School of Arts

CM Contemporary Art Practices 1

This course is part of the programme:
Master's programme in Media Arts and Practices

Objectives and competences

- to foster usage of cross-disciplinary methods of contemporary art production, through the addition of diverse media including visual expression, physical expression, and computer literacy, as well as broad surveys of the traditional domains of art

- to support the development of students into professional artists who are committed to diverse thematic issues and the exploration of compelling content that successfully integrates combined media (both traditional forms and non-traditional practices of easthetic and conceptual innovation)

- to provide students with awareness of varied forms of media and art production and relevant production skills (for individually produced media forms to artwork presentation and distribution)

- to create an interdisciplinary forum where students develop research skills, learn how to best articulate their artistic production, and critique their peers’ works

- to continually challenge students to discuss and interpret their work both verbally and in written form, as well as by using other non-standard media of communication and presentation

- to help students build formal, analytic, and critical vocabularies for understanding and discussing creative work.


General social and humanistic knowledge, general knowledge in the field of contemporary and intermedia arts and expressed interest in research-based exploration of diferent media and media-specific methodology for production of contemporary intermedia artworks.

Highly reflected ability of visual/sound/space expression and narration (in one or more media), ability of interdisciplinary and inter-media collaboration; demonstrated mastery of relevant tools and techniques, some of which are preferred (photo, video, sound, interactive computing, drawing, sculpting, performing etc.) however not exclusive or narrowly specified.


Student who will choose the Carrier Module Contemporary Art Practices, is usually among those who are not bound to one medium, although, often starting with one, but then putting the context to the front. This area should allow the student to do just that: it is an experimental nest in a wide field of contemporary/intermedia art, from experimental use of digital technologies, to spatial, social, activist and other kinds of projects, where digital technology is not in the foreground (but it is sooner or later the means of artistic communication, even if only in the documentary function).

Content (Syllabus outline)

The Carrier Module CONTEMPORARY ART PRACTICES integrates a broad range of technical, conceptual and aesthetic contemporary art practices. It is an approach to non-traditional media-oriented art (that can include traditional practices as well), which advocates crossing of borders, blending of disciplinary frameworks and the development of shared visual or cross-media languages. The Carrier Module CONTEMPORARY ART PRACTICES investigates possibilities for deviation from conventional usage of both techniques and practices in favor of a collaborative and/ or interdisciplinary environment where students must expand and reconsolidate connections between media, studio art, technology and critical analysis.

The following syllabus, including its aims and outcomes, comprises the vertical structure of all 3 semesters to support the student’s individual pathway in gradually attaining full competence within the (Carrier Module) Contemporary Art Practices area of Media Arts and Practices. After “EXPLORING” various possibilities within the area, the student “DEFINES” own field of interest, and eventually “FOCUSES” on her/his project.

Semester 1, Carrier Module Contemporary Art Practices – “Explore”:

Exploring varieties of contemporary art and intermedia practices

Exploring varieties of visual/spatial/sound etc. language(s) and means of expression through case analyses and practical work.

Exploring variety of student’s individual languages

Exploring the use of basic elements of intermedia expression and or exploring media in changed contexts.

Testing of contemporary art practices as means for communicating wider social, environmental and other contexts; as means to search for personal identity and expression; search for identity of space, the questioning of history, culture, geo-political contexts, phenomena of modern society…

Exploring the initial/explorative project concept: various individual intermedia concepts and expressions (related to Studio and/or final master project)

Exploring the initial/explorative project plan: exploring various possibilities and reviewing resources (of own skills, equipment, finances, time etc., related to Studio and/or final master project)

Exploring own (and others’) project roles and competencies

Semester 2, Carrier Module Contemporary Art Practices – “Define”:

Define the selected contemporary issues in the area of intermedia & contemporary art practices of social, cultural, environmental, or student (group)'s individual importance

Define the project concept: autonomous development of intermedia & contemporary art practices concepts and expression forms (related to the final master project, or a Studio project)

Define the project plan: managing resources (of skills/knowledge/cadres, equipment, finances, time etc., related the final master project, or a Studio project)

Define roles and competencies in the master or a Studio project

Semester 3, Carrier Module Module Contemporary Art Practices – “Focus”:

Focus on the project concept: developing an original intermedia/ contemporary art concept and expression related to the final master project

Focus on the project plan: autonomously managing resources (HRM, equipment, finances, time etc., related the final master project)

Focus on roles and competencies in the master project (own and of possible collaborators)

Focus on project implementation: initializing and producing the master project concept according to plan

After semester 3 the student implements and/or finalizes the master project within the scope of the Master Thesis module, in semester 4.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

(At the end of this module the Student, according to the level of involvement »explore«, »define« or »focus«...)

- understands the historical and conceptual development of intermedia artwork, its criticism and other related discourses

- develops a deeper understanding of contemporary topical issues and formal strategies in a range of contemporary artistic practices

- learns to autonomously speak critically and argumentatively about own work and the work of others


(The Student, according to the level of involvement »explore«, »define« or »focus«...)

- is capable of formal and content analysis of complex intermedia artwork

- has expanded own creative repertoire technically, formally, and conceptually

- identifies, plans, organizes and executes project work, demonstrating autonomous decision-taking and process monitoring

- functions effectively as an autonomous production coordinator, and author, in a collaborative environment among mentors, professionals and academic peers



Obvezna literatura se določi za vsak posamičen pojekt. / Obligatory literature is defined for each specific project


Svet umetnosti Zborniki, SCCA, Ljubljana

Eseji o video produkciji v različnih kontekstih ali v razmerju do družbenih in umetniških praks, SCCA-Ljubljana.

