The center piece of the Kassel Dokfest is the film program, divided into three sections:


Up to 16 contemporary media installations and sculptures by up-and-coming as well as well-known artists will be presented at the exhibition Monitoring.

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The DokfestLounge is not only the location for audiovisual performances by international artists, VJs and DJs but also the nocturnal meeting point for our guests after 10.30 pm.

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The Workshop symposium interfiction offers lectures, presentations and workshop-sessions concerning a yearly changing topic, which takes a closer look at the political, social and artistic aspects of the medium internet.

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This educational side program is aimed at school students from the 7th till the 13th grade as well as teachers. The project consists of special film programs as well as workshops about film analysis and criticism under the guidance of media educators.

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The DokfestForum offers panels, lectures and screenings that raise questions about the interfaces between film and art. During the daytime the DokfestForum as a festival meeting point will provide a café with a video library for accredited guests.

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With the Hessian University Film Day, the presentation of a European Film College and hands-on workshops and lectures, the Kassel Dokfest offers possibilities for further education, information on education opportunities and access to professional networks for (Hessian) up-and-coming filmmakers.

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DokfestForum was founded in 2010 in cooperation with Fridericianum. As a venue for lectures, artist talks and screenings located at the intersection of film and art, the DokfestForum extends the spectrum of the festival to include the fine arts.

The Kassel Dokfest is pleased that the cooperation with Fridericianum will continue under the new director Susanne Pfeffer. On three evenings, Fridericianum will present screenings and artist talks that present documentary practices as well as dealing with the subject of the current exhibition “Speculations on Anonymous Materials”. Thus it will be considered how the profound technological changes of the past 20 years have altered our involvement with images, the body, language and the world and how these changes have resulted in alternative approaches to documentation – the central issues of this year’s DokfestForum.

Berlin-based New Zealand artist Simon Denny as well as US-American artist Frances Stark will present and discuss their work. Bjørn Melhus will consider his teaching activities at the Kassel School of Art and Design and the artistic development of his students.

Simon Denny: Artist Talk

Thu. 14.11. Fridericianum 8 p.m.

Simon Denny’s space-filling installations appropriate the history and the present of the new media, documenting them in the artistic realm in new and unconventional ways. Denny takes up debates about media, technology and society as well as their visual language to first dissect these matters and subsequently recompose their individual elements. For example, in his exhibition “The Personal Effects of Kim Dotcom” at the mumok (Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien), in which he considers the phenomenon of Internet tycoon Kim Schmitz; or in his work “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Documentary Restoration” which is currently being shown at Fridericianum and which deals with the public discourse concerning the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

The artist talk with Simon Denny is held by Susanne Pfeffer.


Short CV

Simon Denny, born in 1982 in Auckland, New Zealand, received his BFA from the University of Auckland in 2004 and graduated as Meisterschüler from the Städelschule (Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste) in Frankfurt am Main in 2009. Recent solo exhibitions include among others “The Personal Effects of Kim Dotcom“ at mumok (Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien) (2013), “All You Need Is Data“ at Kunstverein München and Petzel Gallery, New York (2013), “Full Participation“ at the Aspen Art Museum (2012) and “Cruise Line“ at NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (2011). Denny participated in numerous international group exhibitions, recently among others “The Encyclopedic Palace“ at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). This year he was nominated for the “Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst”. In 2012, he received the “ars viva“-prize of the Association of Arts and Culture of the German Economy at the Federation of German Industries.

Bjørn Melhus: Lecture Performance

Fri. 15.11. Fridericianum 8 p.m.

The Third Third: 30 years of Dokfest – 10 years of Prof. Bjørn Melhus’s class

Since the establishment of Prof. Melhus’s class at the School of Art and Design Kassel in 2003, students have repeatedly had the chance to display their videos and installations at the Kassel Dokfest and its section Monitoring. Students have had the chance to work with the moving image in the class, which was titled “Virtual Realities” even before Melhus came to Kassel. The festival has provided students with insights into international film work and thus has become an ongoing part of the curriculum. In an entertaining slide lecture, Bjørn Melhus will not only present the highlights of this fruitful connection but will also show other projects and journeys of his class over the past ten years. In addition to numerous images and excerpts of better-known works, rarely presented treasures from the class archive will also be shown.


Short CV

Bjørn Melhus, born in 1966 in Kirchheim, Tieck, studied art at the Art Academy in Brunswick from 1990-1997 (film and video class, Prof. Birgit Hein) and also studied film at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles on a DAAD scholarship from 1997-1998. Another scholarship of the Brunswick United Kloster and Studienfonds (1999) followed as well as a two-year studio grant in Hanover (Award of the Kunstverein Hanover 1999 – 2001) and from 2001 – 2002 the New York scholarship of the federal state of Lower Saxony at the ISCP (International Studio and Curatorial Program). Since 2003 he is a professor for “Virtual Realities” (faculty of Visual Arts) at the School of Arts and Design Kassel. His own work, which has been on display at Kassel Dokfest many times and includes films, videos and installations, has received numerous awards and has been exhibited worldwide.

Frances Stark: Screening “My Best Thing” + Artist Talk

Sat. 16.11. Fridericianum 8 p.m.

In her animated film “My Best Thing” Frances Stark deals with forms of anonymous intimacy in Internet chatrooms. Using a simple animation program, Stark transfers experiences of virtual encounters into a soap opera of web-based relationships. In 10½ episodes, avatars closely resembling Playmobil characters discuss sex, politics, art, joint projects and their work for the film “My Best Thing” in the clipped style of a Text-to-Speech Software.

The artist talk with Frances Stark is held by Susanne Pfeffer.


Short CV

Frances Stark, born in 1967 in Newport Beach, California, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from San Francisco State University in 1991 and completed her Master of Fine Arts in 1993 at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Recent solo exhibitions of the Los Angeles-based artist include among others “Frances Stark: My Best Thing” at the Ian Potter Center of Art, Melbourne (2013), “My Best Thing” at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver (2012) and MoMA PS1, New York (2011), “The New Vision” at Portikus Frankfurt am Main and “A Torment of Follies” at Vienna’s Secession (2008). Stark is an Assistant Professor the Roski School of Fine Arts at University of Southern California and acted as guest curator at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles in 2010. She participated in various international group exhibitions in international museums, including among others “In the Heart of the Country” at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2013), “A Point of View: Selected Gifts from the Laurence A. Rickels Collection” and “Lost Line: Contemporary Art from the Collection” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2012/13).