As low-residency graduate programs, Transart wants all MFA and PhD students to be totally committed to each Transart residency—for three weeks in summer and one week in winter. These intensives are conceived to allow you the good fortune and rare opportunity of time—to be totally immersed in your practice together with your Transart peers. It is vitally important that all students protect these four precious weeks together each year to focus entirely on things practice-related, and it often becomes problematic when family and/or friends are present (even for part of the time) as it is very difficult if not impossible to fully participate with the distractions and/or responsibilities of family or social commitments.
Family and friends are invited to Transart events that are open to the public only, otherwise they are for the Transart residency community as specified on each residency program. We encourage students and faculty to only invite family and friends to the last day of residency events and to plan any family and friend activities post-residency.
Residencies allow you a brief opportunity away from your regular lives to work and interact independently and to focus exclusively on your own practice. We foster this intensive environment as the catalyst to create and nurture possibilities for fundamental change which lie at the heart of the Transart experience.
Summer Plenary and Winter Presentations
The Summer Plenary and Winter Presentations are major hubs for events but a myriad of exhibitions, screenings, performances, interventions, conferences, talks, and collaborations take place in between by Transartists both collaboratively and individually as you will see in the news posts below. Recently Summer Plenaries have taken place in Berlin and Winter Presentations in New York City, but Transart is committed to being fluid, responsive and nomadic.
To back up a bit though:
The three summer plenaries are both milestones and resources, taking place at the beginning middle and end of the two year program. Each plenary begins with closure to the previous years studies through intensive critiques, exhibitions, presentation and performances. With new students, work done prior to commencing the program is presented, examined and discussed. Plenaries open with the graduate exhibition, performances and a public vernissage. Weeks one and three consist of studio workshops, week two focuses on cultural studies seminars, Fridays center on student presentations. In addition, guest lectures, artist and curator talks and critiques as well as individual meetings with faculty take place each week in order for students to plan, inform and finalize the coming years project plans. This summers schedule can be found in the calendar on the Members site.
One week Winter Presentations take place at the end of the fall semester. The focus is on presentations, critiques, feedback and the sharing of resources mid-way through studio and research projects. Students have the opportunity to exhibit work in conjunction with their presentations in order to explore exhibition and documentation possibilities in anticipation of the summer thesis exhibition. Guest artist talks, screenings and practical topical workshops (i.e. the art of the artist talk, professional development, teaching application, funding and grant writing, and technical studio courses) complete the event. This fall’s schedule can be found in the calendar on the Members site.
Students participate in project presentations and critiques with residency faculty and alumni. Students present in three thirty minute formats: in the plenum with faculty, in a group of six students which continues throughout the semesters, and two individual sessions with faculty thus getting the benefits of many different perspectives on their work. Issues of delivery, content, aesthetics, technique, audience, media, genre, gender, culture and process are discussed, resources are shared and students learn to present their work progressively in two, five, ten and then fifteen minute presentations to audiences of varied size and purpose.
Students partake in one elected cultural studies seminar per residency. Seminars which are the cultural studies equivalent of the workshops help students put their work in context and find ways to inform their art projects through research while also getting practice articulating new ideas, exploring new ways of thinking and making connections through discussions and critiques. Seminars are chosen from current cultural topics viewed through the lens of media studies, literature, sociology, philosophy and art history.
Participants will explore concepts and test new ideas and working methods through a series of creative exercises and assignments (realized in their media of choice and completed either alone or in collaboration), in addition to lectures, presentations and debates. Workshop goals are to equip participants with expanded conceptual and aesthetic toolsets and for the time together to conclude with everyone feeling invigorated and inventive about applying the workshop process to their respective practices and locales. Workshops are not intended to further technical virtuosity but to enhance creativity by exposing students to new approaches to working in various genres. It is recommended that students work with what they are technically familiar with for these sessions. Students should bring their own tools, whatever they like to work with i.e. cameras, powerbooks, sketch pads. Scanners, video projectors and printers will be available. Students participate in two elected studio workshops per residency.
Students experiment with exhibition and performance possibilities at the winter residencies in preparation for the summer exhibitions. As appropriate to the nature of the thesis project, students have the option to self-organize exhibitions and events, perform or document their projects with shared spaces for digital presentations, reading and listening. Triennale years and other years, depending on student and alumni wishes, exhibitions, performances and screenings are curated by established international curators.