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					York University PhD in Visual Arts

                                    YORK UNIVERSITY
                                Faculty of Graduate Studies

                                     Standard Appraisal Brief

                                           Visual Arts

                         Submitted to the Appraisals Committee
                          Ontario Council on Graduate Studies


York University PhD in Visual Arts

                                     TABLE of CONTENTS

1.1     Foreword
1.2     Program description                                                       3
1.3     Method used to prepare brief                                              4
1.4     Objectives of the program                                                 5
1.5     Cultural need and demand                                                  6
1.6     Fields in the program                                                     6
1.7     Existing programs                                                         7
1.8     Innovative features of the program                                        8

2.1     Overview of faculty                                                       9
2.2     List of faculty                                                           10
2.3     Faculty research funding                                                 12
2.4     Graduate supervision                                                     13
2.5     Current teaching assignments                                             14

3.1     Library resources                                                        19
3.2     Laboratory facilities and computer facilities                            20
3.3     Space                                                                    24
3.4     Program Administration                                                   24
3.5     Financial support for graduate students                                  24

4.1     The intellectual development and educational experience of the student   24
4.2     Admission requirements                                                   26
4.3     Degree requirements and courses                                          27
4.4     Examinations                                                             28
4.5     Dissertation evaluation procedures                                       29
4.7     Progress reports                                                         30

5.1     Enrolment projections                                                    31

A.      Full Course Descriptions
B.      Descriptions of Other Programs
C.      Dean’s Letter of Support
D.      Internal York Letters of Support
F.      Library Support
G.      Digital Sculpture Laboratory
H.      Photography facilities
I.      Computing facilities
J.      Faculty of Graduate Studies Thesis Evaluation Regulations

Volume II
Curriculae vitae
Volume III
List of proposed consultants

York University PhD in Visual Arts


1.1     Foreword

       The establishment of the PhD in visual arts studio practice is a relatively recent
development and requires contextualization. In the past, the Masters of Fine Arts has
been the terminal degree in fine arts studio programs. The establishment of PhD studio-
based programs is changing this, and the MFA is listed as an admission requirement for
the PhD in Visual Arts that is proposed here. In the UK, where studio-based PhD
programs are already well-established, some programs have direct entry from
undergraduate degrees whereas others require the Masters for admission.

         The York University MFA program was established in 1974. Before this time,
Canadian artists would have to study in the United States or Britain in order to obtain an
MFA. Therefore, when MFA programs began in Canada, there were few artists with this
qualification and faculty were hired on the strength of their professional experience. The
MFA as the existing terminal degree in visual arts is currently a requirement for all studio
faculty teaching in post-secondary art departments in Canada, and this will remain the
status quo until the PhD in studio becomes the new standard. Since the program
proposed here launches that new standard, York is likely to be among the first
institutions in Canada to include “PhD preferred” in hiring new faculty for studio

        In the United States, the MFA rather than the PhD or other doctoral degrees was
recommended as the appropriate terminal degree for teachers of studio art by the
Midwest College Art Conference in October 1959. In 2002, the Professional Practices
Committee of the College Art Association (CAA, the largest and oldest professional
society in the U.S. dedicated to pedagogy and scholarship in art history and studio art)
issued a report centred on pragmatic reasons for developing the PhD. The report argues
that the MFA is not equivalent to the PhD as a terminal degree, since it does not carry
the same value as the PhD in level of knowledge or the same weight as a credential for

         But there are more interesting and significant forces at work. The Sydney College
of the Arts, the University of Sydney, Australia, developed a PhD in visual arts with a
strong studio component in 1996. This innovation was based on the premise that the
terminal degree in the visual arts should reflect the fact that it does more than develop a
higher skill of manual activity. Rather, the arts play a significant role in the creation of
new knowledge. The development of a “performance-based” doctorate in the visual arts
in Australia (their terminology) parallels that of other countries, including the United
Kingdom and Brazil. PhD programs are being conceived due to an infusion of research
culture into the domain of the fine arts over the past decade. This has been driven by
artists themselves, through their pursuit of socially and culturally relevant topics in their
practices, as well as by developments in the university milieu, where there is now
greater recognition of artists’ contributions to knowledge as unique but no less valuable
than that of other disciplines.

        Historically, art practice has been defined as an activity whose impact is largely
outside of academia. This is fair, because art engages with the public at large. But the
resulting special status (from the point of view of the academy) has made art practice

York University PhD in Visual Arts

into the “raw material” for art history and criticism, which are then perceived as adding in
scholarly value to the practice. We are proposing an alternative hypothesis: that art
practice itself can be an intrinsically scholarly activity. This does not imply a different
order of art practice than the established one. Art practice carried out in an academic,
scholarly context always goes beyond scholarship in the sense that it is still accessible
to the art public. This is not very different from the “real world” ramifications of other
domains, for example the sciences. And, art historical scholarship does study art
practices and add enormously to their scholarly significance, especially through the filter
of time.

         Art has undergone very large changes over the past decades, and contemporary
art today can no longer be seen as either “raw” or defined from outside of its own
practices. Moreover, in the context of the academy, no other discipline is subject to
definition other than what is conceptualized by its own practitioners. Our proposition as
practitioners of contemporary art is that the integration of thought process with material
manipulation that defines our practice has elements of logic, analysis, intuition and
technical mastery that parallel scholarship in other domains. We believe that art
practitioners in the academic context should have a mastery of text, but this does not
mean that our primary scholarly work is defined by or through text.

         This is why the principal requirements of the PhD in Visual Arts has the form of
exhibitions of the student’s artwork, that is, both the Comprehensive Examination and
the Dissertation Exhibition. These exhibitions, in the academic context, are scholarship,
and they are also open to the public. The enormous difference between these
exhibitions and others that are held with no connection to the academy is that the
candidate must defend the scholarship of their work in relation to its logic, analysis,
intuition and technical mastery. The Dissertation Research Support Paper is a forum for
the candidate to address the scholarship in their work.

1.2     Program description

         The current York University Academic Plan emphasizes the need to introduce
new graduate programs particularly in areas such as visual arts where there is already
faculty strength, a high level of undergraduate activity and active research programs.
The current MFA Graduate Program in Visual Arts at York University is one of the oldest
MFA programs in Canada. Both established and innovative, it is housed within the
largest Faculty of Fine Arts in the country. Many recognized artists and art educators are
its graduates. We are now proposing a PhD in Visual Arts that will be unique in Canada
for its concentration on studio art. It is a new standard that will place our graduates in the
vanguard within their field, as exceptional artists and scholars. Although this program will
be the first of its kind in Canada, there is a growing trend toward PhD programs in visual
arts and there are successful programs internationally, particularly in England, Ireland
and Scotland.

        The PhD in Visual Arts is premised on scholarship that is practice-based. It offers
a program of study in which original research is materialized and disseminated in the
form of art works. Research in this context is focused on visual arts, as well as specific
research questions that are defined by candidates. To graduate with a PhD, students
must complete course work and an individualized exhibition-based comprehensive
examination. (see 4.4 Examinations). They must defend a dissertation that presents their

York University PhD in Visual Arts

research in the form of a significant solo exhibition, accompanied by a Dissertation
Research Support Paper related to the exhibition. The PhD in Visual Arts is a four-year
advanced degree that will prepare mature researchers with the highest qualifications to
teach studio practice and theoretical courses, supervise graduate students within a
university context, and have significant professional careers as artists.

          Our last OCGS Review in 2000 passed with a rating of good. Both the BFA and
the MFA programs at York University are distinguished from other university visual arts
programs in Canada and elsewhere by their levels of critical and theoretical engagement
in relation to studio practice. This prior background within the department provides the
necessary professorial and pedagogical milieu for a PhD that fully integrates studio
practice with related studies. Within the University’s Strategic Priorities, fine arts are
highlighted as one of the areas in which the university has a strong program and in
which new initiatives should be developed, “ …building on York’s outstanding reputation
for its leading-edge fine arts and performing arts programs, and its contributions to the
arts nationally and internationally.” With these strengths in mind, we are proposing this
new initiative.

1.3     Method used to prepare the brief

        To research and develop this proposal, a series of meetings was held with the
Visual Arts Graduate Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is composed of
two graduate studio faculty members in addition to the Graduate Program Director.
There were consultations with the Department of Visual Arts’ studio and art history
faculty during departmental retreats over the last two years. As well, a survey was sent
to alumnae and current graduates and in addition open forums were organized with
current MFA graduate students to discuss the proposed PhD program.

1.4     Objectives of the program

        The primary objective of the PhD in Visual Arts is to provide opportunity for
advanced independent research that is integrated within the development of original
studio practice, in all visual arts media. The PhD is a degree that leads to both
development as a professional artist and higher qualifications for university teaching
positions. Participants in the program will develop new methodologies for reconciling the
two sometimes conflicting forces of scholarly depth and art world professionalism.

         These objectives are achieved through a combination of course work in the
Visual Arts department and in the university at large, and two exhibitions of original work
accompanied by contextualizing papers. Students must demonstrate maturity in
research as recognized by the academic sector as well as by their peers in the art
community. Throughout the program, students will examine and define what is meant by
the recently emerged term “artist/researcher,” now used within programs such as the
SSHRC Research/Creation Grant to describe creative or artistic process that has
sustained research and a scholarly apparatus directly embedded within the process.
Because the SSHRC program is still in a pilot stage and the terms used are still in the
process of being established, students in this PhD program will be leaders in contributing
to this new territory. Supervisory committees in the program will include artists, scholars

York University PhD in Visual Arts

and art world professionals so as to foster the best intellectual environment for meeting
the program’s objectives.

1.5     Cultural need and demand

        There is a growing recognition among students applying for the MFA program
that they need education beyond the MFA degree. In informal surveys with potential
students, artists in the community, alumni and current graduates, pursuing a PhD is
gaining currency. Since there are no studio-only PhD programs in Canada, and the only
existing visual arts PhD program with studio strength is a French language program (at
UQAM, in Montreal – see 1.7 Existing Programs), students do not further their research,
or they are forced to enrol in cross disciplinary programs that do not suit their needs, or
they apply to programs out of the country as they used to do when MFA programs were
unavailable in Canada. Note that information provided by the UQAM Program de
Doctorat confirms demand for a PhD: in the Fall 2005 admissions cycle, there were 30
applicants of whom 12 were admitted outright and 5 conditionally. Judging from the
stream of inquires and the overall demand from our own students, a PhD program in
Visual Arts would be very well received.

         Artists in the university should be on an equal footing with their peers in other
disciplines through the research support that a PhD represents. The time afforded by
pursuing an advanced degree would enable artist/researchers to produce art work and
writing with a greater degree of maturity. The increased depth in research of the PhD
would also make researchers in the visual arts more competitive in applying for cross
disciplinary grants to agencies such as SHHRC, NSERC, and the Canada Foundation
for Innovation.

         In addition to the potential benefit to graduates, there is also the obvious benefit
to society outside of the academy. Visual arts practice reaches a broad public, in
conjunction with curatorial and art historical practices that focus on contemporary art. By
giving artists a rigorous context to develop their research in relation to other academic
disciplines, the PhD program is a fertile environment for the emergence of artistic work
that has both aesthetic and socio-political significance.

1.6     Fields in the program

        The PhD, like the MFA program, will not define fields or areas of specialization.
These are self-determined by students and supervisory faculty. This is in accord with
contemporary visual art practices which involve crossing traditional boundaries among
scholarly disciplines, between theory and practice, and between different art media:
artists may employ a diversity of media in one work or change the medium from work to

       The field is contemporary visual art. It is understood by this designation by the
art community and it will be advertised as such. Painting, drawing, sculpture, print
media, photography, digital, time-based and performance, are the media and means by
which contemporary art practices are produced. Contemporary visual art practice is
characterized by the incorporation of combinations of media such as painting, sculpture,

York University PhD in Visual Arts

photography, digital media. Many artists commonly utilize many media and do not define
themselves by any media specific area.

        Graduate studio work in the Visual Arts Department follows the six media areas
that have been outlined for the entire studio stream of the department (Painting,
Drawing, Sculpture, Print Media, Time Based Art and Photography), but current practice
is that MFA students sometimes enter in one area and then pursue work in another. All
media areas encourage combinations of media at senior undergraduate and graduate
levels. Crossover forms such as installation that integrate various media are offered by
faculty from several areas. It is anticipated that PhD students will be working in all kinds
of contemporary visual art forms, from painting to interactive computer-based work, and
that they may want to integrate new media into their work during their time in the

        Overall, visual arts graduate students are as likely to choose faculty supervisors
whose theoretical interests parallel their own, as they are to select by medium
commonality. For clarity, we retain the concept and the structure of media areas at all
levels of department programs, and collectively as a studio faculty we have expertise in
most facets of the visual arts. But the strength of our programs is in fostering
contemporary visual art practices that engage with social, political, scientific and cultural
discourses and with traditional and innovative technologies. Theory is fully integrated
with practice, and practice is experimental.

      The OCGS Appraisal Committee report on March 20, 2000, confirmed that the
MFA Visual Arts Graduate Program does not identify any fields and that only the
program as a whole may be advertised as an area of concentration.

1.7     Existing programs

        To date the only PhD Program in Canada with a strong studio element is the
Doctorat en études et pratiques des arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal
(Doctorate in Arts Studies and Practices). However, unlike the proposed PhD program, it
is a hybrid one that puts equal emphasis on studio work and written thesis, with three
streams that are differentiated by the type of thesis required (see Appendix B for details).
More than fifty members of the UQAM professoriate from different departments comprise
the faculty for the PhD program.

        The University of Western Ontario Visual Arts Department is planning a joint Art
History/Studio PhD program in Visual Culture, Studio and Media Arts. This will also be a
hybrid program with a different emphasis for coursework, projects and thesis work
depending on whether the student’s first discipline is art practice or art history. This
department has thirteen full-time faculty, six faculty in studio and seven in art history.

       Outside of Canada, there are three PhD programs that are of particular interest
as models for the proposed PhD in Visual Arts. Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland has
a balance in emphasis between studio research and thesis paper in the dissertation
requirement that is very close to this proposal, and both Goldsmiths College, University
of London, England and The Glasgow School of Art in Scotland emphasize studio-based
research in a way that this proposal emulates. The Glasgow School of Art is among the
most prominent art schools in the world. It has recently developed a comprehensive

York University PhD in Visual Arts

research strategy that provides a framework for advanced research degrees, including
the PhD that is grounded in art, architecture or design practice. Its mission statement for
the studio-based PhD is “to attract highly qualified students to make our research
community grow, to challenge and enrich our academic debates and to investigate new
areas within our disciplines, with the potential to provide new knowledge.” Goldsmiths
offers different types of emphasis in its postgraduate degrees, but sees its category of
research that is based on the “generative and reflexive activity of practice” as its greatest
academic strength. When practice is primary in the research, “it must exemplify and
locate the ideas developed in conjunction with the written part of the thesis.”

