Institute of Design
University of Applied Arts
Vienna

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Applied Photography and Time-based Media

Applied photography is a playing field within and between genres. The conceptualization and fleshing out of ideas and the realization of a commissioned work determine the working day. The working environment touches upon a wide spectrum of our contemporary visual culture, and the creative possibilities is nearly without limits. Accordingly, the challenge of applied photography is how to meet the market with an authentic and consistent visual language. In order to stand out from a mass of productions, it is key to condition one’s work in its visual identity and attitude towards society and to assert this in a consistent and also undogmatic manner.

 
This approach requires the ability to look at one’s own skills critically and accurately, and then to expand and improve them independently of timely trends. The development of one’s own visual language, and in consequence the individual positioning within and aside from economic systems, is a process that is initiated during the study of photography but continues to drive the following career. 
 
The “unconditioned interest of the motive” is the premise of a reflexive process of subjection. To examine and research various themes and to know references is key for any successful realization. Intuition and the ability to improvise are in effect essential skills that have to be learnt.
 
It is possible to build one’s own visual signature through analysis, discussion and immediate practical application. This is why this study will focus, among others, on the various areas of “visual culture”, in order analyze the expressions and transfers of relevant positions in fine and applied arts, in everyday, pop- und subculture, in design and architecture, and to look at them with regards to their significance for the development of one’s own work. A photographer needs assertiveness in his or her beholding. The ability to analyze impressions (images and situations), to reflect on information from a broader perspective, is an important resource in our work.  
 
Continuous discussions and discursive presentations in the classroom will accompany the practical work of students. Thereby, communication skills as well as the ability to articulate constructive criticism will be acquired and promoted. Working in the photo studio, light and camera work, production, editing and presentation will be explained and applied in the context of concrete tasks, as the possibilities of postproduction will assessed carefully. When doing freelanced work, the areas of professional communication are important, to learn to position oneself within the commercial market and to deal with the related economic aspects. 
 
The practical work will be supported by insights into the working environment: an important part of the study are workshops and lecturers by guests from the international creative industries, excursions, studio visits at leading photographers, as well as presentations by leading creative directors.

 

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