The Berlin Contemporary Arts Field School offers a broad introduction to Contemporary Arts in Berlin and their critical and theoretical context. Founded in the 12th century, Berlin has been both shaped and divided by history. Today, it is once again the capital of Germany, and is recognized as a global cultural hub; a city where history is intertwined with artistic intervention and innovation, and where international visual art, theatre, music, dance and film thrive. The Field School introduces students to the formative forces and contemporary realization of art and culture in Berlin. A comprehension of the correspondence between the arts and their social, political, material context will be enriched through simultaneous study, discussion and an experience of art and the urban fabric of this complex city.
Students may earn 11 or 13 credits in three SCA courses:
Contemporary Arts Field School I, FPA 308 (4) This course includes assigned readings, seminar discussions and outings in Berlin. The course's focus is on contextual discussions and site visits through which participants will reflect on art historical examples, historical events, theoretical writing, and urban space to provide a background to the Contemporary Arts in Berlin. Students will gain an introduction to a number of historical movements and artists including: Berlin Dada; Tanztheatre (Expressionist Dance Theatre); The Bauhaus School; Berthold Brecht's Theatre; the Third Reich's oppression of modern art and music; the art of East and West Germany during the post WW II division; foundations of musical modernism in Germany; New German Cinema. The writing about aesthetics and culture by German theorists including Walter Benjamin and the Frankfurt School will be discussed. Readings will be paired with a relevant site visits and cultural examples in Berlin.
Contemporary Arts Field School II, FPA 309 (4) This course will engage directly with examples of the contemporary arts presented in Berlin at the time of the Field School. The course will include preparatory readings, gallery visits, visits to artist's studios and discussions about works of contemporary art with the opportunity of interacting with local artists and academics. The legacy of Berlin reunification, the specific history of technical media in relation to art in Germany, German musical avant gardes and electronic music, experiments in dance and theatre will be viewed and discussed.
Explorations in Contemporary Arts I FPA 305 (3) (5 credits as FPA 405) Students will work under the guidance of the Field School director to develop a research program focused on a particular artistic discipline, history, or thematic interest related to Contemporary Arts in Berlin. Students will propose an independent researched based project which can include artistic practice as a form of response and analysis but must also included a well researched and organized written component detailing research, including discussions with artists. Graduate students may count Contemporary Arts Field School I & II as graduate elective FPA 885-5 with Supervisor and Field School Director approval.
The tentative dates program dates are early May to end of June*
*These dates are provided as guidelines and are subject to change.