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Found Materials, at Umeå Academy of Fine Arts

Workshop title: “Found materials”
Dates: November 21-25, 2016
Location: Umeå Academy of Fine Arts
Open for 5 KUNO students (BA or MA level)
How to apply: Apply with a short motivational letter and a link to your portfolio to Heidrun Holzfeind (
Application deadline: November 9
Teachers: Caspar Stracke and Heidrun Holzfeind

A one-week workshop investigating appropriation and re-interpretation of archival material in photography and moving image and its potentialities in both political and historical contexts.

The workshop will introduce key examples of artists working with appropriated imagery from various analog and digital sources. We will investigate different strategies of appropriating available source materials with a thorough comparison of archival material (documentary photographs, newspaper clippings etc.) as physical objects or the archive as a physical place, and their digital or online counterparts. Each research and practice methodology will be analyzed further in regard to its political and historical function.

Case studies will include works by JLG, Martha Rosler, Peter Piller, Anita Witek, Eric Baudelaire, Marco Poloni, CAMP, and others.

How do artists deal with/react to the overload of images present today — the media culture of movies and television, newspapers, magazines and the visual content on social networks/the internet — and appropriate(sample/bootleg/remix) them for their purpose? Critically reflect on constructions of identity, gender, race, sexuality and citizenship? Create new meaning through a different system of order, framing, editing?

How can, for example, the collage form make obscure relationships visible or subvert common readings/meanings of images? What is the relationship between fact and fiction, media and mediation? What forms of agency emerge in this process? Yet how artists also address the complex problem of distorting or omitting crucial portions of history.

Over the course of the week, students will experiment with the use of found/existing photographs/historic material and images from analog and digital sources (newspapers, magazines, scientific publications, internet/social media) and video (film and video archives, internet): from researching, discussing and evaluating the source material to developing artistic strategies that introduce new orders, re-interpret, collage, sequence, edit…

Participants are encouraged to bring their own archive material they want to work with to the course. (This can be printed material/photographs or reproductions, video.)

About the teachers:

Caspar Stracke is an artist primarily working with moving images and Professor for Contemporary Art and Moving Image at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki. (

Heidrun Holzfeind is an artist and guest lecturer in photography at Umea Art academy.(