Anna Polze, M.A.

Universitätsstr. 105
44789 Bochum
Room: UNI 105, 3/25

Phone: +49 (0) 234/32-27079

Title of the Dissertation

Architektur ohne Architekten? Politik anonymer Bilder im Medium der Architektur. (working title)

Project Description

The photography exhibition “Architecture Without Architects” held at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) from 1964 onwards serves as a vector to my project researching the practices and politics of a photographic mobilisation of the built environment with respect to contemporary digital (moving) imagery. The recent digital imaging practices of navigation platforms such as Google Maps and Street View have given rise to a new practice: the production of collages of architectural imagery in the sense of a contemporary, post-humanist media culture using anonymous photographs – without reference to the works of famous architects or iconic buildings. These functional digital images combine documentary practices with infrastructural operativity and all-pervading data policy. This doctoral project is thus situated in the media- and culture-theoretical triangle of digital imagery, critical infrastructure research and political media use in the field of architecture.

I discuss the (counter-) documentary use of anonymous images via the artistic-activist videographic works of Forensic Architecture. This interdisciplinary organisation studies various (private) documentary formats such as satellite pictures, YouTube clips, television clips, mobile phone photographs, and facebook posts in order to reconstruct human rights violations. In a media-aesthetic nexus of digital source criticism and artistic video essayism, it uses this found footage to produce digital CAD models in order to synthesise scattered visual clues and arrange them as evidence.

Drawing on diverse media research on anonymous and operative imagery and the cultural technique of navigation, my project seeks to examine how media-architectural dramaturgies can produce documentary effects.

Scholarly Career

  • Since October 2019: Researcher (doctoral candidate) in the DFG post-graduate programme “The Documentary. Excess and Withdrawal”, Ruhr University Bochum
  • 04/2019–10/2019: Humboldt Research Track Scholarship for the preparation of a doctoral thesis, as part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative
  • 10/2015–04/2019: Master’s degree in Cultural Studies, Humboldt University Berlin
  • 09/2016–01/2017: Erasmus studies in Médiation culturelle, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, Paris
  • 11/2015–04/2019: Undergraduate assistant, Cluster of Excellence Image Knowledge Gestaltung, project “Form, Code, Milieu” / Chair for the History and Theory of Form, Prof. Dr. Claudia Blümle, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Art and Visual History
  • 10/2011–09/2015: Bachelor’s degree in Media Culture, Bauhaus University Weimar
  • 04/2015–09/2015: undergraduate assistant, Chair of Media Philosophy, Prof. Dr. Michael Cuntz, Bauhaus University Weimar
  • 04/2014–09/2015 Undergraduate assistant, International Research Institute for Cultural Techniques and Media Philosophy (IKKM), Weimar
  • 10/2013–01/2014: Erasmus studies in Arts du Spectacle, Université Lumière Lyon 2, Lyon
  • 04/2013–09/2013: Undergraduate assistant, International Research Institute for Cultural Techniques and Media Philosophy (IKKM), Weimar


Edited Volumes 

  • Text\Werk. Lektüren zu Hito Steyerl, Co-edited with Lilian Haberer, Philipp Hohmann, Julia Reich, Jolanda Wessel, Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2022 (in preparation)


  • Ästhetisch-epistemische Grenzobjekte. Transversale Konfigurationen im Ausstellungsraum“, together with Charlotte Bolwin und Maria Brannys, in: FFK Journal, 7, 2022 (in preparation)
  • “Kustodische Sacharbeit, kuratorischer Überschuss. Vergleichende Medienpolitik bei Forensic Architecture”, in: Zeitschrift für Medienkomparatistik, 3/2021, 2022, hg. v. Marion Biet und Nicole Kandioler, p. 87–104.
  • “Doppelt Negativ. Pläne des Digitalen um 1969“, in: HORIZONTE. Zeitschrift für Architekturdiskurs, 12, 2018, p. 43–51.
  • “Schritte und Schnitte. Taktische Topographien bei Michel de Certeau und Gordon Matta-Clark“, in: SYN. Magazin für Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft, 13, 2017, p. 61–70.



  • “Trennungslose Verbindung? Zur Politik der virtuellen Kamera in medienarchitektonischer Videokunst“, talk and screening presented as part of the videobased doctoral workshop “DIS(S)-CONNECT II – Wie Medien uns trennen und verbinden“, Vienna University. (16.04.2020)
  • “Frauenbilder im Dokumentarfilm der DDR. Kulturanthropologische Auseinandersetzungen anhand der Methode des Videoessays“, workshop presented as part of the 32. DGV Student Congress, Vienna University, in collaboration with Antje F. Hoffmann and Vanessa Zallot. (02.06.2019)
  • “Gegenlicht in der Wüste. Medienwissenschaftliche Überlegungen zum Roden Crater Project von James Turrell“,  talk presented as part of the exhibition TRANSITIONS, ACUD/Berlin. (27.08.2015)

Event Organisation

  • Conception and Organisation of the Online-Workshop on Hito Steyerl’s Texts:  „TextWerk. Lektüreworkshop zu Hito Steyerl” with the evening lecture „Materialschnitte durchs Essay. Hito Steyerls Transversale Praxis” by Lilian Haberer (KHM Köln), 13.11.2020, together with Carina Dauven, Jan Harms, Philipp Hohmann, Julia Reich, Jolanda Wessel and in cooperation with the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen during the exhibit „Hito Steyerl. I will Survive” (K21, Düsseldorf, 26.09.2020–10.01.2021)
  • Collaboration on the conception and moderation of the panel discussion “Exhibiting Knowledge”, 20.07.2016, Humboldt University of Berlin


  • Member of the Society for Media Studies (GfM)