Academy of Media Arts
The Concept
-Kunsthochschule fur Medien Koln , Cologne/Germany-
'Ffats' by Bacchus Barua


The name "Academy of Media Arts" itself expresses the entire spectrum of interests supported by teaching and research at this institution, namely art in the age of its technological (re)production. The process of formulating and developing the interaction between artistic imagination, theoretical and historical knowledge and individual expression by means of new media places high demands on students as well as on the academic staff of the Academy. Both are working together to create a small utopia which involves bringing together and integrating those processes and interrelated interests in academic practice that continuously threaten to drift apart in everyday professional practice. An essential element of this process is also the joint development of a media/cultural identity, one conscious of its own social, political, aesthetic and ethical obligations. Today's media are social institutions.

Our utopia has not only the power of the idea on its side, but the future as well. A first-class training for creative work in the emerging technologies can only be achieved through a symbiosis of art and culture, of poetry, science and technology. In this context, it is and must remain an experiment. Not one that stagnates in its own isolated aims, however, but one that is committed by the results of its work to enrich the quality of the media landscape, and to subject it to continuous critical examination and analysis. It is an experiment in which the instructors are aware of their obligation to prepare their students for the increasingly competitive international market in audio visual media.

On October 15th, 1990, the first academy in the Federal Republic of Germany devoted to all areas of audio-visual media began its teaching programme.

It has been offering its basic 8 semester undergraduate programme in addition to the 4-semester further education and postgraduate programme since the winter semester of 1994/95.

The Key Areas

The Audio-Visual Media Programme is composed of a wide variety of specialized subjects supporting major study areas, which students may individually opt for and combine. There are four key areas of teaching and research at the academy:

* Television/Film
* Media Design
* Media Art
* Art and Media Studies

The projects presented for assessment at the final examination leading to a diploma, originate generally speaking in one of the three key areas dedicated to creative and professional practice. The fourth area offers courses designed to complement and support artistic study by reflection and stimulation.

Within the first three key areas and the many possible combined study programmes they offer, the Academy of Media Arts Cologne has set itself the goal of teaching students the skills necessary for specific professions. For example, in the area of Television/Film - as director, writer, or producer; in the area of media design - communications and television design, video design or desktop publishing. However, the study programme in audio-visual media at the Academy of Media Arts is not aimed at promoting narrowly conceived and inflexible career goals. Such aims can hardly be defined in the world of freelance practice, and the creative and technical media sector as a whole is continuously developing new career paths, to which the Academy must maintain a flexible response.

A vital part of this comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach is the focus on forging links with creative professional media practice using and ba means of technical media.

Andreas Altenhoff
Head of Academic and International Affairs
Academy of Media Arts, Cologne
Kunsthochschule fur Medien Koln
Peter-Welter-Platz 2
D-50676 Koln, Germany