Eight days and five locations: a quarry, a private library, an airfield, a vaulted cellar and the College of Media. “At the mountains of madness”, a horror classic by H.P. Lovecraft was reinterpreted thanks to 31 students from the Media University in a two-semester project in 2016/17 and brought back to life in a photo book here.

The students were able to participate in the reinterpretation of the original artwork from 1931 from a total of six different courses of study at the three faculties of the university. Under the direction of Prof. Volker Jansen and Prof. Christa Neß, a book was created whose conception and production was carried out independently by the students. Thanks to the commitment of the protagonists and the assisting team, a frame story emerged during the summer and winter semester, which was published at the end of the original by H.P. Lovecraft and continues this over several years:

For “At the mountains of madness” is originally from an expedition of the Miskatonic University, which travels to the Antarctic and finds traces of unknown life forms, the so-called “Older Beings”. As the only survivor, Prof. William Dyer and student Paul Danforth return from their journey.

This is where the project team of the university starts. They continue the story of Dyer and talk about his post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the expedition. He tries to treat them through psychological help, but his findings there lead to even greater madness.


During the production phase, the entire photo production was realized with old Carl Zeiss lenses from the time of action in order to capture the lovecraft atmosphere as authentically as possible. In addition, the scenes of the horror story with the help of the photographer Wolf-Peter Steinheißer were realized for the project and also co-financed by external sponsors, experts and supporters. The goal of the project group was the realization of a complete print medium. Starting with the idea to the finished product, the team should work here under company-like everyday structures.

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