Course overview



This intensive programme will provide you with an opportunity to engage with both the theoretical and practical aspects of DIY filmmaking and performance within the expanded field of the visual arts. The course focuses on investigating methods, processes and techniques through practical work and exercises , as well as extensive conversations with and presentations by a range of leading contemporary artists and filmmakers.

Our main questions throughout conversations and experiments will be: What do people actually do when they create their work? How are ideas developed and transformed? How does one engage with the specificity of materials? How do they understand and articulate what they do? 

The course aims at kick-starting your creative processes with new views and input on methodological and practical questions. Together, we will investigate and copy, re-enact and reflect,  experiment and exploit materials, ideas and methods. We will work individually and collectively. Course leaders and guest lecturers will provide immediate feedback and input on your artistic processes.

This is an ideal course for you if you’re a university graduate or have studied at art, film, writing, theatre or other related schools. It is also perfect for emerging and/or establishing film and art world professionals wishing to update their insight into work-processes and methodologies in the fields between art, film and performance.




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silent green, Berlin

Course structure

The summer school will focus on strategies, methodologies and tactics for alternative and DIY filmmaking in the context of art and performance. We will investigate historical as well contemporary material, identify and activate ideas and methods from DIY cultures relevant to visual and sound arts, experimental filmmaking and critical theatre and performance. The course will offer an opportunity to dialogue with a number of world-renowned practitioners in the field, reflecting on their own work, through seminars, lectures, screenings and conversations.

Furthermore, the course will focus on your own input in a collaborative workshop format, investigating and testing different creative methods and approaches in practice. This year, we will also focus specifically on sound in a two-day practical workshop with German sound-artist Felix Kubin. 

We will highlight cheap, fast and reckless filmmaking that acknowledges the high saturation of recording technology in our everyday lives, the low budgets for anything experimental, and our desire to test and challenge what it means to make use of whatever resources available.

Who teaches this course?

Photo credit: Katya Sander

Course Convenors

Course convenors are Katya Sander & Susanne Sachsse, who will also be present all days and for all guests-talks, excursions and workshops.

Katya Sander is an artist and filmmaker working with interventions, concepts, moving images and sound. She is interested in the structures, models and images through which we imagine ourselves as groups, communities and societies. The role of architecture, body and language in the production of meaning and sociality plays a central role. Sander is teaching at Lofoten Filmacademy and the Dutch Art Institute. She has shown at various venues such as Documenta12, Tate Modern London and MoMa NY, Performa11. She lives and works in Berlin.

Susanne Sachsse is an actress. She was a member of Berliner Ensemble, where she worked with Heiner Müller, Robert Wilson and Einar Schleef. She is widely known for her starring roles in numerous films of Bruce LaBruce, including The Raspberry Reich (2004) and Pierrot Lunaire (2014). She has also worked in various performance, film and art contexts with Yael Bartana, Zach Blas, Phil Collins, Keren Cytter, Josiah McElheny and Vegard Vinge / Ida Müller, among others. She directed The Magic Flute: An Opera in 6 Steps with a libretto by Vaginal Davis and the music of Jamie Stewart at the 80WSE Gallery in New York (Top 10 Art in 2015, New York Times). In 2017, Sachsse was honored with a Premio Maguey Queer Icon Award at the Guadalajara International Film Festival in Mexico.

In addition to the continuous presence, teaching, moderation and feedback from the two course leaders, we have an exciting range of guest lecturers and artists based in Berlin. They will talk about and show their own work and that of others,offering you the opportunity to participate in ongoing dialogues with contemporary cultural practitioners about their thinking and DIY aesthetic and political strategies.

Guest Speakers

Ed Atkins (tbc)
A visual artist, poet and filmmaker working with computer generated images, characters and scenes that explore alternative notions of space, time and narration. He uses motion-capture technology and combines video footage with computer-generated 3D models, playing on visual conventions and using sound composition and editing to subvert notions of the traditional narrative. Atkins is based in Berlin and has had solo exhibitions at the Tate Britain, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Chisenhale GalleryMoMA PS1, the Serpentine GalleryPalais de Tokyo, and Kunsthalle Zürich.

