Building Practical Knowledge
The Graduate School of Film and New Media’s Doctoral Program places importance on the aspect of gaining insight and experience through “creating”, while building new “practical knowledge”. The aim is to conduct research into the vocabulary and grammar of film media, and ultimately contribute to the systematization of this new field.
At present, doctorates in creative fields are a subject of worldwide controversy. Especially in the EU member countries, norms concerning terms and degrees are being created in order to ensure smooth interchange between the universities of each country, and more and more art-related doctorates based on practical work are being implemented. A doctoral program must of course involve research aimed at the formulation of theoretical ideas, but in the art field, there has to be a tangible subject in the form of an artwork first, and the creative process out of which it emerges. Above that, the positions of the artist, the artwork, and the aspect of culture in a historical context need to be defined, based on which the respective work must be discussed theoretically in consideration of its relationship with previous theories.
Theorizing Art as a Creative Human Activity
Due to the fact that no state-run film schools have been established in Japan in spite of the developments in the film and video industry, film and video-related research in this country is lagging significantly behind. Not movie theory and history from a viewer perspective, but theoretical studies from the standpoint of the creating side are what was virtually not existent. Even though numerous Japanese corporations are producing film-related equipment, research and promotion of methods of viewing and utilizing film and video media have been largely neglected, and one can surely say that this backwardness of film literacy is indeed fatal.
Concretely speaking, while theorizing art as a creative human activity, in the Doctoral Program such practical work is being analyzed comprehensively in connection with the Master Programs curriculum centering around practical creative work.
The field of film and video is a field of art that is founded on the notion of reproducibility thanks to media technology (film, tape or digital data), and the creation process can be reviewed relatively easily. In addition, a film for example is a product of group work, a piece of art that comes into being through an accumulation of creative acts, and that can be interpreted as an external stage for individual internal creativity.
While examining concrete results, at the same time we should not overlook the evolution of media technology including camera and digital editing technology as a supporting pillar of such concrete cases of artistic expression. While reviewing the transformations of technology from the past up to the present, at the same time we eye research and development of new media technology that enables new forms of expression.
Curriculum (graduate education and research)
In the doctoral course, the curriculum is composed from a point of view dedicated to the building of a new “pragmatic knowledge”, focusing on vision and experience of what “creating” is all about in the field of visual media. Research supervision, similarly to the Master’s course, is based on an individual direction and follow, adapted to each student’s project and level of ability. This course also promotes a stepping in as early as possible to an international carrier as a researcher, by focusing, in as well as outside Japan, on presentations and papers at academic societies, on the sending of works to events and exhibitions, and on internships and artist-in-residence programs.