September 30, 2008

California College of the Arts presents Social Practice

California College of the Arts (CCA)
Social Practice

California College of the Arts, San Francisco
[email protected]

Melissa Wyman,
The Guillotine Choke
[illustration from fight therapy], 2008.

MFA students in the Graduate Program in Fine Arts at California College of the Arts may choose to focus on social practice instead of a traditional studio discipline. Their studies incorporate diverse strategies, from urban interventions to utopian proposals, guerrilla architecture, “new genre” public art, social sculpture, project-based community practice, interactive media, service dispersals, and street performance.

Social practice students focus on questions of aesthetics, ethics, collaboration, persona, media strategies, and activism—the intersection of art and real-life social situations. Because much of their work necessarily involves public commissions, long-term residencies, or the creation of alternative institutions or collectives, they gain experience conceiving complex projects, articulating narratives that support them, and cultivating a network of fellow practitioners and supporting institutions.

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’ work. The most recent volume, There Is No Two Without Three, is available as a free download (or as 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, space for reading and research, and a kitchenette. 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 via the formal context of the workshop course and also 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 the studio-focused Fine Arts students, and they can enroll in electives offered by CCA’s other graduate programs in 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 disciplines and discourses.

International Opportunities
International summer courses are offered each year. In summer 2009, the program is offering 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 2008–9
Claudia Bernardi (
Amy Franceschini (
John Jota Leanos (
Ted Purves (
Sanjit Sethi (

Visiting Workshop Faculty 2008–9
Wapke Feenstra and Antje Schiffers (
Fritz Haeg (
Marina McDougall (
Nick Tobier (

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

To request a catalog, please call 415.703.9523 or 800.447.1ART or email [email protected]

For more information go to:

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