Presentation

ECAL is introducing a new master’s degree in Photography as from the 2016 academic year. Relying on massive use of photographic images – a key element in today’s visual communication – this two-year programme, unique in Switzerland, gives students with a related Bachelor’s degree an opportunity to develop projects in the long term. It especially pushes the boundaries of applied research in contemporary photography with an emphasis on digital, web and network manipulation, new forms of books, shaping images on various media, interactive exhibition design, up to and including the moving image.

Taking advantage of ECAL’s numerous collaborations with economic, industrial or cultural stakeholders, this training allows students to regularly rub shoulders with influential figures in fine art photography and commissioned work. Structured around practical lessons and workshop weeks, the programme fosters privileged encounters. As for theory, visual analyses and text productions also guide students towards the clarification and disclosure of project concepts. Finally, workshops, labs, studios and the availability of a state-of-the-art print shop ensure that the projects initiated are given concrete form.

The skills acquired and research conducted during the course give students the necessary tools to produce a wide-ranging innovative project, with significant opportun-ities in terms of dissemination and visibility. Through its pragmatic, artistic and applied nature, the Master Photography ensures that each graduate, based on their specific strengths and inclinations, finds a place in the top networks of contemporary photography.

Language

English

Qualification issued

Master of Arts HES-SO in Design, major in Photography

Yearly fees (materials included)

CHF 1 925.-

Length

4 semesters

Credits

120 ECTS

Useful links

Admissions Contact

Equipments & infrastructures

Open space MA Photography Digital Printshop Technology Center Photo Studio Editing/Scanning Room

Research Projects

augmented-photography.ch

automated-photography.ch

Learning Objectives

First year

1/4

  • Develop a personal project during one semester which may possibly extend over the whole duration of the studies and up to graduation.

  • Collaborate with a brand, magazine or media in the fields of fashion and design; understand the issues at stake in applied photography for art direction, styling and production.

  • Understand still life studio photography with advanced skills in lighting and HD digital photography.

  • Create and produce a personal photographic book (editing, sequencing, printing, binding, etc.) that could be presented at international fairs (Offprint Paris and London); know the photographic publishing market (financing, production, distribution).

  • Learn about 3D software (computer generated imaging) in relation to its photographic simulations.

  • Acquire skills and develop projects in Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (XR).

  • Participate in research programmes with practical experiments related to image technologies.

  • Broaden your referential skills, structure your discourse and acquire curatorial skills in contemporary photography.

  • Benefit from portfolio readings with curators from major institutions and international artists.

  • Take part in weeks of workshops supervised by practitioners from all over the world with the aim of carrying out collective or personal projects.

Second year

1/2

  • Continue the development of a personal project and define your photographic writing in view of the graduation work.
  • Materialise photography in installations and sculptures with construction, moulding and printing techniques (UV Printing, 3D printing, CNC).
  • Learn about the concept of “Augmented Photography” (introduction to code, digital arts and post-human approaches).
  • Participate in group trips for field projects and international exhibitions.
  • Follow studio visits with practitioners from all over the world.
  • Participate in research programmes with practical experiments in relation to image technologies.
  • Immerse yourself in workshops constantly adapted to the latest technological and cultural trends led by professionals from all over the world in order to carry out collective or personal projects by learning a new technology/approach.
  • Benefit from portfolio reviews with curators and artists from all over the world.
  • Participate in a writing workshop and write your Master’s thesis based on the knowledge acquired during the course.
  • Put into practice the know-how acquired in a graduation work and a portfolio, which will serve as a business card to integrate into the labour market quickly. 

Projects

This section contains a selection of emblematic or recent projects related to the disciplines taught in the Master's degree.
See all projects

Studio Projects

Semester Evaluations

PHOTOGRAPHY

Semester Evaluations

Studio project by 2 MAP

Results of the evaluations of the first semester for the second year MA students. During this semester the students had the chance to work with Katy Hundertmark, Marco de Mutiis, Mazaccio & Drowilal among other teachers and lecturer for workshops and portfolio reviews.

Semester Evaluations

PHOTOGRAPHY

Semester Evaluations

Studio project with 1MAP

Results of the evaluations of the first semester for the first year MA students. During this semester the students had the chance to work with Milo Keller, Charles Negre, Bruno Ceschel, Ann-Christin Bertrand among other teachers and lecturer for workshops and portfolio reviews.

Materialized Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Materialized Photography

Studio project with Rachel de Joode

First-year students have been tutored artist Rachel de Joode into using a more plastic approach in the way they conceive and display physical images.

Self Initiated Project

PHOTOGRAPHY

Self Initiated Project

Studio project with Bruno Ceschel, MAP

First-year course with Bruno Ceschel

Materialized Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Materialized Photography

Studio project with MAP, Alix Marie

In this course tutored by guest lecturer Alix Marie, the second year students conceptualized and executed strategies to coherently materialize their image in the space.

Automated Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Automated Photography

Studio project with Marco De Mutiis

2nd year Automated Photography course tutored by Marco De Mutiis.

Self Initiated Project / Automated Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Self Initiated Project / Automated Photography

Studio project with Milo Keller

First-year students worked on self-initiated projects tutored by Milo Keller. Students had the option to propose projects that would explore technologies and themes related to the current master's research project Automated Photography.

Applied Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Applied Photography

Studio project with MAP, Charles Negre

The first year students have been tasked with creating a story for Klima magazine. The course was tutored by Charles Negres.

Semester Evaluations

PHOTOGRAPHY

Semester Evaluations

Studio project with MAP

First and second year MA `Results from first semester evaluations. During this semester the students had the chance to work with Milo Keller, Bruno Ceschel, Lars Willumeit, Qiu Yang, Area Of Work, Cecile B Evans and Kim Knoppers and Ann-Christin Bertrand among other teachers and lecturer for workshops and portfolio reviews.

Semester Evaluations

PHOTOGRAPHY

Semester Evaluations

Studio project with MAP

Results of the evaluations of the first semester for the first and second year MA students. During this semester the students had the chance to work with Milo Keller, Harm Van den Dorpel, Bruno Ceschel, Julien Gallico and Ann-Christin Bertrand among other teachers and lecturer for workshops and portfolio reviews.

Photobook

PHOTOGRAPHY

Photobook

Studio project with Bruno Ceschel

The photobook module introduces students to the history of photobooks and artists’ books and leads them to consider different strategies and approaches to contemporary book-making. In the first term students individually conceptualised a publication that have been designed, printed and distributed in the second term. In Spring 2017 each students publisheded a book that have been launched at Photo London / Offprint London.

Workshops

Metaphotography - VR Workshop

PHOTOGRAPHY

Metaphotography - VR Workshop

Workshop with Robin Bervini, Milo Keller

During this five days workshop mentored by Milo Keller and Robin Bervini, the students worked in groups to create sublime environments inspired from reference photographs. The goal was to bring the viewer to a strange location to be observed from a static landmark. The students learned the basics of environment creation with the Unreal Engine 4 and they faced the technical complications in order to have their projects running on the standalone headset Meta Quest 2.

Materialized Photography Workshop

PHOTOGRAPHY

Materialized Photography Workshop

Workshop with Mazaccio & Drowilal, MAP

During this one week workshop, the students were challenged every morning with a sculptural challenge and in the afternoon they continued developing their semester projects with the guidance of artist duo Mazaccio & Drowilal.

Automated Photography Worshop

PHOTOGRAPHY

Automated Photography Worshop

Workshop with Marco De Mutiis

In this one week intensive workshop, digital curator Marco de Mutiis tasked the students with creating a photographic project through a process of gameification, or with otherwise automated processes.

Book making workshop

PHOTOGRAPHY

Book making workshop

Workshop with Nicolas Polli

Exquisite Corpse VR Experience

PHOTOGRAPHY

Exquisite Corpse VR Experience

Workshop with Milo Keller

On the occasion of the Biennale dell’immagine Chiasso, the 2nd year students of the Master Photography programme presented, from 17 to 19 September 2021, “Exquisite Corpse” - a series of Virtual Reality (VR) projects at the Palestra CPC. Art Direction: Milo Keller Assistants: Florian Amoser Robin Bervini Students: Emma Bedos Alexey Chernikov Mahalia “Taje” Giotto Clemens Fischer Nikolai Frerichs Hikaru Hori Augustin Lignier Sophie Schreurs Alisa Strub Yang Su

VR Workshop

PHOTOGRAPHY

VR Workshop

Workshop with Milo Keller, Robin Bervini

Virtual Reality introduction workshop tutored by Milo Keller with the technical assistance of Florian Amoser and Robin Bervini. During this 5 days introduction, students learned to use Unreal Engine 4 to prototype and test their scenes in real-time. Working in pairs, each of them started to develop a level of a global VR experience that will be presented at the Biennale dell'immagine 2021 in Chiasso.

Iconic

PHOTOGRAPHY

Iconic

Workshop with Lauren Huret, MAP

In this workshop, first and second year students had group discussions around what makes an image iconic and developed group and individual projects. The workshop was tutored by Lauren Huret

Book making workshop

PHOTOGRAPHY

Book making workshop

Workshop with Nicolas Polli

The workshop is a complement to the Photobook semester project during which the first year students, tutored by graphic designer Nicolas Polli, learned to think of the photobook as an object. Each student developed their sequence and made creative choices that led to the production of a dummy.

Metaphysical Content

PHOTOGRAPHY

Metaphysical Content

Workshop with Area Of Work

A one week transversal CGI workshop tutored by Area of Work to the first year Master Photography students in November 2020. Tutors: Area of Work Students: Emma Bedos, Alexey Chernikov, Mattia Dagani Rio, Thomas Dreux (HEAD Geneva), Clemens Fischer, Nikolai Frerichs, Mahalia Giotto, Hikaru Hori, Joanne Joho (HEAD Geneva), Augustin Lignier, Yshao Lin, Sophie Schreurs, Alisa Strub and Renée Verhoeven. Assistants: Florian Amoser, Robin Bervini, Thomas Le Provost. Digital architecture: Florian Amoser Virtual walkthrough: Robin Bervini Soundtrack: Hatari - MSH03X

Still Life Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Still Life Photography

Workshop with MAP, Charles Negre

During this practical workshop tutored by Charles Negres, the students have been introduced to studio lighting for still life photography and realized images on topics connected to climate.

Still Life Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY

Still Life Photography

Workshop with MAP, Charles Negre

The students created still life compositions developing a consistent body of images. Tutored by Charles Negres.

There is no spoon

PHOTOGRAPHY

There is no spoon

Workshop with Area Of Work

This workshop is an introduction to 3D creation software that allows you to create images with photographic qualities that are not photographs.

Diplomas

Maeva Bosko – Entering the Unknown

PHOTOGRAPHY

Maeva Bosko – Entering the Unknown

Diploma project by Maeva Bosko

Entering the Unknown is an immersive experience that aims to alter consciousness during a journey of initiation and introspection. The forest has always enchanted the collective mind with its wildness and authenticity. A peaceful nature as well as a realm of mystery, the forest exudes an almost supernatural force. Crossing the threshold of the forest, because of its deep roots, means opening the door to the unconscious and triggering the awakening of overwhelming fears, terrors or even phobias. According to Carl Jung, these terrors translate the fear of seeing the contents of the unconscious revealed – the fear of meeting oneself. When the experience starts, we can no longer back away or hide. Accept yourself and leave nothing behind.

Natalie Maximova – There Is No Spoon

PHOTOGRAPHY

Natalie Maximova – There Is No Spoon

Diploma project by Natalie Maximova

Mention Bien This artwork is an interpretation of the possibility that we are living in a computer-generated reality, similar to a video game, inspired by the ideas of simulation theory. The world is built as an assemblage of soulless structures with no indication of time or place. The rapid change of architectural styles throughout the journey explains the ambiguity of simulation theory and the impossibility of proving it. There are multitudes of architectures and imaginations, thus there are multitudes of mysteries. It is a journey halfway between dream and nightmare. In the absence of a total understanding, what else can we do but plough ahead? Video installation: CGI animation created in the game engine, surround sound.

Joanna Wierzbicka – Nothing Is Connected to Everything, Everything Is Connected to Something

PHOTOGRAPHY

Joanna Wierzbicka – Nothing Is Connected to Everything, Everything Is Connected to Something

Diploma project by Joanna Wierzbicka

What is a body, where does it start, where does it end? How do we experience having a body and being a body, especially among other bodies? How can we rethink relations at a broader level between human and non-human actors to establish a more ethical lifestyle? The project aims to interrogate the notion of bodily matter and challenge the assumption that our bodies end at the skin. Instead, they are redefined as radically open systems, human and non-human assemblages, bodily chimeras, micro-biotic multi-species in a constant process of becoming. Matter, when recognised as an active agent, helps to acknowledge infinite interactions within complex networks of agency between various porous entities and membranes. Trans-corporeality disrupts any division between a body and the world.

Olivia Wünsche – New State of Equilibrium

PHOTOGRAPHY

Olivia Wünsche – New State of Equilibrium

Diploma project by Olivia Wünsche

New State of Equilibrium is a visual interpretation of my years-long spiritual quest and psychedelic adventures. Inner peace, a sense of deep connectedness, unbounded love for the natural world and longing for transcendence are central themes I tried to visualise throughout this project. Both the book and the installation attempt to question and investigate the mechanisms and limitations of our cognitive and sensory perception. By emphasising the simultaneous presence of the visible and the invisible, I seek to challenge the secular, materialistic worldview that still seems to prevail in our Western culture.

Manqin Zhang – I'm not a Loner

PHOTOGRAPHY

Manqin Zhang – I'm not a Loner

Diploma project by Manqin Zhang

I’m not a Loner is a photo-based installation in which Manqin acts as an archaeologist digging into the forgotten and insignificant part of life. The work consists of three resin spinning tops, four concrete blocks, five T-shirts, twelve lighters and two plates. By treating them as historical artifacts – displayed on plinths of different heights, evoking a forest-like environment – the work intends to construct a narrative of individual history through memories, relations and objects. While individual history describes fear, anger and guilt (personal, family-related, societal and historical), Manqin wishes to increase the role of the individual in history to evoke the importance of being oneself and to confront modern alienation.

Sara Bastai – RAM_1.0

PHOTOGRAPHY

Sara Bastai – RAM_1.0

Diploma project by Sara Bastai

RAM 1.0 is a collaborative project between myself and Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is a fictional account of my life, based on my personal visual archive, but constructed and mediated by AI. The project explores the concept of memories and the importance of the construction of an archive in the digital realm.  Focused on the interaction between images and text, I let AI analyse my memories and then reinterpret the captions to create new images. New memories are created in the form of five different books and five slide shows on a modular installation. Floating between human and non-human, the dialogue between myself and the machine comes into being and enables you to immerse yourself in a new data set of my memories through the gaze of technology.

Olivia Wünsche – New State of Equilibrium

PHOTOGRAPHY

Olivia Wünsche – New State of Equilibrium

Diploma project by Olivia Wünsche

New State of Equilibrium  is a visual interpretation of my years-long spiritual quest and psychedelic adventures. Inner peace, a sense of deep connectedness, unbounded love for the natural world and longing for transcendence are central themes I tried to visualise throughout this project. Both the book and the installation attempt to question and investigate the mechanisms and limitations of our cognitive and sensory perception. By emphasising the simultaneous presence of the visible and the invisible, I seek to challenge the secular, materialistic worldview that still seems to prevail in our Western culture.

Sara Bastai – RAM_1.0

PHOTOGRAPHY

Sara Bastai – RAM_1.0

Diploma project by Sara Bastai

RAM_1.0 is a project that originates from the collaboration between myself and Artificial Intelligence. It’s a fictional narrative of my life, based on my personal visual archive, yet constructed and mediated by AI. The project explores the concept of memories and the importance of the construction of an archive within the digital realm. Focused on the interaction between images and text, I let AI analyze my memories to then reinterpret its captions and create new staged images. New fabricated memories take form as 5 different books and 5 slideshows presented on a modular installation. Floating between human and non-human, the dialogue between me and the machine originates and lets you get immersed in a new dataset of my memories through the gaze of technology.

Maeva Bosko – Step into the unknown

PHOTOGRAPHY

Maeva Bosko – Step into the unknown

Diploma project by Maeva Bosko

Entering the Unknown is an immersive experience that tends to alter the consciousness during an introspective journey. Because of its wild and authentic side, the forest has always bewitched the collective mind. A nature of peace but also a kingdom of mysteries, the forest gives off an almost supernatural force. To cross the threshold of the forest, because of its deep roots, is to open the door of the unconscious and to trigger the awakening of panic fears, terrors or even phobias. According to Jung, these terrors translate the fear of seeing the contents of the unconscious revealed, the fear of meeting oneself.Starting from the conscious world you gonna dive to reach the world of the unconscious. A fall into the realms of the unknown.

Manqin Zhang – I'm not a loner

PHOTOGRAPHY

Manqin Zhang – I'm not a loner

Diploma project by Manqin Zhang

I’m not a loner is a photo based installation where Manqin acts like an archeologist that digs into the forgotten and insignificant part of life. The work consisting of three resin spinning tops, four concrete blocks, five T-shirts, twelve lighters, and two plates. By treating them as historical artifacts – displaying on plinths of different heights, evoking a forest-like environment, the work intends to build a narrative of individual history through memories, relations and objects. As individual history describes the fear, anger, and guilt – personal, familial, societal, and historical – that comprise a life. Manqin wishes to increase the role of the individual in history to bring up the importance of self being and deal with the modern alienation.

Natalie Maximova – THERE IS NO SPOON

PHOTOGRAPHY

Natalie Maximova – THERE IS NO SPOON

Diploma project by Natalie Maximova

This artwork is an interpretation of the possibility that we are living in a computer-generated reality, similar to a video game, inspired by the ideas of the simulation theory. The world built as an assemblage of soulless structures without an indication of time or place. Rapid change between architectural styles throughout the journey explains the ambiguity of the simulation theory and the impossibility to prove it. There are multitudes of architectures and imaginations, thus there are multitudes of mysteries. It’s a journey somewhere in between a dream and a nightmare. In the absence of a full comprehension, what can we do but proceed further ahead? Video installation: CGI animation created in game engine, surround sound.

Joanna Wierzbicka – Nothing is connected to everything; everything is connected to something

PHOTOGRAPHY

Joanna Wierzbicka – Nothing is connected to everything; everything is connected to something

Diploma project by Joanna Wierzbicka

What is a body, where does it start, where does it end? How do we experience having a body and being a body, especially among other bodies? How can we resituate ourselves within earth others, and rethink relations on a wider level between human and nonhuman actants to account for a more ethical living? The project aims to interrogate the notion of bodily matter, recapture our corporeality and challenge the assumption that our bodies end at the skin. Instead, they are redefined as radically open systems, human and non-human assemblages, corporeal chimeras, microbiotic multi-species in the constant process of becoming. Matter, when recognised as an active agent, helps to acknowledge infinite interactions within complex networks of agency between various porous corporealities and entities. Trans-corporeality disrupts divisions between a body and the world. Bodies leave traces everywhere, ascribing themselves into various corporeal, technological, political narratives, but also traces are ascribed onto bodies - mediating and altering their flesh. As captured by Haraway in the figuration of compost - we are always becoming with others, together creating a lively matter of compost, composing and decomposing each other. “Nothing is connected to everything, everything is connected to something” takes a form of an installation, a speculative self-portrait as compost, built out of images of my own body (made with different apparatuses including Scanning Electron Microscope, digital microscopes) mixed with still lifes of food and different materials representing the transformation and movement, as in compost. Additionally, sculptures are accompanied by the video that expands on the idea of corporeal companionship and brings in the notion of uncanny-like lump of flesh covered with skin. It is a performative act, a result of wondering how to become a microorganism, a bacteria and if I am already enough of one. All the parts of installation, exploring the line between oppositions such as human/nonhuman, internal/external, self/the other, refer to the definition of an abject and are meant to translate that moment, or a sensation - how a breakdown in meaning, something expelled from “I” eventually comes to define “I”.

