The John Tilbury Tribute

As soft as possible
November 2016

With my longtime collaborator Marcus Schmickler I organized a festival to celebrate the year of John Tilbury's 80th birthday. It took more than half a year to prepare all events, but once John and his fabulous wife arrived all of that was forgotten. It was a profoundly inspiring week – we learned, experienced, and felt so much. Every single performance blew our minds. Little sparkling epiphanies, one after the other, strung like pearls next to eachother.
Thank you all, but above all: Thank you, John Tilbury !

Manu Burghart designed the poster.

New master's degree program

Form und Forschung, Master of Music
March 2016

In close collaboration with my inspired colleague Prof. Julian Rohrhuber we created the amazing Form und Forschung master's degree program at the Institute For Music And Media. Deadline to submit your application is 15 April.

Via Institute For Music And Media: "Following the principle of the unity of research and teaching, the Form und Forschung master’s degree program combines aesthetic, technical and theoretical approaches. The program benefits from the unique academic situation at the Institute for Music and Media: the multiple facets of time-based art, such as composition, performance, and algorithmic art forms, have been established here for many years.

IMM students autonomously develop their own stance, and learn to integrate it with a range of artistic, technological, economic, scientific and cultural contexts. Graduates of the Form und Forschung master’s degree program are ideally prepared to shape, influence, advance and even anticipate developments in the 21st century.

Musicality is not attached to musical instruments exclusively – it includes many aspects of artistic and scholarly work. That is not least of all the reason why this degree program is generally open to graduates from all disciplines.
It is therefore particularly appropriate for those who are interested in the diversity of media forms, schools of thought and topics. The institution of a Musikhochschule is ideally suited for promoting exchange among interests and abilities in different domains.

Student projects play a vital part in this exchange. In the course of their studies, students learn to re-conceptualize their proposed project on the basis of critical and differentiated feedback and to bring it to fruition at a high level through collaboration with other students. They carry out their project in one of two areas of focus – Artistic Research or Time-Based Form – both of which open up completely new perspectives in the environment of a state conservatory."

The fabulous flyer was designed by Double Standards, Berlin.

Type as image in motion

Including an interview about my projects and research
December 2014

Via Hatje Cantz Verlag: "As in no other genre has type in films been set in motion: whether as art, feature and promotional film or music video the type motion film has become firmly established and extended to other areas since the pioneering days of film in the late 19th century. Schriftfilme – Schrift als Bild in Bewegung [Type Films – Type as image in motion] recently published by the publishing house Hatje Cantz Verlag particularly deals with the artistic type motion film and presents examples of analogue- or digital-based films, in which animated, graphically designed and voiced type becomes the protagonist and which exceeds by far what is expected from conventional type and type motion."

This volume also includes an extensive interview about my work with typography in motion and my subject of research, Visual Music.

Cooperation with Schlingensief's Opera Village

Learn from Africa
June 2014

As a result of my enthusiasm and initiative and in collaboration with Christin Richter (Festspielhaus Afrika), the cooperation agreement between the African Opera Village and the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media, Düsseldorf has now been signed by its president, Prof. Raimund Wippermann, its chancellor, Dr. Cathrin Müller-Brosch, and Christoph Schlingensief's wife and executive director of Festspielhaus Afrika gGmbH, Aino Laberenz.

Festspielhaus Afrika gGmbH, a non-profit public limited company, was founded in 2009 by Christoph Schlingensief with its headquarters in Berlin. Its aim is to strengthen the exchange of information between Europe and Africa incorporating artistic and scientific means, an exchange that has taken shape with the construction of an Opera Village in Burkina Faso. Festpielhaus Afrika gGmbH thereby follows a holistic concept, in which everyday life, art and science work together and open up new directions. It initiated the African Opera Village, runs construction contracts and coordinates the project progress.

As a first project under this cooperation agreement, Nico Neteler, Audio and Video student at the Institute For Music And Media, as part of his Bachelor thesis, is setting up the sound studio in the African Opera Village in Burkina Faso. For the project he will be living and working with his team members on location from October to December 2014.

