Klasse Digitale Grafik

Omnipresent digital forms mingle with artifacts from the past, forming a constantly branching network – an evanescent visual cloud.

In spite of this, we take digital surfaces as something naturally, as a self-evident tool and daily companion — in the absence of any knowledge of their authorship, economies, and algorithms.

Against this backdrop, the Digitale Grafik class explores the integrity of modern technologies and conceives visual models in the context of culture and digital possibilities. The class represents an endeavor to emancipate ourselves from existing tools, beaten visual tracks and to break up the confectionery of visual templates. The approach is based on strong dialogues between the online world and our fields of activities as self-reflected designers. It is an on going feedback loop between society, network politics and the visual as necessary points of interests where students create websites, applications, and media installations, as self-chosen artistic projects or in tasks related to contemporary issues.

To reach these goals, we invite relevant artists, designers and thinkers on a regular basis to the class as guest critics and offer workshops on topics that concern us and the digital world we live in.

Winter 2018

Project: Don’t make me think

Interfaces are designed for a maximum of efficiency. User gestures and intentions are measured by developers, designers and algorithms to make our life less complicated or to boost profits. Limitations and guidelines exist to guide us to a wished state — the internet is sometimes a very cozy place. Against this approach, the class will research unexpected behaviours to peak outside of given structures. Which virtual fixtures exist that we do not lose track in our online words? How can we overcome invisible borders? Which nudging concepts exist to make us choose things we did not intend in the first place? How is the world designed for us so that we do not despair of its complexity?

Workshop with Harm van den Dorpel: Peer-to-peer Self Publishing

Harm van den Dorpel is a conceptual artist and curator which employs various information technologies in his artistic practice. He studied Time Based Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Artificial Intelligence at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. In 2016 he won the Net Based Award, Haus der Elektronischen Künste, Basel. Harm van den Dorpel runs an online gallery called Left gallery. He is a visiting lecturer at the Écal, Lausanne, Switzerland and a teacher at the Master Graphic Design, KABK, Den Haag. Van den Dorpel will give a 4-day workshop at the Klasse Digitale Grafik dealing with the topic of peer-to-peer self publishing. More infos will follow after the registration.

Summer 2018

Project: Archive of the Hamburger Kunstverein

In 2017, the Hamburger Kunstverein celebrated it’s 200th anniversary. For this occasion, work on a new website has begun to make the archive accessible worldwide. The class Digitale Grafik will deal with the archive and transfer selected works into an online installation. The archive website will thus be expanded experimentally and new perspectives on individual works will be provoked. Together we will visit the Hamburger Kunstverein to see an exhibition, to get an insight into the archive and the plans for the new website. In the semester, we work out possible online interventions and publish the mini-websites for the historical records parallel to the launch of the new archive website.

Workshop: K, — Exhibiting the Digital

The class Digitale Grafik has been invited to the newly founded project space K, in Berlin, to reflect on alternative, digital exhibition formats. We will work together in the room for five days, visit exhibitions and studios in the city and in the evenings ask various institutional players for a table talk. In addition, the students will take over the project website www.k-komma.de and experiment with the existing content. K, is part of the program A Year with P. Krishnamurthy of KW Berlin and is the successor of the project space P!, which was located in New York from 2012–2017. Prem Krishnamurthy works as a curator, designer, author and teacher at the interface between art and design. He is the founder of the award-winning design studio Project Projects, since 2018 Wkshps, which has focused on the development of visual appearances for art and cultural institutions.

Winter 2017

Workshop with Anja Kaiser: Techno bodies, doubles and dummies

The starting point is the consideration of the relationship between the human body and technology. How are bodies utilized within technologically mediated societies? Which identities can be invented in order to become visible or invisible within these economies? Which queer-feminist realities can be projected onto the body and what potential can be released thereby? As a result of the research the participants develop a screencast.

— existing online profiles can be shadowed, analyzed and traced, for example, via Google Image Search

— an own identity can be designed as a tool for socio-political action


The class is integrated in the department Graphic Art / Typography / Photography and offers a eight semester bachelor plus a four semester master. The bachelor program consists of two semesters in fundamentals and six semesters in the class where certain workshops, guest-critics and regular meetings will take place. Beside this, students will be surrounded by a strong program in history of art and theoretical lessons offered by the university. The master program is open for individuals from various backgrounds.

Guests and Workshops

!Mediengruppe Bitnik, Tina Sauerländer, Jeffrey Alan Scudder, Lukas Eigler-Harding, Studio Miessen, Prem Krishnamurthy, Rosa Menkman, Anja Kaiser, David Liebermann, Jana Reddemann


Online registration: February 1st — March 5th 2019. Applications may only be made for the winter semester of an academic year, usually beginning in October. To apply, please find more informations here or contact us directly.

Prof. Christoph Knoth

Prof. Konrad Renner