        Other programs that have a practicum component treat it as an adjunct to a
classic text-based dissertation.

1.8     Innovative features of the program

          The Visual Arts Department at York is developing a studio-based PhD program
rather than a hybrid program that puts equal or more weight on the written than the
studio component. The first emphasis in our program is on art production that is
informed by clearly defined and original research interests. Interdisciplinarity both within
and informing studio practice remains a core interest for us: the Academic plans of the
University, the Fine Arts Faculty, and the Visual Arts Department all express an ongoing
commitment to crossing traditional boundaries among scholarly disciplines, and in our
case between theory and practice, and among the different art media. In fact, in the late
1990s in response to an undergraduate program review, the studio sector in the
Department of Visual Arts introduced innovative undergraduate “studies” courses in
critical theory and cultural practice that cross over between our Art History Stream and
Studio Stream, including studio faculty teaching theory courses. The studies concept
permeates our program at all levels, such that our understanding of graduate training of
artist/teachers involves a complete integration of theory and issues within their work.

        Given this integration in our department, we see an advantage in developing a
studio rather than a hybrid program, exemplified by the central requirement of an
exhibition for both the comprehensive examination and the dissertation. The studio
stream faculty in the department are first and foremost practitioners with strong ties to
the Toronto, Canadian and international communities of artists. We plan to capitalize on
our visibility as artists and our connections in the art world to build a PhD program with a
strong professional development component. Our program will offer clarity in its
approach with the freedom for students to combine and invent new inter-media art

        The PhD program committee has met with Patrick Mahon, Chair of the Art and
Art History Department at the University of Western Ontario. We have agreed to jointly
develop an annual Summer Institute, centred on prominent international artists and
theorists in residence. It will comprise course credit for students as well as drawing in the
Toronto and London art communities for public lectures by the distinguished guests. In
this way the PhD program will act as an incubator for original thought and a catalyst for
the interplay between professional scholars and artists. It will form a network of
relationships among Canadian and international researchers operating within and
beyond the fine arts communities.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

         In 1997 the Visual Arts department acquired its first digital lab dedicated to
digitally-based art practices (now called time-based art). Since then, the use of digital
technologies has spread into all of our media areas and we no longer isolate it either in
our area names or in course content. Yet we have a serious commitment to upgrading
both our facilities and ourselves to reflect technological advances, in the same way that
we keep abreast of developments in the more established media areas. We have faculty
members who specialize in advanced computer applications for the arts, whether in the
highest quality photographic print output, viewer-driven interactive displays, or rapid
prototyping for making sculptures. We have established links for our students with the
York Computer Science department, which houses several high-end simulators including
a six-sided CAVE (a projected scene appears on all sides of a cube that the viewer


2.1     Overview of faculty

        The core faculty is in place to cover the requirements of the program. All Visual
Arts studio faculty are core faculty and FGS-appointed for our MFA Program, which to
date has been the terminal degree. Core faculty all participate in graduate supervisory
committees and are qualified to teach graduate courses. There are fifteen full-time
tenure stream studio faculty in Visual Arts: two Print Media, three Photography, three
Painting, two Time Based Art (video and electronic media), and five Sculpture (including
three in Sculpture and Drawing). This represents an increase of five faculty since the last
appraisal resulting in more faculty available for graduate supervision. York University is
committed to replacement hirings for retirements and to support graduate expansion. We
anticipate more appointments within the next five years given the Ontario government’s
recent commitment to increase spending for postgraduate education.

  York University PhD in Visual Arts

  2.2     List of faculty

Faculty Name & Rank           M/F      Ret. Date    Home Unit   Supervisory Privileges
      Category 1
Armstrong, David,
Assistant Professor             M                   Fine Arts            Full

Baturin, Jon
                                M                   Fine Arts            Full
Associate Professor
Daigneault, Michel,
                                M                   Fine Arts            Full
Assistant Professor
Knight, Katherine,
                                F                   Fine Arts            Full
Associate Professor
Lau, Yam
Assistant Professor             M                   Fine Arts            Full

Levitt, Nina
                                F                   Fine Arts            Full
Assistant Professor
Schwarz, Judith,
                                F                   Fine Arts            Full
Associate Professor
Vickerd, Brandon
Assistant Professor             M                   Fine Arts            Full

Category 2                     N/A       N/A           N/A               N/A
Category 3
Balfour, Barbara,
                                F                   Fine Arts            Full
Associate Professor
Davey, Michael
                                M                   Fine Arts            Full
Associate Professor
Jones, Janet
Associate Professor             F                   Fine Arts            Full
Nicol, Nancy
Associate Professor             F                   Fine Arts            Full
Singer, Yvonne
                                F                   Fine Arts            Full
Associate Professor
Tenhaaf, Nell
                                F                   Fine Arts            Full
Associate Professor
Whiten, Tim,
                                M                   Fine Arts            Full
Full Professor

  York University PhD in Visual Arts

Category 4 (N/A)              (N/A)    (N/A)         (N/A)                (N/A)
Category 5 (N/A)              (N/A)    (N/A)         (N/A)                (N/A)
Category 6
Fisher, Jennifer                F                   Fine Arts            teaching
Grosskurth, Brian               M                   Fine Arts            teaching

  Category 1: tenured or tenure-track core faculty members whose graduate involvement
  is exclusively in the graduate program
  Category 2: N/A
  Category 3: tenured or tenure-track core faculty members who are involved in teaching
  and/or supervision in other graduate program(s) in addition to being a core member of
  the current graduate program.
  Category 4: N/A
  Category 5: N/A
  Category 6: non-core faculty who participate in the teaching of graduate courses

York University PhD in Visual Arts

2.3   Faculty research funding

      Research funding among Visual Arts studio faculty has relied on arts funding
agencies, with the recent addition of success in new funding opportunities, see note 1
below. Not included in the table is a major equipment grant received in 2004-05 for the
Digital Sculpture Laboratory: $201,298 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
and a matching grant of $201,298 from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.

                    Operating Research Funding by Source and Year


        Year             Granting Councils 1           Other Peer Adjudicated 2          Others 3
                                 99,600                           1,950                   35,163
                                 127,500                         20,000                   36,024
                                 10,500                           4,000                   69,168
                                 75,500                          21,000                    7,066
                                 102,739                             0                     9,336
                                 84,322                              0                    24,400
                                 218,827                       In progress                34,000
        Totals                   718,988                         46,950                   215,157

1.    Granting Councils include The Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, SHHRC
      Research/Creation program (2003/04, 2004/05), Canada Council NSERC New Media Initiative
2.    1. $ 1,950.00 Banff Centre Grant
      2. $ 20,000.00 Daniel Langlois Foundation Grant
      3. $ 1,000.00 Inside Out International Film Festival John Bailey Completion Grant; $ 3,000.00
              Open Studio: Artist in Residence
      4. $ 1,000.00 Canadian Embassy, Berlin, Germany; $ 20,000.00 Canada Council, exhibition
3.    University allocated grants (such as SSHRC minor grants), merit awards.

  York University PhD in Visual Arts

  2.4     Graduate supervision

         Note that several members of Visual Arts studio core faculty are appointed to
  other graduate programs and serve on examination committees. This includes doctoral
  programs: studio faculty have been members of supervisory committees for York PhD
  programs in Environmental Studies, Social and Political Thought, Communication and
  Culture, Women’s Studies and the Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Studies and the
  Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Completed and Current Numbers of Thesis 1 Supervisions by Faculty Member
                              Completed                            Current

Member          Master’s          PhD      MRP       Master’s        PhD          MRP
Category 1
                   1 (0)                                 1
                   5 (0)
                   7 (0)                                 1
                   8 (0)                                 2
                   3 (0)                                 1
                   0 (0)                                 1
                   0 (0)                                 1
                  21 (1)
                   4 (5)                                 2
Category 2
Category 3
                  4 (13)                                 1
                  21 (0)                                 4
                  20 (8)                                 2
                  10 (0)                                 3

  York University PhD in Visual Arts

Category 4          N/A
Category 5          N/A
  Category 1: tenured or tenure-track core faculty members whose graduate involvement
  is exclusively in the graduate program(MFA to date).
  Category 2: N/A
  Category 3: tenured or tenure-track core faculty members who are involved in teaching
  and/or supervision in other graduate program(s) in addition to being a core member of
  the current graduate program.
  Category 4: N/A
  Category 5: N/A

  2.5     Teaching assignments, 2003-06

                                   Teaching Assignments for 2003/2004

   Faculty Name                        Rank      Undergraduate    Graduate         Comments

   Category 1
                                  Assistant          3070 6.0
   Armstrong, David
                                  Professor,         3073 3.0
                                Pre-candidacy        2072 3.0
                                   Associate         2064 6.0                          (LTD
   Baturin, Jon
                                   Professor         5630 3.0                      replacement)
                                                     4090 6.0
                                                     3063 3.0
                                   Associate         2081 3.0      5630 3.0      5.0 CD overload
   Daigneault, Michel
                                   Professor         3020 6.0                   banked to replace
                                                     4090 6.0                         Baturin
                                                     2022 3.0                       (5630 3.0)
                                   Associate         2660 6.0
   Knight, Katherine,
                                   Professor         3060 6.0
                                                     3064 6.0
                                                     3001 3.0
                                   Associate         3080 6.0      5630 3.0
   Schwarz, Judith
                                   Professor         2031 3.0      GS/VISA
                                                     2082 3.0       5600-
                                                     3080 3.0     3.0/COCU
                                                                   5501 3.0

   Category 2                          N/A             N/A           N/A                  N/A

   Category 3
                                   Assistant                                        Sabbatical
   Balfour, Barbara
                                   Professor                                        FW 2003

York University PhD in Visual Arts

 Davey, Michael                  Associate           2032 3.0
                                 Professor           3080 6.0
                                                     4090 6.0
                                                     3031 6.0
 Grosskurth, Brian               Associate
 Jones, Janet                    Associate          3020 6.0 B                 Supervision
                                 Professor          3020 6.0 D                   offload
                                                     5630 3.0
 Nicol, Nancy                    Associate                                      Sabbatical
                                 Professor                                       FW 2003
 Singer, Yvonne                  Associate           3001 3.0    5630 3.0     MFA Director
                                 Professor                       5620 6.0   = 1 course offload
                                 Associate           3001 3.0
 Tenhaaf, Nell
                                 Professor           3000 6.0
                                                     3051 6.0
                                                     2055 3.0
                              Full Professor         2034 3.0
 Whiten, Tim
                                                     3030 6.0
                                                     3081 6.0
                                                     2035 3.0

 Category 4 (N/A)                    (N/A)            (N/A)       (N/A)           (N/A)

 Category 5                          (N/A)            (N/A)       (N/A)           (N/A)

                                 Teaching Assignments for 2004/2005

 Faculty Name                        Rank       Undergraduate    Graduate      Comments

 Category 1
                                Assistant           2071 3.0 A
 Armstrong, David
                                Professor,           2073 3.0
                              Pre-candidacy          3070 6.0
                                                    2071 3.0 M
                                                     2074 3.0
                                 Associate           2021 3.0                  3020 6.0 B
 Daigneault, Michel
                                 Professor          3020 6.0 A                  (Painting:
                                                    3020 6.0 B                 supervision
                                                     4090 6.0
                                 Associate           2006 3.0                 Sabbatical
 Knight, Katherine,
                                 Professor           2060 3.0                 Winter Term
                                                     3001 3.0

York University PhD in Visual Arts

                                 Assistant          2064 3.0 A
 Levitt, Nina
                                 Professor          2064 3.0 M
                                                     3063 6.0
                                                     4090 6.0
                                 Associate           2081 3.0     GS/VISA
 Schwarz, Judith
                                 Professor           3080 6.0      5600-
                                                     2082 3.0    3.0/COCU
                                                                  5501 3.0
                                                                  5630 3.0

 Category 2                          N/A               N/A         N/A              N/A

 Category 3
                                 Assistant          2070 3.0 A                       .
 Balfour, Barbara
                                 Professor           2074 3.0
                                                     3070 6.0
                                                    2070 3.0 M
                                                     3001 3.0
                                 Associate           2032 3.0    5630 6.0
 Davey, Michael                                                              Davey, Michael
                                 Professor           3080 6.0
                                                     4090 6.0
 Jones, Janet                    Associate           2022 3.0                     Sabbatical
                                 Professor           3020 6.0                     Fall Term.
                                                     3020 3.0                     3020 3.0 D
                                                                               offload to CLA)
 Nicol, Nancy                    Associate           3053 6.0    5630 3.0       0.5 offload as
                                 Professor                                     YUFA Officer.
                                                                              1 course release
                                                                              = SSHRC Grant
 Singer, Yvonne                  Associate           3001 3.0    5630 3.0       MFA Director
                                 Professor                       5620 6.0    = 1 course offload
                                 Associate           2054 3.0    5900 3.0          5900 3.0
 Tenhaaf, Nell
                                 Professor           3000 6.0                (Imaging the Arts:
                                                     3001 3.0                      Interdisc.
                                                                              Collaborations –
                                                     4090 6.0                  SU 04 Banked)
                              Full Professor         2034 3.0
 Whiten, Tim
                                                     3030 6.0
                                                     3081 6.0
                                                     2035 3.0
 Category 4                          (N/A)            (N/A)        (N/A)           (N/A)

 Category 5                          (N/A)            (N/A)        (N/A)           (N/A)

York University PhD in Visual Arts

                                 Teaching Assignments for 2005/2006

 Faculty Name                        Rank      Undergraduate    Graduate     Comments

 Category 1
                                Assistant           2071 3.0
 Armstrong, David
                                Professor,          2073 3.0
                              Pre-candidacy         2074 3.0
                                                    2074 3.0
                                                    3071 3.0
                                                    3071 3.0
                                 Associate          1000 3.0               Banked Overload
 Daigneault, Michel
                                 Professor          2022 3.0                from FW 2003
                                                    3020 6.0
                                                    4090 6.0
                                 Associate          2060 3.0                Sabbatical-Fall
 Knight, Katherine,
                                 Professor         3001E 3.0                    Term

 Lau, Yam                        Assistant          2081 3.0                 New Faculty
                                 Professor         3020 6.0 A                  Offload
                                                   3020 6.0 E
                                 Assistant          3066 3.0
 Levitt, Nina
                                 Professor         3060 6.0B
                                                   4090H 6.0
                                 Associate          2031 3.0               Sabbatical-Winter
 Schwarz, Judith
                                 Professor          2082 3.0                    Term
                                                    3083 3.0
 Vickerd, Brandon                Assistant         2033 3.0M
                                 Professor         3001G 3.0
                                                    3031 6.0
                                                     3032 A
                                                     3032 F

