Communicating the Bauhaus
Bauhaus Agents Annual Conference #2
… is how Silke Feldhoff (coordinator of the Bauhaus Agents Programme) pinpointed the purpose of the two-day conference. The aim of the Bauhaus Agents Programme – with an overall duration of four years – is to test guided tours, materials and aids to exploration, workshops and experimental spaces, places of communication in exhibitions and in the digital sphere together with pupils and museum experts, and to transfer these tools into use. Regarding children and young people, but also all other museum visitors as well as the whole of urban society, the conference focused on aspects of thematic and methodological communication of the Bauhaus, and the following question was posed: What is specific about communicating the Bauhaus, and where does its asserted relevance lie?
Attendees at the conference were the team of Bauhaus Agents, colleagues from the three Bauhaus museums, teachers at the partner schools, international experts from the fields of architecture, art, and design, actors from the field of education and outreach, and others from politics and the administration of education. The Annual Conference #2 was opened with keynote addresses by Prof. Dr. Dieter Mersch (director of the Institute for Theory at Zurich College of Arts) and by Prof. Dr. Friedrich von Borries (architect and professor of Design Theory at the College of Fine Arts in Hamburg). They concerned themselves with artistic research or with the political dimension of design, respectively. Following this, the nine Bauhaus Agents presented current questions, based on concrete projects, in a compact PechaKucha. In the spirit of the programme's specified theoretical and practical interlock, they expanded on these questions in workshops, linking experimental work with various materials to critically reflect on their practices of outreach.
The results of the Annual Conference #2 mean that the Bauhaus Agents are now well-equipped to develop their concepts further; in this way they will be able to transfer important impulses to the development of the three new Bauhaus museums in Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin and their outreach programmes.Silke Feldhoff
The second day of the conference offered a space to share experience and to provide exchange with international experts. Covering a wide range of content and methodology, the workshops dealt with topics such as space and the body, material and materiality, experiment and process, social and political aspects of the Bauhaus, and play and learning.
The subject was narration or a narration derived from absence for Serge von Arx (architect and scenographer / Norwegian Theatre Academy / College in Ostfold), Martina Fineder (Academy of Fine Arts and Institute for Design Research, Vienna), and Luise Reitstätter (University of Vienna). The workshop participants tried out experimental methods, e.g. for exhibition interview tours, and subsequently discussed their potential for concrete outreach formats.
Materials as impulse-creators for tomorrow's social developments and as an answer to future challenges were presented by Aart van Bezooijen (professor of Material and Technological Mediation, Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle and founder of Material Stories, Hamburg). In his workshop, Fritz Horstman (Artist in Residency and art educator, Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Conneticut) interlaced historical preparation course exercises with experimental work using the immaterial material of light.
Together with his group, Dr. Robin Rehm (Institute of Art History, University of Regensburg) read text passages by Rancière and Gropius and explicated political aspects of the aesthetics of purpose and function. Fabian Lasarzik (independent curator and artistic director for interdisciplinary projects at Folkwang University of the Arts, Zollverein Essen) offered an analysis of the aesthetic methods of the Bauhaus parallel to developing links to the present day in his workshop.
Game and learning designer Willy Dumaz of Büro für Sinn und Unsinn, Halle, invited participants to a crash course in creative game development – working from the concrete example of a Bauhaus slot machine he designed, which can be seen in the Bauhaus Museum Dessau as from September 2019.
The next Bauhaus Agents' Annual Conference will take place in Weimar in June 2019, the Annual Conference #4 is planned for June 2020.
With Workshops by:
- Prof. Serge von Arx / scenographer, designer, architect, director of scenography at the Akademi for Scenekunst der Hogskolen in Ostfold, Norway
- Prof. Aart van Bezooijen / professor of material and technological communication, Burg Giebichenstein Halle; founder of Material Stories, Hamburg
- Fritz Horstman / Artist in Residency and art educator, Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Conneticut
- Martina Fineder / Academy of Fine Arts and Institute for Design Research, Vienna and Luise Reitstätter / University of Vienna
- PD Dr. Robin Rehm / Institute of Art History at the University of Regensburg
- Fabian Lasarzik / Independent curator and artistic director of interdisciplinary projects at Folkwang University of the Arts, Zollverein Essen
- Willy Dumaz / games and learning designer, Büro für Sinn und Unsinn, Halle
A brief insight into the presentations by the Bauhaus Agents:
Communicating the Bauhaus – Applying Teaching – Practising Cooperation (Friederike Holländer, Nina Wiedemeyer), Triggering Experiments – What to Watch out for (Tabea Kießling), Oskar Schlemmer's Hoop Dance – Approaches to Communication in Theatre and Dance Education (Silke Wallstein), How many Senses Does the Bauhaus Need? (Maxie Götze), Community Equals Community? (Valerie Stephani), Interacting with the Bauhaus (Philine Sollmann), Kaugummi, Chewing Gum, Paper and Wood – from Material Exercise to Design (Anne Schneider), Bauhaus Curriculum. Can You Teach Maths with the Bauhaus? (Maria Ricci), Are Unicorns Bauhaus? How Can We Communicate the Bauhaus as a School Rather than a Style? (Johannes Siebler).