Academic Education and Professional Training

Already since the predecessor institute IKM the core team of IKMW has decades of experience in education and training at German and international universities, academies or colleges. The range of disciplines reaches from humanities (German philology, theater studies), cultural and media studies through to arts and media management.

One emphasis in the training offers lies in the area of training for young leaders in Germany and Asia, realized together with partners like the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing and the National University of Mongolia in Ulan Bator.

Academic teaching at universities (selected):

  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing
  • Popakademie Baden-Württemberg, Mannheim
  • Theater Academy Shanghai
  • New York University

„Art = Life and Life = Art“

The relationship between Art and Life, between artefact and reality in its embedded and non-embedded manifestations are starting point and ongoing tension of artistic production since Antiquity. The research seminar held at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing in the Winter semester of 2023 focused this constitution of artistic challenge in very different „case studies“. (The seminar plan for download: CAFA_Winter23-24_Lecture Plan)

Orienting on Sherlock Holmes‘ deduction and, respectively, scientific methods of analysis, the Students took on the roles of „detectives“.

A three-hour live-stream from the Humboldt-Forum was the practical climax, with program director Jan Linders vividly presenting the programatic and institutional challenges of a multi-disciplinary arts institution open to society. (Students‘ observations from the visit can be found here: CAFA_Winter23-24_Observations on the Humboldt Forum)

In February 2024, the Chinese „detectives“ the Chinese students, working in groups of five, will document their case studies and potential answers from their perspective, their observatons and searches for evidence – narratively and multimedia-based.

A Visit by old Friends

First Chinese Group from the Central Academy of Arts (Beijing) since COVID in Berlin

For the first time since the COVID pandemic a group of members of the  Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing visited Berlin for a field and study trip. The were greeted by Prof. Klaus Siebenhaar in the festive atmosphere of the Lions‘ Palace of the Foundation Starke. In an introductory lecture they learned about the cultural landscape and political foundations in Germany and the metropolis Berlin.

The core of the trip was an intense program of visits to arts institutions and enterprises in Berlin, from the Museums on Museum Island and the Kulturforum, guarding and presenting thousands of years of world culture, through the documentation of artistic creation in Berlin in the Berlinische Galerie to renowned galleries and he Auction House Villa Grisebach.

The program in Berlin was complemented by two excursions: First to Dessau to see the Bauhaus – the Master Housesand the  Bauhaus Museum. Then to Potsdam, to visit the two presents of SAP-founder Hasso Plattner to the city: the Museum Barberini with its astonishing Monets and the just reopened Das Minsk with its collection of art from the former GDR – along with the „must-see“ Sanssouci Palace.

(The program of the field and study trip can be downloaded here: CAFA_2023_Study Trip_Itinirary_23-08-03)

Science and Practice

Univversity Courses in Berlin, Mannheim and Beijing

Summer Semester has become the traditionally most intense time for practice-oriented academic teaching.

This holds for seminar „Berlin Montage 1920/2020“ (Klaus Siebenhaar) at the department of philosophy and humanities at the  Freie Universität Berlin as well as for the seminar „Audience Development“ for young music business professionals at the  Popakademie Baden-Württemberg in Mannheim (Achim Müller).

A specific challenge was posed by the 40-hour Zoom-seminar „Western Culture Management: Trends, Topics, Challenges“ at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Beijing, as it combines content in multiple media formats with live streams of several hours, for example from Museum Island, the Humboldt Forum and the House of World Cultures (Haus der Kulturen der Welt) in Berlin as well as the documenta archiv in Kassel, with live discourse formats in Galerie Friese, Kulturprojekte GmbH or with the new managing director of the documenta, Prof. Dr. Andreas Hoffmann, in Kassel (Klaus Siebenhaar/Achim Müller with guests like Jan Linders, Daniel Neugebauer, Moritz van Dülmen, Mona Stehle, Klaus-Gerrit Friese, Martin Groh, Dr. Matthias Henkel).


