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Announcement
January 13, 2021

Master of Arts in Public Spheres and Bachelor in Fine Arts with major in Sound Arts

Valais School of Art (EDHEA)

Claire Frachebourg, 2020. Sound performance. Photo: EDHEA.

Omar Adel, The Cat Concerto and The Hegemonic Struggle, 2020. Performative lecture. © Petra Koehle.

Dona Cetoute, 2020. © Yossof Baddri.

Diana Martin, 2020. Sound performance. Photo: EDHEA.

Seba Ali, Tarot medium intervention 01, 2020. Performance. © Petra Koehle.

Master of Arts in Public Spheres (MAPS)
MAPS is an agile multi-sited programme which foregrounds travelling and displacing as part of its experimental approach to artistic research. The two-year programme is part of the HES-SO University of Applied Arts and Sciences and is geared to artists, who wish to explore the relationship between art and environmental, political, cultural, and media-related dimensions of the public sphere.

The programme is composed of eight stations per year, each consisting of 7–10 days, in which the student’s work becomes a starting point for continuous reflections and artistic exchange. These fluid node points include research activities, seminars and workshops, screenings, performances, exhibition making, collective discussions and face to face discussions. Stations are conceived by visiting lecturers, students and tutors and foster highly concentrated and convivial moments during which the participants interrogate the public spheres by intervening artistically, investigating environmentally and socially engaged art practices, considering writing and publishing as an artistic practice. In between the stations, the artists continue their research individually or within self-organized Study Groups, a process that is supported by tutors. Collective exchange usually take place in English. However, Arabic, French, German, Italian and Spanish are frequently spoken languages among tutors and students.

The MAPS home base is located in Sierre in the canton of Valais. Surrounded by an idyllic alpine landscape, the valley is also witness to (post-)industrial development and has become an international laboratory for studying the effects of climate change. Sierre is well connected to various regions of Switzerland as well as to Italy and thus offers access to a broad view on cultural practices. Half of the stations take place in Valais, the other half in exchange with national and international institutions as well as independent initiatives.

Current research questions investigated by the faculty include art and labour, politics of attention, environmental crises, speculative narratives, transformation through repetition, critical site-specificities as well as feminist, post and decolonial art histories.

MAPS students can apply for two scholarships. The EDHEA scholarship supports students who wish to work intensively on site. It consists of one room in an apartment in Sierre. The Wyss Foundation scholarship is a fellowship for international emerging artists from Latin American, Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries.

Bachelor in Fine Arts
EDHEA’s Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts enables students to develop their own artistic practice within a cross-disciplinary setting. This three-year programme prioritises an experimental approach that blurs the boundary between theory and practice. The course is taught through projects and both group and individual work, encouraging students to engage as broadly as possible with issues relating to contemporary art.

With the support of experienced artists, curators, cultural practitioners and theorists from Switzerland and beyond, students are invited to develop a critical approach to moving images and visual cultures, materials and environments, painting and drawing, sound and aural practices, digital and performing cultures, photography, texts, publishing and artists’books, and exhibition practices.

The degree is taught in French; one-to-one tutorials can also take place in German, English and Italian.

New major: Sound Arts
EDHEA offers a new major to its Bachelor students in Fine Arts. Sound art and practices are becoming increasingly popular in contemporary art as well as in transdisciplinary research and performing arts. They take part in new forms of artistic and educational cross-breeding by developing an awareness of the connections between environments and performance-related, ethical, aesthetic and scientific issues.

Students have the opportunity to complete their artistic training with specialised and transdisciplinary competences at the crossroads of these different fields. The curriculum is offered to artists who wish to investigate aural practices and sound studies based on visual arts and in connection with contemporary research on the international art scene.

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