Prof. Peggy Buth and Holger Jenss (Artistic Associate)
A central aspect of the photographic is its potential to describe reality. In the analog age, photography was described as a mirror of the real, as mechanical memory. The digital age has altered photography, and the new possibilities to rewrite, distribute, or even erase data has created more cracks in the so-called mirror of the real. Nonetheless, we still need images and their narratives, whether analog or digital, to recognize and describe what we see and experience. We need photography, with its variety of uses as a representational medium and as a social practice, and the experience conveyed by it, in any form and shape, to grasp the world we live in.
Intermediality refers to the relationship between media. In order to be able to analyze and describe this transformational, transmedial, and intermedial relationship, it is necessary to gain knowledge about the qualities and specificities of the representing medium. We do not see the medium of photography as an autonomous product, instead conceiving it as one part of intertwined, transformative configurations of media. Intermediality is always closely linked with social change. This is one of our the most important objects of our research.
Starting from classical analog photography, turning to the digital image and on to moving image and hybrid image technologies, students learn to recognize and realize the different fields and practices of the photographic. There is an emphasis on the development of documentary and artistic image strategies, on photographic publications, as well as on installations that make use of photographic work.
A common foundation lies in questioning the relationships between the medium of photography and the media that get attached to it, the materiality of images and their changeable practices. This includes observing the multiple possibilities for creating images as well as looking at erasure and overwriting or the technologies of alteration or even manipulation of a picture’s content; reflecting on the origin of photographic images, how they are used and how their appearance changes in their analog as well as digital circulation (migration of images, economy of images, politics of images); constantly engaging with the processes of how meaning is produced when treating images, when perceiving and showing photographs, as well as when using them as agents in a politics of representation or of the image; observing and analyzing an expanded field of the photographic with its apparatuses, its institutions, and its discourses: What is there to see? Who can show images? What images are not shown? What is visibility? What is recognition? Why are some images visible and others not? Fundamental in all of this is a critical reflection on photographic action from the perspective of one’s own photographic practice as well as that of others; a familiarity with the strategies of artistic research and their fields of application.
The course represents an open space for students to conceive and reflect, both collectively and independently. On the one hand, our working method in the class is project-oriented, while on the other it is meant to foster free, individual, independent development from the students. This includes working together, lowering thresholds, sharing and contact, mutual assistance, as well as relaying different levels of experience and work. Teaching takes place in the class and also in working groups in the form of group presentations and work discussions, as well as during personal and individual one-on-one support. The aim is for the project work to go beyond the class as well. Contact, exchange, and collaboration in research with other working areas at the Kunsthochschule and the University of Kassel is important to us, as well as excursions, guest lectures, and cooperation with those outside the university.
Our goal is to strengthen the intertwining of artistic, creative, research, and theoretical practice as well as to stimulate and encourage discussion of one’s own work, a critical and engaged approach, and a deliberate and reflected working method. The Class for Intermedial Photography is meant to create the space and contacts necessary for this.