MFA Contextual Practice
This pioneering and unique component of the MFA program supports students, faculty, and research fellows in the production of experimental works that expand the role of art in the public sphere.
The Contextual Practice (CP) area of the graduate curriculum supports students in the production of socially engaged art projects that respond to or catalyze public contexts and audiences.
Additional terms that have been used to circumscribe this practice are:
- culture hacking
- relational aesthetics
- new genre public art
- participatory art
- social practice
- tactical media
- institutional critique
- public interventions
Graduate Contextual Practice Seminar:
The Contextual Practice seminar runs throughout the second year of the program and challenges students to examine where their practice intersects directly with the public realm and how they can create new sites and audiences for their work. Seminar students also explore new and historical trends in public engagement through art, architecture, design, and popular culture, as well as politics, ecology, psychology, sociology, and economics.
Questions raised during the seminar include:
- What economy (system of distribution, interaction, and exchange) does your work respond to or create?
- Who is your audience? Who are your participants? How do those audiences and participants shape the meaning of your work?
- What impact does your work have on the life of your audience/participants?
- Where do you situate your work? How does that context change how the work is perceived?
Beyond the CP Seminar, graduate students have multiple opportunities to create work in a variety of public contexts. They may also work as graduate assistants with faculty and visiting artists who offer CP courses through our multi-disciplinary undergraduate curriculum.
The School of Art has a more than twenty-year history of supporting students, faculty and research fellows in the production of experimental contextual works that develop new venues and audiences for art and expand the role of the arts in society.
CP Faculty & Fellows
Conrad Atkinson (former faculty)
Bob Bingham, Associate Head of School & Professor of Art , "Nine Mile Run Greenway Project" w/ Tim Collins and Reiko Goto (former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellows and adjunct faculty)
Lowry Burgess, Professor of Art
John Carson, Head of the School of Art
James Charlton (former visiting faculty 2007)
Grisha Coleman (former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow and adjunct faculty) " Echo System"
Peter Coppin (former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow) "EventScope "
Jacob Ciocci (MFA ‘05 and Visiting Faculty) Paper Rad
Angelo Ciotti (former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow and adjunct faculty)
Alan Comp (former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow) "Acid Mine Drainage and Art Project"
Sean Derry (former adjunct faculty 2008)
Carl Di Salvo (former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow)
Carbon Defense League
Rob Fisher (former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow)
Stephanie Flom (former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow) Persephone Project
Michelle Illuminato (BFA ‘92 and former visiting faculty) "South Side Atlas and Next Question"
Andrew Johnson (Associate Professor of Art) "PED"
Osman Khan (former visiting faculty 2007-9)
Steve Kurtz (former faculty ) Critical Art Ensemble
Heidi Kumao (former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow and adjunct faculty)
John Jota Leaños (former Center for the Arts in Society Fellow and Art Faculty)
Golan Levin (Associate Professor of Art , Director of the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry 2009-present)
Lisa Link (former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow) " End of the Line, Building Bridges with Pittsburgh Busways"
Carl Loeffler (former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow) The Networked Virtual Art Museum
Nathan Martin (former adjunct faculty and BFA ‘99 ) Deep Local, Hacktivist.com, Carbon Defense League
Laurie Palmer (former Visiting Professor) "HA HA "
Faith Wilding (former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow)
Christina Hung (MFA ‘97)
Carolina Loyola-Garcia (MFA ‘00)
Laleh Mehran (MFA ‘97)
Hyla Willis (MFA ‘99) subRosa
CP Visiting Lecturers & Artists
*exhibiting artists at the Miller Gallery
Christine Brill and Jon Kline*
Mel Chin (Advisory Board member)
Tim Collins/Reiko Goto: 3 Rivers 2nd Nature Team*
Helen Mayer Harrison & Newton Harrison*
Hock E Aye Vi / Edgar Heap of Birds
Walter Hood & Alma DuSolier*
Suzanne Lacy (former Advisory Board Member)*
Shirin Neshat *
William Pope L
Tim Rollins and K.O.S.
