The two-years CCC Research Master Program at HEAD – Geneva School of Art and Design
Where is the location from which to speak, in-between systems, technologies, generations, time-zones, crossing borders and entangled histories? What happens to ‘knowledge’ in a socio-technological epoch that predominately calculates the unknown into capital growth? If we are ‘planetary subjects rather than global agents’ (Gayatri Spivak), then our histories entangle on the street, through processes of transitional justice or during the work of translation. If the art of the 20th century produced a space to analyse social and political realities, then the art of the 21st century is the space to activate new vocabularies as realities inside of superstructures.
The CCC Research Master Program is an international, bi-lingual and trans-disciplinary Graduate Programme at HEAD – Geneva School of Art and Design with particular focus on research methodologies through the arts under globalising conditions. Globalisation, migration, computation and climate are a few of the keywords that point to reordering processes on a planetary scale within contemporary societies.
The letter C stands for critical, curatorial, cybernetic studies and opens towards horizons of conceptual, constellational,
colonial, computational, compositional, communal, cross-cultural, contemporary, conversational, cyclonopedic, correlational, cosmic, controversial or confessional investigations. In the context of a Research-Based Programme in the Arts of Higher Education in Europe, we need to rethink the localizations of knowledge in relation to our entanglement with geopolitical, post-historical, inhuman and energy infrastructures: Which knowledge? Whose knowledge? For which purposes? And how do we get there?
In the context of Higher Education in Europe, the CCC’s trans-disciplinary environment addresses future researchers from any cultural and educational background committed to art-led thinking processes with the objective to develop new vocabularies by the various means of research for articulating our being in the world of the 21st century.
The CCC-Curriculum follows a transdisciplinary pedagogy informed by artistic thinking and operates through a bi-lingual (English/French) environment with a transcontinental group of faculty and students.
The CCC-curriculum is built around two main educational elements dedicated to the individual and collective discussion of student’s work: Writing Research Practice and Situated Art Practices. While the seminar Writing Research Practice focuses on critical research methods, Situated Art Practices develops project-related forms that articulate research into specific public appearances such as presentation, exhibition and publications. Further seminars in Theory Fiction, Critical Studies, Political Studies, Curatorial Politics and the Reading Group are constitutive for students’ research. Students here learn about new concepts, encounter unfamiliar thoughts, test new ideas, and develop working protocols for conceiving project-specific research methods.
During the two-years graduate studies, the CCC Research Master helps the candidates – collectively and individually – to render more precisely an own voice from within his/her project by means of visual research, text-work and self-reflection. That approach, furthermore, includes a critical reflection what ‘research in arts’ means today and can do for us. By building its pedagogy on the idea of trans-disciplinarity, the CCC Research Master invites students of art and non-art backgrounds with different practices, geographies, languages, and work-approaches to process an original research proposal in the context of an art academy. The Programme provides an environment for the participants to develop their own working methodology over two years, articulating their research into a public statement that takes the form of a written thesis and a live presentation.
Art-led research processes develop and take place through both practice-led theory and theory-active practice. Accordingly, the programme addresses issues in critical visual cultural production, while also stretching into fields of geospatial politics, visual economics, science and technology. Research materials from political theory, cultural studies, postcolonial theory, politics of memory, contemporary art, architecture, design, filmmaking, journalism, l’écriture féminine and philosophy are given the same standing as critical resources from field trips, militant investigations, conceptual experimentation, decolonising processes, post-historical sociability, queer and social struggles.
Students will graduate with a degree of Master of Arts HES-SO in Critical Curatorial Cybernetic Research Studies of the Visual Arts Department of HEAD – Genève, which will be awarded upon the successful defense of a writing practice that takes the form of the MA-thesis (7.000-14.000 words in English or French) and a non-writing practice that takes the form of the oral presentation (20 min) including visual, performative, spatial, philosophical, scientific, theoretical and/or activist elements or other time-based experimentations. The CCC also supports the development of work towards a PhD project. Furthermore, the participants will learn to situate their work into a salient, formative and enduring cross-section of theories, projects and debates. Beyond graduation, the Research Master activates student to build his/her own research library as a resource for future initiatives. The public appearances of the research-based and art-led work may extend beyond the art institution or the curated exhibition to also engage social and political organisations, self-organised and activist environments, computational platforms and hubs, second lives, non-governmental infrastructures and extra-state agencies. The CCC aims to further new vocabularies that can participate in debates in art, activism, political movements, social initiatives, situational interventions, institutional infrastructures and mobile curatorial projects.
Caspar Heinemann, Kader Attia, Nick Aikens, Mabe Bethonico, Patricia Reed, Michael Marder, N.N.
Professors and Assistants can be contacted via forename.surname [at] hesge.ch