Ivory Tower

Ivory Tower
Many Openings

Amine Haase: Professor Zielinski: What place do you want to give the Kunsthochschule für Medien in a city that wants to be both a city of art and a media city?

The Academy for Media Arts is located where I would like to see it most, in between. And I mean that in the strict sense of the word, because I believe that the interspaces will be the most exciting spaces in the future. So, not these fixed gravitational places, but what moves between the designated places. The great opportunity presented by the Academy for Media Arts and also the city of Cologne with this university is: There is thus a facility that tries to bring the impossible together, so to dive the devil into the holy water – or to find which metaphors always there are. We are trying to dance on two extremely different weddings: on the one hand, we are trying to meet the demands that the country – I think, rightly so – puts on us, that is, for the economic development of the country Do the training of talented young people for the media. On the other hand, we are trying to participate with all our energy in the creation of a place for art, under the new altered conditions of art production, art distribution and art. That is why I think it is already very precise when the Kunsthochschule for media sees its place between: between the art city and the media city. And I think that – whatever architectural metaphor you may find – the College of Art could be something like a bridge. Or perhaps a spiral staircase that is dynamic and has a somewhat more complex structure. That would be the most pleasant to me.

Excerpt from interview of Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zielinski the rector of the Academy for Media Arts by Amine Haase for Kunstforum.

Amine Haase & Siegfried Zielinsky
January 1999



But from your description one might conclude that Cologne is an ideal location for such a school, which is trying to find a balancing act that seems to be impossible. Cologne also tries to balance between the Roman foundations and Hollywood …

Of course, I am firmly convinced that the structure of the course of studies is also in line. But I think the most important thing is that structures can not produce such a thing, but only human beings. I do not believe in structures, but in the first place to people. And we have used a great force and a great concentration in the construction of the university in recent years to get good artists in all areas including the design and the television and the film here. This can be seen gradually in the results. It is the result of this continuous work of outstanding colleagues with young people who can then also produce a lot of good things. They are encouraged and thus the previously accused risk tolerance is promoted. This is immensely important. Just this year, you could see during the tour how a constant attempt is made to go its own way, to stage something very self-willed, up to the presentation in the room. I think this is the most important, with artists, artists like Valie Export, with David Larcher, Jürgen Klauke in photography, Thomas Schmitt for certain TV areas, with Frans Vogelaar for hybrid space. But I do not want to enumerate all. All are personalities who are not self-contained, but who have a great openness in their work, which also, and since the word also makes sense, multimedial work, have repeatedly tried different expressions for themselves between photography and film and also Painting. This kind of openness is felt by the students.