Carnegie Mellon University


Embedded in the CAS ideology is the concept that as a research center we will be productive. We will engage in activities that produce work. The process of making the work, activities and speakers around the topic and the final projects will be available to the public. Since 2008 every three years CAS has reinvented itself with a new themed initiative to fund and produce new work. In each initiative, two CMU faculty coordinators, one an artist and the other a scholar, select projects that engage in a focused exploration of a selected topic.

Narrative Initiative 2017 - 2020

Most aspects of human expression and production are embedded with stories. Fiction, non-fiction or experimental forms, locate narrative as a practice that can be created or unpacked from an individual image, literature, a gesture, sequential media, an object, an interaction or other lexicons of life.

Performance Initiative 2014-2017

Beyond the traditional relationship between an audience and an actor, we consider how people performatively frame their lives through social rituals, athletics, digital capture devices, and everyday acts.

Media Initiative 2011-14

Media has emerged in many directions from “old” media forms of narration, representation, and social and political engagement to recent developments related to the rise of “new” and “social” media. This evolution challenges us to evaluate it, in new ways and contexts.

Public Art Initiative 2008-11

The place and role of artworks and artistic practice in public spaces has been a topic of debate involving artists, institutions of government, and members of the public. At the same time, many artists and scholars have questioned the conventional definitions of the artwork, its nature, possibilities, and the concept of “the public,” in cultural, historical and political terms.