Digital Salon
The book cover features capital letters and the words »Nicola Guess: Half-Truths: On the Manipulation of Reality« can be read
Florian Rötzer in conversation with Nicola Gess
Fri, April 09, 2021 6 pm CEST, Talk

For some years now, talk of the »post-factual age« has been going around. By this is meant that political discourse seems to be guided more than before by gut feelings, resentment, and an irrelevance of the distinction between truth and lies.

There is also concern that people are being manipulated by right-wing populists, conspiracy theorists and adversarial states through influence campaigns, fake news and disinformation via the Internet. In the Baroque era, the fascination with deception and the world as a stage was, among other things, a consequence of printing. Is today's de-realization one of online media, of the virtual?

Guest in the digital salon of the ZKM is Prof. Dr. Nicola Gess, who teaches literary studies at the University of Basel and has just published a book on »Half-truths. On the Manipulation of Reality«, published by Matthes & Seitz. In it, she explains that fake news, conspiracy theories and populist propaganda often resort to half-truths. They bridge the gap from fact-based discourse to the space of speculation and fiction, and are ultimately not concerned with truth or lies, but with coherence, credibility, and attention. Their thesis is that fact-checks bounce off representatives of half-truths because of this; fiction theory and narratology, instruments of literary studies, are responsible for debunking them.

The live talk will be held in German

The Digital Salon

The event in livestream
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe