The Academy of Fine Arts Appoints Two New Professors in School of Media Arts

The artists Jane Jin Kaisen and Agnieszka Polska are appointed as professors in the School of Media Arts. Together, going forward, they will lead and develop the field of media studies.

The appointment of the two new professors in the field of media studies will enable the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts to support one of its strategic areas: media, technology and digitalisation. I am happy that we succeeded in creating the right conditions for a partnership between Jane Jin Kaisen and Agnieszka Polska, and between their individual professional areas of interest and expertise,” says Kirsten Langkilde, Rector of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
Jane Jin Kaisen is being appointed as a professor (80%); Agnieszka Polska as a professor (50%). That means that the leadership of the Academy of Art’s School of Media Arts will now be shared by two professionals, each of who is dedicated to the field of media and perfectly qualified to develop, consolidate and internationalise the School of Media Arts and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
The current strategy of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts highlights the significance of digitalisation, digital skills and new media technologies. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts aims to engage in, and respond to the profound changes in our society’s structure, communication and thinking, which digital development is generating. The art of Kaisen and Polska reflects this focus, and their inspirational expertise will boost the development of media studies in the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. The shared management structure is also an expression of the continuous evolution in the way the Academy organises its individual departments. This is also outlined in the 2019-2022 strategy.
What do the two new professors have to say about the significance of media art in general and for society?
“The pervasiveness of media technology and digitalization reconfigure paradigms of knowledge, how we orient in space and time, how we relate to each other, and ultimately how we perceive reality. Changing public and political spheres also highlight how we are mutually entangled and raises questions of subjectivity, body politics, authorship, inter-species connectivity, and calls for alternative imaginaries. Within this vastly complex reality of condensed time-space where a plethora of media technologies are at our disposal - including the body as a medium and vehicle of mediation - planetary perspectives are needed to address pertinent issues such as the climate catastrophe, social anxieties and polarities. In this context, nuanced, self-reflexive and critically engaged media art practices find their relevance, not only within the field of art, but also in a broader societal scope by grasping the ramifications of media and digital technology, while stimulating our imagination by gesturing towards other knowledges, socialities, and modes of representation.” (Jane Jin Kaisen)
“The field of media art lies at the intersection of time-based media, installation, immersive and virtual environments and a wide range of theoretical disciplines: philosophy, anthropology, linguistics, information theory, sociology, tech studies.
Media art’s strong relationship to time results in the possibilities for revising history, looking for omissions of memory, responding to current societal challenges, reimagining the future. On the other hand, its engagement with technology and communication processes provides an insight into the contemporary structures of societies driven by the flow of information and information-driven labor – and serves as an opportunity for examining the influence an artwork has on a viewer.
Media artists, due to the tools they have an access to, have a special role and responsibilities towards society in understanding, researching, mapping and describing radically shifting realities: contemporary power structures, inequality, crumbling infrastructure and globalization.” (Agnieszka Polska)
Jane Jin Kaisen (b. 1980 Jeju Island, South Korea) lives and works in Copenhagen.
Her artistic practice encompasses video installations, film, photographic installations, performance and writing. Working with non-linear modes of storytelling and poetic montages of image, sound, voice, and archive, she engages themes of memory, migration, and translation at the intersection of personal and collective histories.
She holds an MA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, an MFA from University of California Los Angeles and participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. She is a recipient of a PhD scholarship in artistic research.
Kaisen has been an invited lecturer and guest teacher at the art academies in Denmark, University of California San Diego and, Städelschule, Yonsei University, International Academy of Art Palestine, and MASS Alexandria, among others.
Kaisen represented Korea at 58th Venice Biennale in 2019 and has participated in the biennials of Liverpool, Jeju, Gwangju, among others. Recent exhibitions and screenings include the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Palais de Tokyo, Times Art Center Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin International Film Festival, ARKO Art Center, Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Asia Culture Center, and ParaSite. On June 13, 2020, Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen will host her most comprehensive solo exhibition to date.
Agnieszka Polska (b. 1985, Lublin, Poland) is a visual artist who uses computer-generated media to reflect on an individual and their social responsibility. She is rendering the ethical and societal challenges of our time into immersive, meditative films and installations. Her works, often constructed from affective sound and visual stimuli, examine processes of influence and legitimation in the fields of language, consciousness and history.
Polska presented her works in international venues, including the New Museum and the MoMA in New York, Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Tate Modern in London, Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. Her solo exhibitions were organised by Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, Nottingham Contemporary, Saltzburger Kunstverein, among others. She also took part in the 57th Venice Biennale, 11th Gwangju Biennale, 19th Biennale of Sydney and 13th Istanbul Biennial. In 2018 she was awarded German Preis der Nationalgalerie.
Her teaching experience includes the position of lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts (ASP) Warsaw and a deputy professorship at the Braunschweig University of Art (HBK).
The School of Media Arts is one of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ four MFA schools, each of which has approximately 25 MFA students. The length of the MFA degree programme is three years. Each year a student has the option of transferring to another of the four schools. In addition to being affiliated with an MFA school, the student can also study in the laboratories (workshops) that are relevant to her or his practice. Media Studies has the Laboratory for Photography, the Laboratory for Video and the Laboratory for Sound, all three led by specialist lecturers in collaboration with the other teaching staff.
The two new appointments were prompted by the expiry this summer of the fixed-term contract of Angela Melitopoulos as Professor of the School of Media Arts.
Contact: Lea Kyndrup, Communications Officer: / Tel.: +45 33 74 46 16