Sound: Graduate Overview
As a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Studio student in the Sound department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), you will have the unique opportunity to study sound art and experimental music in the classroom and in one-on-one tutorials with world-renowned faculty within the context of an art school.
It's your chance to:
- Work in studios stocked with a rich array of well maintained modern and vintage technology, including rare analog synthesizers
- Make full use of the school's facilities and resources, including purpose-built labs for the design and construction of hardware and software systems and instrument construction
- Learn from leading artists in the field, both on faculty and guests in the visiting artist program (selected in consultation with the graduate students)
At the end of each semester, students participate in Waveforms, a presentation of work including performances and video.
Visiting Artists Program
An active international visiting artists program in which students help select artists each year to present lectures/demonstrations, give informal concerts, and participate in critiques has recently brought the following guests:
- Maryanne Amacher (US)
- Robert Ashley (US)
- Jaap Blonk (the Netherlands)
- Peter Cusack (England)
- Zbigniew Karkowsky (Poland/Japan)
- Brandon LaBelle (US)
- Elodie Lauten (France)
- George Lewis (US)
- Phil Niblock (US)
- Paul Panhuysen (the Netherlands)
- Eliane Radigue (France)
- Laetitia Sonami (France)
- Voice Crack (Switzerland)
- Michael Zerang (US)
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?
Learn more about degree requirements at our Master of Fine Arts in Studio page. For more information about the SAIC sound department, contact the admissions office at 800.232.7242 or firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a tour.