Education today is faced with the task of developing socially and culturally sustainable models in an era where the challenges are global in scope. For arts and culture facilitators questions arise around how to use online spaces to provide engaging international experiences for students and colleagues. How does one share and preserve distinctive cultures and creative contexts when connecting online? And how, on graduation, might arts and media students find a foothold in global economies of artistic production?

Over the past 10 years students and professors at 8 universities around the world have engaged in meaningful international experiences under the name International Art Collaborations (INTAC) following an annual cycle of 8-month engagements. The current 2019 iteration of INTAC brings together 6 universities located in Finland, Mexico, Canada, Germany, South Korea and China.

INTAC Method Schematic

The more recent Visual Catalyst Workshops (VICAT), expose participants to the possibilities of visual art research, actions and outcomes to provoke awareness and change movement towards sustainable futures and circular economies.

The INTAC network provides a framework that empowers students to connect with one another, and through online communication, work together to collaborate on dynamic art projects. We employ a philosophy of open team-based exchange of ideas and materials through workspace platforms and social media combined with facilitated in-person meetings at each location. In this environment students develop projects under the guidance of their professors at each school, and are encouraged to become leaders in building new relationships through the sharing of ideas and concepts that cross language and cultural differences.

The virtual learning experience fosters a contemporary take on traditional individualistic methods of art-making practices and prepares students to understand realities of cultural diversity and inter-dependence. Through the blending of online and face-to-face collaboration, students develop artworks that address a broad range of themes, effectively empowering them to work together and engage questions crucial to themselves and their international partners. As future professional image creators, they are better prepared to positively impact 21st century media environments.


Exhibitions - April 2020

In spring 2020. due to the global pandemic, the students in Mexico designed a virtual exhibition with an opening on April 23. Students in Finland created a website documentation and INTAC participated in the Tampere International Week which, this year, took place entirely online.

INTAC Methodology

Participants

To form groups students post introductions of themselves and their work.

Proposals

Students then post project proposals based around a theme, which then leads to groups being formed around different ideas.

REVOLUTION - noun

  1. An overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.
  2. A sudden, complete or marked change in something.
  3. A round or cycle of events in time or a recurring period of time.

Depending on the field of study revolution can mean numerous things, but I would believe it is commonly known as a radical change in something. What I am interested in is the beginning of it, what gives the spark that brings on the breaking point where thoughts become art, text and speech and these lead to action...

In the time of social network and global world Internet is full of ideas, manifestos and groups, slowly bubbling communities of revolution: What I write in England can be grasped by someone who lives in China. The world is full of thought and sparks of revolution. My suggestion for an art project is a performance live-streamed. We do the same action at the same time and do a split screen representation online. I figured the performance itself could be creating/drawing a labyrinth in the ground and walk through it in a public place. Details of this are open to conversation.

Example Projects

Final projects are then submitted most often as websites.

Exhibitions

Students are charged with organizing and funding their own large group exhibitions, some of the participants usually travelling each year to meet face-to-face.

Virtual Gallery April 2020

2020

INTAC 2019/20 on the web
INTAC 2019-20 Projects and Visual Catalyst Workshops
Virtual Exhibition
'Plug in (s)Objects', INTACnet online Virtual Gallery, virtualgallery.com
featured in iWeek, International Art Week,Tampere, Finland

2019

'A Thousand Words', Ada Slaight Gallery, OCADU,
CONTACT Photo Festival, Toronto, Canada

2018

'Ritual', Samtan Art Mine, Samtan, South Korea
Chung Ang University, Anseong, South Korea.
Bratislava Off_Festival of Photography, Slovakia

2017

'Turmoil', Osaka University of Arts, Osaka, Japan
Ada Slaight Gallery, OCADU, Toronto

2016

'Desire: The double-edged sword', Galleria Nykyaika, Tampere, Finland
Ada Slaight Gallery, OCADU, Toronto
Galerie Bethanien, Berlin, Germany

2015

'Revolution', Osaka University of Arts, Osaka, Japan
CONTACT Festival of Photography, Toronto
Vienna Photo Book Fair

Pseudo Poster

2014

'Simulation', Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, China
'Revolution', Bratislava Off_Festival of Photography, Slovakia
Backlight Festival of Photography, Tampere, Finland
CONTACT Festival of Photography, Toronto

