M.A. in Aesthetics and Visual Cultures


Program Description

PG Professional Program in Aesthetics and Visual Cultures

dli-14 The MA in Aesthetics and Visual Cultures enables students to engage with a range of artistic and cultural practices including the visual arts, performance arts, film, and video. It enables you to understand the histories and theories of these practices in an Indian as well as the international context so that students are equipped to work within the wider field of arts and culture as museum/gallery/festival curators, researchers, policymakers, consultants or entrepreneurs.

The unique learning and teaching approaches on this MA combine a sound theoretical understanding of relevant disciplines with active studio practice, as well as internships and projects with art and cultural institutions that will provide students with a deeper and first-hand understanding of the Indian cultural ecology. Rather than following a conventional Art Historical framework, the course is attentive to the requirements and possibilities of our contemporary world, which is in constant flux and needs inter-disciplinary methods, and creative thinking to address social and political issues through artistic or cultural practice.

dli-14aNotes on the (dis)appearance of the real' at Shrine Empire Gallery in New Delhi - OCTOBER 2010.


The disciplines that inform this MA are:

  • Aesthetics and Critical Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Arts Management
  • Critical Geography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Curatorial Studies
  • Digital Arts
  • Film
  • History
  • Language Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Photography


Research and Collaboration

Students will have the opportunity to work with the following centers and labs at Srishti School:

  • Art in Transit
  • Bangalore Human Sciences Initiatives (BHSI)
  • Center for Education, Research, Training, and Development (CERTAD)
  • Center for Experimental Media Arts (CEMA)
  • Center for Public History (CPH)
  • Design+Environment+Law Laboratory (DEL Laboratory)
  • designEARTH lab
  • The Kabir Project
  • Srishti Films
  • UNESCO Chair at Srishti
  • Writing Center

We also have active research collaborations with the following:

  • VisionMix network
  • The Institute of Network Cultures: Video Vortex
  • Faculty of Communications and Design, University of Bilkent, Ankara
  • Department of Film & Visual Arts, University of Winchester
  • The Kochi Biennale

dli-14cNotes on the (dis)appearance of the real' at Shrine Empire Gallery in New Delhi - OCTOBER 2010. dli-14dNotes on the (dis)appearance of the real' at Shrine Empire Gallery in New Delhi - OCTOBER 2010.

Course Structure

  1. Studios: provide intense learning experiences and enable discourse through making and thinking. It will be a core practice space where students will draw from their learning and critical thought from individual M.A. seminar-studios here for a more enriched understanding and experience. It is envisioned as a space for experimenting, synthesizing knowledge and practices through immersive engagement, intuition, contextual learning, design processes and creative methodologies.
  2. Seminar-Studios - To fully explore different learning potentials offered by the humanities and design, this school offers Seminar-Studio as a core learning and investigating space, where text-based scholarship and research practices will be mobilized and reoriented toward an active and experiential engagement with contemporary concerns.
  3. Workshops provide a platform for debate and emergence, through a dialogue between material making and critical thinking. This 2-week engagement in each semester allows students to formulate independent responses to ideas and processes, material and immaterial.
  4. Summer Practice (Practice), with an organization, a center or a lab at Srishti or a self-initiated project, is an integral part of learning, and demonstrating students' abilities to integrate and synthesize in a field, context or environment. Students will engage in practice during the summer after their first year of the M.A. that will lead to developing their focus area for capstone or dissertation.
  5. 'Interlude' (Practice) - This is a space in which the student will pursue a practical engagement related to their field of study that is creative, reflective and extensive. Students will work collaboratively to conceptualize an experiment, symposium or exhibition, and public engagement or demonstration. The work done in the studios may be extended into this mode or may intersect with Interim Semester (odd semesters only)
  6. The seminar is a space for investigating a particular idea, topic, praxis, etc. by discussion and/or dialogue, and may also involve crits, pin-ups, presentations, etc. of either works-in-progress or completed works for feedback.
  7. Dissertation or Capstone Project in the final semester is the synthesis and demonstration of capabilities to see the world in new ways and study human cultures through its creative practices.

dli-14eNotes on the (dis)appearance of the real' at Shrine Empire Gallery in New Delhi - OCTOBER 2010.

Learning Approach

The units will be taught as core Seminar-Studio and Workshop courses, which draw from the expertise of the faculty teaching in this School and take a practice-based approach. There will also be studio classes that emphasize experiential knowledge and design processes. Studio units along with Practice & Interlude spaces are meant for students to explore and find a research context of particular interest – a practice or process, an image or scene, a landscape or an artifact. The final project in the second year may be a capstone project or a dissertation.

Capability sets

  • Ability to understand and apply research methods from Art History, Film & Video Studies, Cultural Studies, Oral History, Anthropology & Critical Geography.
  • Ability to critically read, think and write about artistic practices with an informed viewpoint.
  • Ability to investigate the politics of representation, curation, and cultural production.
  • Acquire a historical and theoretical understanding of art and culture in its varied forms.
  • Ability to integrate theory and practice in meaningful ways
  • Acquire an understanding of the Indian arts and culture ecology by working with art events & film festivals, museums, galleries and other cultural institutes
  • Ability to understand the audiences of art and programming requirements to develop these communities
  • Ability to devise new modes of ‘knowledge production’ through artistic and curatorial practice



  • Art/Film Curation
  • Art/Film Criticism & Writing
  • Research and advanced study
  • Arts Management
  • Programrs at Museums, Festivals, and Galleries
  • Program Officers for Funding Agencies, CSR Trusts and government agencies overseeing arts and culture grants


For further information, kindly email Rashmi Sawhney at /?utm_source=Keystone&utm_campaign=Keystone&utm_medium=KeystoneListingrashmi.sawhney@srishti.ac.in

Last updated Jul 2019

About the School

Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology is a non-residential institution founded in 1996 by the Ujwal Trust with the objective of providing art and design education in an environment of creat ... Read More

Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology is a non-residential institution founded in 1996 by the Ujwal Trust with the objective of providing art and design education in an environment of creativity to maximize the individual’s potential.The Ujwal Trust also manages Srishti's sister institution, the prestigious Mallya Aditi International School. Read less