[artinfo] Research-Based Master program at Geneva University of Art and Design

Art&Education edu-news at mailer.e-flux.com
Tue Jan 19 11:17:10 CET 2016

CCC Research-Based Master program

Application deadline: April 8, 2016
Open doors: Friday, January 15, 2:30-8pm,
Saturday, January 16, 10am-6pm

HEAD - Genève
Boulevard James-Fazy 15
1201 Geneva


The CCC Research-Based Master program addresses 
students interested in developing new 
vocabularies for articulating the political and 
social implications of a changing world. Research 
methodologies, artistic thinking and public 
display strategies operate today in profoundly 
shifting geospatial and techno-political 
constellations. Globalisation, migration, 
computation and climate are a few of the keywords 
that point to reordering processes on a planetary 
scale within contemporary societies.

How can we make our way in the world through 
a situational understanding of our position 
within such complexity? Where is the location 
from which to speak, in-between systems, 
technologies, generations, time-zones, 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 

The bilingual (English/French) two-year Master 
program at HEAD - Geneva School of Art and Design 
welcomes any candidate that wishes to embark upon 
an original research project by contemporary 
means. The program's trans-disciplinary 
environment addresses future researchers from any 
cultural and educational background committed to 
art-led thinking processes. Founded by Catherine 
Quéloz and Liliane Schneiter in 2000, the program 
carries the strong history of critical thinking 
from the program (critical curatorial cybermedia) 
Research-Based Master program in the European 
context of Higher Education. Since September 
2015, under the new direction of Doreen Mende, 
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.

The curriculum is built around two main 
educational elements dedicated to the individual 
and collective discussion of student's work: 
Research Practices and Situated Practices. While 
the seminar Research Practices focuses on 
critical methodologies, Situated Practices 
develops project-related forms that translate 
research into specific public appearances such as 
presentation, exhibition and publications. 
Further seminars in Theory Fiction, Cultural 
Studies, Critical Theory, Political Studies, 
Curatorial Concerns 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. In 2015/16, the Curriculum is 
framed by Thinking Under Turbulence, a one-year 
colloquium that currently is ongoing with public 
talks and closed work sessions.

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 and 
philosophy are given the same standing as 
critical resources from field trips, militant 
investigations, conceptual experimentation, 
decolonising processes, queer projects and social 
struggles. Seminars are partly project-based, 
which means that students develop work for the 
actual seminar context, and/or through departures 
from institutional and independent collaborations 
outside of the art academy. The program provides 
an environment for the participants to develop 
their own working methodology over two years, 
translating their research into a public 

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.

Faculty: Cécile Boss, Kodwo Eshun, Pierre Hazan, 
Aymon Kreil, Doreen Mende, Marion von Osten, 
Denis Pernet, Eric Philippoz, Anne-Julie 
Raccoursier, Gene Ray, Janis Schroeder. 

Guests (2015/16): Nabil Ahmed, Gilad Ben-Nun, 
Ursula Biemann, Isabelle Benoît, boabooks (Izet 
Sheshivari), Yann Chateigné Tytelman, Laboria 
Cuboniks (Helen Hester, Katrina Burch), Laure 
Giletti & Gregory Dapra, Glass Bead (tbc), Anselm 
Franke, Aurélien Gamboni, Samia Henni, Yoneda 
Lemma, Armin Linke, Julia Moritz, Griselda 
Pollock, Catherine Quéloz, ruangrupa (Farid 
Rakun), Ilana Salama Ortar, Joshua Simon, 
Françoise Vergès, Grant Watson, Eyal Weizman, 
among others.

Doreen Mende, Head of the 
Program, <mailto:doreen.mende at hesge.ch>doreen.mende at hesge.ch
Janis Schroeder, 
researcher, <mailto:janis.schroeder at hesge.ch>janis.schroeder at hesge.ch

Bachelor degree. 600 words research proposal. 
Short bibliography. Letter of interest. CV with 
selected works. Contacts of two referees. Fluent 
in English (understanding and speaking). Thesis 
can be written in English and/or French. Geneva 
is located in the French-speaking part of 

<http://head.hesge.ch/ccc/turbulence/en/applyfuture/>Online application form

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