visiting professorship
artistic transformation process

Interdisciplinary teaching project at the UdK Berlin

The visiting professorship in artistic transformation processes at the University of the Arts (UdK) in Berlin provides the framework for an innovative trans-disciplinary dialogue between music, fine arts, architecture, design and aesthetic theory. Over the course of three years this project will be carried out by 11 artists and academics, who will be contributing to a variety of interdisciplinary teaching
modules. These seminars and projects are open to those students from their third year of study onwards who are interested in expanding the skills acquired in their own subject by exposure to different perspectives offered by other disciplines. This interdisciplinarity reflects the increasing importance of cross-media projects at the interface of artistic and cultural practice.
The teaching concept is based on the idea of the children’s game “Chinese whispers” (“Stille Post” in German). The idea of the game is applied to artistic strategies to initiate a process of aesthetic transformations. The work generated in the teaching modules is based on given themes. It is then up to the next person in line to transform the existing work and so continue the process. Students thus have the opportunity to explore a number of methodological approaches to a given series of problems, and in doing so to become more aware of their own artistic approaches through experiencing the engagement with other disciplines.

This enables them to integrate new ways of thinking and acting into their own approach. The theoretical elements of the project both lay the groundwork for an aesthetic of intermedial transformation and for locating the project within artistic theory; at the same time they also form an integral part of and are themselves the object of the process of transformation. Team teaching and the heterogenic nature of the students from all faculties ensure that there is a process of interdisciplinary engagement. Each term two out of the eleven staff initiate the teaching by setting the subject for that term and then include the other staff to bring about the interdisciplinary process. Teaching is by means of group work, workshops, presentations and individual co-operations. At the end of every term a presentation is held.
The results of this whole series of projects will be documented and assessed in a final event (to be known as “intermediality”) on aesthetic transformation processes that will be held for an invited audience of international experts. This will be a major contribution to the development of interdisciplinary teaching in tertiary education and to process-based forms of co-operation.
This project is a teaching program being offered by the University of the Arts Berlin (UdK) and is being co-financed by the Berlin Program for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities
in Teaching and Research (Berliner Programm zur Förderung der Chancengleichheit für Frauen in Forschung und Lehre).
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