Interview with Cometogether Projekt

On the Visual Music Archive
August 2012

Hermes Katharis Villena Silva from ComeTogether Projekt invited me to give an interview on my Visual Music Archive and research at Center for Visual Music last year in Los Angeles. The interview is published in their Letter to L.A. pt. II which is going to get released August 18th, on their open-air party to support L.A. based non-profit web radio collective dublab.

Thanks to Hermes Katharis Villena Silva, keep up the good work!

Research residency in Los Angeles

More Visual Music for the archive
March 2011

As part of its Music residencies program the Goethe Institute is promoting the further expansion of my Visual Music Archive. By means of the music residencies, the Goethe Institute wishes to significantly increase the number of cooperations and co-productions as well as the intercultural exchange and international networking in the program work.

In March 2011, with the support of the Los Angeles Goethe Institute, I will research on location at the Center for Visual Music. The Center for Visual Music is a non-profit film archive that is involved in the fields of visual music, experimental animation and contemporary media art. It is committed to preservation, curation, education, scholarship, and dissemination of the film, performances and other media of this tradition, together with related historical documentation and artwork.

Interview presented by PAGE magazine

Discussions on Design – made by A5+
January 2011

Gave the sixth in the series of interviews (German) called Discussions on design – made by A5+ presented by PAGE magazine.
The A5 series considers itself to be a growing archive of the history of graphic design. While the A5 book series addresses past and present of graphic design, the research project A5+ initiated by Karen Weiland and Jens Müller attempts to answer questions on the future of the design profession. In discussions with designers, clients and academics, the changing requirements on communication designers in a media world that is becoming increasingly more complex as well as the role of designers as consultants and the closer linking of design with content are addressed. A5 is a collaboration of the labor visuell (visual lab) in the Design department of the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and Lars Müller Publishers.

Here is the interview I gave Karen Weiland and Jens Müller in August 2009 on rhythm and production processes, mantras and drumming – and the communication between the customer and the designer.

Interview in KRAUT 01

Sammeln im Zeitalter der verlustfreien Reproduzierbarkeit
September 2010

Had a wonderful time conversing with Katharina Hauke last month. She is part of the team who just released the first issue of KRAUT – Magazine for Applied Culture. We talked about the Visual Music Archive, Moon, Peter Saville, copyright and much more. The headline of the interview could be translated into Collecting in the Age of Loss-free Reproduction.
Here is the online cut-up version of the interview (German). The print version is quite different, so you have to treat yourself and buy the magazine...

PAGE about the Visual Music Archive

Article by Claudia Gerdes
June 2010

Last week lovely and proactive journalist Claudia Gerdes wrote an article (German) about my Visual Music Archive for the renowned design magazine PAGE. The community of people actually using the archive is now constantly growing. And the upcoming summer break will give me the chance to include more artists and their projects...

Interview in PAGE 03/10

On Visual Music apps
March 2010

Gave Richard Anjou an interview for his article Touch Touch Visual (German) in the renowned design magazine PAGE. We talked about my Visual Music Archive and mobile applications. Am delighted that a student of mine, Christian Sander, and his iPhone app SYNSE were featured too. Read the full article (German).

Visual Music Archive

A non-institutional and highly subjective collection.
December 2009

During my sabbatical I am currently in the process of building an online archive for Visual Music.
To seek completeness in the field of fine arts seems rather eerie. A wunderkammer, on the other hand, is far more interesting, challenging, and provides inspiring impulses. As a library's inner sanctum.
I love the intelligent design for the archive by Chewing The Sun and the elegant CMS architecture behind it by Julian Furthkamp.
The Visual Music Archive is supported by the International Music Residencies program of the Goethe-Institut Germany and the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles.

Clips on trial

Intro magazine
October 2009

Editor-in-chief of the renowned pop culture magazine Intro, Thomas Venker, asked nine contributers to write a few words on eight famous music videos, which the magazine had chosen to present in their current issue 147. Here is the article (German).
Especially enjoyed to read Uwe Flade's comments. Had the pleasure to meet him when I invited him do give a BASECAMP lecture at the Institute For Music And Media back in 2006.

