What is the MFA Creative Practice?
A hybrid low-residency-online MFA program in art & new media with residencies in Berlin & New York City and one-on-one advisement during the academic year.
Transart Institute was founded in 2004 by two artists. The previous MFA in New Media program was accredited by the Austrian Ministry of Education and Culture through Donau University Krems, Krems, Austria and the first summer residency was held in 2005 with an international body of 25 students and eight faculty. The current MFA Creative Practice program is accredited through the School of Art and Media at the University of Plymouth in the UK.
In this a-disciplinary program, students are free to pursue work in any art-related genre and to create their own course of study, working independently and with the support of faculty and self-chosen studio and research advisors. Short periods of intensive residency permit students to continue with their professional work and keep a balanced personal life while participating in the program.
The hybrid online MFA program in art is intended to lift the boundaries between applied and fine arts, traditional and new media, artists and scholars. The program aims to create a space for students of all disciplines to interact with a wide range of artists, scientists, theorists, media practitioners and visionaries. Students investigate their work independently and transdisciplinarily in both a cultural and studio context. Whatever genres students choose to work in, the program is designed to: enrich students’ praxis; foster change; facilitate a connection between group and personal work; provide the means for contextualizing work in the wider world; and develop interaction strategies with audiences.
Transart Institute is an international program. Summer residencies take place in cooperation with arts organizations in Europe. This summer residency location will be Tanzfabrik in Berlin. Fall residencies take place in New York at various arts initiatives and galleries. Transart Institute provides a range of accommodation listings and arranges a special group rate at a student hotel each summer as well as student travel and city guides. Most students prefer to stay together but students make their own arrangements for travel, accommodations and meals during the residencies so many options are available. Travel info can be found >> here.
The on-site part of the program takes place in English. Many languages are spoken but courses, critiques and lectures all take place in English. Students must have a very good command of spoken English. Student off-site semester work can take place in any language that the student and their advisors have in common. All administrative paper work (including student and faculty/evaluations) must be in English. If English is not their first language, students may be required to provide a TOEFL with a score (iBT) of 52 or better.
Facilities, Equipment and Resources
Studio and production spaces for workshops and a Macintosh computer station with scanner and printer fulfill the institute’s summer residency needs. Online databases and library resources include: Art Full Text (Wilson), ART bibliographies Modern (CSA), JSTOR, Project Muse, Web of Science, Dawsonera, and Oxford Art Online.
Degree Requirements Completion of three residencies and the six modules that make up the first and second year studio plus research project along with a successful review of the final project presentation in the graduate show lead to the MFA award. A post graduate diploma (PGDip) can be awarded to students who complete 120 U.K. credits (60 ECTS/30CR). Please see “program structure and credits” below.
Each year, students create art projects (i.e. a film or video, an installation, a concert, a campaign, a performance, a website, a documented intervention, a book of photographs, etc.) and write a supporting research paper or creative response reflecting their research. Graduating students publicly exhibit or present documentation of their final art and research projects. Students gain the critical, technological, and aesthetic experiences essential to creating informed and vital, content-driven work. Graduates acquire the means necessary for independent thinking, innovative work, active dialogues, and agile resourcefulness, in order to create a meaningful and sustainable praxis.
Alumni continue to participate in residencies by giving and receiving critiques, exhibiting, as program advisors, and as members of the newly formed Transart International Exhibition Collective.
Students work intensively in the summer and fall residencies on-site with faculty, artists, curators, media practitioners, writers and theorists. Between residencies, students work one-on-one off-site with research advisors by correspondence and self-chosen studio advisors in an exchange which includes a minimum of two intensive critique meetings or studio visits each semester.
Students prepare individual art and research project plans with the input from faculty in individual planning sessions throughout the residency as their ideas develop, submitting a two semester project plan for approval at the end of the residency. Students have the opportunity to make adjustments to their plans up to the mid-term to accommodate change and growth.
Students call group meetings at the beginning of each semester with their advisors to discuss the student’s projects, ensuring a vital and informed connection between the research and studio components of the work. Additional meetings can be called throughout the semester by student or advisor as needed.
Alumni-lead student critique groups formed at the summer residency continue through the semesters either in person or through virtual channels. In addition to the four individual critique sessions with their advisors, students receive two critiques with alumni in their student critique groups.