The master’s program Conservation of New Media and Digital Information

About the program

Could you imagine our world without photographs, video tapes or digital written records? What, if future historians would have to reconstruct our history without their authentic tradition?

This scenario is more likely to happen than many want to believe, since modern cultural heritage’s survival is endangered. With photographs, it is the creeping disintegration of imaging materials and supports and with electronic media; the rapid obsolescence of playback technology is posing an additional problem. Almost all museums, archives and collections worldwide lack reliable strategies how to fight this threatening loss of enormous amounts of media heritage. Where are the specialists that preserve our visual memory to posterity und where do they get their professional training?

The State Academy of Art and Design Stuttgart which has a long tradition in the academic training of conservators, now reacted to this deficit. Supported by special funding from the German Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, it can now extend its range of programs by a unique training opportunity. From October 2006 on, students can learn the possibilities of long-term preservation of analogue and digital photographs, video recordings and digital archival cultural heritage in a two-year, graduate (M. A.) program. Through coordination of the Academy’s own resources, international visiting experts and cooperation with leading international institutions, the Academy will create a knowledge pool. Here the future “Conservators for New Media and Digital Information (M. A.)” or Preservation Managers will not only acquire technological insight, but they will also use real-world projects at partner institutions in Germany and elsewhere, in order to prepare for their highbrow field of activity. Already during their studies, students will practice interdisciplinarity, internationality and communication to specialists—something we consider a prerequisite for successful problem solving strategies and a crucial skill required for the tight job market in the preservation field.

General information

Start of studies:

Application deadline: annually in mid-June (will be announced)

The exact application deadline can be found at the Homepage of the State Academy of Art and Design Stuttgart > Bewerbung > Bewerbungstermine

Interviews: in the course of July (to be announced)

Start of studies: in October (to be announced)

Objective:

Imparting knowledge and capabilities about long-term preservation of fine art, cultural, archival and library heritage in the fields of photography, video and digital information. Priorities lie in the areas of planning, organization and administration of projects and preventive measures.

Target Group:

Professionals with a university degree (B. A. or equivalent) in archive or library science, computer science, art history, media science, museology, conservation or similar.

Admission Requirements:

Diploma or bachelor’s degree. Portfolio with examples of previous (professional) activity and / or projects that show your interest in the content of the course. Interview. English and German language skills. For specifics, esp. for foreign applicants, please consult the admission regulations (Zulassungsordnung).

Duration:

Four semesters, the fourth devoted to the master’s thesis.

Academic Degree:

Master of Arts (M. A.)

Type:

Non-consecutive (more application-oriented, less research-oriented).

ECTS-Credits:

120

Tuition:

1.500 € per semester. Other fees (e. g. for registration) may apply.

Number of Students:

Six to ten students per year.

Language:

German and English
Students, who are not native English speakers or have not yet successfully finished a university program that was taught in English, must prove sufficient knowledge of the English language. Students, who are not native German speakers, must also prove sufficient German language skills to be admitted to the program. A language certificate is not required, the test is part of the interview.

Internships:

A preliminary internship is not required. Between the 2nd and 3rd and/or between the 3rd and 4th semester, a field-relevant internship of two months (total) must be done. Its purpose is to prepare for the Master thesis project.

Curriculum

The structure of the curriculum was chosen so that it will enable a heterogeneous group of students with different preliminary knowledge to compensate for deficiencies and to support special interest. All modules are rated according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Some classes shall be chosen from existing regular programs at the Academy or at partner institutions. By mutual consent, students from other departments or institutions shall be allowed to take classes from this program.

The master’s program Conservation of New Media and Digital Information is organized into four modules: conservation, media, computer science and supporting studies. The media module focusses on three main areas: photography, video and digital information. Of these three possible areas usually two are selected as a main topics. Generally the program has no scheduling overlaps so that it is possible to attend all courses.

In the first and second semester, the focus of training is to teach the theoretical basis in the individual modules. The theory is supplemented by practical exercises. In the third semester two five-week conservation projects will be carried out. These are carried out in a partner institution. Accompanied by the staff of institutions and teachers of this course a conservation projects will be developed and implemented. A internship must be completed between the second and third and / or between the third and fourth semester. The fourth semester is reserved exclusively for the preparation of the master’s thesis.

Please note that the curriculum will be constantly evaluated and adapted to actual requirements. It is subject to change.

For any questions please feel free to contact us by e-mail or phone (+49[0]711-28440-322).

Theses and Projects

The master’s theses and conservation projects reflect the spectrum of areas for future Preservation managers.

The existing theses are concerned with, among other things

  • the photographic collection of the Archive Baumeister
  • the aesthetics and ethics of the presentation contemporary video art
  • the ethical maxim on the conservation of media art
  • the set up of a workspace for viewing an digitizing video […]
  • 8mm ages – from analog 8mm film formats to the digital copy
  • long-term preservation of 3D X-ray tomography in the Archaeological Heritage
  • Recommendations for long-term preservation of digital information in the Historical Archive of Dr. Ing hc F. Porsche AG, with a focus on data storage devices
  • proposition on the authentic archiving of websites
  • the conception of the ingest process for the digital archive of the Hessian State Archive using the example of the archival transfer of complex digital geo data of the Hessian government
  • analysis of the multimedia corporate archive of the Daimler AG Stuttgart on the basis of the criteria for thrustworthy archives […]

A complete list of the master’s theses can be found in the German section of the website.

Staff

Prof. Johannes Gfeller

Prof. Johannes Gfeller

Head of the Program

Telefon: +49[0]711-28440-322
E-Mail: j.gfeller(at)abk-stuttgart.de

Mario Röhrle

Mario Röhrle

Scientific associate
Public Relations, Website
Contact for Digital Information

Tel.: +49[0]711 28440-323
E-Mail: m.roehrle(at)abk-stuttgart.de

Mario Röhrle studied photography and visual arts at the School of Visual Arts Leipzig. In 1998 he initiated the Gesellschaft für Speicherung und Sicherung as an autonomous artistic project. Since then he has worked as a freelance artist and web developer in art and culture sector.

The focus of his work is the design, development and implementation of (online) projects in the area of archiving, digitization, documentation, inventories and online mediation. This includes research, museum and image databases, procedures for the semantic annotation of text corpora or the creation and management of bibliographies.

Network and cooperation

The program keeps contact to leading institutions in the field of heritage preservation. This may provide opportunities for project partnerships, internships, teaching and knowledge exchange.

A list of institutions can be found in the German section of the website.

Contact

Latest information about the program and answers to specific questions can be obtained from:

Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart
Konservierung Neuer Medien und Digitale Information
Am Weißenhof 1
70191 Stuttgart
Telefon: +49.[0]711.28440-322
E-Mail: info(at)mediaconservation.org
http://www.mediaconservation.org/

General questions about studying at the State Academy of Art and Design Stuttgart, to request the application forms, etc. should be directed to:

Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart
Studentensekretariat
Am Weißenhof 1
70191 Stuttgart
Telefon: +49.[0]711.28440-0
Telefax: +49.[0]711.28440-225
E-Mail: afsa(at)abk-stuttgart.de
http://www.abk-stuttgart.de/