ViCCA Production is a course addressing the idea that artistic research requires experimenting with how the 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. The course leads up to the ViCCA Production: As in ViCCA Production 2019 ‘The best fears of our lives’, it was supposed to be two days of presentations taking place in an external institution. This production may have included performances, small scale exhibitions, public interventions, sound installations, anything that would present each students practice and in which students perform research in order for it to be discussed and analysed by two external respondents and ViCCA faculty.
This year, however, the Covid-19 has locked us in, and the seminar took a different turn. We cannot share a physical space with each other and with the public but we can still share our practice, our ideas and our thoughts. ViCCA Production 2020 ‘Working-together-apart’ consists of a catalogue, a Vimeo account with student’s presentations, and this web page that presents not only the wide scale of different practices ViCCA hosts but also this strange time we are living. We want to thank all the students, and congratulate them: instead of just managing to hang there during the stressful times, but they did amazing work with the videos and texts, that now present 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 Programme 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.
Oddly, the remoteness created a new kind of intimacy. Instead of a neutral classroom, we were invited to each other’s homes. Trying to adapt to the situation and everything it caused made it harder to keep up the shield/ the mask of being merely professional. Our being became fragile in a way it was impossible to hide it. Being open to all new requirements needed a lot of flexibility and braveness.
Through the spring we have gathered first in Otaniemi and later via Zoom meetings to discuss what does practice mean and how it can be presented. We want to thank all the students who have been brave, flexible and understanding with all the unexpected changes. Also, we are grateful for Camille Auer and Emilia Kokko, who joined us in the Zoom platform to present their practice and many important topics around it.
Anna Jensen & Andrea Coyotzi Borja