 Category 2                          N/A              N/A         N/A            N/A

 Category 3
                                 Assistant          2070 3.0                 Supervision
 Balfour, Barbara
                                 Professor          2070 3.0                   Offload
                                                    3070 6.0
                                                    3070 6.0
                                                   3001 F 3.0
                                 Associate          2032 3.0
 Davey, Michael

York University PhD in Visual Arts

                                                      2035 3.0 A
                                                       3082 6.0
                                                      4090 A 6.0
 Fisher, Jennifer                 Assistant            2680 3.0            GS/VISA            Supervision
                                  Professor            3690 3.0            5160 3.0-         Offload (Winter
                                                                           GS/ARTH                Term)
                                                                           5175 3.0
 Jones, Janet                     Associate            2021 3.0                                Supervision
                                  Professor           3000H 3.0                                  offload
                                                      3020 6.0 B                             In Winter Term
                                                      3020 6.0 D
                                                       5630 3.0
 Nicol, Nancy                     Associate           3001 B 3.0                              Supervision
                                  Professor            3052 6.0                               Offload (Fall
 Singer, Yvonne                   Associate                                 5620 6.0         MFA Director
                                  Professor                                 GS/VISA        = 1 course offload
                                                                            5501 3.0
                                  Associate             2054 3.0                              Supervision
 Tenhaaf, Nell
                                  Professor             2057 3.0                              offload – Fall
                                                        3051 6.0                             Banked Course
                                                                                             Overload from
                                                                                               Summer 04
                                Full Professor          2034 3.0                              Supervision
 Whiten, Tim
                                                        3030 6.0                                  Offload
                                                        3080 6.0
 Category 4                          (N/A)                (N/A)               (N/A)                (N/A)

 Category 5                          (N/A)                (N/A)               (N/A)                (N/A)

Note: Courses with the suffix 3.0 are 3 credit courses, meaning 3 contact hours per course per
week for a lecture course and 4 for a studio course, for one term. Courses with the suffix 6.0 are
6 credit courses, meaning the same contact hours for two terms.

All graduate courses (5000, 6000 levels) listed are currently part of the MA program in Art History.
The visual arts faculty has a 3 course load. However, based on the YUFA agreement regarding
credits for graduate supervision, the visual arts faculty have been able to reduce their teaching
load to 2.5. With an accumulated number of credits for graduate supervisions each year, they
receive a .5 course offload. Since all studio faculty participate fully in graduate supervisions, and
given the current formula of credits, and the increased enrolment, studio faculty can be assured
of maintaining a 2.5 course load. All graduate student supervision is conducted by full-time core
faculty; in a very few instances, non-core faculty – eg., adjuncts or cross-appointees with
particular specialties – have served on graduate committees, though not as the primary

York University PhD in Visual Arts


3.1     Library resources

See Appendix F for a report on library resources, prepared by Mary Kandiuk.

          Since they do not conform to the mould of the traditional library user, it can be
difficult to anticipate or even describe the library needs of the artists in the PhD in Visual
Arts program. Their needs cover a broad range of disciplines as well as a variety of
formats. The visual arts librarian is confident, however, that the York University Libraries
are able to support the vocational and informational needs of those students with local
resources as well as through a variety of reciprocal borrowing arrangements and
proximity to numerous repositories of rich resources in the Toronto area.

3.1.1   Visual Arts Slide Library

        The Slide Collection of the Department of Visual Arts at York University is one of
the largest in Canada with holdings of over 350,000 images. The depth and breadth of
the collection allows for teaching and research from the Paleolithic period through
Contemporary Extensive holdings in painting, sculpture, architecture, drawings and
prints, photography and material arts draw from not only the Western tradition but the
arts of Africa and Asia.

         Currently most of the collection is in analog format but recent purchases of digital
equipment and the outfitting of teaching areas with smart classroom facilities indicate the
digital direction the collection will soon be following. The recent subscription of the
Department to ArtStor will provide faculty and students with over 300,000 digital images
to draw from. There are plans to create a "smart cart" that will be stored in the Slide
Library, a portable LCD projector and computer capable of CD-R and PowerPoint
presentations which will be available for use in Visual Arts classrooms and studios. The
cart in conjunction with existing visual presentation facilities will create an ideal
environment for teaching and research in the department.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

3.2     Laboratory and computer facilities

Visual Arts graduate students have access to the following facilities:
       1. The Odette Sculpture Centre
       2. Photography Lab
       3. Print Media Studio
       4. Time Based Art Digital Lab (the Grad Loft)

3.2.1   The Odette Sculpture Centre: Introduction

        The Odette Sculpture Centre occupies 1048 square meters and is located in the
basement of the Centre for Fine Arts. The facility also includes a sculpture resource
centre, and a sculpture court adjacent to the main facility with a wide ramp leading to the
sculpture court and to the facility for easy access. There are currently three graduate
studios (approx. 14 meter sq each) for graduate researchers who utilize our facilities
integrated into the main sculpture studio. This facility is managed by three fulltime
sculpture technicians, responsible for shop safety and technical assistance. In addition,
several student monitors are hired to maintain and supervise the shop during extended
hours and are capable of assisting researchers when necessary. Safety is a primary
concern in the Sculpture studio. Strict rules and regulations that meet all Ontario Ministry
of Labor Guidelines are strictly followed. For more details on exact guidelines see the
Sculpture Safety Document in the appendix.

        The graduate students, after training on specific equipment, have total access to
the facilities 24 hrs a day, provided there is not a class in progress. Once graduate
researchers have taken part in a safety orientation they are given a set of keys that
permits them access to the studio and the appropriate tools. Graduate students are not
required to pay studio or material fees.

        It is important to note that our facilities will be undergoing renovations in the
summer of 2006, that will increase our studio space by 1000 sq meters (to a total of
2048 sq m). This will allow for an additional two graduate studios, as well as
accommodate the Digital Sculpture Laboratory initiative that is the result of a sizeable
grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Economic
Development, and is discussed at length later in this document.

Areas and Major Equipment

 Wood Area: The Odette Sculpture Center’s wood working studio is fully equipped with
every essential tool that York researchers have come to rely upon. These tools include:
a three ton hoist running through out the studio, a bench saw, a radial arm saw, three
band saws, a drill press, a planer, a table saw, a belt sander, a wood joiner, a down draft
table, a scroll saw, a spindle sander, and various hand tools (power and manual). This
studio is currently under the direction of a technician who services and demonstrates all
the tools when necessary.

Wax Area: Although part of our foundry process, the Sculpture center’s wax area is a
stand alone studio fully equipped to assist students in realizing their concepts in various
types of wax to be transferred into metal, or to stand alone as sculpture. The area is
equipped with wax melting tank that holds 200 pounds of microcrystalline wax at 265
degrees, a secondary wax melter holding 40 pounds of specialty modeling wax, a metal

York University PhD in Visual Arts

work table with eight ventilation draws and eight natural gas lines for use with individual
Bunsen burners, shelving situated especially for the preservation of delicate wax forms
and a refrigerator for preservation processes.

Plaster/Stone Carving Area: The Odette Sculpture Center’s Plaster and stone carving
studio is situated in an enclosed area in order to minimize dust and other health hazard
factors. This containment also allows graduate students the freedom to develop large
projects in this area, free of interference with other activities. The facilities include a
dedicated dust extraction system, a large wash basin, various specialty molding tables,
moveable carving surfaces, manual forklifts for transporting stone, hydraulic lifts, a down
draft table, various pneumatic chisel sets, two hammer drills and a wide assortment of
hand carving tools. This area also incorporates our ceramic kiln for firing clay, and
several work stations set for concrete casting (including vibrating casting tables).

Metal Shop: The Sculpture studios Metal shop is a fully equipped fabrication shop that
allows graduate students to experiment in various processes including forging, sheet
steel fabrication and large form construction. Our facilities include eight oxy-acetylene
welding/cutting stations with individual exhaust systems, two large TIG welders, a black
smith forge, a bend grinder, a stationary belt sander, a rotary sander, a drill press, an
electric metal hack saw, a chop saw, a bend break, a metal sheer, and English wheel,
individual work stations with table vices, and various hand tools (power and manual).

Mold/Fume Room: A designated room has been established for the application of spray
paints, bronze patinas, rubber silicone molds and any other material that could cause
hazardous fumes. This room has its own dedicated fume extraction system and
individual work stations, as well as proper storage containers for hazardous material.

The Foundry: The foundry located in the Odette Centre for Sculpture became fully
operational in 1998 and is the best-equipped and technically up to date foundry in
Canadian Universities and Colleges and has been ranked along side the top four
educational foundries in the United States. The foundry is equipped to cast sculpture in
silicon bronze and aluminum alloys using the lost wax/ceramic shell process, the green
sand method, CO2 chemically set sand method and the lost foam vaporization process
assisted by our vacuum extraction system. Castings are possible up to 150 pounds of
bronze (per single pour) and up to 1M x 1M x 1M in scale. Separate castings can be
joined by TIG welding. All equipment is vented and meets current Ministry of Labor
Health and Safety Requirements.

The Resource Centre: The Odette Sculpture Centre is enhanced by a separate
attached space with conference tables, easy chairs, a slide projector with a screen, TV
monitor and DVD player, a computer with internet capabilities and ever expanding
reference library of monographs on sculptors and technical manuals. It is opened at
regularly scheduled hours by a work study student or graduate student who also
organizes seminars on specific topics.

Upgrading Plans: The Digital Sculpture Laboratory

       In 2005 Assistant Professor Brandon Vickerd secured a total of $500,000 in grant
funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Ministry of Economic
Development, and private donors to establish the Digital Sculpture laboratory at York
University. With York University’s commitment of expanding the Odette Sculpture Centre

York University PhD in Visual Arts

(as part of the Accolade Ripple Effect) through renovations of an addition 1000 sq
meters, this one of a kind facility is currently under construction and should be fully
operational by September 2006. This complex facility will consist of four work stations:
        1) The first station will consist of two Rapid Prototyping (RP) machines, also
known as three-dimensional printers. The first machine is a Sanders Machining System
(build envelope of 12’x12’x18”) that will translate the coded files into wax three-
dimensional objects. This process is a version of the Stereolithography process and is
the most common commercially used, fastest growing solid free-form fabrication method.
The second Rapid Prototyping Machine will be a Stratasys Maxum Stereolithography
System that will construct objects from ABS and other polycarbonate materials which
can be finished easily and presented as finished works. The build envelope on this
machine is 23.6” x 19.7’ x 23.6”.
        2) The second station will consist of a Streamline Automation Computer
Numerically Controlled (CNC) routering system that will be utilized for routering
Styrofoam, wood, synthetic fiber composites, soft metals, and various plastic composites
        3) The third station will be a Torchmate 2 Computer Numerically Controlled
cutting table that will translate the computer code into precision cut forms of steel alloy,
aluminum, stainless steel, or brass that are then assembled into sculpture.
        4) The fourth station will be a Scantech Scanner and Scanning Table that will
translate existing objects and forms into digital code utilizing laser imaging technology to
measure and map an object’s surface.

         This facility will be structured in such a way as to emphasize the research
possibilities of translating digital code into physical reality. There will be a central design
station consisting of several computers that will be used to design and manipulate
objects in virtual reality. This hub will serve as the brain or nexus point of the laboratory.
In addition to the purchase of these technologies, the DSL will require the complete
restructuring of York’s Odette Sculpture Centre. Recognizing that these new
technologies are instrumental to progressive research, the Faculty of Fine Arts has
agreed to increase the size of the sculpture area by an additional 1000 Sq meters. This
will allow for the DSL’s technologies to be fully integrated into to the traditional facilities.

See Appendix G for more details on the Digital Sculpture Laboratory.

3.2.2   Photography Lab

        The Photography Area supports black and white, colour and digital techniques.
Chemical-based darkroom facilities are on the main floor of CFA. Digital work is carried
out in two computer labs on the third floor that are shared with other studio areas.

See Appendix H for more details on the Photography facilities.

3.2.3   Print Media Studio

        The Print Media Area is a large, bright, and well-equipped studio divided into
three classroom/studio spaces representing Intaglio/Relief, Lithography, and
Screenprinting. Each of these three spaces houses several presses or printing stations,
work tables, storage for student artwork, and specialized equipment. In addition, there
are several smaller, adjacent rooms dedicated to specific technical processes, such as:
etching copper plates, producing photographic transparencies, and exposing and
developing screens as well as photo-intaglio and photo-litho plates.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

3.2.4   Time Based Art Digital Lab (the Grad Loft)

        All faculty and graduate students have access to university computing resources,
including electronic mail and access to the internet via dial-up connection from home,
wireless connectivity for portable devices on campus, shared computers in university
labs and kiosk stations and in shared or personal offices. All full-time faculty are
provided with new computers every three years.

         There is an ongoing shift from analog to digital in the Visual Arts disciplines.
Remarkable software developments have made ever-increasing demands upon the
computers they run and increased student demand for access to these computers. Fine
Arts' highest priority for academic equipment funding continues to be upgrading its digital
facilities: hardware, software and peripherals.

         To address the discipline specific needs of Art History MA and Studio MFA
graduate students in Visual Arts, the Faculty has funded a Fine Arts graduate student
lab in the Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts, the Grad Loft, the only lab at York University
that reflects current professional Visual Arts practice. The lab is intended to be a flexible
environment to support current needs and to remain compatible and relevant as
technologies and artistic practices develop. This lab is always open, with access
controlled by a combination of alarm and door card. Students using the room are
provided an account on a Macintosh OS X server, Forerunner, where they can store
their work. While the lab is primarily used by Visual Arts graduate students, it is also
available to other Fine Arts graduate programs. Reflecting its shared nature, this facility
is maintained by Faculty of Fine Arts technical staff, rather than departmental Visual Arts
staff. On-site student assistance is provided by a Graduate Assistant.

        Since upgrades and new purchases are made annually for this facility, the Grad
Loft lab is fully capable of absorbing additional students who enter the PhD program. In
2004-05 the facility was improved with a new heavy-duty laser printer (which students
can use free of charge, providing their own paper) and a new G5 computer. In 2005-
2006, additional software and internal upgrades to existing workstations were installed.
An agreement was struck with the Faculty of Graduate Studies, allowing Interdisciplinary
Studies graduate students access to this facility. The two Faculties have worked in
conjunction to develop planned upgrades to the lab. FGS funded the purchase of an
additional G5 Macintosh, bringing the total to three high-end workstations. The
Macintoshes are fully equipped with audio, video and graphics software and multimedia
hardware (patch bays, racks, sound processing equipment).

