February 9, 2010

Social Practice Workshop: A Concentration in the Graduate Program in Fine Arts at CCA

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)
Lauren Marsden
Putting Myself in the Cannon, The Presidio of San Francisco, 2009
Photo by Josef Jacques

The Workshop
Central to the social practice concentration is the workshop, a yearlong studio/practicum course led by resident faculty members in coordination with national and international visiting artists and theorists. Each workshop takes a field-based approach and is centered on a particular thematic framework. The workshops may be located in diverse social and physical contexts, including urban environments, formal and informal organizations, and popular media.

At the end of the course, each workshop publishes a book that critically documents the students’ and visiting artists’ work. The most recent volume, I’m a Park and You’re a Deer, is available as a free download (or a print-on-demand paperback) at

Campus Facilities
Social practice students are based on CCA’s San Francisco campus, in an 1,100-square-foot shared space that is designed to facilitate dialogue and the creative process. The space has multiple work areas, including a group meeting area/classroom, flexible workspaces, and a space for reading and research. It can be reconfigured to serve as a gallery space or for the presentation of lectures or films. It is also a “home base” for the program’s visiting artists, who interact with students both in the formal context of the workshop course and via informal, day-to-day contact and conversations.

Interdisciplinary Studies
Students concentrating on social practice also participate in the broader curriculum of CCA’s Graduate Program in Fine Arts. They take graduate-level critique and theory seminars alongside students concentrating in studio disciplines, and they can enroll in electives offered by CCA’s other graduate programs (Writing, Curatorial Practice, Visual and Critical Studies, Architecture, and Design). This interdisciplinary approach enables them to understand and contextualize their work across a variety of fields and discourses.

International Opportunities
International summer courses take place each year. In summer 2009 the program offered opportunities to work with faculty members on community-based projects in Perquin, El Salvador, and Gothenburg, Sweden.

Scholarships and Financial Aid
CCA awards a range of competitive merit and diversity scholarships as well as substantial need-based financial aid. For more information about financial aid at CCA, visit

Resident Faculty 2009-10
Claudia Bernardi (
Amanda Herman (
Ranu Mukherjee (
Ted Purves (
Sanjit Sethi (

Visiting Workshop Faculty 2009-10
Carolina Caycedo
Randy Cutler
Joseph Del Pesco
A Constructed World (Geoff Lowe and Jacqueline Riva)
Raimundas Malasauskas
Gregory Sholette
Althea Thauberger
Xu Tan

For more information about CCA’s concentration in social practice, visit

To request a catalog, please contact us at 415.703.9523, 800.447.1ART, or [email protected]

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