MFA Students Visit The Camp

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On April 25, 2019 MFA Transdiscplinary New Media students Jonathan Brandel and Collin Kluchman (class of ’20) visited The Camp in Provence, South of France with faculty Soliman Lopez and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Klaus Fruchtnis for the HIVE’s Fellow’s Day: 20 young creatives. 6 months. A collaborative residency to hack the future.

We caught up with Jonathan and Collin about their experience.

What made you choose the MFA Transdisciplinary New Media program?
Jonathan Brandel (JB): I’ve been making unorthodox websites and apps for awhile, but wasn’t able to take my practice beyond the side project. MTNM as we call it has allowed me to focus on what about these side projects are interesting to me and helps give me tools to tell a clearer story about my work.
Collin Kluchman (CK): I wanted to bring my love for experimental film and video installation into conversation with the contemporary issues and technologies associated with New Media.

Give us a rundown on what you experienced at The Camp.
JB: We left Gare de Lyon at 6AM for Aix en Provence where The Camp is. We met the 20 residents at The Camp who are one month into a six month residency. We discussed their ideas, inspiration, and backgrounds in the context of three umbrella themes: Inclusive City, Food, and Education. Along the way we met other experts who offered their feedback, advice, and support. We also had a bunch of free coffee, a tour of the grounds, and a delicious lunch served at The Camp.
CK: We met with the current residents, both in groups and individually, and heard their ideas for projects and also just thoughts on art, life, the state of the world etc. They also wanted to interview us on how our experiences as professionals and artists made us see their work and ideas.
That was the practical part of the day, but almost as fulfilling was the time we spent walking around The Camp’s gorgeous facilities.

The Camp’s architecture interacts with the beauty of Aix in a way that makes you feel completely immersed in the outdoors even whist in a brainstorming session or the cafeteria. I had never really been in a similar facility. It felt like an eco-space ship or something. Accordingly, a lot of the residents there are interested in investigating environmental issues.

What are the professional applications of what you learned?
JB: Going to The Camp with two of my professors showed me how much concern and consideration teachers bring to a discussion everyday for their students. Our visit to The Camp gave me a taste of what our professors offer every day.

CK: I enjoyed giving people feedback and was inspired by the collaborative atmosphere. More concretely, I met someone who said they could introduce me to the artist who engineered a famous piece of video art, which was amazing. I’m definitely going to apply for the residency after graduating.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about your experience here?
JB: As May approaches it’s a tough time to peel yourself away from your studies. Final critiques and exhibitions are right around the corner. In a certain light it doesn’t make sense to drop everything you’re doing and take a day trip away from your practice. But, more often than not time away enhances your understanding of your own work. This experience was a good reminder to stay open and receptive even in challenging times.