        This facility is heavily utilized now that the workstations and software have
reached a reasonable level of maturity. Flexibility and multi-format use is the key to the
effectiveness of the lab as a research facility for graduate students and faculty. To
bolster the workstations, additional peripherals have been made available to graduate
students, including two LCD projectors, headphones, an iBook laptop, and external hard
drives. This improves the lab’s capacity for interactive, integrated media as well as
video compositing, HD capability, DVD authoring, animation and audio support.

See Appendix I for more details on computing facilities.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

3.3     Space

        Our MFA students are granted studios in the university setting for the duration of
their two-year program. PhD candidates will be offered a studio for the first two years
and then will be given a work space with continued access to all studio facilities until the
completion of their dissertation exhibition. We anticipate that PhD students will maintain
studios off campus after the completion of their course work, in order to participate as
active members of the Toronto art community at large.

3.4     Program Administration

       Additional administrative support is requested, a half time post which is to be
funded equally by the current MFA and MA art history programs in Visual Arts.

3.5    Financial support of graduate students

       In accordance with FGS policy, funding for the PhD program will consist of an
annual guaranteed funding of $18,000. This will be a combination of GA, TA, and
internal/external scholarship funding.

       All incoming students are expected to apply for major government awards e.g.
OGS, CGS and SHRCC doctoral. Once admitted to the program, PhD students are
expected to apply for all internal and external scholarships for which they are eligible.

Internal Scholarships, Awards and Prizes
        The Heisey Award ($4,000) is awarded annually to students entering the second
year of studies in Fine Arts – open to MFA and PhD candidates. Further PhD awards are
currently being investigated through the Dean of Fine Arts office. It is anticipated that two
or three named scholarships for PhD candidates will be established in the next two
years. Ideally, we will seek a named scholarship in each media area we offer.


4.1     The intellectual development and educational experience of the student

         The doctoral program will be significantly different from the MFA course of study,
as it will demand a more mature degree of research with a high level of originality and
professionalism. PhD candidates will face an intensive four-year inquiry into their self-
directed research. To enable each student to assume this program of work from the time
of her/his entry, a pro-tem supervisor will be determined in relation to the research
interests as well as the media focus that are expressed in the candidate’s application.
The pro-tem supervisor will guide the student in forming the supervisory committee.

        The Visual Arts Department at York University is situated within one of Canada’s
leading Fine Arts Faculties. The PhD Program in Visual Arts will seek to utilize this
faculty in order to engage candidates in an ongoing critical discourse about their art
practice. Individual creative research and art production will be developed in conjunction

York University PhD in Visual Arts

with the evolving understanding of theoretical discourse and debates surrounding
contemporary Canadian and international culture. The program will enable this by
fostering an interdisciplinary approach where students engage diverse faculty from other
academic areas in a dialogue on their research. This will be achieved through required
course work that accesses other programs (York/Ryerson Communications and Culture
Program, Women’s Studies, Social and Political Thought, etc), through committee
structure, and through public dissemination of candidates’ research in the form of
exhibitions, publications and talks.

        The PhD program will have a very close affiliation with the PhD in Art History and
Visual Culture proposed by the Department of Visual Arts’ Art History Sector. The
research strengths in aesthetic analysis and cultural critique offered by that program will
be an important resource for our students. Visual Arts PhD candidates will be able to
participate in joint courses with Art History and Visual Culture doctoral candidates as
well as larger seminar courses in other departments.

        The Visual Arts studio faculty at York University is an exceptionally active
collection of practicing artists and researchers. We are constantly engaged in reviewing
and encouraging each other’s research, thereby facilitating a truly collegial atmosphere
of learning. Each faculty member is knowledgeable in media and forms other than their
own, including not just our colleagues’ work but the related disciplines that inform their
work. The breadth of knowledge of our field is impressive and always growing as our
practices develop. This atmosphere of collegial exchange will encompass the candidates
in our PhD program by involving them, not just in rigorous course work, but in less formal
exchanges in regards to individual research. Through faculty forums and other
community enhancing initiatives, such as the already established lunch hour research
presentations in the Faculty of Fine Arts, PhD candidates will have consistent support
and access to our diverse and expert faculty.

         Our faculty are leaders in redefining what is meant by research within visual arts
by actively pursuing funding through programs such as the SSHRC Research/Creation
Grant and the Canada Council/NSERC New Media Initiative. Many of our applications to
these programs are interdisciplinary and collaborative, within York and beyond. Several
faculty members investigate in text form the nature of their art making even as they
create art works, including publishing papers on their area of research. The new
research grants described above integrate graduate students, thereby providing
exposure to current topics in visual art practice, a focus for development of research
skills, and also financial support. We promote in our students’ art practices the principles
of our own creative processes, by developing with students appropriate methods for
integrating self-scrutiny and reflection with their intuitive processes.

        The opportunities for PhD Candidates to present their research, at every stage of
development, within our faculty and beyond, will be one of the main foci of this program.
Our department takes pride in its thriving visiting artist program that attracts international
and Canadian researchers to publicly present their work. Our PhD candidates would
have access to these individuals in the form of studio visits and informal exchange. PhD
candidates will be invited to present their work at community critiques, and they will have
guest lecture opportunities in intimate and large classes in the visual arts at the
undergraduate and graduate level.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

        A key facet of our proposed program is the annual Summer Institute, organized
in collaboration with the University of Western Ontario. The Institute will usually be held
at York University, and every few years (to be determined) at Western in London,
Ontario. This will offer students an immediate window for their work into another
university community and another thriving art community. The mandatory course work
represented by participation in the lectures and seminars of the Institute will foster an
environment or free intellectual exchange among students, faculty and some of the
leading artists and theorists in the world.

         One of the main requirements of the PhD in visual arts is the public
dissemination of the candidate’s dissertation work, specifically the public exhibition of
their art production for their final dissertation defense. York is uniquely situated to
facilitate successful dissemination opportunities due to our integration into the vibrant
Toronto arts community. We intend to capitalize on this geographic and cultural
advantage by developing relationships with internationally recognized visual arts venues,
such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Power Plant, and the Museum of Contemporary
Canadian Art. Currently, we have on our faculty as adjuncts a number of well-respected
public gallery directors and curators from Toronto. Through developing bonds with public
galleries our PhD candidates will not only have the input and direction provided by some
of Canada’s leading curators, but also the opportunity to pursue exhibitions at these
professional venues that would represent a high point in their artistic careers.

4.2     Admission requirements

         We will require a Master of Fine Arts with a minimum B average for application to
this program, or an MA with studio concentration, as well as presentation of a portfolio of
works and a qualifying research paper (MFA thesis paper or comparable peer-reviewed
article). Selection committees to adjudicate the submissions will be composed of
graduate faculty and an outside professional.

         We are conceiving the PhD in Visual Arts as a program of professionalization for
advancing artists who already have a significant body of work. This term is not tied to the
age or the existing exhibition record of the artists who apply. Rather, it refers to their
level of interest in and commitment to the development of research methods for
exploring questions related to their practice. We are treating the visual arts as a broad
field of study and practice that has various specializations within it. Students in the PhD
program will identify the specializations most pertinent to their work.

        Proof of language proficiency is required for applicants who do not meet one of
the following criteria:

        1. their first language is English; OR
        2. they have completed at least two years of full-time study at an accredited
           university in a country (or institution) where English is the official language of

A minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper based) or 250 (computer based) or YELT score
of Band 1 or equivalent is required.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

4.3     Degree requirements and courses

         The PhD program will be a full-time four-year program. PhD candidates will be
required to take a total of 3.5 graduate courses: a combined PhD / MFA Graduate
Seminar during their first two terms (6 credits Pass/Fail); The Visual Arts Summer
Institute during their third term (6 credits); and 1.5 graduate courses during the first four
terms from any at York University (9 credits).

        The PhD /MFA Graduate Seminar is a course in which students will engage with
each other and members of the Toronto Arts Community by presenting and discussing
their work and the work of other artists. As part of this course, senior artists conduct
individual studio visits allowing students in depth studio critique sessions. This course is
presently a key component of the MFA Visual Arts program. The course work at the PhD
level will entail amplification of the student’s theoretical and topical interests as self-
directed content, including the development of a research methodology and a personal
bibliography. For PhD students, the criteria of the course will be brought to a higher
calibre of intellectual and artistic experience through revisions agreed upon by the
course director, the Graduate Program Director and the pro-tem supervisors. Since the
content of the program varies each year, students will be required to complete this
course again at the PhD level if they have previously taken it at the Masters level at York

         The annual Visual Arts Summer Institute will comprise course credit for the PhD.
It will consist of a two week intensive term structured around a specific theme and
featuring internationally renowned lecturers (international artists and theorists in
residence), members of the Toronto Arts Community, members of the York University
PhD in Visual Arts program and PhD in Art History and Visual Culture program
(forthcoming), and members of the University of Western Ontario PhD program. This
course can be taken only once.

        The other 1.5 Graduate courses are meant to strengthen the theoretical /
conceptual area(s) of each candidate. In consultation with the Graduate Program
Director and the candidate’s pro-tem supervisor, these graduate courses can be chosen
from any area in the university, including the PhD in Art History and Visual Culture.
Because a greater understanding of a theoretical area of study leads to more subtle and
complex studio work, these courses will inform the development of the candidate’s art
production. They will also provide the background for the candidate to write the written
portion of the dissertation.

Core courses, to be taught by Visual Arts studio faculty:

FA/VISA 5620 6.0: PhD / MFA Graduate Seminar, first two terms (6 credits Pass/Fail)
VISA 6020 6.0: Contemporary Visual Arts Summer Institute, third term (6 credits)

Examples of courses available for additional 9 credits:

Communications and Culture joint York/Ryerson Graduate Program:

Communication & Culture 7000 3.0: Perspectives in Communication and Cultural
Studies Doctoral Core course. Same as Ryerson CC 9904

York University PhD in Visual Arts

Communication & Culture 7500 3.0: Technology, Communication, and Culture
Foundation Course [Doctoral Level]. Same as Ryerson CC 9921

Communication & Culture 6510 3.0 and 6510 6.0: Media Production Workshop
Same as Environmental Studies 6349 3.0 or 6.0

Visual Arts Department, Art History:

ARTH 5130 3.0                          Grad Seminar I:
ARTH 5140 3.0                          Grad Seminar II:
ARTH 5180B 3.0 (EDUC 5471)             Visual Culture and Gender
ARTH 5180                              Representation and Visual Culture
ARTH 5160 3.0 (VISA 5610)              Theoretical Issues in Contemporary Art
ARTH 5170 3.0                          Museums & Galleries
ARTH 5175 3.0                          Curatorial Practice
ARTH 5330 3.0                          Critical Theories: Memory & Place

4.4     Examinations

        Students will undergo an Oral Comprehensive Examination during the beginning
of the sixth term (summer of the second year), which will consist of a self-curated survey
exhibition of the candidate’s previous work and a 20-page statement that positions the
work in relation to contemporary theoretical considerations and art practices. The exam
will take place at the exhibition venue. Questions will relate both to the candidate’s work
/ statement and those of a more general nature arising from the Summer Institute. It is
expected that this examination will enable the student to reflect on the nature of their
past work and project the direction of their upcoming work, to be detailed in the
Dissertation Proposal.

         A Dissertation Proposal will be submitted no later than the beginning of the
seventh term, and the supervisory committee established (see below for composition).
The pro-tem supervisor may remain or change, allowing for changes in the student’s
direction as well as leaves on the part of graduate faculty. The proposal will be
approximately 15 pages in length, excluding the tentative bibliography. It will: outline the
nature of the proposed studio work; present the theoretical /critical areas that inform it
through a survey and précis of the pertinent texts; describe how these ideas integrate
with the studio work; propose a series of research questions that will be examined in the
final dissertation, and the sequencing of those into sections within the Support Paper;
propose a venue for the upcoming Dissertation Exhibition.

        The final dissertation will be completed by the eleventh term, or early in the
twelfth. It will be comprised of an exhibition at a recognized, approved professional
venue such as a public gallery or an artist-run centre, or an independent venue agreed
upon by the supervisory committee, as well as a minimum 100-page Dissertation
Research Support Paper. In addition to the professional gallery space provided on
campus in the Accolade West Gallery, candidates will find suitable spaces in downtown
Toronto. This will require payment of a rental fee unless the exhibit is commissioned by
the gallery. The rental fee is part of the budget proposed for the PhD.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

However, the program remains flexible on this requirement in order to accommodate the
range of contemporary art practices. Some artists may be engaged in public
interventions or performances which do not require a gallery space; other may require
other kinds of untraditional spaces for their dissertation exhibition. Contemporary art
practice is so varied that it is not possible to proscribe a single type of venue. The
supervisory committee, in consultation with the graduate director will determine the
exhibition site that is appropriate to the PhD candidate’s research and dissertation
exhibition. The supervising faculty and the graduate program director will facilitate and
ensure securing the venue that is suitable for each candidate.

        The written portion of the final PhD presentation will be much more
comprehensive and complex in detail than our existing Thesis Support Paper in the MFA
program. It will outline the Dissertation Exhibition objectives, situating them as primary
and original research, and articulate the theoretical and cultural context for the work. An
oral defense is required for all candidates. In this defense, students will be asked to
address both their exhibition as well as their support paper.

4.5     Dissertation evaluation procedures

         A three person Supervisory Committee will be composed by the beginning of the
  third term to supervise the student. This committee will consist of two faculty from the
  Graduate Program in Visual Arts (one of whom is the pro-tem supervisor) and one
  graduate faculty member from the university whose expertise is in the area of the
  candidate’s theoretical/critical research. For the final two years of the program, this
  committee may remain in place or be reconstituted, and a fourth person from the art
  world community, i.e. a curator, artist, or critic will be selected and added to the
  committee. Gallery directors, curators, art critics and writers are the experts who will
  be considered external examiners for the oral defense. They frequently have Masters
  or PhD degrees and will be appointed to FGS as adjuncts. The examining committee
  for the oral defense of the dissertation will be constituted in accordance with FGS

        A key criterion for assessing the Dissertation Exhibition and Research Support
Paper in the final oral examination is their contribution to scholarship, which includes
(but is not limited to) the following parameters:

- that the art work, in its address to the general public, is thought-provoking as a critique
of contemporary culture, or as a signpost of where culture is headed (which follows from
the famous McLuhan dictum to that effect), or as a form of pedagogy that promotes
awareness of cultural differences;

- that the art work and paper contribute to the discourse of the visual arts, because both
the process and the outcome are at a level that is of interest to historians of
contemporary art;

- that research/creation (as defined in the SSHRC Research/Creation grant program) is
reflected in the work: there is a clear research question, there is contextualization within
relevant theories and ideas; and, there is a clear methodological approach.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

4.6     Progress reports

        All graduate students in all programs are supposed to have an annual review of
progress, and their continuation in the program is based on a successful review. If they
aren't making good progress, the program can ask them to leave. The candidate’s
progress is evaluated by the supervisory committee at several stages in the program.
During the second year of registration and once a year thereafter, all Visual Arts PhD
students enrolled in the program will be required to complete an annual research
progress report detailing the achievements of the previous year and the objectives for
the next year. A copy of the report form is included as Appendix J.

