August 10, 2012

UM School of Art & Design MFA candidates engage in summer international research

Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan

Each year eight to twelve graduate students from the School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan travel to locations across the globe to enhance and inspire their creative work. These experiences are a core component of a pioneering 3-year graduate curriculum that expands the intellectual reach of creative work by asking each student to develop an involvement with fields outside of art and design, and integrates students in a global culture through international research. Each student creates an individual travel and research project proposal based on their interests and engagements and their travel is fully supported by the school, based on approval of individual project proposals

This summer A&D graduate student travel and research encompasses an exploration of wabi-sabi in Japan, time in Berlin working on KulturPark, travel to Germany to research Tanztheater, and more.

Ann Bartges – Germany, France, Austria
Ann is moving among three major European cultural centers: Berlin, Vienna, and Paris, to research twentieth and twenty-first century “total theater,” cinematic film, German Tanztheater, and contemporary modern dance. The result will be the development of a series of three short video pieces addressing three fundamental themes: motion on location, time and sequence, and technology as vice or virtue.

Mia Cinelli – Netherlands, Sweden, Finland
To further her practice producing graphics and objects that move between conceptual, sculptural, and pragmatic design solutions, Mia is travelling to one of the world’s design centers: Sweden, Finland, and The Neth­erlands. From the very pragmatic (Fiskars–Finland) to the very conceptual (Droog, Mooi–The Nether­lands) Scandinavian & Dutch design offers many examples of the ways in which design can both instigate dialogue and solve problems.

Molly Dierks – Japan
With work fueled by non-traditional Japanese sources (binocular soccer performances, commercials, square watermelons, Honda’s Asimo robot, Manga and Hentai), as well as traditional Japanese art and design, Molly is travelling to Japan to research her interests in gender, design, and “futuristic” representations of gendered humanity and landscape.

Jessica Goldberg – Japan
Jessica is travelling to Kyoto, Japan to participate in a residency at the Sandwich Factory, as well as spending time in Tokyo while she continues work on an illustrated autobiographical novel.

John Gutoskey – Spain
John is in Spain conducting visual research on cathedrals, monasteries, altars, shrines, monstrances, paintings, sculptures, and other religious relics. The goal is to map the richness of imagery and accumulate a repository of inspirational resources to draw from once he’s back at A&D.

Juliet Hinley – Germany
Juliet has been invited to Berlin be part of the production team for KulturPark, a public engagement, performance, and installation art even re-animating an abandoned amusement park in East Berlin. In June, she worked directly with 10 Berlin-based artists and urban planners to produce their installation/performance/architecture artworks in the former SpreePark for the festival, which opened in conjunction with the Berlin Biennale.

KulturPark is being curated and produced by Musement, a US-based “collaborative team of organizers, artists, curators, and scientists committed to discovering poetics, possibilities, and perceptions for public play.”

Peter Leix – Iceland
Peter is using his international experience in Iceland to further his research on religion and spirituality through access to a specific, more isolated population, and their connection to their unique and otherworldly landscape.   His goal is to emerge from this experience with the beginnings of a new ongoing project.

Katie St. Clair – Japan
Katie St. Clair is researching the contradicting landscapes of Japan and her interests in storytelling through narrative and non-narrative means. Japan’s rich history of ancient impenetrable forests is in direct contrast with the chaos of Tokyo’s urban center, neon lights, and technology. Through her exploration Katie is looking for ways to explore Wabi-sabi—”a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”

University of Michigan School of Art & Design graduate students have also travelled to Bangladesh, Belize, Bosnia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Ghana, Greenland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, Senegal, South Africa, Suriname, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

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