June 5, 2014 - art&education - School Watch and Video School
June 5, 2014

School Watch and Video School

In order of appearance: From the exhibition Three Artists Walk into a Bar… (April 13–May 12, 2012). Enrico Piras and Sarah Stein, The Mistaken Belief of Invisibility That Led to a Visible Transformation (Under The Influence of Glue). Performance in parks in Amsterdam and Utrecht, documented and screened on SALTO 1. Photo: Sarah Stein. Picture of Hunter College MFA Students at 205 Hudson Street used to advertise Spring 2014 Open Studios.

School Watch and Video School

www.artandeducation.net

Professionalized degree programs in the arts expand in number year by year. Appealing to prospective students as sites for creative development and immersive, hands-on experience, a wholly utopian vision is coupled with the more pragmatic promise of a potential ticket to job security and stable income in the ever-destabilizing and highly competitive market of freelancers and the self-employed. While a practical means of quite literally buying time (often at exorbitant costs) and acquiring the tools to formulate a position, the programs in their sheer multitude have left many in search of some discerning measures—how might parallel institutional offerings within the broad discipline of culture distinguish themselves from one another and to where do they lead?

Situated within a general climate that is overrun with qualified Bachelor graduates, employment scarcity and seemingly insurmountable mounds of student debt, it is assumed that advanced degrees in the arts act as gateways towards solid professional networks and resources. But it is also within this realm of initiation that deemed talent and intelligence are almost unavoidably pooled towards common aesthetic, creative, and intellectual goals set forth by an institution’s particular politics. The challenge now is how to produce real change. Can professionalized education rise above its tendency towards homogenization and uniformity to foster innovation in the manner it often purports to do?

As a part of art&education‘s website re-launch, the new feature School Watch will present distilled perspectives on degree programs in the arts, with interviews, critical texts and editorial exposés on MFAs, Masters, Doctorates and certificate programs in fine arts, art history, critical, curatorial, cultural and film studies, and other related areas of specialty.

Currently on School Watch:

Andrew Cappetta considers the current institutional and pedagogical direction of Hunter College‘s MFA program less than a year after the appointment of new chair Howard Singerman and a major relocation to 205 Hudson Street in Tribeca. Tyler Coburn investigates, visiting Hunter’s classrooms and speaking with current MFAs and recent graduates to offer a view of the institution from their perspective.

Andrew Berardini reports from the MFA studios and time-honored “crit” at the California Institute of Arts, surveying the institution’s singular history and asking what makes CalArts different from other art schools.

Natasha Ginwala speaks with Ann Demeester about the “transdisciplinary” nature of curating and her tenure as Director of the de Appel Arts Centre and Curatorial Programme.

Also new on art&education:

Video School features monthly programs of lectures and conversations chosen by artists and thinkers on issues relevant to their practice and/or contemporary artistic discourse. Organized thematically and highlighting current topics, Video School responds to the proliferation of educational videos circulating online by handpicking and juxtaposing content pertinent to viewers.

This month Sohrab Mohebbi‘s video selections explore the relationship between images and truth: Hito Steyerl speaks with Victoria Hattam about photography and political agency; Rabih Mroué is in conversation with Philip Bither about his lecture-performances and video installations that consider the production and reception of images within the context of war and civil unrest; Alberto Toscano lectures on the photographic landscape and its relationship to abstraction under capitalism; and Boris Buden discusses the use of documentary material during wartime.

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