The Medium and Us

Photography in Progress

Thursday 20th October, starting at 2 p.m.
Kunsthafen im Rhenania
Bayenstraße 28, 50678 Köln

© Simon Bessems


Camera Arts, State-of-the-Art Image Practices, Artistic Photography or Photographic Studies - the names of the courses in which photography is taught are as diverse as the medium itself. Through technical innovation, photography is constantly changing, almost inevitably producing new visual languages and modes of use. In "The Medium and Us: Photography in Progress" artists and teachers from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland question current digital image practices and artistic approaches with a view to the different approaches to photographic teaching, the specific use of photography and the reception of the medium.


Moderated by:

Dana Bergmann

Dana Bergmann

Dana Bergmann studied art history with a focus on photography and media history in Cologne (MA) and Madrid. 2016-2022 she was responsible as curator for national and international solo and group exhibitions as well as the conception of numerous exhibition catalogues at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and the IMAI Foundation, among others. Since 2022 she has been working as project director for the International Photoscene Cologne.

Daria Bona

Daria Bona

Daria Bona studied art history, Romance studies, and art management in Cologne and Granada. In 2019-2022, she was a fellow of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation at the Münchner Stadtmuseum, Museum Folkwang Essen, Fotomuseum Winterthur, and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Her research interests include photographic forms of education and modes of use of the visual medium from the 1960s onward.

Dialogue 1:

How do the technological developments of the photographic affect studies and teaching? In what ways can teaching content approach current discourses and respond to contemporary needs? In a dialogue, Gisela Bullacher and Vera Knippschild talk about the interplay between practice and theory and about current thematic focuses in their teaching at Folkwang University of the Arts Essen.

Gisela Bullacher

Gisela Bullacher has been Professor of Basic Photography at the Folkwang University of the Arts since 2004. Previously, she held a visiting professorship for artistic photography at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, among others. The focus of her artistic work lies in the examination of the object as a pictorial artifact in its interweaving with the human being.

Vera Knippschild

Vera Knippschild has been a research associate for the theory and history of photography at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen since 2021. Previously, she studied Media Studies in Weimar and Photography Studies and Research in Essen and worked as a curatorial assistant at the Department of Photography at the Kunstpalast Düsseldorf.

Dialogue 2:

Based on the works of Thomas Albdorf and the orientation of the Camera Arts course, current trends in contemporary photography and questions about the challenges and opportunities in dealing with the medium and the orientation of a future-oriented teaching of artistic photography will be presented. 

Ann-Christin Bertrand

Ann-Christin Bertrand

Ann-Christin Bertrand is a curator, author and lecturer in photography. Since 2022, she has headed the BA Camera Arts program at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts/Design & Art. During her nearly 10 years as curator at C/O Berlin, she was able to conceive and introduce several program formats that deal with the profound changes in photography since digitalization as well as questions about the future of the medium.

Thomas Albdorf

Thomas Albdorf

After working as an art director, he studied Transmedia Art at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. In 2016 he won the UNSEEN Amsterdam Talent Award. He has had solo exhibitions at FOAM Amsterdam and Museum Folkwang Essen. His work has been featured in magazines such as FOAM Magazine, New York Times, British Journal of Photography and The New Yorker. 

Dialogue 3:

As part of darktaxa-project we work on phenomena of the digital starting from the medium of photography with a view to future potentials and developments. This approach flows significantly into the teaching: What are the latest and relevant developments in photography and photography-based tools? How can these be taught and what should be part of a contemporary photography education in practical and theoretical terms?

Michael Reisch

Michael Reisch

Michael Reisch is an artist and photographer. His work combines aspects of photography and sculpture with new digital imaging techniques. He teaches photography and digital media at the Alanus University in Bonn and is the initiator of darktaxa-project, a work and discourse platform for artists working experimentally at the interface of photography and new digital imaging processes. 

Achim Mohné

Achim Mohné

Achim Mohné works with time-based media, which he questions at the intersection of apparatus, interface, software, action and intermediality. Among other things, he taught photography and new media at ETH Zurich from 2013-2020 and currently teaches post-photography and digital imaging at FH Dortmund. He is a member of darktaxa, in this framework he deals with post-photographic working methods.
Alex Grein

Alex Grein

Alex Grein studied at the FH Düsseldorf and at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf as a master student of Andreas Gursky. Her works have been shown at the NRW-Forum, KIT Kunst im Tunnel, the Philara Collection in Düsseldorf and the Spinnerei Leipzig, among others. She works as an artistic-scientific assistant for photography at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.

Dialogue 4:

Transformative Curriculum
The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK) Photography Department educates students to become independent and self-aware photographers and artists with investigative mindsets and specific visual and conceptual abilities. Ongoingly, we seek to identify a transformative curriculum, that integrates the need for a community of collective care, to empower students to do work that is important and necessary, and become better citizens of our world. 

John Fleetwood

John Fleetwood is a photography curator and educator. He is the Co-head of Photography at the Royal Academy of Arts (KABK, The Hague, since Oct 2021) and director of Photo: (Johannesburg). Photo: is a multi-operation platform for the development and promotion of socially engaged photography work, projects, photographers and critical visual culture. In 2017, he was guest editor for Aperture’s Platform Africa edition. From 2002-2015 Fleetwood was the director of the Market Photo Workshop, Johannesburg.

Lotte Sprengers

Lotte Sprengers is an educator and since 2006 connected to The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK). Sprengers is the Co-head of Photography since 2015, and previously also worked as teacher and coordinator. She is the founder and former head of the Master in Photography & Society. Lotte Sprengers studied at the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, where she obtained a BA Art Education in 2005, and a BA Photography in 2006.

Dialogue 4 between Lotte Sprengers and John Fleetwood is sponsored by the Embassy of the Netherlands.