February 25, 2020

MA Contemporary Arts Practice

Bern University of the Arts HKB

(1) Samuel Savenberg, Nothing But Circulation Of Air, 2019. Surround sound concert. Photo: Ruben Wyttenbach. (2) Andrés Villa Torres and Eugen Danzinger, Critical Mass. Machine learning and face tracking algorithms, 2017. Mixed media, Photo: Sebastien Verdon. (3) Corinne Futterlieb, Bild_04., 2018. Photographs in various formats. Photo: Corinne Futterlieb.

The MA Contemporary Arts Practice (MA CAP) at Bern University of the Arts is a multidisciplinary program for artists engaged in Fine Arts, Sound Arts, Performance Art, and Literary Writing/Translation. The program aims to foster independent artistic positions in a context of collective and interdisciplinary relationships. Individual mentoring sessions and group seminars enable exchanges among students and teaching staff across different fields of art.

Fine Arts
Students work in a broad spectrum of art practices involving still and moving images, sculpture, installation, conceptual and performative approaches, participatory practices and documentary strategies. The course is notable for its strong engagement with the professional demands of sound, words and performative production. Current art discourses and developments as well as the historical foundations of art provide the framework for students’ individual or collaborative works.

Sound Arts
The main focus is on experimental and electronic music. Students develop compositions, sound installations or other sound-based art forms. Exemplary works of sound art from the past and present are discussed and analyzed in seminars and lectures. We teach compositional strategies and approach sound from a contemporary as well as historical and theoretical point of view. The aim is not to solely develop one's own artistic practice, but also to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of contemporary compositions and art forms. The MA CAP brings students from different artistic areas together, encouraging exchange and collaborative working.

Literary Writing/Translation
Literature reacts to other arts, just as much as it influences them. Students hoping to practice their literary art in the field of contemporary art production will come into contact with a wide range of teachers and students from diverse backgrounds. Alongside this vibrant exchange, they work on their own texts of all genres under the supervision of mentors. This constitutes the core of the students` individual study profiles. Something unique about the MA CAP is, that the work of the literary translators is regarded as artistic production.

Performance Art
In the sense of physical presence, real or conceptual action, performance occurs in various artistic fields. It addresses certain issues relating to body, space and time. Considering the transdisciplinary history of performance, we understand it as a varied and open field of general performativity. Performance is regarded as part of all the different artistic disciplines united under the umbrella of the MA CAP. As an active form and physical action, it resides within music, fine arts and also literary writing and occurs in close connection with these separate forms. In addition, the focus on performativity opens up new forms of representation, viewing and listening, participating, which the students will explore in the practical work as well as in their theoretical reflection.

Prospective students need a Bachelor`s degree in Fine Arts, Music, Literary Writing or an equivalent diploma. In case of extraordinary artistic talent, candidates from other educational or professional backgrounds will also be accepted.

The courses are taught in German, English and French. One-on-one mentoring sessions are possible in German, French and English.

Application schedule
Application & portfolio submission: March 16, 2020
Online application via
Admissions interviews: April 20–28, 2020
Feedback: May 4, 2020
Start of studies: September 14, 2020

Mode of study: Full-time (4 semesters), part-time (in exceptional cases only, 6 semesters)
Tuition fees (per semester): CHF 750 / CHF 950 (for overseas students)

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