© Matthias Wermke / Mischa Leinkauf: One more Step to the Top of the City (2011)

Documentary methods in art

October 19 – 21, 2012
Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM) auditorium, Filzengraben 2, Cologne

Programme available online

Since the mid-1990s, audio-visual documentary methods have become increasingly widespread in the visual arts, media art, in museums and exhibition spaces

From the beginning themes included ways of dealing with forms of memory, interest in private and collective archives as well as looking at history as the fictionalisation of documents and the visual representation of different perceptions of time and space. Since then filmmakers who favour open documentary, essayistic or experimental forms have been acknowledged by the art world and appreciated by a larger public. Names such as Harun Farocki or Chantal Akerman have become synonymous with how filmmakers working with documentary methods have turned to art.

Of course, since the digital revolution a younger generation of filmmakers have also crossed the fluid boundaries between cinema/television, festival and exhibition space/museum.

The symposium of the Dokumentarfilminitiative (dfi-Documentary Film Initiative) and of the Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln (KHM-Academy of Media Arts Cologne) questions this blurring of boundaries. Through discussions with invited artists, by means of their films and works, and in lectures, the following points will be examined:

Which transformations does the documentary working method undergo in the shift from one context to the other?
How does deciding on a form of presentation effect the production of documentary work, the collection of its material, its dramaturgy and presentation?
Which specific requirements does time-based documentary work demand of the exhibition space and which mediation concepts do curators have when they present work generated from documentary material?
Which functions do document and testimony fulfil and how is found footage worked with in this context?
Which concepts of reality appear in the different fields?
How are the structures of distribution in the areas of cinema or art formed and what shapes working relationships?

© Philipp Hamann: Hoffentlich. Ja. Mehr als. Sonst (2009)
Participants include:
Christa Blümlinger, Phil Collins, Barbara Engelbach, Luke Fowler, Ulrike Franke/Michael Loeken, Philipp Hamann, Dietrich Leder, Mischa Leinkauf, Katrin Mundt, Marcel Odenbach, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Fiona Tan.

Dates and times
Friday 19th Oct.       2pm – 8pm
Saturday 20th Oct.   10am – 8pm
Sunday 21st Oct.      10am – 3pm

Attendance fee
30 Euro for three days (reduced rate: 20 Euro)

Organized by dfi - Dokumentarfilminitiative in the Filmbüro NW and Academy of Media Arts Cologne, in collaboration with Filmbüro NW and Haus des Dokumentarfilms Stuttgart, funded by the Ministry for family, children, youth, culture and sport NRW. Sponsor artotel. Media partner filmdienst.