On sound design and design disharmonies, playing the drums and broker

Interview in RAKETE 03
December 2008

The visionary poster design magazine RAKETE features an interview (German) with me in its current issue. We started by talking about synaesthisia and went off to consider software with which brokers can actually hear the development on the stockmarkets. RAKETE magazine is a project by students from the University of Applied Sciences' design faculty in Düsseldorf.

Opera overtures and title sequences

Design Faculty Annual

November 2008

The publication Reflektor 1 presents student projects from the several design faculties at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund. It is also a retrospect of events, exhibitions and conferences. And they included my article "Take it from the top. Opera overtures and cinema title sequences."

New programs at IMM

Music and Media / Audio and Video
October 2008

Two new bachelor programs started at the Institute For Music And Media in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Music and Media program (Bachelor of Music) defines its focus around the artistic development of the students. The Audio and Video program (Bachelor of Engineering) emphazises the technological aspects in audio and video productions. The profound study and practice of a musical instrument are part of both programs.

After the first two semesters the students choose their own focus from eight different majors. Am offering a mjor in Visual Music. To my knowledge the opportunity to study Visual Music explicitly is unique in Europe.

IMM @ c/o pop

Sounds and information
July 2008

The Institute For Music And Media will be at this year's affair c/o pop in Cologne from August 14th until 16th. Together with eight IMM students (Lilia Dornhoff, Christian Epe, Niko Faust, Christian Frentzen, Dominik Hildebrand, Jonas Hummel, Nick Prokop, Kai Wollek) my colleague Prof. Alberto de Campo and I will be presenting the institute's two new bachelor programs. Besides showing and working on student projects in progress (involving swarms of boids, live coding, and circuit bent instruments), Alberto also invited some musician friends to drop by. So, look forward to meeting, chatting with, and listening to IMM's guests Falk Grieffenhagen, Echo Ho, Hannes Hoelzl and Joker Nies.

Interview in PAGE 07/08

On Visual Music
July 2008

Gave my dear friend Judith Mair an extended interview (German) for the design magazine PAGE. We talked about the relationship between audio and visuals - and all the possibilities if it is revised and equal. Am happy that two students of mine were also featured in this piece. Read the full article (German).

Consultant @ University of Applied Sciences Salzburg

Developing a master program "Multi Media Art"
June 2008

Karin Mairitsch, head of Multi Media Art faculty at the University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg, Austria, invited me to join a team of 20 to help developing a new graduate program. In addition to students and members of the faculty five consultants were hired to support this effort: Dr. habil. Frank Hartmann, Alexander Kohlhofer, David Muth, Michel Schütz and me. In an open and creative atmosphere ideas for an exceptional new design program evolved. The project will continue throughout 2008.

Observing with all senses

Motion Graphics: Application and Criteria
August 2007

My essay Motion Graphics: Application and Criteria was published in the Festschrift-booklet Beobachten mit allen Sinnen (Observing with all senses). The booklet honors Bernd Scheffer, Professor for New German Literature at Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität, Munich and his influences and impulses given to media-theoretical thesis in contemporary media studies.

Reduction | Interaction | Motion picture

Considerations in basic design in multimedia context
December 2006

My text Pictures in motion - Motion Graphics: Applications and Criteria was published in Reduction | Interaction | Motion picture - considerations in basic design in multimedia context. The publication offers an insight to basics of visual communication. The book is an introduction to the theory basics of design substructures, considering contemporary multi-media forms and impact.


Inspired by Cut hands has the solution and related experiences
August 2006

Contributed the sculpture "WH" to the Hi Fans! exhibition at the c/o pop festival in Cologne. The design studio FRAM curated the exhibition and invited artists from all fields to come up with a visualization of their fandom.
Photos © Manu Burghart

Interview in DE:BUG 96

On the Institute For Music And Media
Januar 2006

Gave my schoolmate and friend Vicky Tiegelkamp (playframe) an interview for the German music magazine DE:BUG. We talked about my new post at the IMM in Duesseldorf and their programme. To call a designer like me for a professorship at a University for Music is exceptional - if not unique. Anyway, a great challenge. The students I work with are all musicians. Read the full article (German).

