Contextual Practice [CP]
BFA Contextual Practice is the first undergraduate program of its kind in the country, engaging students in the study and production of socially engaged art projects that respond to specific public contexts and audiences. All art majors are required to take at least one CP class during their time at CMU.Extending a history of site-specific, conceptual, public, and performance art practices, Contextual Practice covers a range of exciting experimental approaches to making art in the public including:
- street art
- participatory art
- urban interventions
- interactive social media
- public installations
- politically-engaged art
BFA CP Course Offerings
Tactical Media: This ETB/SIS course considers the practice and theory of tactical media, hacktivism, and other media-based strategies of cultural disruption, protest and critique. Students develop several projects that employ skills in digital and physical media to create works that creatively engage with audiences in contexts that may not be traditionally associated with art.
The Storefront Project: The Storefront Project relocates each year into a different vacant storefront or unused space in the city of Pittsburgh. Students in this class use the storefront to present projects that have a catalytic relationship to surrounding social, physical and economic context.
Eco Village: A combination SIS/CP course in collaboration with the fourth year Architecture Design Studio, students work at the Hamnett Homestead in Wilkensburg, a historic house to be converted into a sustainable building and landscape to become part of an urban farm with a vision for the neighborhood to evolve into an ecovillage.
Seduction and Sedition: Analysis of “propaganda,” literally “that which is to be spread,” from many sources inform students to create their own propaganda in this blended seminar/studio course. No prerequisites other than an interest in social activism, international relations, public policy, communication, tactical media, realpolitik, the arts, the digital spectacular or the cultural imaginary.
Migrants, Nomads, Transients, and Miscrients: Art Practice and the Digital Diaspora: This ETB/CP course explores the effects of technologies on our culture, in particular how it affects our notions of identity, place, mapping and community. Students work on projects exploring a critical position in relation to culture and technologies.
Making Connections: Individual Projects in the Community: Students in this class explore what it means to be an artist outside the art school studio: how to make connections with a new audience; how to translate artistic vision into statements that are comprehensible and meaningful to a non-artist community; and how to apply personal aesthetics and interests to non-traditional settings.
Culture in the Public Realm: This class will introduce and critically explore the historical, theoretical, and practical production and consumption of culture and art beyond the museum or gallery and what shapes its production. During the term we will focus on issues expressed in cross-disciplinary forms of art and culture and the facts and policies that influence its production including power, people, politics, and money.
Space Art: The Space Art Studio directs the students assembled creative consciousnesses to outer space and the cosmos through interdisciplinary projects and individual and collaborative artworks involving all the arts and their interactions with science and technology. Artistic projects and creations point to the territories of mind and reality, science and technology, at the edges of the possible and even far beyond.
Mapping Braddock: Students use ethnographic methods to study and understand the multi-layered scope of the steel town of Braddock, PA. Students will work together to create a picture of Braddock, and develop a final project that relates to the city.
Wanderlust – Artistic Perspectives on Mobility: This course explores objects which enable and are inspired by mobility in its many manifestations including walking, biking, touring, wandering, foraging, drifting, laboring, searching, escaping, and being lost.
BFA CP Opportunities Outside the Classroom
A variety of project opportunities and support are available through the School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University, and in Pittsburgh for students to pursue contextually-based art projects.
SCHOOL OF ART
Wrong Way Corrigan Travel Fellowship
AVROKO Art + Architecture Award
CARNEGIE MELLON UNVIERSITY
Studio For Creative Inquiry Grants ($100-$10,000.00)
Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council