Yael Bartana
Bartana works in film, installation and photography. Her work investigates the imagery of identity and the politics of memory. She is perhaps best known for the film trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned, which premiered at the Polish pavilion of the 2011 Venice Biennale and explores notions of identity and nationalism inherent to the right of return. She is based in AmsterdamBerlin, and Tel Aviv. -

Vaginal Davis
Vaginal Davis (Performance) is a gender-queer artist who developed an international reputation with her zines and punk bands in the underground scenes in Los Angeles in the 1980s. A central figure in the development of homo- and queercore, Davis is a celebrated queer performer of color and international Blacktress. Based in Berlin since 2006, she has become known in the art world for her small scale paintings, sculptures, and installations, which have been featured in numerous gallery and museum exhibitions, most recently Trigger: Gender as a Tool and Weapon (New Museum, New York) and Chimera: Vaginal Davis and Louise Nevelson (Invisible-Exports, New York). She is the 2009 recipient of the Ethyl Eichelberger Award. -

Felix Kubin (2 full days on sound)
Felix Kubin is musician, composer, radio drama playwright and media artist. He has been involved with music since he was 8 years old, when he studied piano, organ and glockenspiel. His early works have been released under the title The Tetchy Teenage Tapes of Felix Kubin. He also played in the punk band Die Egozentrischen 2.  Kubin co-founded an experimental noise group with Klangkrieg. For his first release Filmmusik,  Kubin collected various soundtrack work he'd done during 1996 and 1997, recorded with Max Goldt and Mariola Brillowska among others. -

Michaela Melian
Michaela Melian is a classically-trained cellist and member of the band F.S.K. and a fine artist. These dual roles have been entangled in her work for a while now. And yet her sound pieces, which accompany most of the installations in the form of radio programs, function autonomously. Bayerische Rundfunk has aired the pieces for years, and you can listen to them on demand from the station’s pool of recordings. Her multimedia installations are accordingly multifarious. (Frieze) She is a professor for time-based media at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg. -

Vegard Vinge and Ida Müller
Vegard Vinge & Ida Müller, theatre director and actor born in Norway, and stage-designer born in Germany. Collaborating they have shook the theatre-world by their immersive, bloody, sexually explicit and ugly-frightening-beautiful-violent 24-hours productions of several plays by Ibsen at the Prater (part of Volksbühne) in Berlin. Together with life-performance and grandiose all-encompassing self-made stage-design, they work extensively with sound- and video-recordings as part of their productions. Their latest production – the „National Theater Reinickendorf“ (summer 2017) which was part of the Berliner Festspiele – took over an gigantic storage-building in the suburbs of Berlin and turned it into an immersive all-night theatre experience that seized a full-frontal attack on all senses and logics, shaking and questioning everything inside the spaces using all possible effects and tricks, always in their simplest form: Always as surprisingly transparent, enormous and melancholic as everything else in this world. They have been rewarded several prices both in Norway, Germany and internationally, and have been called “the craziest theater-makers currently”.

PEACHES is a Canadian electronic musician and performance artist. She is most productive in the provocative musician-producer-filmmaker-performance artist’s career. From acclaimed theater productions to her cinematic debut to the release of her first book, Peaches pushed herself further and with more artistic rewards than ever before during her time away from the studio. This is Peaches we’re talking about, an artist who’s managed to wield immeasurable influence over mainstream pop culture while still operating from outside of its confines, carving a bold, sexually progressive path in her own image that’s opened the door for countless others to follow. Now, creatively refreshed and recharged, she’s emerged from the studio in rare form with ‘RUB,’ her fifth and most unequivocal album to date. -

Stefanie Schulte Strathaus
Schulte Strathaus is co-Director of Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, member of the selection committee of the Berlinale Forum and founding director of the Berlinale section Forum Expanded. From 2011-2013 she curated the project "Living Archive – Archive Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice“ which turned into the ongoing project Living Archive since the Arsenal Film Archive moved to Silent Green in 2015. 


