Vuković: “’David Bowie’ – Political Economy of Melancholia”
11:10 – 11:30 Debate

11:30 – 11:50 Coffee break

11:50 – 12:10 doc. dr. sc. Tomislav Brlek: “Where are We Now: David Bowie and the Time that Remains”
12:10 – 12:30 doc. dr. sc. Aleksandar Mijatović: “Dead Star Walking: Political Theology of Celebri(ci)ty”
12:30 – 12:50 Debate

12:50 – 13:10 Coffee break

13:10 – 13:30 dr. sc. Katja Kolšek: “Some Reflections on the Impossibility of the Death of David Bowie”
13:30 – 13:50 dr. sc. Bara Kolenc, Ljubljana University: “David Bowie and Anti-humanism: The Construction of a Face”
13:50 – 14:10 dr. sc. Boštjan Nedoh: “From perversion to perversion: David Bowie and late capitalism”
14:10 – 14:30 Debate