Steve Rowell, Center for Land Use Interpretation
Rochelle Steiner, Public Art Fund
The YES MEN*
Andrea Grover, curator
Jacob Ciocci (MFA ‘05) Paper Rad http://www.paperrad.org/
Peter Coffin (MFA ‘00) http://www.dezeen.com/2008/07/15/ufo-by-peter-coffin-and-cinimod-studio
Mark Dixon (MFA ‘03)
Steffi Domike (MFA ‘97) http://home.earthlink.net/~steffidomike/
Jeffery Dorsey (BFA ‘94) Penn Avenue Arts Initiative http://www.pennavenuearts.org/index.html
Takehito Etani (MFA 06) http://takehitoetani.com
Noel Hefele (BFA ‘02) 3 Rivers/ Second Nature and the Community Forrest Project http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~ndh/
Marc Fischer (BFA ‘93) Temporary Services http://www.temporaryservices.org
Robin Hewlett http://www.robinhewlett.com/
Christina Hung (MFA ‘97) http://christinahung.net/blog/
Michelle Illuminato (BFA ‘92 and former visiting faculty) Next Question http://www.nextquestion.org/
Chris Kardambikis (BFA ‘05) Encyclopedia Destructica http://www.encyclopediadestructica.com/Destructica.html
Ben Kinsley (MFA ‘08) http://www.bkinsley.com/
Carolyn Lambert (MFA ‘05) http://carolynlambert.com/potatostories.html
Carolina Loyola-Garcia (MFA ‘00) http://www.carolinaloyolagarcia.net/
Nathan Martin Hactivist.com Carbon Defense League Deep Local http://www.hactivist.com http://www.deeplocal.com
Cat Mazza MicroRevolt http://www.microrevolt.org
Laleh Mehran (MFA ‘97) http://lalehmehran.com/
Constance Merriman (BFA ‘70 and former STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow)
Thomas Merriman (BFA 68 and School of Design faculty and former STUDIO fellow)
Community Forest Project http://www.cmu.edu/studio/projects/index.html#forest-anchor
Emily Merz (BFA ‘00) WorldWideOrphans
Takahiro Noguchi (MFA ‘03 and Fulbright Fellow) http://tnoguchi.net/home/flashpage.html
David Pegher (BFA ‘93) Artist in Residence at Transitional Infant Care, Pittsburgh
Rich Pell (BFA ‘99) Institute for Applied Autonomy http://www.appliedautonomy.com
John Peña (MFA ‘08 and Fulbright Fellow) http://www.johnpena.net/
Ally Reeves (MFA ‘08) Local Collectors and One Mile Garden http://allyreeves.com/
Siobhan Rigg (MFA ‘04) http://www.sarigg.net/
Ann Rosenthal (MFA ‘99 and former adjunct faculty) Director of the Youth Earn & Learn Program http://steelvalleytrail.org/YELP/ http://www.studiotara.net/
Diane Samuels (BFA ‘70, MFA ‘76) http://www.cjh.org/about/news.php?action=show&id=139 http://www.mattress.org/index.cfm?event=ShowArtist&eid=50&id=253&c=Past http://www.nyartbeat.com/event/2008/7E5D
Abigail Satinsky (BFA ‘03) INCUBATE http://www.incubate-chicago.org/
Chris Siefert (MFA ‘95) Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh http://chrissiefert.com/home.html
Brooke Singer (MFA ‘01) http://www.bsing.net/
Ruth Stanford (MFA ‘05) http://www.mattress.org/index.cfm?eid=70&event=ShowExhibition
Andres Tapia-Urzua (MFA ‘94) Plan Z Media http://www.braintrustdv.com/interviews/uncommon-senses.html
Evan Tapper (MFA ‘01) http://evantapper.net/
Fereshteh Toosi (MFA ‘04) http://www.fereshteh.net
Paul Vanouse (MFA ‘96) http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~pv28/
Hyla Willis (MFA ‘99) http://channel.creative-capital.org/grantee_96.html
Ricardo Miranda Zuñiga (MFA ‘99) http://www.ambriente.com/