Aug 13th – Aug 26th 2018


Monday 13
10 - 17: Introductions by Katya Sander & Susanne Sachsse
Evening: BBQ in the garden

Tusday 14
10 – 13: Participants present themselves and show some of their works or materials.
14 – 17: Exercise

Wednesday 15
10 – 13: Participants present themselves and show some of their works or materials.
14 – 17: Guest lecturer

Thursday 16
10 – 11: Follow-up on guest-lecturer
11 – 13: Participants work or materials
14 – 17: Guest lecturer 
19 – 21: Guest performer

Friday 17
10 – 14: Steenbeck tables, look at films from the archive of arsenal institut für film und videokunst e.V.

15 – 16: Follow-up on guests
16 – 18: Practical exercises

Saturday 18
10 – 15: Excursion and studio visit
Afternoon: Picnic outside and practical exercises

Sunday 19
10 – 13: Practical exercises
Afternoon: Free!

Monday 20
10 – 13: Guest lecturer
14 – 17: Guest lecturer
18 – 19:30: Follow-up on guests

Tuesday 21 – Practical workshop: SOUND
10 – 13: Sound workshop with Felix Kubin
14 – 17: Sound workshop with Felix Kubin
18 – 20: Practical exercises, sound.

Wednesady 22 – Practical workshop: SOUND
10 – 17: Sound workshop with Felix Kubin
18 – 20: Practical exercises, sound

Thursday 23
10 – 11: Follow-up on sound-workshop
11 – 17+: Finalization of practical exercises, individual & group

Friday 24
10 – 17: Presentations & discussions. We look and hear through materials, and discuss it in relation to ideas, plans and methods.

Saturday 25
10 – 17: Presentations & discussions: We look and hear through materials, and discuss it in relation to ideas, plans and methods.
19 – 21: Guest performer

Sunday 26 
10 – 19: Final day: Conclusions, evaluations, cooking a goodbye-dinner together!


The course is located in Berlin, at silent green in Wedding, a recently established cultural space for thinking, researching and experimentation. silent green is linked to Berlin's rich history of alternative artistic and cultural production and contexts. We will engage specificially with this magnificent location and its tenants, cultural institutions, archives, users, events, spaces and overall creative potential as a professional, social and historical site.  We will also make visits to select museums, galleries and public art projects that are abundant throughout the city.

silent green is a building and cultural venue, in itself a self-organised, artist-run institution or hub: “Privately owned, silent green sees itself as a protected space for thinking, research and experimentation. Transformation is one of the key words guiding this endeavour, not only with regard to the new function of this listed building, but also in terms of work that transcends various forms: the intention is to move the boundaries of individual disciplines so that they can be interlinked in new, hybrid forms.”

Learn more about silent green Kulturquartier

silent green houses a number of important Berlin-based institutions, central to our area of interest, with which the course will collaborate actively. These include:

Arsenal, Institut für Film und Video Art – Living Archive
„50 years old, the association Arsenal boasts a film collection of over 8,000 titles. It reflects half a century of non-mainstream international film art and the living history of a Berlin institution whose structure is unique in the world. Since the beginning of 2011, large parts of the Arsenal’s work in Germany and abroad have been exhibited under the label “Living Archive”, investigating and creating “Archive Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice“, using silent green as storage and screening-venue.“

The course-participants will have full access to the Arsenal Film Archive at silent green, as well as access to the on-site Steenbeck editing-tables, where artists and researchers from all over the world book time to view original materials.

Learn more about Arsenal, Institut für Film und Videokunst – The Living Archive 

silent green is also hosting The Harun Farocki Institute and archive, Savvy Contemporary Gallery, The laboratory of form & ideas and Music Board Berlin. As well as the restaurant Mars Kitchen & Bar where the course participants can buy lunch & refreshments during the day.


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