Graduate School for Moving Image: Analog Realities, Digital Materialities

Since 2020 the Kunsthochschule Kassel has been offering a post-graduate research setting for artists, designers, and filmmakers with the Graduate School for Moving Image (GBB). First as a pilot project, the GBB was supported by start-up financing from the Hessian Ministry for Science and the Arts, and since then it has taken part in formulating what the third phase (that is, post-graduate, after an MA, Diplom, or equivalent artistic degree) at an art academy can mean.

The GBB is a unique programme in Germany and internationally–both with regard to its structure of studies and to its thematic orientation. The programme's comprehensive understanding of moving image is groundbreaking, spanning across games, animation, video, new media, and film. The GBB brings together filmmakers, artists, and designers to work for four semesters on an artistic/design-based research project and to enter into intense exchange about moving images. Applicants come from graduates of art academies from both Germany and the rest of the world. Successful participation in the program is confirmed with a certificate.  

The centerpiece of the Graduate School is the monthly colloquium, in which the research projects are discussed, research processes are reflected upon, and the structure of the Graduate School itself is shaped by the active participation of those involved. The program is supported by the associated teachers from the departments of Visual Communications and Visual Arts as well as the Study Workshops at the Kunsthochschule. Alongside the interdisciplinary guidance of the teachers, there is a particular focus on exchange within the group.

The Graduate School, along with local cooperation partners, has decisively expanded the public discourse on the artistic moving image in Kassel. There have been exhibitions in collaboration with the Kasseler Kunstverein, Autohaus Autohaus e.V., and the film programs at BALi Kino. An integral part of the program is the GBB annual exhibition in the Exhibition Hall at the Kunsthochschule, in which participants present their final projects to the wider public.

Works on media and film require considerable research on material, contents, and social questions before the production of the moving image even begins. This process is equivalent to academic working processes, but it follows other logics. The GBB offers an artistic or design-based post-graduate research programme that was explicitly proposed as an alternative structure to the academic and (artistic) practice-based doctoral programme.

The GBB therefore structurally fulfills what the German Science and Humanities Council has also called for in its paper “Recommendations on the Postgraduate Phase of Qualification at Colleges of Art and Music,” and has also had success with regard to external recognition. The participants’ projects have won numerous awards and the Graduate School for Moving Image itself won the Honorary Award at the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival in 2022 for innovative achievement in supporting young talent in the area of film.

Associated teachers:

  • Joel Baumann, Echo Can Luo (New media)
  • Martina Bramkamp, Franka Sachse (Animation)
  • Mario de Vega (Sound)
  • Auriea Harvey, Tobias Zarges (Games)
  • Holger Jenss (Intermedial photography and time-based media in the artistic field)
  • Bjørn Melhus, Angela Anderson (Virtual realities)
  • Jan Peters, Anna Berger (Film and moving image)
  • Johanna Schaffer, Miriam Schickler (Theory and practice of visual communication)
  • Olaf Val (Teaching Staff for Special Tasks, Director ::digipool workshop)
  • Cecilia Vallejos, Matthijs de Bruijne (Multidimensional Strategies)
  • Mi You (Art and Eco­no­mies)

Lisa Dreykluft (since 2019)
Holger Jenss (2019–2022)

Applications can be submitted each winter semester. Information on application requirements can be found here

The website functions as a presentation and exchange platform for the GBB research projects and is continually maintained and designed by the participants.