Animation combines the means of expression of virtually all art forms, with the particular possibilities open to film through the temporal sequence of images being used most consistently in the Animation, as it is only here that the director consciously works with each individual image of the film second. The endless possibilities that give free rein to the imagination, contrasting with the exactness of detail with which every thought can be crystallized - these factors make the animation the ideal means of communication. Spectacular firework of ideas or clear, reduced visualization - the strength of the Animation is the concentration of complex content into a few seconds.
The Animation specialization at the Kunsthochschule Kassel conveys animation as an artistic form of expression and as a means of visual communication, aided and abetted by the spatial and organizational proximity to Fine Arts, Graphic Design, New Media and Film. The professors together with the Artistic Associates base their teaching activity on the classic Animation craft. From this basis, they open the way to the great diversity of modern animation, from the digital mode of production through to experimental techniques, interactive narrative forms and transmedia dissemination.
As a result of the work of the professors, Jan Lenica, Paul Driessen and Andreas Hykade, a distinctive narrative Animation culture has developed over the years in the specialization established in 1979. Even if production technologies and dissemination channels have now expanded exponentially, the ability to use animated images to tell stories is independent of the technological development and receives special support in Kassel.
Students of the Animation Class Kassel explore the medium primarily through their own projects. They are encouraged to assume artistic responsibility for taking concepts that they have developed themselves through to the performable result. Students' readiness to work together and to engage in exchange between themselves reflect professional working processes here. With the aid of seminars and workshops on topics like Animation history, film language, animation techniques, production methods and media market, students are supported in all production areas. The aim is to play an active role in shaping the future of animation.
The results are impressive. The films are broadcast on television and presented in competitive programmes at festivals around the world. They receive renowned awards. Prime examples are the puppetoons produced at the Kunsthochschule, "Balance" (1989) by the Lauenstein brothers and "Quest" (1996) by Tyron Montgomery and Thomas Stellmach, which were each awarded an Oscar.