The New Media specialization was established in the degree programme in Visual Communication at the Kunsthochschule Kassel in 2003.
Studying New Media means engaging artistically or creatively with technologies. What is important is to explore and develop future infrastructures, to accept wrong tracks and to learn from them. Students are urged to subject passion for technology to critical analysis, to reflect on it and to renegotiate it in theoretical and social discourses. We abandon established strategies of communication again and again in order to discover new aspects.
Students do not require any prior knowledge to be admitted to the class. Curiosity, enthusiasm and pleasure in experimentation are, however, required. The use of technology is taught in workshops, seminars and mainly through the teaching group.
The New Media class offers interested students the scope, time and protection to pursue their own interests, to hone their own opinions and to carry out research on an experimental basis, in the form of a collective in the classrooms. The aim is for students to develop their own position, their own method and their own field of interest (research area). Engagement with the latest technologies takes place without a fixed and predefined justification. The experiment is given preference over a defined benefit.
The term "New Media" stems from the 1960s. The research carried out since then resulted in the freedom and self-empowerment of users (producers and consumers), in new art forms and has revolutionized existing art and design forms. The digitization of the media led to tensions in society and politics. Established values, laws and rituals must be constantly analyzed, updated and brought into public discourse (e.g. surveillance, ownership, private sphere, cyber terror, hacking etc. …).
Due to the limitless advent of digitization, established media like film, graphics, illustration and photography are experiencing a renaissance. The Internet facilitates dissemination, criticism and evaluation of digitally generated or digitized content – New Media as an interface between traditionally established media and the user. The focus is on exploring technical innovations, artistic experiments and activist interventions in the process of mediation.
The principle of academic freedom is designed to make sure that powers outside the university, including government and corporations, are not able to control the curriculum or intervene in extra-mural speech.
– Judith Butler