In the Laboratory of Modernity

„Modernity – Postmodernity – Contemporary“ – Online-Seminar with excursion and exhibition project at the CAFA, Beijing

To experimentally expand the about 40-hours-long online seminars at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) is part of our good practice since 2021: The use of multiple media, excursions into the urban and cultural space of Berlin, ensuing exhibition projects („distance curating“), live connections to other European metropoles (e.g. Budapest) as well as weekly WeChat-lectures or consultations by now are the basic didactic, scenographic and content-wise repertory of these international seminars.

Despite adverse outside conditions on the side of the Chinese students (homeschooling in parental homes dispersed all over China) the experiences so far show that this type of elaborate seminar productions can create a kind of proximity, team-building, interaction and self-organized work.

Academic and scientific acclaim in the interdisciplinary, multimedia main parts, focused on cultural history and theory; complementary on-site live transmissions via handy-cam from cultural institutions in Berlin and Budapest; explorations of urban spaces and districts; and finally the ensuing exhibition project “Timehouse: Where are we NOW?” with a team of 15 Chinese students, that through a three-months curatorial process implements the central question, reflections, insights from the seminar into an exhibition in the “Lions’ Palace, Berlin Grunewald: All of these require an professorial team that is both lecturing and  scenographically dramaturgically guiding.

Together with Achim Müller (IKMW) and Daniel Ongjerth, our partner in Budpast, such a seminar combines traditional seminar modules with production/broadcasting elements lend from film, television, video and podcast as well as artistic live-formats from Action and Concept Art („scripted events“ -> happenings). At the same time it includes a basic, practice-oriented introduction into fundamental elements of organization psychology, management and communication (group development, group dynamics, working in matrix structures, reporting) for the students.

Despite all adverse conditions, all mental and physical strains, an enlarged, intense and international atmosphere of experience can be created in an “Act of Feigning” with the simplest of technical setups (zoom, handy-cam, tablet). An experience that would not be possible in the analog realm – not for now, and because of several reasons not for the near future neither. In contrast, the exhibition “Timehouse” will physically open on March 31, 2023 at the Lions’ Palace in Berlin.

documenta fifteen – in the Eye of the Hurricane

Klaus Siebenhaar’s most recent „digilog“ seminar „documenta fifteen. Idea, Concept, Artistic Practices in the Context of documenta History“ for the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing couldn’t have been more up to date: As an author of the several books on the documenta Klaus Siebenhaar gave 19 chinesischen students a thorough and comprehensive overview of the development of documenta in Kassel, from the first world art exhibition in 1955 through to today’s much debated documenta fifteen. This included the relevant artistic, political and social contexts as well as the transformations in curatorial and educational paradigms that mirrored the societal disruptions of this period.

For this endeavour the seminar used a wide span of digital and hybrid forms of education. The starting session was transmitted to China  from a temporary broadcasting studio prepared by the project partner mfe in the Reinbeckhallen, in the very middle of Berlin’s Electropolis of Modernity from the beginning of the 20th century – it reached the Chinese students in their homes where they have to stay because of the COVID restrictions still in place.

Following this start at an historis site the students passed an intense online parcour through the history of documenta and the development of curating and art education impersonated by the seminal artistic leaders from Arnold Bode across Harald Szeemann, Jan Hoet, Catherine David, Okwui Enwezor through to today’s artistic directors, the collective ruangrupa.

The seminar reached its climax at the beginning of July with a three-day hybrid on-site part in the city of Kassel at the documenta fifteen that had just opened – a lecture-event organised together with the documenta Archive as a project partner. In a series of live-panels the Chinese students discussed with different players of this largest art exhibition of the world: with members of the curatorial team, with the deputy head of the documenta Archive, with the head of education, and with an artist from the collective „Inland“ that is exhibiting in the Museum of Natural History in the Ottoneum in Kassel.

Alongside Klaus Siebenhaar and Achim Müller turned into video and photo podcasters: In several walkthroughs they explored the documenta fifteen, reporting and commenting live from their art walks per smart phone cameras .

