SOMETIMES I GO PLACES
‘To Remodel ViCCA Production You Must Destroy ViCCA Production
– one more time with feeling*’
ViCCA Production is a course addressing the idea that artistic practice and research requires experimenting with how the practice and research is performed to a public. Performance here is not synonymous with ‘performance art’ as such, rather it denotes the performative aspects of presenting one’s research. The course facilitates discussions and presentations around this important dimension of artistic practice. ViCCA Production 2019 ‘The best fears of our lives’ was two days of presentations taking place in an external institution. This production included performances or anything that would present each student’s practice and in which students perform research in order for it to be discussed and analyzed by two external respondents and ViCCA faculty.
In 2020 the Covid-19 locked us in, and the seminar took a different turn. When a physical space couldn’t be shared with others and with the public, ViCCA Production 2020 ‘Working-together-apart’ consisted of a catalogue, a Vimeo account with student’s presentations, and a web page that presented not only the wide scale of different practices ViCCA hosts but also this strange time we are living. We could not imagine that in 2021 we would still be in that same situation, but here we are. After a year of living online we, however, wanted to do something different, something that would again take us into the real life, fresh air, where we would again encounter the material works appearing in embodied environments. We wanted to recreate the magic of sensuous experience of art coming into being in a space, ‘art’ here referring to all kinds of approaches from curatorial to artistic to research-oriented. The work is not a final result, but a fragment, an opening.
The time frame for the course was different this year: everything happened in an intensive 5 days period full of texts, videos, talks, discussions, walks, and ideas. The goal was not to create something final and all explaining but to experiment: think about the site-specificness in the context of one’s practice, how to find a most suitable form for presenting this practice, how to document and mediate this the best possible way, and how to do all this in one week.
The resilience of the human mind is incredible. The change we have gone through in these three years of ViCCA Production is something we could have never imagine during the first edition, when it felt natural to invite people from abroad to work as respondents during the seminar, to spend long days together with others in a same room, to eat and drink together, to touch each other. Last year we were struggling with not being able to teach so that everyone was present in person. This year we are not all even in the same country. Still we wanted to visualize the fact that we are, however far from each other physically, mentally on the same map. Also, with the site-specific works and the map we want to encourage people to go to the world beyond the internet, to experience, to move, to feel, to smell. Not all the work may not be physically present, but you will have descriptions, and find places that mean something for someone.
We want to congratulate and thank all the students whose work presents not only the individual practices in unique ways but also the variety of perspectives and approaches in the program. Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art (ViCCA) is a two-year transdisciplinary Master’s Degree Program at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Finland. The program explores emerging knowledge and practices at the intersections of visual cultures, curating and contemporary art, and even if new contexts are in the core of it, no one was prepared for this context.