MFA2 Class Schedules

In the first week of August 2008, Matthew Siegle, soon to be entering the second year of his MFA studies in the Art Program at Calarts, invited me to consider organizing a show to take place in his first year studio space, Annex Studio 18. He indicated that he would continue having possession of the room for the first two weeks of the coming academic year before needing to vacate the space for an incoming first year student. He took this time as an opportunity to host three week-long exhibitions in the space while students entering their second year were returning and others were entering their first month of the MFA Programs. Brica Wilcox and Lakshmi Luthra, MFA students in the Photo/Media Program, were also invited to co-organize a show. Wilcox and Luthra's involvement provided a re-affirming sense of social discourse amongst the students between the two programs. Siegle himself would be organizing a show as well, indelably acting as a member of the Art Program. My invitation, on the other hand, had come to me two months following my own graduation from Calarts. After some consideration, I accepted the invitation and shortly thereafter sent along a proposal.

As the beginning of the academic year was to coincide with this group of curated projects, I took this circumstance as a primary focus. These shows were conceived, in part, to jumpstart the school year by providing a welcoming place for the MFA community to congregate around and socialize within - three varying exhibitions with content provided from students beginning their second year. The other individuals organizing projects respectively represented both MFA programs, they themselves at the halfway point in their education(s) in these programs.

Albeit one or two elective course requirements, a student in either of these programs had nearly complete freedom of choice as to what schedule to create for him/herself, what courses to enroll in. This sets up a situation in which each student has the ability to design a semester of study, thought and influences within the limits of the curricular offerings. Invariably, a particular course or faculty member is appealing to participate in/with because of the focused content and perspective that it, she, or he presumably offers to a student's current affinities. The variable combinations of a given student's academic schedule are motivated by this person's interests in the available course offerings at the point in time in which s/he is enrolling in them. The amassed schedule acts to orient a student both mentally around a distinct set of ideologies and positions to encounter and work through as well as physically and temporally orients the individual around the campus, between the designated studio, classroom, and gallery spaces at determined times.

In mid-August a formal proposal was sent to all students in both programs entering their second year of study. In the two days following course enrollment, class schedules were collected from a majority of the students enrolled during the Fall Semester in the Art and Photo/Media Programs. The schedules were uniformly printed and installed alphabetically, clockwise from door, in the exhibition space, Annex Studio 18, during the first week of the academic year, September 8-14. Staggered voids appeared in places along the wall brought on by the students enrolled in the programs who declined the invitation to participate. Each schedule provided inference to both individual and group composition(s) of a student's/MFA class year's chosen educational direction over the semester of study both in terms of modes and areas of thought as well as relative spacial location throughout the school week.

As an auxiliary function, the room provided a reference space for those students who provided their information during a time when one's personal schedule may not have yet fully been engrained and committed to memory and habit.

images: Brica Wilcox