Ulf Otto, Dr. phil., is Professor for Theater Studies with a focus on Intermediality Research at the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich and a Dilthey-Fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation. He studied philosophy and theatre studies (Mag. Art.) as well as computer science (B.A.) in Berlin, Toronto and Paris and worked for years as an independent theatre director. As part of long-term position as a research associate at the University of Hildesheim, he received his doctorate on the theatre history of new media and wrote his professorial thesis on the electrification of theatre and the theatricality of electricity thanks to a research grant from the VW Foundation.

As part of im*possible bodies #2. An Attempted Deconstruction, Ulf Otto will speak about the genesis of the black box from the 19th century dispositive of hygiene: “The history of the body is also a history of hygiene, i.e. the ambivalent concern about the health of the individual physique. In the 19th century, the theatre – as a place in which bodies are embedded and exhibited – also becomes an object of hygienic reform, which does not leave aesthetics untouched. The talk attempts to show the extent to which the modernity of European theatre is rooted in this anti-bacteriological enterprise and the ways in which the black box is nothing other than a white washing of art.”