Interactive, immersive, virtual and artistic
In the tradition of interconnections and cross connections, and penetrability and permeability, the HfG has dealt with the prospects, potential and consequences of analog and digital media technology in art and design since the 1970’s. With the increasing infiltration of digitalization into all areas of design in the 1980’s and 90’s, a broad media competence and expertise has become an essential element of instruction at the HfG. The field of electronic media and the CrossMediaLab – inaugurated in 1999 – have specialized themselves in the research, development and mediation of diverse forms of digital media in art and design. From the perspective of increasing contextual and technological convergences, their hybrid, interdisciplinary forms and formats – including their corresponding peripheries – will now be addressed.
The possibilities of expression range from computer animation and digital storytelling to artistic programming. The format spectrum includes linear narrative forms, video clips and trailers as well as non-linear narration, multimedia applications and games, net-culture, interactive installations, virtual environments, live medial situations, software/computer art and generative systems. The diversity, and especially the independence of these medial explorations, will be presented in the context of the annual CrossMediaNight as a prelude to the HfG open house. Furthermore, student projects are shown in exhibitions and festivals, awarded prizes or commissioned by well-known business or cultural partners on a regular basis.
The CrossMediaLab’s research and development maintains a special emphasis on interactive, immersive, virtual simulation rooms and artistic 3-D environments. A state-of-the-art HEyeWall 3D-real-time environment is provided, which will become a key component of the planned 3-D center at the HfG.
Bernd Kracke was born in 1954 in Bremen, he began his studies in 1972 at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg. He studied Visual Communications with, amongst others, Hans Michel, Gerd Roscher, Almir Mavignier, Max Bense and Bazon Brock. From 1979–81, he attained a Master of Science degree in Visual Studies under Otto Piene at the M.I.T. Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) and in the Architecture Machine Group/Media Lab under Nicholas Negroponte, where he was subsequently employed as research fellow. He has received many scholarships and awards, including from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, DAAD, Council for the Arts at M.I.T., Massachusetts Arts and Humanities Foundation as well as the Gyorgy Kepes Fellowship Prize. Since 1981, he has been extensively active in international exhibitions, performances, telecommunication events and film productions, amongst others at the Ars Electronica Linz, San Francisco Exploratorium, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Berliner National Galerie as well as with the broadcasters NDR, WDR and Arte. In 1985, he founded the MA Network Think Tank for crossmedia communication strategies. In 2000, he was Vice President at IXL Network. In 2001 he was a member of the board of directors of Ponton AG. From 1990–99 he held a professorship for Media Design at the Kunst-hochschule für Medien in Cologne. 1999–2006 he has been professor at the HfG Offenbach and is the founder of the CrossMediaLab. 2001–2006 he has been Dean of the Visual Communications Department. In 2005, he was appointed Delegate for Film and Media in the Hesse Advisory Committee of Technology. In 2006, he was elected President of the HfG Offenbach. His films and publications have been, amongst others, “Still Life-Queen Zero” (60 min. Ars Electronica/ORF), “Arttransition – Kunst jeneseits der Kunst” (60 min. WDR/Arte) 1994, “Einleuchten, Deichtorhallen Hamburg” (60 min. NDR) 1989, editor and author of “CrossMedia – Dialog über alle Medien” in Gabler Verlag 2001, editor and author, together with Laura Knott, of “Sky Art Conference 2002”, CAVS at M.I.T. Cambridge and the HfG Offenbach 2004.
Prof. Bernd Kracke