Digital Visual Media

My new post at IMM in the news
May 2005

The newspaper Westdeutsche Zeitung introduces me as the new professor for Digital Visual Media at the Institute For Music And Media of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media Duesseldorf.
Photo © Manu Burghart

Studio space

And tons of chocolate

For a year I had the great pleasure to share a wonderful studio space with my dear friend and brilliant designer Manu Burghart. The Kölnischer Kunstverein sponsored this amazing room in Cologne's Chocolate Museum right at the banks of the river Rhine. First action Manu and I took was to renovate the room with tons of wallpaper fragments. If you ever need exceptional wallpaper ask our friend Bernd Sassmannshausen at 5qm to help with the decision.

Deconstructed c/o pop shirt

August 2004

The Cologne based design studio FRAM asked 40 artists and designers to "refine" the official c/o pop t-shirts. Mine got fillet, stuffed into a transparent plastic bag and subtitled with the very last words from Stanley Kubrick's very last movie. Done in old-fashioned Letraset. It is a pity that one can hardly read them on the picture above. 

Virtual set design

Report and research project
Summer 2004

An inspiring project with six exceptional technical producers and designers from WDR Broadcasting. We had the chance to see virtual set technology in Warsaw, Bratislawa, London, Bergen, Madrid, and many other beautiful places in Europe. After weeks of research we wrote the report Virtual set design and virtual TV studio technologies - several hundred pages long.


extreme theory congress

For almost a year I had the privilege to work with a board of the most inspiring people on a concept for an "extreme theory congress". Our aim was not to find answers or to assign the discourses to appropriate faculties, but to enable the experience that in different and disparate fields questions of contemporary subjectivity are negotiated in ways that might produce recognition of "neighbourhood". This sort of dispute about acute questions of our times formulated our idea of a socio-political discourse. We wanted to initiate a discourse, which brings together arts, theory and politics and gives enough room to question scientists and artists about their views on future social structures.
Board members were: William Bennett, Carmen Brucic, Manu Burghart, Felix Ensslin, Gesche Joost, Nicolas Langlitz and me.

PhD in Aesthetics

Integrative Audiovisualistik

Started to write my dissertation in 1996. Prof. Dr. Bazon Brock was my supervisor at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. My oral defense was in spring 1999. The full title of the dissertation is "IMAGING SCIENCE: Integrative Audiovisualistik Diskussionsgrundlage, Fragen-/Aufgabenstellung und Lehrinhalte, für einen postgraduierten Studiengang zur Erforschung, Entwicklung und Anwendung von audiovisuellen, computergestützten Medien".
Here is a PDF of each chapter (German):

Inhalt (Transdisziplinäre Fragestellung)
01. Imaging Science (Bildgebende Verfahren)
02. Naturwissenschaften (Arbeitsfelder von Imaging Science)
03. Evolutionäre Erkenntnistheorie (Geisteswissenschaften)
04. Bildende Künste / Musik (Neuronale Ästhetik)
05. Bildende Wissenschaft (Integrative Audiovisualistik)
06. Literaturnachweis


Freelancer for HotWired, San Francisco

In January 1995 I moved to San Francisco. What was meant to be indefinite turned out to last a year. Lived in the Lower Haight district and started to freelance for HotWired. The place to be in that year. A year earlier I heard an exciting talk by Howard Rheingold on how Wired Magazine was to go online. This talk made me wanting to work with them and be part of "the next step". HotWired was the first commercial web magazine, launched on October 27, 1994. Although it was part of Wired Ventures, HotWired was a separate entity from Wired, the print magazine, and had original content.

Coming from a motion graphics background the speed or more precisely the slowness of the web back then made it very difficult for me to adapt. No more motion graphics but silent slide shows - nothing audiovisual. Still, it was totally inspiring to be in the HotWired offices and to meet all their incredibly brilliant staff. But I had to go back to moving images with sound.

Thanks to Barbara Kuhr for all her awesome inspiration!