Research, transfer and cooperation
Main areas of research are:
- development of an artistic grammar of the moving analogue and digital
image, ranging from video art to experimental design and commercial commissions
- experimental forms of the moving image, for example of new narrative
forms beyond traditional cinema and documentary,
- the electronic image in context, for example as a video-projection
in (public) space, in the theatre, as part of a multi media interface
or via video streaming in the internet,
- research in the archeology of the image screen.
- the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Association),
for the Digital Video Studio DIVA
(2001), and several editing computers (1996, 1999),
- the universitys innovation fund, for L@Vie laboratory
for video and internet (2001),
- the federal university program HSP III, for, among others, hard and
soft ware for animation work (2001).
The investigation Before the screen into the archeology of
the image screen (by Herbert Wentscher, including 15 thematic chapters
and more than 180 illustrations) was supported by the Thuringian ministry
of science, research and art by granting a sabbatical semester; the publication
of the book in 2002 was financed by the Ernst-Abbe-Foundation Jena.
Student work originating from these collaborative study projects were presented in numerous festivals, events and exhibitions throughout Germany and Europe gaining attention and winning awards. Music videos produced by the student group sonnendeck.tv were broadcast on VIVA music channel. Research results are regularly presented during the Rundgang (the annual faculty student show), furthermore in the international travelling exhibition LOOPING! Video from the faculty of art & design including a catalogue publication (2001/02). Since 1999 the video results are also published on a video edition (the third one is scheduled for winter 2002/03).
Prof. Herbert Wentscher:
The building at no.1, Bettina-von-Arnim-Strasse stands on historical
ground how could it be different at Weimar! Next door the photographer
Louis Held opened the first permanently installed cinema in the State
of Thuringia in 1912; a few years later, the Bauhaus began to experiment
with light, photography and the stage. In 1922, Bauhaus artist Moholy-Nagy
produced his Telefonbild EM2 via modern channels of communication
and standardized production and therefor is said to have created the first
media art piece in history. Cinema, art and communication are still valid
as reference points for what is happening here today. Generally speaking,
the electronically generated moving image holds a central position in
the communication of our society, at the crossroads of high and mass culture,
of so called free and applied arts. Television and cinema
are on the verge of changing to digital forms of production and distribution.
In art exhibitions and art fairs the electronic moving image is prominent
the current Documenta contains 90 hours of film and
video! The video image, too, is evolving as it is incorporated in multi
media applications, for instance, and video streaming via the internet
is opening up further horizons for its use. Artists and Designers are
called for in order to shape these changes visually and conceptually.
In all this, it is of paramount importance to cultivate an image that
surprises and convinces, that irritates and seduces, in any case an image
that escapes the standards and goes beyond the usual. This is where teaching
and research is called for. Of course you can create good work with simple
technical means, there are valid examples for this. Yet access to advanced
technical resources enables to participate in the actual professional
discourse. Teachers and students are thus privileged to enjoy a challenging
professional education and conduct experimental research at the state
of the art.
Using new media, we should avoid fetichizing it as much as fearing it.
Nor should the only reason to use them be their mere existence. It is
important to accompany its use with scientific and critical reflection
and to compare it with older media, thereby taking an active role in shaping
the future course of art and design. The conditions for doing so are excellent
at Weimars faculty of art and design, last not least because the
faculty is embedded in the range of the universitys other disciplines.
The fact that the studio workshops are centrally located within the faculty
turns out to be an advantage in comparison with older art schools where
media departments were added later on and more often lead an existence
apart. The facultys workshops, and this is true especially for video
and computer-pools, work as an interface between the different study programs
and disciplines. For the Digital Video Studio this means it is designed
for the education of artists and designers alike, adjusting to multi purpose
experimental needs and combining it with a reasonable handling complexity.
As it was installed, its connectivity to the various computer pools of
the university as well as the broadcast studio of the faculty of media
was taken into account, the Digital Video Studio of the faculty of art
and design being a specialized de-central system in the university.
In the fall of 99, we were able to move to the custom-tailored
quarters on Bettina-von-Arnim-Straße housing the studio space now
being equipped with the latest digital recording and processing tools.
The application procedure for having it financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
(DFG) took three years and we only succeeded as all colleagues and decision
makers joined forces: in the faculty, the university, the ministry and
the Science Council of Germany. Many thanks to all of you! I wish to emphasize
the achievements of Andrea Carrà, the studio head who struggled
for the best technical solutions with the experts of the DFG.
Looking back on the past development of the video studio is encouraging:
Since its installation in 1993, almost 1 Million Euro went into it, mainly
financed with successful applications at the DFG and funding programs
of the German Federation and the State of Thuringia. This time the Digital
Video Studio received € 311.000,-. You may ask where all the money
went! It probably shows best in the lighting equipment and the two studio
cameras. The grey boxes that computers usually are and that you find in
the rooms next to the studio do not tell their inner values so easily.
The hidden potential shows and will show much better in the products coming
from the video studio. Already many videos were produced here exploring
a multitude of conceptual and visual directions, from documentaries and
narrative videos to animations and art videos. New ways of story-telling,
experiments in image processing or more atmospherically oriented, non-linear
videos and installations were and will be produced. The new equipment
configuration including an Avid DS offers the possibility of compositing,
multi-layering and chroma keying, enabling the user to record and process
images on a high level. Professional lighting and flexible software simplifies
the adaption of different image sources and effects. The construction
of hybrid imagery, the convincing combination of real and computer-generated
pictures on many levels is possible. Prerecorded and live images mix and
undergo manipulations. New applications ask to be explored, in the creation
of music videos, in animation, in tv-design, commercials and in art videos.
We know that all high-tech is worthless without creative heads. I think we have reason to be confident, looking at the achievements and the success gained by our students so far. I would like to hint at the countless festival participations and numerous awards, at the video presentations in Berlin, Hannover, Dresden, Leipzig, Kassel, Bonn and Osnabrück for instance, or abroad in Basle, Geneva, Paris, Bourges, Strasbourg, Clermont-Ferrand and in Lodz. In 2000, the catalogue of the German Video Award at Marl named Weimar and Leipzig to be the new centers of video art in the eastern states of Germany and confirmed this trend in 2002. Furthermore I would like to hint at television broadcasts of student work on Arte, 3Sat, MTV and VIVA. I would also like to mention the international travelling exhibition and catalogue publication LOOPING! that started at the Erfurt Kunstverein in 2001, and the video editions Gestaltung.Die Erste (1999) and Gestaltung.Die Zweite (2001) a third one is to come soon. Last not least Im happy to see our videos prominently featured at the Weimar festival back_up/new media in film, and Im happy to see that summer nights tape, the open-air video event of the Rundgang, our annual art show has become an attractive institution. All these activities and merits go to show the potential and attraction of the medium and its placement within the Weimar faculty of art and design. Hence Im sure that the money of the DFG and the State of Thuringia is well invested and that it is not going to generate hot air but exciting new work!