       Year 1                Year 2               Year 3                  Year 4
Term 1-2-3              Term 4-5-6             Term 7-8-9             Term 10-11-12
Term 1&2:               Term 4:
PhD / MFA               York PhD course,
Graduate Seminar,       3 credits
6 credits
York PhD course, 6
Term 3:
Summer Institute,
6 credits
Pro-tem supervisor;     Term 6 (beginning):    Term 7 (beginning):    Doctoral research
Term 3 (beginning):     Oral Comprehen-        Dissertation
Supervisory             sive Examination       Proposal in; final     Term 11 or
Committee set up                               Supevisory             beginning of 12:
                                               Committee              completion of
                                               established            Dissertation
                                                                      Exhibition and
                                               Doctoral research      Support Paper; oral
Studio on campus        Studio on campus       Work space on          Work space on
and access to all       and access to all      campus and access      campus and access
Visual Arts studio      Visual Arts studio     to all Visual Arts     to all Visual Arts
facilities              facilities             studio facilities      studio facilities

York University PhD in Visual Arts


5.1     Enrolment projections

Master’s (M) and Doctoral (D) Programs

                         FULL-TIME                         PART-TIME
                 Intake        Enrolments             Intake       Enrolments
                                                                                  M             D
             M            D     M        D        M            D   M      D

          13                  26                                                26
          13         2        26     2                                          26          2
          13         2        26     4                                          26          4
          13         2        26     6                                          26          6
          13         2        26     8                                          26          8
          13         2        26     8                                          26          8
          13         2        26     8                                          26          8

The word of mouth about the PhD in visual arts is already circulating in the national art
community. In fact, the program has already received several inquiries about the
proposed starting date since applicants are anxious to apply for SHRCC funding. The
graduate director participated on a panel with GPDs from across Canada about graduate
education as part of the annual Universities Art Association of Canada from November 2-
4, 2006. This was an opportunity to speak about the PhD in visual arts to faculty and
graduates from across Canada.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

Appendix A

Full Course Descriptions

1. New Course Proposal: VISA 6020 6.0 Contemporary Visual Arts Summer Institute
PhD in Visual Arts

Course Description: Overview

A two -week intensive Summer Institute in contemporary visual arts with a different
thematic focus each year. This advanced level course will be comprised of guest
lectures, seminars and individual and group studio critiques of the students’ work.
Visiting national and international artists, critics, curators and cultural theorists will
contribute to the sessions. The course will be planned, coordinated and partially taught
by a professor from the Department of Visual Arts who is appointed to the Faculty of
Graduate Studies. The remainder of the sessions will be conducted by invited guests.
Each year, different scholars and artists will be asked to participate depending upon the
chosen theme. The themes will reflect current debates in the visual arts, broad enough
to engage a wide range of media and ideas and be critically challenging. This is an
advanced course required of students in the PhD in Visual Arts program, and is open to
students in the MFA Visual Arts Program, the proposed PhD Program in Art History and
Visual Culture and the proposed joint Art History / Studio PhD Program in Visual Culture,
Studio, and Media Arts at the University of Western Ontario.

Course Structure:

Each morning the class will meet for a three-hour session taught by the Course Director.
During this time, students will discuss the readings for the course and the more
theoretical underpinnings of the thematic focus will be examined. Some of these
readings may be written by the critics, curators or cultural theorists who will be guests in
the program. Other related readings might be assigned by the course director. This
period will also provide a time to reflect upon lectures, seminars and presentations given
by the invited guests and synthesize the course material in relation to the individual
student’s research.

The second three-hour session will be more flexible both in time and location and will
consist of one of the following:

    -   A public lecture by one of the invited guests. This might take place at York
        University or a selected venue such as the Museum of Contemporary Canadian
        Art, Power Plant Gallery, or the Art Gallery of Ontario.
    -   A small seminar or artist presentation restricted to participating students
        conducted by one of the invited guests.
    -   Group or private studio visits to view and discuss the works of the students.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

Course Requirements and Evaluation:

    1. Presentation of a selection from the required readings to the class. This
       presentation may be accompanied by visual material when appropriate.
       Presentation 1.5 hours with extensive class discussion included. 25%
    2. Presentation of the student’s research. This presentation may include a group
       studio visit to see the visual research on site. During this presentation the student
       will be asked to clearly situate his/her work in relation to its critical/cultural
       context and in relation to other cultural forms both contemporary and historical. A
       five-page synopsis of this presentation will be required. If appropriate this
       presentation will take place during one of the afternoon sessions with one of the
       invited artists/scholars present. 1.5 hours with extensive class discussion
       included. 25%
    3. Final Research Paper. The topics for the final research paper will be determined
       by the student in consultation with the Course Director. The paper will expand
       upon and synthesize some aspect of the research conducted at the Summer
       Institute with the student’s own research interests. This paper will act as a
       starting point for each student’s upcoming Oral Comprehensive Examination and
       Dissertation Proposal. Length 25 pgs. 50%

This course will be offered each year for ten days over a two-week period during the
month of May for six hours per day. The faculty chosen as the Course Director will come
from FGS appointed Visual Arts faculty but may change each year depending upon the
thematic focus of the course.

The bibliography will be determined by the Course Director in consultation with the
visiting scholars and artists and will depend on the thematic focus of the the Summer
Institute in any given year. The readings will be extensive and theoretically demanding
as is appropriate to a graduate level course.

Other Resources:
Use of a ‘smart’ classroom or a ‘’smart cart’ for Internet access and a digital projector
will be required.

Course Rationale:
This is a required course in the PhD in Visual Arts. This course provides the opportunity
for students to begin to define her/his research project and to present and defend the
work to an audience that includes prominent artists/scholars. The compressed nature of
this course allows for both intense and informal engagement with other students, the
course director and invited guests. It is through this course that each student will
formulate his/her research question, the research methodology to be used and will begin
to envision the final dissertation be it an exhibition, event or a written document.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

2.       Proposed Graduate Seminar for PhD in Visual Arts VISA 5620 6.0

     Course Description:

     The combined MFA/ PhD Visual Arts Graduate Seminar is a mandatory course for
     PhD candidates in the first year of the PhD program. For PhD students, the course
     will consist of presentations of research to the combined seminar in addition to
     workshops on dissertation writing, sessions on research methodology and a visiting
     artists program specifically for the PhD candidates.
      The weekly three hour meetings provide an important forum in which ideas on
     contemporary art and culture are examined and discussed in relation to the
     candidate’s research and practice. As artist/researchers, students should be
     concerned to contextualize their studio practice in relation to other cultural
     production. Empirical research and critical reflection are understood as essential to
     innovative practice. As part of the combined seminar, PhD candidates will participate
     in critique sessions with faculty and visiting scholars, studio visits and discussion of
     presentations by all graduate students. These activities will be encouraged as an
     important aspect of sharing and disseminating knowledge and creating meaningful
     intellectual interaction between the graduates about contemporary art practices and
     Course Requirements:
     Seminar Presentations; one in each of the Fall and Winter Terms
     Participation in group critiques with faculty and visiting artists, critics, curators
     Presentations by visiting artists, critics, curators
     Studio visits with other graduate students
     Individual Studio visits with visiting scholars
     Workshop on Ethics protocols, combined with MFAs
     Teaching Workshops ,some combined with MFA students and some designed
     specifically for PhD candidates in consultation with the Centre for Support of
     Dissertation writing workshops for PhD only
     Seminars on methodology for PhD only
     Guest artist committee combined with MFA and also visiting artists, critics, curators
     invited specifically for PhD candidates

     Seminar Presentations: (Fall Term)
         The PhD candidates will introduce their work to the combined MFA/PhD seminar,
     focusing on their recent studio work and current research.
         Each seminar presentation should be 1 hour and include time for discussion.
     Consideration may also be given to themes, artistic influences or theoretical issues in
     relation to the student’s work. You may consider a selection of one of two examples
     of previous works to discuss context/development/transitions where this seems

York University PhD in Visual Arts

    The seminar presentations should include;
        -      a one-page statement about the student’s work/or an abstract of the
        panel presentation which should be photocopied and distributed at the previous
        -       Relevant readings could also be included for photocopying and
        -       Each presentation should be a maximum of 45 minutes

    Seminar Presentations: (Winter Term)
    At the end of the winter term, PhD candidates will reflect on their work for the past
    year and present their ideas related to the progress and development of their
    dissertation proposal. Relevant readings should be circulated to the seminar 1 week
    in advance of the presentation.
    PhD candidates are expected to participate by attending the second year MFA
    presentations on the progress of their thesis work. This is an opportunity to discuss
    any concerns about this stage in the development of the thesis exhibition for
    constructive discussion with peers. A draft copy of the thesis proposal should be
    distributed to all students one week prior to the seminar presentation.

    Guest Artists Committee; researching and organizing guest artists in consultation
    with the program director for the Winter Term.
        - The committee will discuss ideas for visiting artists and prepare materials on the
    potential guests; for example contact and background information, slides, videos,
    catalogues, articles. The committee will also research upcoming exhibitions and
    events in Toronto and elsewhere to co-ordinate possible guest lectures with local
    exhibitions or trips/conferences/special events in the Toronto area or elsewhere.
    - An MFA/PhD student or a group of students who wish to propose a visiting guest
    are required to submit a proposal to this committee. The proposal should include; a
    rationale for inviting the artist/critic/curator and how she/he may contribute to the
    group; background information on the potential guest, possible dates for the visit, ie
    in conjunction with an exhibition etc.
    - The proposals will be vetted by the group and the visitor will be contacted either by
    the group or by the graduate director.
        - If the proposed guest does present a seminar, the student(s) who made the
    proposal are responsible for hosting the guest and distributing some background
    information to the rest of the graduate students.

    Evaluation: (Final Grade is Pass or Fail) Candidates in the program will receive
    grades from the graduate courses they attend. However, the graduate seminar is
    student-driven and comparable to the graduate symposium in other programs, which
    are all conducted as pass/fail.
    Readings: Peer statements and articles pertaining to the seminars

York University PhD in Visual Arts

Appendix B

Descriptions of Other Programs

1.     The Glasgow School of Art
       Glasgow, Scotland
       Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (Degree granted by University of
- The PHD in Fine Arts at GSA is a practice-based curriculum requiring students to
   participate in coursework and studio practice for three years full-time or five years
- The program involves the Schools of Design, Fine Art and Architecture, the Digital
   Design Studio, and the Department of Historical and Critical Studies, and also
   welcomes proposals that promote collaboration across academic boundaries in
   conjunction with the University of Glasgow.
- The program supports a number of research centres including the Centre for
   Advanced Textiles, the Digital Design Studio (with UK and international research
   funds and industrial partners), the International Drawing Research Institute (in
   collaboration with the Central College of Fine Arts at the University of New South
   Wales in Sydney and the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing) and the Mackintosh
   Environmental Architecture Research Unit.
- The Glasgow School of Art can offer a range of modes to submit for examination for
   the degree of PhD: portfolio with documentation, portfolio with a written commentary,
   portfolio and a dissertation, or a written thesis.

2.     Goldsmiths College
       London, England
       Degree: PhD in Fine Art (Degree granted by University of London)
- The PHD is a practiced based curriculum that begins as a Research Degree (MPhil
   Program) designed to train candidates in research skills necessary to complete a
   PHD in Fine Arts. Candidates apply to upgrade to a PHD when they have
   satisfactorily completed an agreed upon portion of independent research and training
   (usually after 18 months)
- The candidate’s supervisor helps in the initial planning of all research, offering advice
   and suggestions as the project evolves, and maintaining regular contact through
   individual supervisory tutorials. Having discussed their needs with their supervisor, in
   the first year candidates undertake training to develop their research skills and
   techniques. Candidates are responsible for maintaining progress according to an
   agreed plan of study, as outlined in a research proposal form, and at the end of the
   academic year students produce a formal progress report.
- Dissertation based on studio practice and a written element, or on written thesis only.
   For the former, the guide for the text element is 40,000 words.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

3.     Université du Québec à Montréal
       Montreal, Canada
       Degree: Philosophiae Doctor, Ph.D.
- There are two axes in the program, Theoretical research and Creation/intervention.
   All PhD projects in this program fall under the rubric of either interdisciplinarity or
   comparative arts. The interdisciplinarity is both across the arts and linking to other
   domains related to the arts (communications, literature, philosophy, etc.), and in both
   the research and creation aspects of the program. Required courses include 2 full
   courses on research and creation methodologies, and 2 full courses on an aspect of
   the arts (e.g. conception and interpretation, text and writing).
- The program is offered conjointly by the departments of visual arts (arts plastiques),
   art history, music and theatre, and the School of Design.
- The thesis can take one of three different forms: a classic dissertation of at least 250
   pages; five peer-reviewed articles of approximately 30 pages each, accepted for
   publication; creative work or an intervention with a paper at least 150 pages in length
   (for the latter, the emphasis in evaluation is 50/50 on the work and the text).
- The creative work can be art work, performance, or show, in a public venue. The
   intervention is a project or a practice attached to a social space related to the arts
   and their dissemination. There is an oral examination of the thesis work.
Full access to facilities throughout the program.

