Aston University to host first ever academic conference on Kraftwerk

No artificial intelligence round here.

The first ever international academic conference on Kraftwerk will take place at Aston University in Birmingham later this month.

Going under the bold title of ‘Industrielle Volksmusik for the Twenty-First Century: Kraftwerk and the Birth of Electronic Music in Germany’, the two-day Kraftwerk Konferenz features lectures and discussions on the “cultural-historical origins of the man-machine”, the links between Kraftwerk and German techno and the “cultural studies of cycling”.

Former Kraftwerk member Wolfgang Flür will be reading from his memoirs and hosting a Q&A session, while other speakers include Cabaret Voltaire’s Stephen Mallinder, Visage member and Blitz Club founder Rusty Egan, and esteemed music writer David Stubbs. Oh, and on the first night there’s a “Kraftwerk disco”.

The conference takes place on January 21-22 in Aston University’s Byng Kendrick Lecture Theatre. See the schedule below and buy tickets at the very reasonable price of £20 (£10 for external students).

Watch Kraftwerk’s 1970 television debut and go behind the scenes of classical ensemble Icebreaker’s bizarre reimagining of the electronic pioneers.


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

9.00 Registration
9.30 Stephen Mallinder (Brighton/Cabaret Voltaire): Kraftwerk: Modernity and Movement
10.15 David Stubbs (London): The Archaeological Years: Kraftwerk before Autobahn
11.00 David Pattie (Chester): Ralf und Florian, Krautrock and Germany
11.45 Nick Stevenson (Nottingham): Cabaret Voltaire and Dada Modernity
12.30 Concluding discussion
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Melanie Schiller (Groningen): Fun Fun Fun on the Autobahn: Kraftwerk Challenging Germanness
14.45 Hillegonda Rietveld (London): Europe Endless: Geopolitical Retro-futurism?
15.30 Uwe Schütte (Aston): We Are the Robots! On the Cultural-Historical Origins of the Man-Machine
16.15 Tea/Coffee Break
16.30 Wolfgang Flür (Düsseldorf/ex-Kraftwerk): I Was A Robot. Reading, panel discussion and Q&A
19.00 Kraftwerk Disco @ The Electric Café

Thursday 22 January 2015
9.00 Pertti Grönholm (Turku): Nostalgia For The Modern. Re-Imagining the Past Futures in the Concept of Kraftwerk
9.45 Johannes Springer (Osnabrück): Kraftwerk and the Cultural Studies of Cycling
10.30 Ulrich Adelt (Wyoming): Moving Up: Kraftwerk and ‘kosmische Musik’
11.15 Tea/Coffee break
11.30 Rusty Egan (London/Visage) presents…
12.15 Heinrich Deisl (Vienna): Searching for Modernity: Socio-historical perspectives on techno music and »das Deutsche«. (Kraftwerk – Wolfgang Voigt – Dopplereffekt)
13.00 Lunch
14.15 Alexei Monroe (London): Trans-Slovene Expressions: Kraftwerk on the Sunny Side of the Alps
15.00 Alexander Harden (Surrey): Kraftwerk and the Issue of Post-Human Authenticity
15.45 Sean Albiez (Southampton):Kraftwerk in the context of the 20th century avant-garde
16.30 Concluding discussion
17.00 Departure



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