Russia launches its first Art & Science master’s degree programme

Report Post
The first Art and Science master's degree program is launched in Russia

By Project 5-100

ITMO University, Russian Academic Excellence Project participant, launches the first Art & Science international master’s degree program in Russia which integrates art and science.

Dimitri Ozerkov, art historian, curator and Director of the Department of Contemporary Art, the State Hermitage Museum, became an academic supervisor of the master’s degree program. All training under the program will be provided in English.

The new master’s degree program is aimed at training interdisciplinary specialists who are to tackle the issues related to science, society and culture combining tools in the sphere of art and advanced technologies. The program launched within Project 5-100 will provide artists who would like to discover new opportunities for being expressive with necessary scientific and technical skills, and will help encourage creativity of those who have practical experience in technology and are seeking new ways of creative development in arts.

Training through project implementation will allow preparing a new generation of professionals who meet the objectives of today’s digital economy and are sought-after by creative teams of innovative companies. These are innovators in technology who unlock the aesthetics and functions of modern high-tech developments, and researchers who are open to unconventional experiments integrating science and technology.

This is an innovative initiative in education for Russia, and, according to Mr. Ozerkov, it is not a coincidence that ITMO University, which is one of the leaders in Project 5-100 aimed at increasing competitivess of the best Russian universities among the world’s leading research and education centers, has become a top one in this sphere.

“The new program is centred on students who learn how to study, gain knowledge and be creative, rather than on knowledge as a “finished product”. The  Art&Science program is aimed at creating an atmosphere which is to form a leader of the future: an innovator, a creative person who is actively involved in social life. ITMO University is an institution that provides for successful introduction of this initiative: on the one hand, it traditionally has advanced equipment and technologies for implementing future projects of students of the master’s degree program, and, on the other hand, it is open to new ideas and forms of interaction and is capable of changing quickly and responding to today’s challenges,” says Dimitri Ozerkov.

ITMO University was one of the first Russian educational institutions to pay attention to Art&Science development prospects. The university has implemented projects related to art and technology since 2013. These projects include 3D reconstructions and excursions with the use of VR  for technology, light installations and creation of OptoClones for the Fabergé Museum and the Diamond Fund exhibition. In 2016 ITMO University and the State Hermitage Museum launched a joint international educational project titled “ART&SCIENCE: SCIENCE. ART. MUSEUM.”. This is a series of open workshops on collaboration between art and science attended by artists and scientists from all over the world. In 2017, the Art&Science Cluster was formed at ITMO University, which integrates all projects in this sphere. The success of the above-mentioned projects and the growing interest in the theme have become the main prerequisites for creating the Art&Science master’s degree program.

Training under this program will be based on understanding of the achievements of science and high technology (IT, photonics, optics, robotics, and biotechnology) from the perspective of art. Lecture courses and workshops on creative technology, thinking, the ethics of high technology, the history of Art&Science and contemporary art are supplemented with project-oriented classes where future graduates of the master’s degree program will learn how to work with big data, VR/AR solutions, robots and new high-tech materials. Training is aimed at practice: in two years, the students working with famous scientists and artists as part of a team, will create several high-tech objects d’art. Besides, each of them will prepare his or her own unique project using ITMO University’s research laboratories as part of master studies. The students of the master’s degree program can implement their projects in various Art&Science fields, including IT+Art, Robotics+Art, BioArt, SoundArt, Video/AR/VR+Art, NeuroArt, etc.

Teachers will include opinion leaders and experts in various spheres (scientists, curators and Russian and foreign artists).

Bachelors and specialists in both technology and art can enroll on the Art&Science program. The program provides for a face-to-face form of education.

***

Starting from 2013, Russia has been implementing Project 5-100, – a state support program for Russian universities. Its goal is to raise the standing of Russian higher education and have at least five member universities in the top-100 of three respected world rankings. Project 5-100 is enabling 21 Russian universities to move forward in terms of effectively strengthening their education and research, promoting innovations and R&D, facilitating international cooperation, streamlining administration, balancing the authority of the management and academics, nurturing a proactive academic environment, increasing internationalization, providing sufficient incentives for attracting the top professors from around the world and also for the existing faculty’s professional growth.

 

***

ITMO University (Saint Petersburg) is a national research university, the leading Russian university in the field of information and photonic technologies. The university is the alma mater of winners of numerous international programming competitions: ACM ICPC (the only seven-time world champions), Google Code Jam, Facebook Hacker Cup, Yandex Algorithm, Russian Code Cup, Topcoder Open etc. Priority research areas: IT, photonic technologies, robotics, quantum communication, translational medicine, urban studies, art&science, and science communication. Starting from 2013, the university has been a member of Project 5-100, which unites 21 top Russian universities to improve their status on the international research and education arena. In 2017 ITMO University entered the world’s top 100 universities in Computer Science for the second consecutive year, and the world’s top 400 universities in Engineering and Technology for the first time, according to the Times Higher Education subject ranking. ITMO University is also represented inthe world’s top 400 universities in Physics and Astronomy in the Quaquarelly Symonds (QS) subject ranking.