In this course designed for studio and media arts undergraduates, students spend time developing their individual practices in the studio and the city to culminate in final creative projects shared with guest critics. Themed modules focus on a particular format of transmission including: letters and art by mail, sound and radio, live feeds and signals, video, and digital networks. Each module includes a short workshop exercise, artist presentations, and site visits. Open studio time, feedback critiques, and visits to major Berlin arts institutions are integrated throughout the course. Familiarity with Photoshop or Premiere is helpful, but no prior experience with particular media formats is required. The program emphasizes individual experimentation leading to final projects and a public open studio.
Transmissions are ubiquitous, experienced every time we send or receive a message. From smoke signals to smartphones, cultures have used signs, circuits, routes and relays to disseminate images and sounds across space and time. Bard in Berlin’s Summer Studio explores the theme of “transmissions” across a range of conceptual and material artistic practices that bridge analog and digital media—from mail art to cinematic dispatches, radio broadcast to live-feed video. Set against the backdrop of Berlin’s cultural history, this class engages the legacies of art and technology at the Bauhaus (1919-1933) where the traditional arts were integrated with emergent forms in photographic, machinic, and communications media. Further, we will explore the landscape of Cold War surveillance, topics in German Media Theory, and contemporary visual arts practice in Berlin. We will visit local sites of historic and active media infrastructures, have studio visits and workshops with artists and scholars, and experience the scenes of culture that make Berlin a vibrant global center for contemporary art production.
Sasha Engelmann, Satellite Séance (2019), Bude, Cornwall; Photography by Matthew Philips