Film, Video, New Media, and Animation: Graduate Overview
The materials and discourses of film, video, new media, and animation as art forms are not simply techniques, but are defining elements of our culture and society. The technologies and contexts of these forms are also increasingly hybrid, fluid, and malleable. The Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation (FVNMA) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers a deeply interdisciplinary and experimental media art production and studies program. The program covers a wide spectrum of critical and technical issues, taught in the context of their histories and genealogies.
As a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Studio student, you will:
- Design your personalized, interdisciplinary course of study, taking classes from departments across the school that reflect your artistic goals
- Work with distinguished faculty who are practicing artists and scholars, offering diverse approaches to experimental film, video, new media, and animation, including: nonfiction, narrative, installation, glitch, interactivity, art games, curating, archiving, and web-based art projects
- Have access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment plus the rich and diverse resources of the school and the city of Chicago
- Study with some of the same faculty as our internationally renowned alumni did
Your education will establish a theoretical and historical context for understanding your own individual and collaborative works, the work of other artists, and the work of media in general. To broaden your understanding in this respect, the department hosts visiting artists who give lectures and work directly with you on advanced research projects.
Visiting artists include:
- Peggy Ahwesh
- Yael Bartana
- Matthew Buckingham
- Paul Chan
- Takeshi Murata
- Cheryl Dunye
- Cory Arcangel
- James Benning
- Sadie Benning
- Harun Farocki
- Steina Vasulka
- Andrea Fraser
- Isaac Julien
- Golan Levin
- Mani Kaul
- Rosa Menkman
- Ulrike Ottinger
- Trinh T. Minh-ha
- Lindsay Howard
- Shuddhabrata Sengupta of the Raqs Media Collective
- Aram Bartholl
- Martha Rosler
- Kurt Hentschläger
- Phil Solomon
- Yvonne Rainer
- Many more
The cornerstone of SAIC’s graduate studio program is its focus on tutorially guided studio practice. Each semester in addition to selecting from graduate advisors in the department, you will select from more than 100 graduate faculty advisors at SAIC, representing a myriad of disciplines, approaches, and intellectual positions. Ultimately, it is the student's work that drives the choice of advisor, and both disciplinary and interdisciplinary work is supported and advanced. Faculty from the academic programs in Art History, Arts Administration and Policy, Art Education, and Visual and Critical Studies also serve as graduate advisors, providing yet more expertise in support of SAIC Graduate Projects.
Critique Week, one of the principle means of assessment each semester, is a week-long schedule of critiques during which classes are suspended and the entire faculty and invited visiting artists and designers assemble into panels that conduct intensive studio critiques with all studio and writing graduate students.
Fall semester critiques are organized by department, with panels representing the discipline. They provide you an opportunity to have your work evaluated by the department, look at your work from a disciplinary point of view, and reinforce the expectations for your graduate study.
Spring semester critiques are interdisciplinary, with panel members of faculty, visiting artists, and peers from across SAIC departments. Interdisciplinary critiques in the spring semesters allow for a broader range of responses to the work, and are intended to assess the success of your work for a more general, yet highly informed, audience.
Studio critiques are required of every full-time graduate student pursuing an MFA in Studio or Writing degree. Typically, SAIC graduate students have at least four critique panels throughout their studies at SAIC, augmenting biweekly tutorials with their graduate advisors.
Interested in learning more?
Click around this website for more information on the curriculum, faculty, and resources offered through the department.