4.     Edinburgh College of Art
       Edinburgh, Scotland
       Degree: Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Arts (Degree granted by Edinburgh
- The PHD/VA is a practice based curriculum with emphasis on studio research and a
   proportionately reduced thesis paper developed over 4 years.
- In the first year students enrol in core courses with focus on research techniques
   (equivalent of full course load, i.e. 6 courses). A principal supervisor is chosen during
   this time. Students are introduced to research techniques and practices in course
   work in order to prepare them for working independently on their thesis.
- Subsequent years are spent focused on individual course work with periodic reviews
   (every term, minor and major reviews scheduled with committee).
- Students are required to produce a comprehensive body of research presented in a
   professional exhibition accompanied by a proportionately smaller thesis paper for
   peer review (30,000 words)
Studio provided for four years (maximum)

5.      Sydney College of Art
        Sydney Australia
        Degree: Doctor of Philosophy of Visual Arts (PHD/VA) (Degree granted by
        University of Sydney)

York University PhD in Visual Arts

- All first year postgraduates attend the Postgraduate Seminar Program. The
   Postgraduate Seminar is intended to extend intellectual possibilities for research
   activity as well as develop research and writing skills; it is also designed to
   encourage critical dialogue through selected examples of theory and practice and an
   exchange of ideas relevant to contemporary visual arts.
- In Term one candidates present a discussion of their research proposal, focusing on
   the Creative work, but submitting a relevant text which will be bound in a reader. In
   addition, four weeks of term one will be devoted to text research skills with
   workshops conducted by the Learning Centre
- In Term two candidates choose a text written by an artist which will be bound in a
   reader. The candidate will discuss the relevance of the text to their own practice and
   contemporary art.
- In the second year candidates must attend Postgraduate Seminar and submit a
   30,000 word essay for discussion.
- In the third year (4th year optional) candidates submit their thesis for examination by
   three examiners. No less than two examiners must be external to SCA, and the other
   examiner may be either external, or internal to SCA/internal Sydney University.
- The candidate elects to complete the PhD either by Thesis, or by linked Thesis and
   Creative Work, within the context of art practice, and undertaken with the support of
   supervisors. A PhD by Thesis and Creative Work reflects accepted research
   methods in the visual arts and is an exploration/enquiry through practical work
   accompanied by a related text. The text and Creative work will be integral
   components of the final submission for examination.
- Thesis options: (1)Thesis of 50,000-80,000 words and Creative Work where the
   creative work must represent a significant and coherent solo exhibition and the
   candidate must obtain a pass for both thesis and creative work for the degree to be
   awarded. (2) Thesis of 80,000 words (with the option of supporting the thesis with a
   small body of creative work, which is not examined).
- Oral Examination: An Oral examination is optional. Provision is made for an oral
   examination at either the examiners’ or candidates’ request.
- The degree is awarded for the successful completion of an approved program of
   supervised advanced research which makes an original contribution to knowledge.
Studio provided for three years, access to facilities permitted in optional fourth

6.    The London Consortium - Architectural Association,
      School of Architecture Birkbeck College, University of London
      Institute of Contemporary Arts, Tate Modern
      London, England
      Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)
- Year one - Multi-disciplinary studies in the humanities: courses consist of a sequence
  of four six-week intensive courses, to familiarize students with debates and
  procedures in a wide variety of humanities and social science disciplines.
- In addition all PHD candidates must enrol in the course Research Methods in the
  Humanities / Research Development Workshops. This is a compulsory weekly
  supervised course, in which students prepare, present and debate their individual

York University PhD in Visual Arts

   research topics. This course is a key element, serving to instruct and help students
   define their dissertation topics.
- Year two and three - Students work independently in preparing their thesis, working
   closely with their two supervisors as they are guided in developing their research
   topic through the stages of data-collection and thesis planning. The weekly
   supervised research workshops are flexible and can involve individual presentations
   of work in progress, specific research training sessions, or co-ordinate programs of
   enquiry centered on a particular issue defined by the student group.
- Third and fourth year - Doctoral Program Cultural Placements -            A small
   number of cultural placements are sometimes available for Consortium doctoral
   candidates of approximately 12 weeks in duration. Students work on specific projects
   within their host institution. In the past students have undertaken placements at
   MoMA, New York and we hope to develop these opportunities to a range of other
   institutions in the future
- The final dissertation focuses on a candidate’s research as outlined in the thesis
   paper. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the Consortium PHD program,
   candidates are given the option of presenting their thesis with various forms of
   support (creative work), although the emphasis is on an 80,000 word thesis paper.
   Evaluation of support material is the discretion of PHD committee and supervisor
   chosen in second year.
- Thesis is evaluation includes an oral examination, with emphasis on public
   dissemination and public presentation.
Studios are not provided

7.     Columbia University
       New York City, USA
       Degree: Doctor of philosophy (PHD)
- First year - 6 half courses are taken with emphasis on research practices – normally
   3 half courses in the fall, 3 in the spring.
- Second Year - 6 half courses are taken in the second year, 3 of which are studio
   research and 3 that rely on visiting artist/student directed content. Thesis outline is
   submitted in second year.
- At the end of the second year students are required to submit a detail of current and
   proposed research for evaluation by committee (original studio work and research
   paper). PhD candidates work independently on research for final two years – strict
   time constraints to ensure completion
- The final dissertation focuses on candidate’s research as outlined in the thesis
   paper. Specific emphasis is place on public dissemination and publication of
   candidate’s research paper (70,000 -90,000 words) and support material (creative
Studio Access is at discretion of advisor (usually first two years)

8.    New York University, Institute of Fine Arts
      New York, NY, USA
      Degree: Doctor of Fine Arts

York University PhD in Visual Arts

-  Students maintain full-time study during PhD research; candidates are required to
   register for three courses per term or a minimum of five courses per academic year
   until the required point total for the degree is achieved (usually in the third year). In
   the first term, most coursework deals with research practices and is taught by a
   rotating faculty.
- At the beginning of the first term, each entering student meets with the Director or
   the Director of Graduate Studies and is assigned a member of the faculty as an
   advisor with whom the student plans a program and consults regularly. Initial advisor
   assignments are based on an assessment of research interests; once students
   develop a clear understanding of their interests, they may change advisors in
   consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.
- In consultation with their advisor, students develop an in depth thesis proposal with
   associated bibliography to be evaluated in a comprehensive exam taking place in the
   third term.
- The emphasis of this degree is on academic scholarship, as such, a comprehensive
   research thesis will be presented by the student for oral defense. This research
   paper is generally 70,000 to 100,000 words long and will be developed in
   consultation with a candidate’s advisor, and following the outline submitted in the
   second year.
- Additional support material (i.e. studio production) can and will be considering during
   the students defense, but the evaluation will be focused on the research paper.

9.      Concordia University,
        Montreal, Canada
        Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (PHD), Humanities Doctoral Program

- In the first year, candidates are required to take 6 credits of course work; a 3 credit
   course (whose topic is selected related to faculty interests) that is an introduction to
   the methodology of interdisciplinary studies. Its aim is to enhance reflective
   awareness of the role of paradigms and disciplinary boundaries in shaping the
   direction of thesis research. The second 3 credit course is a one term seminar
   course that examines how a theme of common interest is problematized in different
   disciplines, introducing students to works of major thinkers who challenge
   disciplinary boundaries.
- in subsequent years (2 and 3) candidates are required to take 6 credit tutorials with
   each advisor on the candidates advisory committee, but these can be replaced by
   regular attendance at graduate seminars when topics are appropriate. Tutorials
   should require one-hour meetings every week and regular critical summaries of
   readings in addition to one major paper. A detailed reading list is drawn up before the
   course begins.
- Candidates may be required to enrol in additional graduate level courses in other
   disciplines if the advisory committee recommends it.
- PhD candidates must complete a series of three comprehensive exams in three
   different disciplines. Candidates in the Humanities Program declaring one of their
   minor fields as Visual Art must complete a comprehensive attended by their studio
   supervisor, other members of their advisory committee and the Program Director.
   The comprehensive exam will take the form of a slide presentation which will

York University PhD in Visual Arts

   demonstrate an involved history of art making and the presentation of a substantial
   new body of work. This will be followed by a discussion and questions. In some
   cases, an exhibition of a new body of work might be used to supplement the slide
   presentation. No latter than one week after this comprehensive, students will submit
   slide documentation and an artist statement to each committee member. The pass or
   fail component of the evaluation is decided by the Studio Advisor and the Program
- Only candidates possessing an MFA may take advantage of a studio comprehensive
Studios are not provided.

               York University PhD in Visual Arts

                           Appendix C
To:                                       APPC, Faculty of Graduate Studies
From:                                     Phillip Silver, Dean
Office of the
Date:                                     16 May 2006
4700 Keele
Subject: St.                              Proposal for a PhD in Visual Arts
Toronto ON
Canada M3J 1P3
Tel 416 736 5136

                           I have reviewed the Proposal for a PhD in Visual Arts prepared by the Graduate
                           Program in Visual Arts, under the leadership of Prof. Yvonne Singer.

                           This proposal marks a significant step for the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the
                           Faculty of Fine Arts and the Department of Visual Arts. As you will read, the
                           establishment of the PhD degree in studio practice visual arts is a relatively new
                           phenomenon. There are now many universities and art institutes in Europe offering
                           this degree and North American institutions are looking to establish similar
                           programs. The proposal provides further background in this regard.

                           It is clear that York University’s Department of Visual Arts has long been a leader in
                           undergraduate studio practice. York’s MFA in Visual Arts has proven increasingly
                           popular to those who see the value of studio practice framed by theoretical,
                           historical, critical and intellectual approaches. At present our MFA program is not
                           only providing a strong “next generation” of artists, but is also providing
                           opportunities for those who intend to follow careers as instructors in visual arts.

                           Given this well established history, it is clear that York University’s Graduate
                           Program in Visual Arts should be one of the first in Canada to establish the PhD in
                           Visual Arts. York has the appropriate facilities, library resources and a base
                           complement of faculty well equipped to lead such a program.

                           At present, I am working with the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Vice President
                           Academic to confirm various resource impact details. Once those are confirmed, I
                           will be able to more accurately advise the Committee on that aspect of this proposal.

                           In the meantime, please be assured of my support for the academic and artistic
                           validity of the proposal.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

Appendix D

Internal York letters of support

                                                               Graduate Program in Art

          To:             Dean Ron Pearlman, FGS
          From:           Karen Stanworth, Graduate Director
          Date:           March 19, 2007
Re:              Support for the Graduate Program in Visual Arts PhD Proposal

I am pleased to be able to strongly support the Graduate Program in Visual Arts PhD Proposal. The
Art History Program is able to accommodate projected enrolments by PhD candidates in our graduate
seminars. We will be able to continue to mount the cross-listed theory course which is generally
taught by an Art History graduate faculty member. We welcome the opportunity for graduate students
to participate in the Visual Arts Summer Institute. While our students will not need course credits per
se, the Summer Institute will foster an intellectual culture and will stimulate potential collaborative
projects, eg. curatorial studies students working with a studio candidate on an exhibition. We also
expect to be able to extend the interaction between the programs by having studio candidates give
guest lectures in art history seminars, continuing our joint planning of outside speakers, and
scheduling our research seminars at the same time as the studio program so as to take advantage of
joint events.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

                                         York University

To:               Yvonne Singer, GPD. MFA in visual arts

From:             Lesley Alan Jacobs, GPD Social and Political Thought

Subject:          Proposal for PhD in visual arts

Date:             March 13, 2006.

Yes, this proposed Graduate program has my support, provided that the program
remains small, Social and Political Thought would be able to accommodate PhD
candidates in its courses.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

29 March 2006

Prof. Yvonne Singer
Graduate Program Director
Visual Arts Program
256L Centre for Fine Arts
York University

Dear Prof. Singer:

The Executive Committee of the Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture
has reviewed the proposal for a PhD Program in Visual Arts and voted unanimously to
support the proposal. Many members of the Committee expressed particular support for
a PhD program with a studio focus.

Although the Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture tends to have few
open spaces in its courses, it is willing to reserve space for students in the proposed
program, should it be approved, in a number of its relevant electives (as listed in the
proposal or negotiated in future). It is the view of the Executive Committee that this
relationship will be beneficial to both programs, as it has to date at the MA level. Since
the proposed intake for the Visual Arts PhD is small, we are confident that we can
provide the support requested.

In short, there was considerable enthusiasm in the Joint Graduate Program in
Communication and Culture for the proposed PhD program and we are pleased to support
the proposal.


Fred Fletcher
University Professor and Graduate Program Director

               York University PhD in Visual Arts

                       Appendix F

                          To:       Yvonne Singer – Graduate Director, Department of Visual Arts
UNIVERSITY                From:     Cynthia Archer, University Librarian
LIBRARIES                 Date:     November 1, 2006
University                Subject: Library Statement – Visual Arts, PhD Program
4700 Keele St.          York University Libraries collections and services will support and enrich the
Toronto ON
Canada M3J 1P3
                        Doctoral Program in Visual Arts. Current collections in print, multi media and
Tel 416 736 5601        electronic format provide a valuable resource for current and anticipated
Fax 416 736 5451        curricular and research activities. While the Libraries aggressively develop its    electronic resource collections, significant funds are also used to continue
                        building a research monograph collection as evidenced by the steady growth in
               this area. Funds are also being targeted to developing York University Libraries’ special
               collections in support of new areas of research. The Clara Thomas Archives and Special
               Collections at York continue to receive private papers of Canadian people and
               associations that are relevant to the study of visual arts. Examples of private fonds
               include the papers of such individuals as Avrom Isaacs, Helen Lucas and Joyce Wieland.
               Librarians have developed a series of library research workshops specifically designed
               for graduate students to help them meet the challenges of today’s complex world of
               information. Graduate students have exclusive access to a state-of-the art study room in
               Scott Library which includes wired and wireless access for laptops, several computer
               workstations and a scholarly setting conducive to intensive research. Future plans for
               York University Libraries include campus collaborations for several digital initiatives
               such as archiving electronic theses and publishing electronic journals.

               cc:        Mary Kandiuk, Design and Theater Librarian
                          Catherine Davidson, Associate University Librarian - Collections

York University PhD in Visual Arts


TO:             Cynthia Archer, University Librarian

FROM:           Mary Kandiuk, Visual Arts, Design & Theatre Librarian

RE:             Library Statement – PhD Program in Visual Arts

DATE:           November 1, 2006


Description of the Collection

Collection development for Visual Arts focuses on contemporary art and works that are
of particular interest to practicing artists. Not conforming to the mold of the traditional
library user, it can be difficult at times to anticipate or even describe the library needs of
the artists in a graduate Visual Arts Program. These needs may cover a broad range of
disciplines as well as a variety of formats. I am confident, however, that the York
University Libraries will be able to support the vocational and informational needs of
students in a PhD program with local resources as well as through a variety of reciprocal
borrowing arrangements and proximity to numerous repositories of rich resources in the
Toronto area. The library already supports a graduate MFA program in Visual Arts and is
prepared to build on what can be described as a strong collection to support the needs of
doctoral students pursuing a “more mature degree of research.” We look forward to
collaborating with the Graduate Program in Visual Arts so that we have the resources in
place to support the Program’s plans for growth and diversification.

Materials acquired by the library to directly support the needs of practicing artists are
print resources that deal with the practical problems encountered by artists such as
professional information relating to contracts, marketing and ethics, handbooks and
manuals dealing with health hazards, directories listing sources of funding and addresses
of galleries, and increasingly manuals and books dealing with art techniques, as well as
statistical information.