2013

Tampere Art Festival, Tampere, Finland
Illum Gallery, Seoul, South Korea

2012

CONTACT Festival of Photography, Toronto
Tampere Art Factory, Tampere, Finland

2011

Tampere Art Factory, Tampere, Finland

The work of INTAC has been presented in panels at conferences:

iWeek, Tampere, Finland, 2020 (Peter Sramek, Meera Margaret Singh, Juha Suonpää, Sofia Sienra)

Leadership Nouveau, MOMA, New York, 2014 (Peter Sramek)

Society for Photographic Education, Annual Conference, Chicago, 2013 (Juha Suonpää and Peter Sramek)

Chaaya Conference on Indian Photography, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India, 2012 (Peer Sramek)

Tampere Art Factory, Tampere, Finland, 2012 (Juha Suonpää and Peter Sramek)

International Center for Photography, New York, 2011 (Peter Sramek)

Member Institutions

OCAD University

www.ocadu.ca

“The International Art Collaboration Studio was initiated in the Photography program in 2010, but now includes students from many disciplines, this year – Photography, Sculpture/Installation, Integrated Media and Graphic Design. Cross-disciplinary practices are key to OCAD’s environment and INTAC embodies this philosophy, attracting students interested in international and collaborative experiences, in cultural exchange and online communication. This fits well with OCAD’s commitment to exploring digital culture and its relationship to contemporary art. Understanding that the local and global are inextricably linked in today’s world, INTAC hopes to create direct experiences for the participants and forge ongoing networks of creative individuals.”

~ Prof. Peter Sramek,
Prof. Meera Margaret Singh
Photography, Faculty of Art, OCADU

OCAD University is located in Canada’s largest urban centre, offers a full complement of Art and Design, as well as focused Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies programs leading to BFA, BDES and BA degrees.

TAMK University of Applied Sciences

www.tamk.fi

“Photography, Video, Performance and Media art in general are among interdisciplinary tools that students from TAMK are using in INTAC. The key aims are to develop an environmentally, socially and ethically sustainable learning platform and to motivate the growing number of participating students who have been intensively joining INTAC since 2010. INTAC is a new way of collaborative working – producing creative inventions, developing students’ project management skills and critical thinking in the international contemporary art scenes – denaturalizing a Nero myth, the romanticized idea of a lonely, Nero-like artist who does masterpieces alone in the studio.”

~ Dr. Juha Suonpää, Head of Fine Arts, TAMK.

Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) is located in the second largest city in Finland and is ranked as one of the most popular universities in Finland according to the number of yearly applicants. The Faculty of Art, Music and Media offers a variety of BA programs such as Music, Film and Television, Interactive Media and Fine Art. In 2014, the Fine Art Program is being merged into the international English-speaking Media and Arts program with a future, which is open for applicants from all over the world.

Chung-Ang University

www.cau.ac.kr

“INTAC is a creative art activity of working on collaborative projects with students from universities around the world. It uses a team-based environment in which ideas and materials have been exchanged through Skype, blogs and social media. Using group meetings, video conferencing and the online learning management system, as well as more public and popular social networking tools, students communicate and develop projects under professors and instructors at each school. Students should be willing to take the lead in building new relationships, sharing ideas and communicating online. Through the art project ‘Fake’ students were highly motivated and able to work well with each other in an environment where online communication activity is at the core of the process.”

~ YongHwan Lee,
Prof. Silas Fong
Prof. Gustav Hellberg
Department of Photography, CAU.

Chung-Ang University (CAU) is a private institution with 30,000 students and 982 faculty members. It consists of 10 undergraduate colleges and 16 graduate schools over two campuses, in Seoul and Anseong, Korea. Established in 1918, CAU has endured through the painful course of Korea’s modern history, upholding its ideal of “Truth and Justice”. Since then, CAU has taken a leading role in nurturing intellectuals of the nation. Respected as leading institution providing quality education, CAU has sped up the pace of innovation in local education. Fully accredited by the Ministry of Education and Science Technology of Korea, CAU offers a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs including a law school, global MBA programs and a medical school. Thanks to these schools’ vibrant activities, CAU gained top recognition in the nation from the MEST for the last eight years. As a major private institution, Chung-Ang University is fully committed to guiding its Korean and international students to envision their life goals and achieve their maximum potential in the increasingly competitive global society.

