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Set and Lighting Design

"Imitation of life"
9 days

Bert Neumann, Set and Costume designer, Berlin
Studied stage design. He has worked with Frank Castorf, Leander Haußmann, Peter Konwitschny and Thomas Langhoff. Since 1992 he has been the head set designer at the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin. Together with the agency LSD, he has designed image campaigns for theatres, festivals and publications. Arising from this, Neumann has designed logos and objects like banners, matchboxes, stickers and postcards, recycling the vanishing ornaments and cheap material of East German consumer goods, which in turn have become collectors objects. Neumann spaces are bare and conceptual like an art installation, glamorous agitations like popart. In them, the public aesthetic of the city is reflected:

"The first thing to appear after the wall came down were the advertising posters. They altered the face of the city. It was the manufacturing of a billboard illusion. But these billboards have a back, and that is what interests me; it is the back of the illusion so to speak. Equally there were shopping centres that appeared everywhere. From the ecological point of view they are a disaster. But they were also the logical expression of the late 20th Century: Pure economics, market driven brutality. The garish neons of these shopping centres has something filmic about them, as a stage setting they are impressive."

Cheap material, flower patterned horrors, plywood, corrugated cardboard, punched holes and cables - with Neumann you can see that the seemingly beautiful is handmade, stuck and nailed together. "The perfect stage illusion is only a cheap manipulation, and when everything is formulated to the last degree, then this holds no interest." In his course he will explore the surrounding reality as facade and setting. Practical work will include translating and transferring the results of this investigation onto the stage.

"The world is becoming yellower all the time!"
9 days

Ulrich Schneider, Lighting Designer, Berlin
After studying mining technology, Ulrich Schneider worked in various coal and salt mines before he joined the theatre via a casual job to finance his studies. He trained as a lighting technician, then chief electrician in Cologne. He has worked at the Volksbühne, Berlin since 1995 where he has done projects with Christoph Marthaler, Frank Castorf, Christoph Schlingensief and Andrej Woron, among others. Since 1995, he has been teaching Lighting at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. The course examines light typical of the Ruhr region, in particular the change of light at night coming from an area marked by heavy and chemical industries and the "light designed" region of shopping and service centres. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of existing light situations: typical lighting in mines and steel works, lighting in shopping and traffic areas, and the general light pollution in our cities. On the agenda of the course, there are excursions to firms (mines and underground mines, steel works, car factories), visits to centres which have been culturally revived (Gasometer Oberhausen, Meidericher Hütte) and newly created centres (CentrO, Ruhr-Universität). The exact analysis of existing light situations will become the main component of the course. The ability to describe in detail a visual impression in effect and production is imperative for lighting designers. At the conclusion of the seminar, there will be a practical task which transforms these impressions into a stage situation and formulates personal impressions into a lighting design.

"Guerrilla Lighting"
10 days

Jonathan Speirs, Architect and Lighting Designer, Edinburgh and London
Studied architecture. Together with Mark Major, he runs a specialist lighting design consultancy group which, in co-operation with architects, graphic artists and interior designers, provides a range of services from small scale projects to full design implementation on major schemes: museums, office buildings, hotels, shopping centres, galleries. Creator of lighting sculptures and installations. He has been in charge of more than 600 projects in 29 countries, working with architects like Renzo Piano, Richard Meier and Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners and with clients such as British Airways, Disney, Coca Cola. Currently, Spiers is designing the lighting concept for the Kokerei Zeche Zollverein in Essen. Paul Gregory, Lighting Designer, New York Paul began his professional lighting career as a Theatrical Lighting Designer, working in such regional theatres as the Alley Theatre (Houston,Texas), the Goodman Theatre (Chicago, Illinois) and Stage West (Springfield, Massachusetts). In 1975 he founded Litelab Corp., which is an industry leader in low voltage architectural lighting. Litelab completed the lighting design for more than 1,000 major projects, those installations can be seen in nearly every major city in the world. He is the Founder and Principal Designer of Focus Lighting Inc., an architectural lighting design firm based in New York City. With Focus Lighting, Paul has designed the lighting for hotels, restaurants, casinos, movie theatres, and outdoor monuments.

"In our course we want to attract interested and talented designers to learn more about light, architecture and space. To undertake analysis of lighting opportunities where interventions can enhance appearance or provoke debate and discussion.On completion of this course participants will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the potential of light - the difference between good and bad examples - how light can work in an urban setting - be able to select suitable buildings for lighting treatment - prepare a temporary lighting layout - execute a temporary design - evaluate the results. To execute a series of designs over a several evenings, culminating in a celebratory public event in town."

Special guest for two days:
Jean Kalman, Lighting designer
Paris Kalman taught Philosophy in Paris and Madagascar. He became a light designer almost by accident. Through his work as a photographer and cameraman on short films, he was asked to stand in for a sick lighting technician at the Theatre Bouffes du Nord, Peter Brook's French home stage. Subsequently Kalman became Peter Brook's lighting designer for 12 years; touring the world with Mahabharata. Among others he has worked with Pierre Audi, Richard Eyre, Peter Stein, Robert Lepage. "In the theatre light is added to what already exists, the set, the props, and the costumes. It almost has the same function as the critic. Even in the creation of the world, light came into play later." In his collaboration with artists such as Jannis Kounellis, Richard Serra, Karel Appel, Christian Boltanski, dancer Min Tanaka, and the composer and director Heiner Goebbels, Kalman's light, however, becomes an acting subject, an independent carrier of meaning that structures the space and avoids having a purely atmospheric effect.