Artists often like to examine the work of other artists. The consultation of visual material
for studio projects can involve the study of works by painters, sculptors, printmakers, and
photographers, as well as the study of primary materials such as artists’ statements and
secondary materials. The library fulfills this need through extensive purchasing of
exhibition catalogues and artists’ books. The York libraries have for many years

York University PhD in Visual Arts

collected, and continue to collect, art exhibition catalogues from galleries and museums
all over the world with special emphasis on Canada. Over the years we have made
considerable progress in securing for our collections the hundreds of exhibition
catalogues, pamphlets and hand lists issued each year by Canadian museums and
galleries, large and small. The York libraries also have in their collections many artists’
books that were purchased at relatively low prices in the 1970s and are now considered to
be rare books. These are located in Special Collections along with press books, livres
d’artistes, catalogues raisonnées, pages from incunabula and original full-page
manuscripts from medieval manuscripts. The collections in the York libraries already
support a graduate art history program with an emphasis on 20th and 19th century art.
With the Visual Arts graduate students in mind these are supplemented with numerous
visual resources such as the graphic art annuals of art directors, and illustrators. In
response to the increased emphasis on the medium of photography two copies of works
relating to individual photographers are routinely purchased, one for Special Collections
and one for the open stacks. Recently approved programs in Design have resulted in
increased acquisitions in this area. Divergent approaches to the study of art are also
represented. While scholarly treatments are emphasized over more popular works, the
value of all kinds and levels of publications for study, teaching, and research are
recognized and acquired.

In addition to traditional print materials the library collects films and videos relating to
art, including performance and video art, and increasingly, multi-media CD-ROMs, all of
which are housed in the Sound and Moving Image Library. With respect to art periodicals
we subscribe to virtually every Canadian title and to the main American titles that serve
the interests of art history and of artists. We also subscribe to magazines devoted to
performance art, native art, aesthetics, industrial design and photography. Whenever
possible, electronic format is preferred over print format. Growth in the journal collection
has been possible recently because of York University Libraries’ participation in
consortial purchases of electronic journals from major publishers. While the York
libraries do not maintain artists’ files, students have access here to the microfiche copies
of artists’ files held at the Metro Toronto Library and the National Gallery of Canada.
The Library increasingly collects materials (books, periodicals, image data banks,
dissertations) in full-text digital form, as these materials become available.

Archival materials such as fonds and collections relating to artists as well as those who
display, collect, educate and critique the visual arts are located in the York University
Archives and Special Collections. Examples of private fonds include the papers of such
individuals as Avrom Isaacs, Helen Lucas and Joyce Wieland.

Artists often seek inspiration and enlightenment from other disciplines, which leads them
into the realms of history and literature, philosophy and religion, anthropology,
psychology and sociology. In other words – every field where there is an influential body
of theoretical writings. The York libraries are already supporting graduate study in a wide
range of disciplines.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

The Visual Arts Librarian is responsible for selecting material that falls directly within
the Visual Arts but as stated earlier, graduate students in Visual Arts often use materials
that fall outside of the discipline itself. Therefore the Visual Arts Librarian works closely
with other subject librarians to ensure that materials relevant to visual art falling outside
of her selection area are routinely acquired. For selection the Visual Arts Librarian relies
on a variety of approval plans, alert slips provided by several different book vendors, and
a wide range of publishers catalogues. The library currently has in place a large
international approval plan with YBP Library Services which provides an online alert and
ordering system. This approval plan also allows for an especially quick receipt of shelf-
ready titles with cataloguing copy that allows them to be available to users shortly after
arrival. There is also an approval plan in place for Canadian exhibition catalogues
through COUTTS Information Services and Italian exhibition catalogues through
Casalini Libri. These plans ensure that these materials are received on a timely and
regular basis. The Visual Arts Librarian also responds to direct requests from faculty and

Titles generally fall into the N and TR classifications, however, besides all the arts forms
covered in the N (museum collections, painting, architecture, sculpture, graphic arts,
decorative arts, and the arts in general) and TR (photography) sections the art collections
include art forms covered by other Library of Congress classes such as museology,
design, the arts of indigenous peoples, industrial arts, book arts, video art, performance
art, architecture in the context of a city or region, photography in the context of a city,
region or theme, art therapy and archeology.

Funding for collection activities in the Visual Arts has remained stable over the years.
Library expenditures over the past seven years for the Visual Arts are broken down as

             Visual            E-           Journals         Books        Total
              Arts         resources
           1999/2000          16240           25915              71834    113989
           2000/2001          32805           25475              79022    137302
           2001/2002          20899           26565              92533    139997
           2002/2003          20504           29873              66437    116814
           2003/2004          32663           29211              87915    149789
           2004/2005         66858*           25896              85485   178329*
           2005/2006          60701           24763              83219    168683
                        * higher due to large ARTstor payment.


While the bulk of the art resources are located in the main stacks of the Scott Library,
there exist other important locations for art information both within the Scott Library and
at other York University Libraries and campus sites. As mentioned earlier, Special

York University PhD in Visual Arts

Collections is an important repository for Canadian exhibition catalogues, limited edition
and private press publications, examples of fine printing, graphic design annuals,
photography, artists’ books and books that can be considered “artworks”, publications
issued in unconventional formats, books and periodicals containing original prints,
catalogues raisonnées and materials containing images of a visually explicit nature. Large
collections of exhibition catalogues and artists’ files in microform are housed in the
Microtext area. Films, videos and CD-ROMs relating to art are located in the Sound and
Moving Image Library. To support the factual information needs of practicing artists the
Reference Department of the Scott Library has a comprehensive print collection of
English-language dictionaries, encyclopedias, and directories relating to art. The library
also subscribes to the Grove Dictionary of Art Online as well as the complete suite of
Oxford electronic dictionaries which includes numerous dictionaries relating to art. To
assist students in accessing periodical literature the library subscribes to all the major
electronic indexes and databases available for art, including the Art Index,
Artbibliographies Modern, the Bibliography of the History of Art, the Avery Index to
Architectural Periodicals and the Design and Applied Arts Index. Several full-text
electronic multi-disciplinary databases of interest to art students have been mounted as
well, such as the Canadian Index, the Canadian Periodical Index and Expanded
Academic ASAP. To support the needs of students, faculty and researchers for digital
images the library subscribes to three major digital imagebanks, namely ARTstor,
CAMIO (Catalog of Art Museum Images Online) and Corbis Images for Education.
Scientific information is located in the Steacie Science Library, legal materials in the Law
Library, and business information in the Peter F. Bronfman Business Library. The Slide
Library in the Center for Fine Arts is responsible for collecting slides.

The library website is the central starting point for accessing the range of resources and
services York University Libraries have to offer. Access to library resources is provided
through the library’s online catalogue which lists holdings for the entire library system.
Through the library’s website users can also access the library’s vast array of electronic
databases. Enhanced computer workstations that offer a wide range of computer
software applications including Microsoft Office products are available throughout the
libraries. Facilities for printing and photocopying are available in the library as well as
options for saving to disk or emailing to a remote location. Supporting tools such as
RefWorks, Web-based Citation Management Software, are available to users at no


Interlibrary Loan is available to supplement the resources of the York University Libraries
by making available research material not held by the library from other libraries,
organizations and document delivery services. Requests for this service can be made
through the Libraries’ web site. York University Libraries fully subsidizes books and
microforms obtained through interlibrary loan. Photocopies obtained through interlibrary
loan are partially subsidized and have a per article five dollar flat fee. Copies of theses
from U.S. institutions are also partially subsidized resulting in a ten dollar flat fee to
receive a paper copy. Turnaround time is approximately two weeks.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

Graduate students at York have borrowing privileges at all Ontario universities that are
members of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). They may also borrow
directly from Quebec university libraries through the Inter-University Borrowing Project.

The graduate students at York are fortunate to find themselves in close proximity to
several rich repositories of art related resources in the Toronto area. For research and
advanced study they depend on several libraries in downtown Toronto: the Robarts
Library and Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library of the University of Toronto for European
art from the Middle Ages to the 19th century, for ancient art, for limited edition portfolios
and private press publications, and for facsimile editions of medieval illuminated
manuscripts. The Library of the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies has proved
indispensable for facsimile editions of illuminated manuscripts, and the East Asian
Studies Library for Asian art. The Royal Ontario Museum has excellent collections of
native arts, decorative arts, ancient art, architecture and museology. Students can rely
on the Art Gallery of Ontario Library for Canadian art, Canadian artists’ files, exhibition
catalogues from all over the world, art auction catalogues, price indexes and electronic
searching capability, and serial publications of museums. The Ontario College of Art
Library has impressive collections of artists’ books. And finally, the Metro Toronto
Reference Library is an important source for Canadian art, Canadian artists’ files,
decorative arts, “how to” books, art auction price indexes, fine printing and rare
illustrated monographs.


General library reference assistance is available in several formats: in person via the
Reference Desk; electronically, via e-mail reference service (; via
telephone; and, in recent years, an Internet-based reference service called “Ask a
Librarian” allows students to “chat” electronically from home with a librarian while
interactively searching databases with librarian assistance (access via the library home

The Library offers a private consultation service to graduate students, by appointment.
Graduate students in Visual Arts can arrange to meet with the Visual Arts Librarian for
research assistance on a specific topic. Faculty members are encouraged to enlist the
services of the Visual Arts Librarian to lead a research workshop geared to a specific
course or topic in one of the Library’s hands-on computer labs. A self-guided tutorial
called Library Research Roadmap has been devised to teach students basic bibliographic
research methodologies. Available on the library home page, the tutorial is easily done
from home.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

Appendix G

Digital Sculpture Laboratory Proposal

We are all aware of the effects of a computer virus, a self-replicating program that fuses
itself to our software and corrodes the digital information we value. We recognize its
function and the end result; to some degree almost any computer literate individual can
grasp the concept of its programming structure. But what does it look like? Not in terms
of a series of binary code displayed on a screen, but if we could view it in the physical
world what would its form be? Its shape and scale? What if we could take the computer
coded structure of a virus and feed it in to a system that could translate that code into a
3 dimensional file and then produce its form in wax, or steel, or plastic, or on a
monumental scale in foam or wood. What would the structure of a computer virus’
physical characteristics look like, would it mimic a geometric predictable pattern, or
would it appear as a self replicating mass of cancerous like individual forms? What
would be the implications for understanding the structure of programming? What if the
patterns that emerged in physical forms mimicked or related to naturally occurring
structures like spirals and sound waves? What would be the implications for scientist
and artist studying pattern recognition?

Within the frame work of an institute dedicated to contemporary art, and under the
direction of Professor Brandon Vickerd, the Sculpture Area of York University intends to
use the CFI grant to construct The Digital Sculpture Laboratory (DSL) in order to carry
out research that addresses issues similar to those above. This laboratory will allow for
the translation of digitally designed objects into actuality, becoming crossovers from
another plane of existence that has previously been intangible. Through a complex
computer system interfaced with a series of Rapid Prototyping systems (or 3D Printers)
artist and researchers will be able to digitally design objects and control the machines
that will construct them in 3D. This act not only represents a new process of creating,
but demands a complete re-thinking of the way we perceive and relate to physical
objects. These sculptures and objects created would be impossible to sculpt by the
human hand, and will highlight the new physical possibilities brought on by the digital
world. Previous to the technology utilized in the DSL, digitally rendered objects remained
separate from the physical world, separated not just by the computer screen, but by the
incompatible reality of the digital and the actual. They were simply renderings, plans to
be followed, or ideas to be filed and stored. The DSL’s research will advance the
possibility of and accuracy of these crossover objects, in a critical and dynamic
environment of contemporary sculpture. The inclusion of such complex technologies in
an established program such as York's, represents the institutional recognition of a
rapidly developing process being conceptually vibrant and worthy of not only faculty
interests but of student demand to learn and adopt the newest tools.

York University and Professor Vickerd intend to construct The Digital Sculpture
Laboratory (DSL) in order to accomplish three main research objectives:

1) To utilize Rapid Prototyping, CNC Technology, Stereolithography, and 3D rendering
software in the enhancement of already existing sculptural processes (foundry, carving,

York University PhD in Visual Arts

2) To explore the possibilities for new conceptual and physical practices that these
technologies make possible.

3) To adapt and evolve this technology in a critical environment in order to advance the
technology and conceptualization of these processes.

Housed in one research facility, the DSL will consist of several components and means
of constructing digitally designed forms. This facility will be structured in such a way as
to emphasize the research possibilities of translating digital code into physical reality.
There will be a central design station consisting of several computers that will be used to
design and manipulate objects in virtual reality. This hub will serve as the brain or nexus
point of the laboratory. Our faculty and students will not only utilize existing software, but
use this centre to adapt and reinvent established computer code in order to originate
new methods of creation. The software utilized in this hub will consist of several very
complex 3D designs programs, such as Maya, Visual Mill and 4D Cinema, and more
basic, adaptable programs such Adobe Photoshop and Corel Draw. The innovative
feature of this hub is that through a series of servers and various interfaces, we will be
creating a digital platform that will adapt the existing software necessary to operate
separate CNC and RP systems into one common language. This is accomplished by
establishing a central database that operates in a single set programmable language; all
files and designs will be compiled and stored in this database. Files can be imported
and exported from this database when the design process is taking place or in order to
send the file to on of the production stations – however this database will insure that the
files are always stored in a specific coded format (an advanced STL file) that will be
universally recognizable by different software and production methods.

 In addition, software not intended for 3D design will be explored and augmented in the
computer hub. As an example, the software program X FROG(by Greenworks) was
developed as a means for architects and landscape designers to extrapolate the
projected growth of any tree in order to estimate how a location will change over time.
This program allows the operator to essentially grow electronic representations of
organic structures. The nexus platform developed in the DSL’s central computer system
we will allow researchers to splice programs and files allowing for the use of elements of
X FROG to grow and randomly morph digitally designed forms. An artist will be able to
import a design into this nexus platform, set the criteria for file size and then allow the
software to electronically grow and replicate their original form, choosing when and
where to exert their control as artist over the process. The result would be semi
autonomous forms, and the opportunity to compare the software’s ‘random’ extrapolation
of growth with naturally occurring phenomenon. The implications for such cross software
experiments is beyond articulation, not even considering the reality of then physically
producing these works in three dimensional space. As the designs exist in virtual space,
they operate in a reality within which whatever one can describe, one can build. The
possibility for developing complex structures within structures without the concerns or
constraints of physical laws opens new possibilities not previously imagined. The
potential to examine the synchronicity of the output and the applications to pattern
recognition is one of the main goals of Professor Vickerd’s research.

