Summer School: Storytelling, Digital Media and Museums

Digital teaching methods inspired by Joseph Beuys; 13 to 19 September in Museum Schloss Moyland

Think tank dedicated to developing new concepts for teaching art digitally

In Summer School: Storytelling, Digital Media & Museums, 30 young researchers from around the world will gather in a six-day workshop to develop and discuss new digital teaching methods inspired by the artist Joseph Beuys. The workshop will be held from 13 to 19 September in Museum Schloss Moyland.

The innovative pilot project, which examines new digital media methods for teaching and communicating art, came about through the joint effort of the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (Jun.-Professor Dr Ulli Seegers, Institute for Art History), Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in Kamp-Lintfort (Professor Dr-Ing Ido Iurgel, Media Computing) and the Museum Schloss Moyland Foundation in Bedburg-Hau (Dr Bettina Paust). The project was made possible by a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation.

Digital Media and Storytelling in a Museum

Integrating media and technology has become an essential tool for communicating new concepts, particularly in museums, but also within a larger cultural context. Oddly enough, concrete methods for the effective, target-oriented use of these new teaching methods remain largely unexplored. This deficit motivated the project partners to initiate this workshop and thus attempt to address a number of important, unanswered questions: How can digital artwork, i.e. video, cinematic and media art, be presented meaningfully despite being time-bound and ephemeral by nature? How can digital narrative media be harnessed to better communicate modern art? How can apps be used to encourage visitors’ creativity and participation, to spark their curiosity and to make a deeper impression?

Why Joseph Beuys?

With his “Social Sculpture” concept (Soziale Plastik), which envisions art as a powerful transformative force in society, Joseph Beuys had an undeniable and lasting influence on contemporary art. The central aim of the 2015 Summer School project represents the first ever attempt to “translate” both Beuys the artist and his intangible magnum opus in a fresh and accessible way for audiences. As one of the first artists to work extensively with emerging media (namely using audio and video to spread his concept of Soziale Plastik), Beuys provides a perfect basis and model for discovering new ways of communicating art through media and technology.

International participants

Over 300 young researchers from around the world, including Switzerland, Russia, Turkey and the US, applied for a place in the think tank workshop. Of those applicants, 30 were selected to attend by a committee of the three project partners. Distinguished speakers participating in the 2015 Summer School workshop include Massimo Zancanaro, University of Trento, Italy; Andreas Veiel, film and theatre director, author, Berlin, Germany; Dr Akrivi Katifori, University of Athens, Greece; Professor Dr Eugen Blume, Director of the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany; Professor Dr Axel Vogelsang, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland; Joris Pekel, Europeana, The Haag, the Netherlands; Bianca Bocatius, museum educator, Nuremberg; Professor Dr Barbara Welzel, TU Dortmund University, Germany; and Dr Anke Schierholz, legal advisor to the VG Bild-Kunst art association.

This year’s Summer School workshop promises an exciting and interdisciplinary programme that brings together museum experts, engineers, teachers and art scholars in a creative dialogue and productive exchange of ideas. In presentations and work phases, the invited researchers will work together to shape new concepts for communicating art through digital media.



The Summer School workshop is supported financially by the Volkswagen Foundation.