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Credit AI manipulations: Antje Budde and xxx data sets and labor of collectivity

Instructor Prof. Antje Budde

Spring 2024
When 3
-5pm, Wednesday 
Where Luella Massey Studio Theatre, 4 Glen Morris St.
Department  Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto

Course Description Spring 2024 


In the 1920s and early 1930s – before Bertolt Brecht became a refugee fleeing the fascist authoritarian regime in Germany that came to power in 1933 – he engaged in highly experimental creative intermedia and participatory work which sought to envision and test new social and creative functions of emerging new technologies in media (radio, film, photography), the modern sciences (social psychology, quantum physics) and develop a radically critical praxis of theatre/poetry/music.

In 1926 Brecht started to engage with materialist-historical philosophy (Marx, Engels) which had a profound impact on his development as a multi-disciplinary, dialectically thinking artist regarding content, form and social function of the arts, artists and audiences in a capitalist society with the purpose of changing this society.

One of the main innovations were his revolutionary learning plays (Lehrstück) which even in the 21st century could not be realized as intended for social, political and economic reasons which still govern the capitalist apparatus and the product logic within the cultural-industrial entertainment complex.

What came into focus for Brecht was the learning-by-doing amateur as a collaborative learner and performer, a high level of playfulness, process-oriented working methods, a political form of laughter as critique and resistance, as well as non-oppressive forms of exploration, curiosity, and learning.

In this course we will engage in a hands-on scholarly and creative manner with Brecht’s innovative suggestions, their potentiality for the future within and beyond artistic considerations.

This is a course of the Digital Dramaturgy Labsquared, which currently employs strategies of Brecht’s learning plays in interactive and participatory inter-media projects in support of student mental health.

The APPARATUS - performing relations

What Brecht thought in 1930:

"Musicians, writers and critics are thus plagued by a lack of insight into their situation, with drastic consequences that very much tend to be ignored. As they hold the opinion that they own an apparatus that actually owns them, they defend an apparatus over which they no longer have any control - which is no longer, as they believe, a means for the producers, but has turned into a means directed against the producers, in other words against their own production (where the latter follows its own new rationale, which does not conform with the. apparatus or is even in opposition to it). Their production comes to resemble that of sub-contractors. A concept of value emerges that is based on exploitation. And this generally results in the practice of assessing each art-work in terms of its suitability for the apparatus, but never of assessing the apparatus in terms of its suitability for the art-work." p.62 

Brecht, Bertolt. "Opera - but with innovations" ("Notes on the Opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny") Brecht, Bertolt, et al. Brecht on Theatre. Edited by Tom Kuhn, Translated by Jack Davis et al., Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.

What Brecht thought in 1932:

"And now to say something positive, that is, to uncover the positive side of the radio with a suggestion for its re-functionalization: radio must be transformed from a distribution apparatus into a communications apparatus. The radio could be the finest possible communications apparatus in public life, a vast system of channels. That is, it could be so, if it understood how to receive as well as to transmit, how to let the listener speak as well as hear, how to bring him into a network instead of isolating him. Following this principle the radio should step out of the supply business and organize its listeners as suppliers. Hence, any attempt by the radio to give a truly public character to public occasions is absolutely positive." 

Brecht, Bertolt "The Radio as a Communications Apparatus. Lecture on the Function of the Radio" "Texts on Radio Broadcasting (1926–1932)." Brecht on Film and Radio. Ed. Marc Silberman. London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2000. pp. 31–46. Diaries, Letters and Essays. Drama Online. Web. 4 Jan. 2024. <>

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Credit AI manipulations: Antje Budde and xxx data sets and labor of collectivity

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