This way they gave the students a vivid experience of the exhibited art, of the exhibition’s connection to urban spaces at documenta’s different locations in Kassel –  and of the broad and positive public resonance despite all political and media discussions.

This overview also covered the works of Taring Padi, the Indonesian collective that has been in the focus of a lot of criticism because of antisemitic images in the removed work „People’s Justice“, who are showing their universe in the Hallenbad-Ost in Kassel Bettenhausen.

At the end of the seminar the students have to become creative themselves: On the basis of their newly acquired knowledge about the development of documenta and the about the trends in exhbition design, curation and art education their seminar thesis will consist of a concept for the documenta 16 coming up in 2027. As a first real-life check for their ideas they met the internationally renowned artist Christian Jankowski, who dialed into the online seminar from his studio for a three-hour workshop in a final culmination of this lecture series.


The seminar program for a quick orientation on the lecture subjects:

Pop in the Curriculum in Summer of 2022

Live Seminars at Freie Universität Berlin and Popakademie Baden-Württemberg

Along with the Online-Courses for the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing, China, Prof. Dr. Klaus Siebenhaar and Achim Müller are continuing their courses in German universities and academies – in Summer 2022 with live seminars for the first time since the COVID pandemic.

In the seminar „German Pop“ at the Freie Universität Berlin, Klaus Siebenhaar teaches the pop-cultural foundations of our life. Pop culture was the first all-encompassing, bottom-up artistic/cultural transformation of society. From language to imagery it affected at infiltrated all areas of everyday life. The seminar traces the national or even regional formats and nuances of this global phenomenon in music, visual arts, media and literature. On “Pop” can only apprehended appropriately with an interdisciplinary approach. Thus the excurses in literature from Brinkmann to Wondratschek will be linked to iconic trends in music and arts like Krautrock, NDW, Mannheim Blues, Sound of Munich or capitalistic realism, Fluxus/Action art, concept art, new wilds (“Neue Wilde”) as well as to examples from film.

Meanwhile Achim Müller is training the foundations of audience development with future professionals in music business at the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg. The students get to know basic concepts and strategies of integrated audience-orientation of cultural organizations and enterprises and directly apply them to different areas of music business in self-selected case studies.


Online-Seminar „Curated City“ at the CAFA Beijing

Cooperation project Beijing-Berlin-Budapest established

Just before Christmas the multimedia seminar „Curated City: About Art, Urban Space and Public Interest“ in the Master program „Arts Management“ at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) was concluded successfully. With Achim Müller and Dániel Ongjerth the interdisciplinary, practice-oriented course for the first time included two project leaders of the Berlin-Budapest/St. Margareten cultural development project.

An eight-person „CAFA collective“ was formed out of the seminar. It will be integrated in the program development in Budapest and will support in the implementation of customized online offers. The experimental international project cooperation is organized and works in the spirit of the model of the “Lumbung” practiced by “ruangrupa”, the collective conceiving the documenta fifteen.

Audience Development Seminar at the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg

Online-seminar for future musicians and music business professionals

While public life gradually becomes possible again, Achim Müller has held his seminar „Audience Development“ for the course „Kulturmanagement“ of the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg in Mannhein online again on May 31 2021.

The one-day course provided basic concepts and relevant strategies of implementation both conceptually and in the form of own practical experience through group work on cases.  In dem eintägigen Intensivkurs wurden Basiskonzepte. Pedagogic instruments were thus transferred to the digital sphere in order to prepare for the challenges in music business despite the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Western Modernity 2020 under the Impression of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Multimedia Online-Seminar at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing

In October 2020 Klaus Siebenhaar again taught as within his assignment as Professur of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. The topic of his seminar for future Chinese arts manager was „Western Modernity 2020“. In a time where countries compete for the best reaction to the pandemic and the most successful strategies to cope with its effects the interactive multimedia seminar took the Chinese students through an intense contemplation of artistic and cultural development that have shaped our common presence.