What is thinking? Or a taste that hates itself

Conceived by German philosopher Christoph Menke in collaboration with Chus Martínez, and led by invited speakers, the seminar What is Thinking? Or a Taste that Hates Itself was a series of twelve two-part sessions focusing on the relationship between art and philosophy, between thinking and perceiving. It was an attempt to address the questions and the methods of philosophy for those who are curious but not necessarily close to the field. Each session was divided into a public lecture on Monday evenings in the Ständehaus, followed by a more intimate discussion seminar on Tuesday mornings in the Zwehrenturm of the Fridericianum.
In September 1959, the philosopher Theodor W. Adorno gave a lecture on the occasion of documenta 2. A few days earlier, he had mentioned in a letter to Max Horkheimer his interest in visiting the exhibition, in seeing what culture—art—could do after the greatest collapse that the country and the world had ever experienced. This lecture, “Die Idee der neuen Musik” (The Idea of New Music), is of key significance to dOCUMENTA (13). It is read and commented upon by Albrecht Wellmer at the opening of the exhibition and by Carla Harryman at the close, as the inspiration and source for a reflection on the importance of deeds, like art, and thoughts, like philosophy, that are less driven by aims and results, than guided by values.
The What is Thinking? seminar were a rigorous meditation on language, on meaning, on the limits and possibilities of skepticism, on imagination and politics, and on art and experience. The seminar aimed to contribute to an understanding of the importance of an art exhibition with the history and tradition of documenta, as a crucial space for ethical and aesthetic questions.