Serendipity FS18 – Audio-Visual Fieldwork


Water is one of the most important resources for us. We drink it to survive, we use it to clean ourselves, to water the plants we grow, to generate energy and support the industrial production. The alpine landscape of Europe is a rain catcher for the whole continent, the high mountains force the clouds to rain, the glaciers, alpin lakes and rocks function as a reservoir. After we explored the vast landscape of glaciers, we will step down to the next stage of the water stream. The momentum where the human takes an active influence on the delicate balance of supply and production.

We will investigate a dam high up in the mountains of Grisons. This system of water retention and hydropower production has a big influence on the landscape and the appearance of these huge infrastructures changed the perception of the alpine landscape forever. But what is visible on the surface is only a part of these concrete structures, they extend deep into the mountain and form a system of tunnels and chambers, human made constructions merge with the natural rock formation.

By looking and listening on the inside and outside of this entity, we will search for gaps, joints, resistance and connections between landscape, concrete, production and protection. How did the construction of the dam change the landscape? Can we still see some traces from the time before? We want to understand the spatial characteristics drawn by light and sound and create a new perception of this place. You will learn to take pictures with an analog middle-format photo camera and how to record sound with a variety of microphones and work on the spatial perception through photography and sound. Back on campus, you will develop your pictures in the laboratory, arrange them in space and edit sound recordings in our new Audio-Visual-Lab. Finally, you will present your work as an audio-visual experience from your own perception of this landscape.

This course gives you the possibility to do a thesis elective on the subject and learning how work with an professional large-format camera and 3D-Laserscanner.

Notes: The course will be limited to 16 students, the selection of students will take place on the first meeting. Participation on all dates of the course is mandatory. The Chair will provide some financial support (costs for production), additional costs (transportation, overnight stay, food and drinks) are asked to be paid by the participants. Basic trekking experience and outdoor clothing is required.

Returning to the same place in summer, you will find the same elements but a different landscape which require new approaches. You can choose and create your own method and techniques, in addition to the elective course, you can learn to work with a professional large-format camera and a 3D-Laserscanner that will expand the possibilities of your composition.



Prof. Christophe Girot
Matthias Vollmer
Johannes Rebsamen
Dennis Häusler
Laura Endres

CONTACT: Matthias Vollmer

Course Blog


22.02.2018, 16:45-18:30 Introduction to Elective Course (HIL H 40.9)

01.03.2018, 16:45-18:30 Introduction to Techniques

03.03.2018, Workshop on site (full day)
04.03.2018, Workshop on site (full day)

08.03.2018, 16:45-18:30 Introduction to film developing and sound editing

15.03.2018, 16:45-18:30 Work on projects, individual meetings

22.03.2018, NO COURSE (Seminar week)

29.03.2018, 16:45-18:30 Mid Crit: Presentation of workshop results

05.04.2018, NO COURSE (Easter Holidays)

12.04.2018 16:45-18:30 Work on projects, individual meetings

19.04.2018, 16:45-18:30 Work on projects, individual meetings

26.04.2018, 16:45-18:30 Work on projects, individual meetings

03.05.2018, 16:45-18:30 Final Crit

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