This unique process of software development enables new ways of conceptualizing and
manipulating the relationships between image and object, shape and growth, through
the manifestation of new physical languages in virtual space, temporal translations, and
actual 3D objects. Any software or innovative programming applications developed at

York University PhD in Visual Arts

the DSL will be made available online as open source software, ready for use or
modification by anyone with an interest.

Augmenting this central computer station will be physical work stations where the coded
information will be translated into three-dimensional objects. The first station will consist
of two Rapid Prototyping (RP) machines, also known as three-dimensional printers. The
first machine is a Sanders Machining System that will translate the coded files into wax
three-dimensional objects. This process is a version of the Stereolithography process
and is the most common commercially used, fastest growing solid free-form fabrication
method. The machine will translate the file sent from the computer into thousands of
designs that represent the designed object in very thin layers. The machine then
systematically forms each layer out of stiff wax and then meticulously forms the objects
by stacking and fusing these sections. The resulting wax object can then easily be cast
in bronze utilizing our existing foundry, or moulded for multiple reproductions. The
specific Sanders system we are requesting is called a Bigfoot System and has a build
envelope (maximum construction size) of 12’x12’x18”, the largest in its class. The
second Rapid Prototyping Machine will be a Stratasys Maxum Stereolithography System
that will construct objects from ABS and other polycarbonate materials which can be
finished easily and presented as finished works. This polycarbonate material is
extremely durable and strong, making it an excellent material for public sculpture. The
build envelope of this machine is 23.6” x 19.7’ x 23.6”, however, because of the nature of
the poly carbonate material, larger sculptures can be produced in sections by this
system and then easily assembled into large complex structures. Both of these
machines can produce sculptures at a minimal cost, with either material costing only a
few cents.

The second station will consist of a Streamline Automation Computer Numerically
Controlled (CNC) routering system that will be utilized for routering Styrofoam, wood,
synthetic fiber composites, soft metals, and various plastic composites. This system
translates the digitally designed object into a three dimension map consisting of X, Y,
and Z coordinates. The routering table then directs a cutting tool to carve through the
selected material until it reaches all the precise coordinates of the sculpture’s surface.
The build envelope for this system is 72” x 144’ x 12” allowing for the creation of large-
scale objects in various materials in a relatively short period of time by working
reductively (essential carving the forms from raw material). Larger sculpture can be
created by routering out sections of the sculpture and combing them afterwards into a
finished piece.

The third station will be a Torchmate 2 Computer Numerically Controlled cutting table
that will translate the computer code into precision cut forms of steel alloy, aluminum,
stainless steel, or brass that are then assembled into sculpture. This system is designed
for continuous plasma or oxy-fuel use in industrial settings. It uses precision linear
motion components for the X, Y, and Z axis, with electronic controls fully equipped for all
3 axes allowing for the articulation of the most complex designs.

The fourth station will be a Scantech Scanner and Scanning Table that will translate
existing objects and forms into digital code utilizing laser imaging technology to measure
and map an object’s surface. The scanner’s laser measures the distance from its lens to
the surface of the object as it methodically moves across the objects surface. The
measurements are recorded as X, Y, and Z coordinates, which allow for the computer
systems to create a replica of the object in virtual reality to be manipulated and altered

York University PhD in Visual Arts

through various programs. This allows for small models to be scanned and produced at
any scale or any material through our Streamline Automation table. It also allows for
large objects to be scanned and scaled down in size to be produced through one of our
Stereolithography units without compromising the degree of detail.
The important issue related to this unit is it allows for the translation of existing objects in
to the digital realm, whereas all the other station allow for digital designs to be produced
in physical reality.

 In addition to the purchase of these technologies, the DSL will require the complete
restructuring of York’s Odette Sculpture Centre. Recognizing that these new
technologies are instrumental to progressive research, the Faculty of Fine Arts has
agreed to increase the size of the sculpture area by an additional 5000 sq feet. This will
allow for the DSL’s technologies to be fully integrated into the traditional facilities. The
primary laboratory of six computers, servers and scanning hardware will be housed in a
dedicated area in the Sculpture Resource Centre. This will entail the addition of a secure
wall at the back of the room to ensure the security of these machines and allow for the
dual use of the space. This computer hub will then be interfaced by means of fiber optic
cables to the mechanisms on construction housed in the specific studios; the CNC router
machine will be located in the wood shop, the plasma cutting table in the metal shop,
and the rapid prototyping machines in an enclosed room previously used as an office.

The fact that establishes this laboratory as a leading edge research facility is that it will
utilize these several different methods of translating digital code into objects by creating
the nexus platform that allows these processes to become compatible and adaptable.
Other scientific and design institutions are preoccupied with individual processes,
focusing their research on CNC innovation or RP development, we however are
interested in creating a multifaceted environment where these varying process are
combined and evolve together through strategically examining the reality of their
programming and mechanical processes.

 Through interfacing these technologies into a central system (the computer
 hub) we will be able to advance research in this field by adapting both the software and
construction processes as the laboratory and technology evolve. We see the initial
purchasing of these technologies as a seed, the initial investment in an organic process
that will evolve and provide the intellectual and material consideration that will fuel an
entirely new process of creating objects. York’s current sculpture laboratory is
recognized as a leader in Canadian art institutions, with a state of the art foundry, metal
shop and other facilities. By fusing this environment with the DSL we are able to
augment and expand both the emerging and traditional processes in a critically creative

In addition to allowing for the creation of new forms and sculptural processes the DSL
will redefine the purpose and established perceptions of sculpture in both art schools
and public institutions. Creating sculpture in the digital realm allows for endless
repetition with no original object and possible infinite reproducibility. In the form of raw
digital code, virtual sculptures defy the concepts of authenticity and objectness that are
associated with the authority of the process and material consideration. The concept of
the original is further undermined when we consider how effortlessly electronic data can
be shared around the globe, and exact reproduction can theoretically be produced
anywhere in the world. This factor invests the digital code with a conceptual primacy that
exists deep within electronic language of ones and zeros that determine the sculpture’s

York University PhD in Visual Arts

form. This approach subverts the existing arts infrastructure and practices since the
sculpture is no longer subject to shipping cost or international borders, freely traversing
distances instantly, and allowing for reproductions that cost only a few dollars in raw
materials. The potential for dissemination and simultaneous presentations, not to
mention cultural exchange, will forever alter the notion of a sculpture as a solitary object
of contemplation.

In terms of research, this facility represents a profound divergence from current research
practices concerned with this technology. This technology is essentially being developed
in service to commercial purposes, the material reality and the critical discourse inherent
in the process is being ignored. The DSL will exist within the framework of a University
that approaches the act of physical construction as an act of research and exploration,
not as a product to be co-modified. Once the issue of co-modification has been divorced
from the intent of the object, the artist/research is left to meditate on the nature of this
process and invent a new approach to making. Perhaps the largest failure of current
research in this field is that the market driven nature of the industry produces designers
who are blind to the broader implications of their invented processes. The technology is
used as a simple method of increasing production, when the possibilities for it to redefine
the nature of production are ignored. The DSL will exist free of the bond of commercial
production and there for begin to examine the boundaries and horizons presented by
this process. There is currently no other institution in Canada taking this critical approach
in investigating the possibility of such an operating system, or the possibilities of the
objects it could generate.

The challenge for sculptors utilizing digital technologies is to work within in this open
concept medium without relying on it for the content of their work. Objects translated
back and forth between the digital universe and the physical world, files describing
complex sculptural forms traveling instantly around the globe, infinite dissemination and
near endless reproductability and newly invented materials are all dynamic factors in this
research. However, this does not instantly qualify the work created as successful artistic
production or valid concepts. The context of the critical, socially engaged, research
institute of York University will provide the theoretical engagement that will make this
research a significant contribution to the evolution of physical production and perception.

 Although these systems are currently very expensive and access is very limited, it is
foreseeable that as the technology advances and the prices reduce, they will become
exceedingly common, perhaps as familiar as the once exclusive color photocopier. In
order for the technology to evolve in a democratic, open fashion, it is necessary for the
Digital Sculpture Laboratory to participate in the development and dissemination of this

York University PhD in Visual Arts

Appendix H

Photography facilities

September 2, 2005
Prepared by Nina Levitt

  The current photography area was renovated in 1999 providing chemical-based
  darkroom facilities on the main floor of the GCFA building and two shared digital labs
  on the 3rd floor for undergrad production, graduate level production work and training
  and faculty research and production.

            The extraordinary changes in digital technologies experienced in the past 5
            years in relation to photographic practice have been enormous. The impact
            on film-based and/or chemical-based photography is clear: digital equipment
            and facilities are here to stay. We anticipate that any chemical based labs will
            become specialty areas and will be deemed as such within the curriculum.
            Most of our “older” photographic equipment will be reserved for specialized
            training, yet repairs and replacements will become either increasingly
            expensive or impossible. However we are committed to maintaining the
            traditions of the practice and preserving as much as possible.

  In the next 3-5 years, the Photography Area at York University will undergo extensive
  renovations of its existing labs. This will include renovations to remove large gang
  darkrooms and replace them with state-of-the-art print facilities, general work areas
  and studios. Plans are also underway to expand the Photo Area into other parts of the
  building to provide a state-of-the-art classroom, and 2-3 graduate work spaces.

  Photography students, and faculty will also have access to future shared
  space/facilities within the GCFA, including a Project Room (for temporary productions
  or presentations), a Multi-purpose Classroom for visiting artists talks, classes and
  demonstrations. This is still in the planning and development stage.

Current facilities
• 2 film developing rooms, each accommodating single person use to load and
   process film
• Gang black and white Lab, 15 enlarger stations, accommodating 15 students printing
• 104 C, single use darkroom, 2 enlargers for printing B/W or colour
• 104 B, 2 person darkroom, 2 enlargers for printing B/W or colour. Note: Leica
   enlarger is a handicap, accessible station
• 104D, single person darkroom, 1 enlarger for printing B/W or colour.
• 102A, Large Format Room, equipped for printing larger scale photographs with a
   recommended maximum size of 40" x 60" in B/W. In color, at least one dimension
   cannot exceed 30" to fit processor
• 330E, a single use darkroom on the third floor used by senior and graduate students
• 105, lighting studio, also used as a classroom
• Gang Color Lab, 32" colour processor and 18 enlargers to accommodate up to 18
   students printing in colour (new in 1999)
• Classroom 150 sq ft.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

•   Technician’s office
•   Equipment cage
•   100 sq. ft. shared faculty office
•   Colour print viewing area
•   Shared access to lighting studio (CFA326): 2 cove walls (white and blue), permanent
    ceiling-mounted lighting grid, 2 Lowell lighting kits,
•   Shared access to digital print labs (CFA 328 & 320): Ink Jet printer, Laser printer,
    Epson 4000 printer (roll paper), Nikon negative scanner, film recorder

Photography Area Equipment
• Kreonite colour print processor
• Archival print washer for 16 x 20 prints
• Drying racks for RC and fiber paper
• Drying cabinet for film
• 2 dry mounting presses
• Dry mounting room (under construction)
• Freezer for film/paper storage
• Paper cutters
• Studio backdrops
• Canon EOS 35 mm digital camera
• 4x5 large format Cambo camera
• 6 digital cameras (3 point and shoots, 3 SLR’s)
• Assorted flood lights
• 2 Light meters
• Portable strobe kit
• Mamiya medium format camera
• Apple emac computer
• Video Projector

York University PhD in Visual Arts

Appendix I

Computing Resources

Grad Loft Hardware and Software:

  This list reflects the upgrades that have been made to the computing software

 Vendor            Model             Speed         PC1     PC2   PC3   PC4   MC1   MC2   MC3   MC4   L1
 Dell              PII D300          300 Mhz        X
 Dell              PIII L500R        500 Mhz               X
 Dell              PII V350          350 Mhz                     X
 Dell              PII XPS T500      500 Mhz                           X
 Apple             G4 Desktop        1Ghz Dual                               X
 Apple             G5 Desktop        2 Ghz                                         X
 Apple             G5 Desktop        1.8Ghz Dual                                         X     X
 Apple             14" iBook*        1.33Ghz                                                          X

 Vendor            Package           Version       PC1     PC2   PC3   PC4   MC1   MC2   MC3   MC4   L1
 Adobe             After Effects                                                          X
 Adobe             Photoshop         CS                                      X     X      X    X
 Apple             DVD Studio                                                      X      X
 Apple             Final Cut Pro                                             X     X     X     X
 Apple             iTunes                                                    X           X
 Apple             Macintosh         10.3.6                                  X     X     X
 Apple             Remote                                                    X           X
 Apple             Soundtrack        1.1                                     X     X
 Bias              Peak Express      3.3                                     X     X     X
 DigiDesign        mBOX                                                            X
 Media 100         Media 100                                                 X
 Microsoft         Office                              X   X     X     X     X     X     X     X

 Vendor            Model             Networked?    PC1     PC2   PC3   PC4   MC1   MC2   MC3   MC4   MC4
 Epson             2480 Scanner      No                                             X
 Hewlett-          LaserJet          Yes               X   X     X     X     X      X    X     X
 Packard           2300

 * Loaned from 330 GCFA

York University PhD in Visual Arts

Appendix J

Faculty of Graduate Studies Thesis Evaluation Regulations

                                THESIS & DISSERTATION
                                Annual Report on Progress
                               Post-PhD Qualifing Examination
                                    Post-MA coursework


1.      What progress have you made towards your degree during the past year? (Do not
        include progress recorded in last year’s report). Please explain deviations from
        last year’s goals.)

2.      Please itemize the remaining requirements for your degree, including stages of
        your thesis or dissertation, propose a timetable for completing them, with specific
        goals for the next year:

TO BE COMPLETED BY SUPERVISOR, in consultation with committee:

1.      Comment on the student’s progress during the last year:

2.      Comment on the student’s objectives for next year:

3.      Comment on student’s timetable for completing degree requirements, including
        thesis or dissertation:

4.      Considering the overall professional development of the student (e.g. stage in
        program, conference presentations, publications, etc.), is he/she making
        satisfactory academic progress? If not, explain why.

York University PhD in Visual Arts

5.      At least two members of the supervisory committee met with this student to
        discuss his/her progress: (check) ______


        This student is engaged in research away from the university, and unavailable for
        a meeting, so this evaluation was completed by mail, or electronically and
        discussed by at least two members of the supervisory committee: (check) ______

Signature [Advisor]                                         Date

Student’s reply to the committee’s comments:

Student’s comments [please comment on your progress since the last report (if any) and
on the cause of any delay which has prevented you from proceeding as expected - use
other side if necessary]:

Signature [Student]                                                Date

                                   GRADUATE PROGRAM.


Description: Practice Phd Research in Art Work Plan document sample