The three summer residencies are both milestones and resources, taking place at the beginning middle and end of the two year program. Each residency 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. Residencies open with Transart Open Frame exhibition, performances, screenings and a public vernissage. In addition, workshops, seminars, guest lectures, artist and curator talks and critiques as well as individual meetings with advisors 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.
Full week residencies 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 occasional practical workshops, and cultural excursions complete the residency. This winter’s schedule can be found under Events.
Students participate in project presentations and critiques with residency faculty and alumni. Students present in various formats: in the plenum with faculty, in a group of approximately eight students which continues throughout the semesters, and at least two comprehensive individual sessions with advisors 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 elected cultural studies seminar each summer 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. All students have the option to screen, perform and exhibit work each residency and to the public each summer in a variety of formats, with and without curators.
Between the summer and winter residencies are semesters of independent creative work and research to inform it. There are four of these sandwiched between the five residencies (three summer and two winter) which punctuate the course. During semesters students work with mutually chosen advisors on their creative and research projects, while participating in online critique groups and sharing work via their blogs. There is also full access to Plymouth University’s online library resources and regular opportunities to consult with a librarian online.