University of Applied Sciences Europe

www.btk-fh.de/en

“Since 2013, UE Berlin has participated in INTAC as a full member, cooperating with the other three schools, organizing exhibitions, collaborative research possibilities and guest lectures. The frame of INTAC is allowing UE to open its curriculum to sharable, interdisciplinary art projects and in the last two semesters about 35 students from BTK have actively participated. Each school is working to create exhibition opportunities and my connections in Slovakia will take us next November to Bratislava.”

~ Prof. Walter Bergmoser, Vice Rector, UE.

The INTAC partners at the University of Applied Sciences Europe (UE) are located in the Berlin design and art campus. The university challenges and trains the creative minds of the future in five Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) programs – Motion Design, Interaction Design, Communication Design, Illustration and Photography. Further opportunities exist in the Design/Media Spaces Master of Arts (M.A.) program.

At UE Berlin, modern design is combined with the traditional aspects of applied art and the innovative possibilities of new media. UE offers interdisciplinary study programs in both German and English, which enable students to explore the interface of both analogue and digital means of visual expression, and in so doing, help them to influence and determine the future of design.

Wuhan Textile University, School of Art And Design

www.wtu.edu.cn

"INTAC allows the Graduate students in Photography to develop communication and cooperation with students around the world. It gives them a totally new experience to create their works through online communication channels".

~ Dr. Liu Fan, School of Art And Design, WTU

WTU, located in the middle of China, has more than one million university students. WTU is known for providing a high quality, student-oriented education in a multi-disciplinary environment that integrates engineering, science, arts, economics and management.

Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, Faculty of Arts

web.uaemex.mx/fartes

"INTAC is an ideal project for the university as students can learn to communicate about their art and ideas with students from abroad. Students from the photographic department have been taking part and it has proved a challenging and exciting experience. As we continue in the network, we hope our students will be able to work more collaboratively over the internet and we also want to encourage students from other departments to participate. We were delighted to hold the INTAC exhibition April of 2015. It was a wonderful opportunity for students from abroad to exhibit and visit Japan and also to introduce INTAC to the students here.”

~ Prof. Sofia Sienra
Prof. Cynthia Ortega
Faculty of Media, UAEMEX

UAEMex was founded in 1956, and has become one of the main institutions for university studies in the Mexican Republic. The Art Faculty in Toluca de Lerdo, established in 1996, currently offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Fine Arts, Digital Art, Film Studies and Music, as well as a Masters degree in Visual Studies. The Art Faculty joined INTAC in 2016 with students in the Digital Art program and it continues to encourage the international exchange of ideas, the learning of languages and sharing of experiences, as well as the possibilities to generate knowledge through art practice.

Past Partners

Osaka University of Arts

www.osaka-geidai.ac.jp

"INTAC is an ideal project for the university as students can learn to communicate about their art and ideas with students from abroad. Students from the photographic department have been taking part and it has proved a challenging and exciting experience. As we continue in the network, we hope our students will be able to work more collaboratively over the internet and we also want to encourage students from other departments to participate. We were delighted to hold the INTAC exhibition April of 2015. It was a wonderful opportunity for students from abroad to exhibit and visit Japan and also to introduce INTAC to the students here.”

~ Assoc. Prof. Hiro Sato, Department of Photography, (retired)), OUA
Prof. Mineko Orisaku, Head of Department of Photography, OUA
Prof. Kiyotaka Morooka, Department of Photography, OUA

Osaka University of Arts is located in Osaka in Western Japan. It is a private university founded in 1945 and is the largest art university in Japan with currently 5,500 students. It offers the full range of visual arts departments as well as architecture, music, media and education. The university values a spirit of freedom, and the curricula and courses are flexible to allow students to pursue their creative goals. Internationalization is an important part of the university’s philosophy. While respecting the Japanese cultural heritage, the university encourages art with a universality that can be understood by people throughout the world.

National Institute of Design

www.nid.edu

"The Photography Design Masters students have participated in INTAC, both through another international collaboration called Collective Body and then directly with the INTAC group.”

~ Rishi Singhal, Coordinator, Photography Design

NID offers professional education programs at Bachelors and Masters level with five faculty streams and 20 diverse design domains. The overall structure of NID’s program is a combination of theory, skills, design projects and field experiences. It is a unique institution with many problem-solving capabilities, depths of intellect and a time-tested creative educational culture in promoting design competencies and setting standards of design education. The rigorous development of the designer’s skills and knowledge through a process of ‘hands on-minds on’ is what makes the difference.

Origins 2009-2010