Goldberg, Roselee: Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present, Thames & Hudson, 2001

Heathfield, Adrian: Live Art and Performance, Routledge, New York, 2004

Jones, Amelia: Body Art uprizarjanje subjekta, Maska, Ljubljana, 2003

Svet umetnosti – zborniki: SCCA – Zavod za sodobno umetnost Ljubljana, 1997 – 2008 (Strategije predstavljanja 2 in 3, Geopolitika in umetnost, Teorije razstavljanja)

Urbanaria, Izdal: OSI-Slovenia (SCCA-Ljubljana), 1994, Uredila: Lilijana Stepančič.

Videodokument, Video umetnost v slovenskem prostoru 1969-1998, Izdal OSI-Slovenia, (SCCA-Ljubljana), 1999-2000. Tanya Leighton, edit., Art and the Moving Image: A Critical Reader (Tate publishing, 2008)

Nicholas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics, (Les presses du reel, 2002)

John Berger, Ways of Seeing, (Penguin Books, 2003)

Michael Kimmenman, The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa, (Penguin Books, 2006)

Linda Frye Burnham and Steven Durland, edit., The Citizen Artist, (Critical Press 1998)

Martha Buskirk, The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art, (The MIT Press, 2003)

Claire Bishop, edit., Participation, (The MIT Press, 2006)

Suzi Gablik ,The Reenchantment of Art, (Thames and Hudson, 2002)

Nicholas Mirzoeff, edit.,Visual Culture Reader, (Routledge, New York, 1998)

Jacques Ranciere, The Future of Image (Verso, 2003)

Gilles Deleuze, Film: 1) Image-Movement; 2) Image-Time

Grant Kester,The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context

Selected online databases – Slovenia Specific:


Type (examination, oral, coursework, project): – regular coursework according to syllabus – final documentation, with presentation – oral examination Grading scheme: 50% regular coursework 20% final documentation 30% final presentation and/or oral exam

Lecturer's references

RENE RUSJAN is the programme head and »Contemporary Art Practices« module leader in Digital Arts and Practices BA programme at the School of Arts of University of Nova Gorica. She was the co-founder of KD Galerija GT and Famul Stuart School of Applied Arts and was its programme head since 1994. She initiated and led numerous projects in collaboration of the school and other partner organizations, nationally and internationally.

She received a diploma from the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. She works in the field of contemporary art, as an artist in her own projects as well as a co-author in various artistic collaborations. Her work is context-specific and interdisciplinary. Scope: visual, performing arts and intermedia, graphic design, set design, conceptualizing and curating exhibitions and complex art projects; teaching activity in the fields of contemporary art, co-author of several study programmes.


2012 – Faraway, So Close! (Distance Conversations_012) – intermedia work in progress

- The Same Wind, The Same Rain, Chiang Mai Art Centre, Thailand (residency and exhibition)

2011 – Videovečer / Videovečerja, Videosupper, Galerija Photon, Ljubljana

- Kdor sam do večera potuje skoz svet (Simon Gregorčič), theater set design (with Bostjan Potokar), author and director: Neda R. Bric, production SNG Nova Gorica theatre

2010 – Communication project at Postaja Topolove / Stazione di Topolo, Topolo, Italija

- VideoSupper with Rene Rusjan, Kulturni inkubator, Maribor

2009 – TheOneMinutes Trains, svetovni izbor, Rietvelt Arsenale Venice (v izbor prišla z video deloma Train Taveling – Egypt in Train Taveling – Tokyo), Arsenali Novissimi, spremna lokacija ob bienalu v Benetkah

2008 – WorldOneMinutes Video & Literature, svetovni izbor, Beijing Today Art Museum (v izbor prišla z video delom Wake Me Up if I Fall Asleep), premierna razstava v Pekingu, Kitajska, nato Šanghaj, Lisbona, Zagreb, Paramaribo, Bruselj, Sao Paulo, Istanbul, Amsterdam in Groningen

- Mother:Earth – mednarodna delavnica žensk iz arabskih in evropskih dežel, Wd8 Art Center, Walkensdorf, Avstrija

2007 – Zbudi me, če zaspim, video, One Minute_São Paolo, SCCA, Videospotting

- Connected, Wd8 Art Center, Walkensdorf, Avstrija (projekt: spletna umetnica Cym)

- Čitalnica SCCA 2007/ Reading Room SCCA 2007, SCCA-Ljubljana, Zavod za sodobno umetnost, Projektna soba

- Danes nimam časa za politiko. Danes nimam časa za umetnost . Danes.., Fotografski projekt; Politično (razstava po izboru članov Društva slovenskih kritikov), Velenje

- Pri meni na vrtu – Cikel Štirje letni časi, Vrt na Komenskega 8, DLUL, Ljubljana (samostojen projekt, vanj sem k sodelovanju povabila kolegice umetnice: Natašo Skušek, Aleksandro Gruden, Eleno Fajt, Cym, karierno sodobno umetnico Mileno Kosec, ter svoje študentke, Evo Nino Cajnko, Martino Černetić, Urško Debevc, Saro Lovrec, Matejo Abram in Bojano Križanec)

- Pogledi / Looks – Home ’07, Ljubljana work-in-progress, ulična intervencija (skupaj z Boštjanom Potokarjem)

- North-South Postcard diary, Station Nord, Honefoss, Norveška

- U3 trienale slovenske umetnosti, Moderna galerija, Ljubljana (zbornik, z Boštjanom Potokarjem)

University course code: 1MU005

Year of study: 1

Course principal:



Learning and teaching methods:
forms: - frontal teaching - autonomous student work - seminar discussions - online work and communication - individual and small group mentor meeting - internal presentatation methods: - data analysis and synthesis - work with secondary resources - verbal and written discussion - (media-rich) text development and editing - data presentation