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PNCA Announces New BFA Program in Video and Sound

Release date: 01/06/12

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January 6, 2012

Lisa Radon, Communications Specialist
Pacific Northwest College of Art, 971 255 5528

Becca Biggs, Director of Communications
Pacific Northwest College of Art, 971 255 5511

PNCA Announces New BFA Program in Video and Sound
Launching Fall 2012

PORTLAND, OR – January 6, 2012 – In recognition of the fact that moving images and sound have become central modes of communication and self-expression in the 21st century, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) announces its tenth BFA program, Video and Sound, launching Fall 2012.

The BFA in Video and Sound at PNCA investigates video and sound as disciplines both distinct and allied. Students in this program acquire practice-based media literacy, a multi-modal approach toward video and sound arts, and the critical, aesthetic, and technical skills vital to contemporary cultural production. The principles of video and sound are taught in hands-on learning environments, where students focus on gaining technical skills as a means to express ideas through structure, pace, rhythm, and the interplay between image and sound. Emphasis is placed on the making and presenting of single and multi-channel works in a variety of screening and listening environments. To this end, students will engage in in-depth research and draw on the rich histories and interconnections between video art, sound art, experimental film and music, installation, performance, and network culture.

“PNCA’s Video and Sound program was designed with the acute awareness of this unique moment in media art history,” says Video and Sound Chair Stephen Slappe. “Robust, easy-to-use software and relatively affordable equipment have made the means of production readily available to young creators. The Video and Sound program at PNCA offers students a solid conceptual background to deepen the quality of their engagement with these media while facilitating inventive forms of expression and communication. In addition to teaching the technical skills needed to work with video and sound, we encourage students to explore the potential of mobile spectatorship, gaming interfaces, performance strategies, network culture, and a long list of other contemporary ideas.”

“That PNCA is launching a program in video and sound makes great sense,” says Provost, Greg Ware. “Because the College is located in Portland, Oregon, a city with a wealth of artists and practitioners, businesses, and cultural enterprises engaged in these media, opportunities abound for students in this program. Additionally, with PNCA’s emphasis on cross-departmental exchange and learning, I can readily imagine extraordinary collaborations occurring between students enrolled in this new program and students in for example, Illustration, Animated Arts, Intermedia, and Communication Design.”

Slappe recently returned from a European tour that included research, the screening of a program he curated, Out of the Great Northwest, at The Horse Hospital (London), and participation in a closed seminar at Chelsea College on the subject of Moving Image Art and the Global Media Spectacle. In years past, Slappe has exhibited and screened internationally in venues such as Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s TBA Festival, The Sarai Media Lab (New Delhi), Consolidated Works (Seattle), Centre for Contemporary Art (Glasgow), and Artists’ Television Access (San Francisco). His projects have been funded by multiple grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council of Portland and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission. Slappe is currently Assistant Professor in Intermedia at Pacific Northwest College of Art where he teaches Video, Sound, and Theory and Practice courses. He is an active curator and organizer of video and film exhibitions including most recently, New Mutants at Worksound Gallery (Portland). Slappe is an amateur film archivist and has presented three programs of archival 16mm films entitled Rolling Deep: Skateboarding Films 1965-1980, Static Age: The Culture of Early Television, and Drugs, Disease, and Disaster. Slappe holds an MFA from the University of South Carolina.

About Pacific Northwest College of Art
Founded in 1909 and located in an award-winning campus in the heart of Portland, Oregon, PNCA is one of a handful of West Coast institutions accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design offering BFA and MFA degrees. Under the guidance of professional, practicing artists, designers, and scholars, students can focus on Contemporary Animated Art, Communication Design, General Fine Arts, Illustration, Intermedia, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, or Video and Sound. A PNCA education is centered on the core values of professional practice, integrated knowledge, critical thinking, effective communication, and social responsibility.

PNCA prepares students for sustained creative achievement in the fine and design arts and throughout their lives to strengthen their ability to interpret the conditions and events shaping the world, and to prepare them to engage that world and its cultures with understanding, enthusiasm and integrity.

PNCA offers five Master’s programs, the joint Master of Fine Arts in Applied Craft and Design with Oregon College of Art and Craft, the Master of Fine Arts in Collaborative Design, the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies, the Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies, and the Master of Arts in Critical Theory and Creative Research. These graduate programs are part of a growing series of innovative programs of the Ford Institute for Visual Education (FIVE). FIVE’s purpose is to establish within PNCA innovative advanced programs, exhibitions, symposia, outreach activities, and top-notch artists in residence. Through FIVE, PNCA is seeking collaborative relationships between students, international artists, and the region’s art, design, and business communities, and to extend the institution’s intellectual resource platform. Additional information is available at

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