Master Artistic Practices and Scientific Complexity
This workshop aims at supervising a singular work initiated by the students (individually or collectively) on their own initiative. We will gradually define the objectives, determine the processural and topical criteria, and analyze the referential framework and political, historical, artistic context. Research within the workshop will preferably bear a relation to the theoretical dissertation. Students may address issues related to form or to visual and plastic research, adopt introspective and intimate, or communal and societal approaches, use a documentary or fictional point of view, apply empirical or theoretical methods, or combine all of these elements, as is mostly the case. Any kind of practice informed by art, narration or communication is welcome. The work is supervised from the onset in Master 1 to its completion (or one of its iterations) during the external jury session in Master 2, in the form of a public exhibition.
The work may be initiated through experiments following a precise schedule or, the contrary, obeying to random intuitions. Students are guided by their own, singular choice; what matters being to recover a certain form of spontaneity, and to take pleasure in making, practicing… These initial moments are generally followed by periods devoted to analysis, to intimate understanding, to the formulation of hypotheses and of sharing (allowing for collective practices). Experimentation then gradually takes shape. Each student progressively develops their own research method, inventing them according to their means, their needs, their protocols, and their capacity to elaborate processes. We encourage them to record their experiments through writing, drawing, photography, video… This experimental process may lead to an artistic approach; otherwise, the accumulated database will be able to serve as work material. Students have to assemble a folder composed of several short texts (presentation, description, technical specifications, motivations, theoretical references, biography, plan, estimate, schedule, budget, model, images…). This folder is meant to be the site for an in-depth reflection as well as a pragmatic tool. The regularly updated document also forms a personal cartography and allows for exchanging ideas. Confronting artistic experimentations to other practices is extremely illuminating, especially in the scientific domain. Every year, the workshop invites various specialists for a discussion with the students. These researchers share their detailed knowledge of their discipline (political economy, biology, map-making, archaeology, information technology, ecology…) and the investigation processes they use. We are interested in the complementarities between the scientific and artistic apparatuses — scientific and artistic. The distinctive, practical obligations of every discipline define singular concepts. Interdisciplinary encounters allow exploring and sharing the references more freely. In that context, exchanges turn out to be even more necessary, inspiring and essential. The procedures, methods, logical forms and modes of inference used in scientific research may also shed a singular light on the obligations linked to art practices. The chosen pedagogical principle (tutoring) relies on mutual exchanges around a single — or collective — direction with essentially methodological questions. The progression includes a relatively open and wide period of experimentation, followed by the increasingly precise outlining of a project, leading to its material production. The students define almost every criterion for their project. Their work will be continuously assessed during sessions scheduled at a more or less frequent rate according to the students’ individual needs. These sessions will take place in small groups of 5-6 persons, in order to leave room to dialogue, exchanges, and even mutual assistance. Private meetings will be avoided. Besides, the very organization of erg, marked by an absence of hierarchical relations, regularly confronts students to diverging opinions: resolving this dilemma reinforces the position of the students. The aim of this workshop is for the students to acquire autonomy, assimilate learning tools, and understand the practices linked to their projects — in order to develop an artistic, but also a civic and political practice.