Art and Media Studies


Chair of Art History in the Context of Media

Art history challenges us to engage with works of fine art, artistic practices and methods, with art theory, and, where documented, with art’s varying forms of reception over time. Whereas the emergence of a technical media culture at the beginning of the modern age was considered a provocation to the traditional arts, it has since become a fact and point of reference in the production and discussion of contemporary art. In the context of mediatization, the focus is on art’s specifically inspired capacity to link imagination, knowledge and everyday life. Such interconnections provide the setting for experiences of the evident through which art emerges as a productive force of mystery and surprise.

A history of art in the context of media examines the following:

  • new image technologies (from techniques of reproduction in the early modern age, to photography, through to computer-assisted artistic experiments)
  • the history of the mediatization of artistic materials and art’s sphere of influence
  • expanded audiovisual and multimedia art forms (moving images, actions, performances)
  • art utopias and artistic problems of technological innovation (online experiments, telematic and electronic art forms, interactive computer art)
  • the mutual influence and interpenetration of art and visual communication
  • the changing contexts of the arts (society, politics, institutions, discourses, rhetoric, publishing, urban studies, history of design and architecture)
  • different methods of picture analysis, especially combining psycho-historical, socio-historical, reception-aesthetic, hermeneutic, iconological and semiotic approaches
  • aesthetic, technological, psycho-mental structures of lived experience and existence between the poles of subculture, techno-manipulation and emphatically utopian self-transformations.


In the form of a media hybrid (image, voice, montage), the Audiolectures document several cycles of lectures delivered by Hans Ulrich Reck at the Academy of Media Arts (KNM). The concept was developed by Markus Unterfinger in his KHM diploma project, and Audio-lectures 02 and 03 were realized in cooperation with Florian Kuhlman.