Program

This section lists the detailed modules and courses for each semester of the programme.

Semester 1 2 3 4

Common modules (ECAL — HEAD)
  • Training in research I (3 ECTS)
  • Transversal workshop I (3 ECTS)

Common modules (Photography, Product Design and Type Design)
  • Cross Lectures I (4 ECTS)
  • MA Thesis preparation I (5 ECTS)

Modules (Photography)
  • Applied I (10 ECTS)

  • Visual Art Photography I (5 ECTS)

     

Common modules (ECAL — HEAD)
  • Training in research II (3 ECTS)
  • Transversal workshop II (3 ECTS)

Common modules (Photography, Product Design and Type Design)
  • Cross Lectures II (4 ECTS)
  • MA Thesis preparation II (5 ECTS)

Modules (Photography)
  • Applied II (5 ECTS)

  • Visual Art Photography II (10 ECTS)

Common modules (ECAL — HEAD)
  • Training in research II (3 ECTS)
  • Transversal workshop II (3 ECTS)

Common modules (Photography, Product Design and Type Design)
  • Cross Lectures III (3 ECTS)
  • MA Thesis preparation III (6 ECTS)

Modules (Photography)
  • Master Project (5 ECTS)

  • Visual Art Photography III (10 ECTS)

Common modules (ECAL — HEAD)
  • Master Thesis: Theoretical project
    (9 ECTS)
  • Master Thesis: Practical project
    (21 ECTS)

Find all the programme documents below

Alumni

Justinas Vilutis
Karla Hiraldo Voleau
Shin Young Park
Career Opportunities

Photographer of architecture, design, fashion or still life, Documentary photographer, Photo artist, Art director, Photo editor, Director of photography, Teacher…

Other alumni

(BA and MA Photography) Anoush Abrar, Philippe Fragnière, Erwan Frotin, Yann Gross, Nicolas Haeni, Raphael Hefti, Philippe Jarrigeon, Florian Joye, Matthieu Lavanchy, Milo Keller, Namsa Leuba, Catherine Leutenegger, David Luraschi, Romain Mader, Jonas Marguet, Adrien Missika, Cyril Porchet, Laurence Rasti, Maya Rochat, Reto Schmid, Sebastian Stadler, Joël Tettamanti, Manon Wertenbroek…

Staff

Head

Milo Keller

Coordination

Adjoint artistique
Florian Amoser

Assistants
Sara Bastai
Robin Bervini

Professors

Claus Gunti
Milo Keller
Anniina Koivu

Lecturers

Ann­ Christin Bertrand
Bruno Ceschel
Robert Drowilal (Mazaccio & Drowilal)
Kim Knoppers
Elise Mazac (Mazaccio & Drowilal)
Elisa Medde
Marco de Mutiis

Visiting lecturers

Nora Al­-Badri
Alain Biber
Harm van den Dorpel
Cécile B. Evans
Christophe Gaillard
Amine Ghorab (Area of Work)
Golgotha
Ethan Greenbaum
Dominic Hawgood
Joe Hamilton
Felicity Hammond
Lauren Huret
It’s Our Playground
Rachel de Joode
Nicolas Krebs & Taiyo Onorato
Jonas Lindstroem
Lesley Martin
Alix Marie
Lauren Moffatt
Simone C Niquille
Lonneke van der Palen
Antje Peters
Scott Renau (Area of Work)
Philip Schuette
Ada Sokol
Lucy Soutter
Thomas Traum
Anne de Vries
Letha Wilson
Qiu Yang
François Zajéga
Francesco Zanot