M.A. Karina Rocktaeschel

Freie Universität Berlin

CRC 1171 "Affective Societies"


Project B03

Habelschwerdter Allee 45
Room JK 33/215
14195 Berlin
Since 2019

PhD project „Techno-Ecologies of Immersion – Past and Present” (working title)

2013 – 2017

Master in Theater Studies with a thesis on the “Aesthetics of non-human living beings. Reflections on Posthumanism and the Performing Arts on the basis of Stelarc, Laura Aguilar, and SIGNA.”

2009 – 2013

BA in Theatre Studies and Film Studies

2014 – 2017

Student assistant at the Department of Theater Studies, Free University, working for Dr. Susanne Foellmer and Dr. Kirsten Maar

2014 – 2016

Mentor in Theater Studies

2014 – 2019

Finance Manager Gob Squad Arts Collective

Summer 2019

FU Berlin, Department of Theater Studies: “Performance and Technology” (Together with Prof. Dr. Doris Kolesch)

Summer 2017

FU Berlin, Department of Theater Studies: „Immersive Theater avant la lettre? Historical precursors in the arts since the 1950s” (Together with Theresa Schuetz)

Winter 2015/2016

FU Berlin, Department of Theater Studies: “Can the Non-Human be performed?” (Together with Jule Gorke, Lotte Schuessler, Dr. Adam Czirak)

Research Project “Techno-Ecologies of Immersion – Past and Present” (Working title)

In my research project I will investigate the phenomenon of immersion within the performing arts. I would like to highlight the connection between immersion-production-subjectivity-technology-ecology and describe it in its historical becoming as techno-ecologies of immersion. These are to be elaborated on explorations from the performative arts since the 1950s. In my research project I will examine their performative and affective practices and relate them to their historical situation. Furthermore, I would like to investigate their material conditions of production which I describe as apparatuses of immersion. For this purpose, my dissertation project will approach some theories from the field of New Materialism.
My research project is based on the following observations and theses, which are connected with each other and can be shown on objects from the performing arts: Immersion is part of a new apparatus of production that has developed since the 1950s (cf. Boltanski & Chiapello 2003; Buchmann 2007; Hardt & Negri 2002; Preciado 2016; Tiqqun 2007; Virno 2005). The transformations for these changes are reflected in a new subject-environment relation, which (among other things) was reflected in media studies as "eco-technological subjectivity" (Hörl 2011). With the emergence of virtual reality, a discourse on immersion has developed that can be seen as part of these knowledge formations and their social changes. The debate on immersion has become an interdisciplinary phenomenon that has been analyzed primarily from the perspective of reception aesthetics. The reference to the etymological origin can often be found here. The historical studies on the phenomenon of immersion have mainly clung to the etymological use of the word, but have ignored the aforementioned social and epistemic upheavals. The apparatuses of production and their material foundations were also hardly discussed. This is what I would like to work on in my research project.


-   Performance and Theater since 1945

-   Performance, Technology, Immersion

-   Ecology, New Materialism, Posthumanism

-   Cicrumstances of production, processes of subjectivation in the Performing Arts

-   Body-, Gender-, and Queer-Theory

-   Affect and emotion in relational aesthetics


Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft e.V.

Lectures / Talks / Panels

April 2019 Lecture “Psychedelic Architectures – Some thoughts on the machines of immersion in the 1960s” at the conference “DIS(S)-CONECT – How media separate and relate” at the JGU Mainz

November 2018 Panel “Technologies of Immersion – on Technologies and Technics” at the annual conference of the GTW in Düsseldorf

November 2018 Lecture “Technologies of Immersion around 1968” within the panel “Technologies of Immersion”

April 2018 Respondence to the lecture of Dr. Adam Alston at the Spring School “The power of Immersion” at FU Berlin

October 2017 Artist Talk with the Swedish collective Bombina Bombast at the 5th Industry Get-Together of the Independent Performing Arts in Berlin

June 2017 Lecture „Performing the Non-Human” at the annual conference of the international research network Performance Philosophy in Prague