Julia Sharpe, PhD candidate in Film and Visual Studies and Critical Media Practice presents her work at the Harvard-PSL Workshop “Inquiry Through Practice”

In late February, I had the chance to discuss my artist practice as part of the PSL-Harvard workshop “Inquiry through Practice.” For me, what remains from the two-day workshop is the exchange of ideas and newfound friendship not only with the visiting cohort from PSL––Joseph Minster, Leandre Bernard-Brunel, and Geoffrey Rouge-Carrassat ––but also with fellow graduate students at Harvard––Amanda Gann and Seiyoung Jang (not to mention the ongoing collaboration between everyone who formally and informally participated: researchers, faculty, administrators, and students).

Everyone’s presentation took a different form: Seiyoung performed electronic sound, highlighting its relation to the body; Amanda took us through an emotional history of death in the theatre, acting out the role of death herself; Geoffrey led us through his practice as a director, blurring the line between game and play; Leandre screened his documentary, an ethnographic search for ghosts; Joseph showed his films as variations on the reality of the Alps; I showed my personal image and writing archive. Xavier Nueno presented his paper “On Independent Investigations in the Age of the University-Corporation” as a way to tie our practices together, and other audience members, including Critical Media Practice students, participated in lively discussions on how to define and frame “research” “practice” “archive” “experience” “institution.”

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We are pleased to welcome two new students to the CMP secondary field: Anna Hopper from Government and Omar Salomão from Romance Languages and Literatures. We look forward to following their research and supporting their capstone work.

In accordance with Harvard University’s protocols regarding the coronavirus, the Film Study Center is canceling our spring programming. We will update you with rescheduled events and our fall programming as soon as we are able. You can follow the University’s latest policies and procedures on the Coronavirus website.

On February 28, Critical Media Practice convened a workshop on Artistic Practice in the Research University, hosted by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.  The workshop brought together faculty and graduate students from six research universities with innovative programs uniting artistic practice and scholarly inquiry: CMP and MetaLAB at Harvard; the Centre for Creative Research in Sound Arts Practice at University of the Arts, London; Film & Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz; the SACRe program, Université Paris Sciences et Lettres; Critical Media Practices, University of Colorado, Boulder; and the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Faculty and graduate students from each school informally presented about their programs’ structure, approach, student body, and projects. Together we explored the strengths and challenges we face in this field and what we have to learn from one another, including:

  • How does students’ artistic work shape their scholarly research and vice versa – or does the artmaking benefit from separation from the scholarship?
  • What are strong examples of practice-based research methods that inform theoretical investigations?
  • How does artistic practice garner legitimacy in fields dominated by text?
  • How do we reconcile the very different criteria for measuring the success of art vs. scholarship?
  • What are the opportunities for us to collaborate as institutions?

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Critical Media Practice is excited to welcome five new students to the secondary field: Elitza Koeva from the Graduate School of Design; Max BowensPauline Shongov, and Julia Sharpe from Art, Film, and Visual Studies; and Deirdre Moore from History of Science.

To receive the secondary field designation on their diplomas, these students will successfully complete four CMP courses; create, publicly critique, and exhibit a capstone project; and fulfill documentation requirements. CMP supports its students with equipment, funding (when available), advising, and exhibition opportunities.

The next deadline for application to CMP is April 1, 2020.  Admission to the field is competitive and based on demonstrated ability in media practice; understanding of the artistic process; and appropriateness of the proposed media work for the student’s research interests.