»Dealing with Fear«
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
Since When and Why Are We Afraid
of the Future?
Bertrand Bacqué, Ingrid Wildi Merino
Beetween Fear as a Spectacle
and Interiorized Fear
Genetic Roots of Instinctive
and Learned Fear
David N. Bresch
Von irrationalen Ängsten
zu versicherbaren Risiken
Dealing with Fear
The Mise en Scène of the SS
in National Socialist Propaganda
Violent Machines for Troubled Times
Teresa Hubbard, Beate Söntgen
Home and Fear
after the Symposium’s Talk
Iassen Markov, Stephan Trüby
Temple of Janus 2.0
The 5 Codes_Space of Conflict
Jürgen Mayer H., Henry Urbach
Mind the Gap
A Transcript of the Symposium’s Talk
Matthias Aron Megyeri
Sweet Dreams Security® Est. 2003
Notes from an Orwellian City
Jasmeen Patheja, Hemangini Gupta
Fear as Experienced
by Women in Their Cities
Ortwin Renn, Andreas Klinke
Von Prometheus zur Nanotechnologie
Der gesellschaftliche Umgang
mit Risiken und Bedrohungen
The Politics of Lines.
and the Production of Space
Gerald Siegmund, Maren Rieger
Die Another Day: Dealing with Fear
Jens Martin Skibsted, Adam Thorpe
Liberty versus Security:
Bikes versus Bombs
High over the Borders
Stories of Hummingbirds, Crying Wolves,
and the Bird’s Eye View
Yi Shin Tang
Dealing with the Fear of Abuse
of Intellectual Property Rights
in a Globalized Economy
Keine Angst im Labor
Nikolaj Ladovskijs psychotechnische
Architektur im postrevolutionären Moskau
Susanne M. Winterling
Dealing with Fear: an Inside
and an Outside Perspective
Violent Machines for Troubled Times
One of the most common triggers for panic is the loss of control over a situation, such as being enclosed in small spaces from which one cannot escape by one’s own efforts. This may be the reason why one of the deepest human fears is being buried alive or, more recently, being stuck in a lift with no contact to the outside world. The latter also reflects the fear of losing control, which humans experience when being at the mercy of technological systems.
The Panic Box creates such a situation. After closing the door, the user is trapped inside the box and is asked to pass a reaction test in order to open the door. The situation intensifies with the release of a gas and the continuous drop in reaction results. However, since the test results are manipulated and the gas is a placebo, the only way to escape the box is to press a panic button, which raises an outside alarm. The machine creates a hopeless situation from which one can only escape by admitting one’s state of panic.
We increasingly voluntarily submit ourselves to the direct control of machines and technical systems such as alarm clocks or traffic lights, which regulate our private and social lives. Sometimes, however, this control can be more enforcing and can influence our behavior more directly. The voluntary submission under the control of machines can help us to attain or eliminate a certain behavior that we are unable to achieve on our own due to a lack of motivation or will. In this way, the machine becomes an external motivation device, similar to a personal trainer or coach, which not only encourages us, but also makes us change our behavior.
The Pace Maker is a training device to improve the performance of an extreme workout. It consists of a facial mask with a valve and an embedded pedometer, which counts the amount of steps per time-frame. The valve opens or closes depending on the stepping speed of the user, which is set at the beginning of the training. If the speed is too slow, the device starts to suffocate the user, which then mobilizes all power reserves.
Some of our fears, however, are very hard to grasp, since they are so removed from everyday experience and rational thinking. Nevertheless, we try to quantify these diffused fears through technical warning and prediction systems which allow us to grasp and manage them. These systems include risk assessment scales, weather prediction systems and crime statistics. On the one hand, these systems allow us to address and manage our fears, but on the other hand, these systems might also trigger fears that would otherwise remain unnoticed.
Threat Alert is a device that turns the abstract fear of catastrophes and terror into a tangible experience. Linked to a governmental warning system, the device displays the current national threat-level on a color-coded scale. Thereby, the individual citizen is kept in a hypochondriac condition of permanent readiness and alertness. In addition to the display, a wearable device can be used during the night, which wakes up the user by pinching the skin should the threat-level rise.