CCC Research Master

The two-years CCC Research-Based Master Program at HEAD – Geneva School of Art and Design

PDF Curriculum 2016/17
PDF Curriculum and Faculty 2015/16

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-Based Master Program is an international, multi-lingual and trans-disciplinary Graduate Program 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.

CCC stands for research studies in critical, curatorial and computational processes. The letter C welcomes further horizons towards conceptual, constellational, compositional, conversational, cyclonopedic, correlational, controversial, colonial or confessional investigations. In the context of Higher Education in Europe, the Program’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 academic year 2016–17 of CCC brings forward the notion of ‘navigation’ as a proposal to think with or relate to in times of global turbulences. See the CCC Public Seminar Navigating Turbulences.

Seminar languages are English and French.


The curriculum is built around two main educational elements dedicated to the individual and collective discussion of student’s work: Research Practices and Situated Art Practices. While the seminar Research Practices focuses on critical methodologies, Situated Art Practices develops project-related forms that translate research into specific public appearances such as presentation, exhibition and publications. Further seminars in Theory Fiction, Critical Theory, Political Studies, the Curatorial 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 their own research method


During the two-years graduate studies, the Program helps the candidates – collectively and individually – to render more precisely an own position 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 Program 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 Program provides an environment for the participants to develop their own working methodology over two years, articulating their research into a public statement.


Art-led research processes develop and take place through both practice-led theory and theory-active practice. Accordingly, the Program 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, queer and social struggles.


Students will graduate with a written MA-thesis between 7.000-14.000 words (English or French) plus a practice-based iteration of the research. The Program 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 program 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 Program 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.


Responsible: Doreen Mende. Professors: Pierre Hazan, Samia Henni, Doreen Mende, Anne-Julie Raccoursier, Gene Ray. Visiting Professor: Kodwo Eshun. Assistants: Camilla L. Paolino, Mélissa Tun Tun.

Guests 2016/17

Maral Deghati, Charles Heller, Denis Pernet, Susan Schuppli, Vera Tollmann / Research Center for Proxy Politics, Françoise Vergès, among others.

Professors and Assistants can be contacted via forename.surname [at]