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Moorea
Berkeley Summer Abroad

Mo'orea: Polynesian Culture and Contemporary Art - SUSPENDED

  • Summary

    PROGRAM CANCELED FOR SUMMER 2020

    Dive deep into contemporary art and Polynesian culture on the stunning, ecologically diverse island of Mo’orea in French Polynesia. Participants will learn new strategies in contemporary creative research and art practice to reflect critically on the environmental and social dynamics of the sea in the context of Polynesia, with its significant exposures to colonialism, climate change, as well as with its tremendous natural and cultural resources.

    In the first half of the course, students will study and apply a variety of traditional Polynesian art forms through intensive workshops with local artists and cultural practitioners. In the second half of the course, students will explore new media techniques including sound recording, video recording, music production, data sonification, video editing, and video dissemination.

    This program is a collaboration between UC Berkeley’s Art Practice department, the Gump Station, and the Atitia Polynesian Cultural Center.
     
    Course components include:

    • Weaving, nautical mapping, and woodcarving workshops at the Atitia Polynesian Cultural Center

    • Hands-on instruction in creating music, video, and music video projects

    • Attending a Tahitian art festival and art museums

    • Several day trips to stunning lagoons, tiny islands, and rugged natural sites

     

    Dates: July 5, 2020 to August 2, 2020
    All dates are subject to change

     

    Units: 6

     

    Language of Instruction: English

     

    Courses:

    • Art 160N: Special Topics in Visual Studies: Creative Research Studio

    • 6 Units Total

     

    Eligibility:

    • At least one year of college coursework completed by the start of the program

    • 2.0 GPA or higher

    • Program excursions will include swimming components. Students planning to attend this program should be able to swim at least at a beginner level. There will be an on-site swim and basic water safety class and test in Mo'orea conducted by the UC Dive master. If students fail this test, there will be other land-based options for these students.

    • There is no prerequisite coursework required for participation.

     

    Housing:

    More information coming soon!

     

    Application:

    • Application opens February 3, 2020
    • Space is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
    • Deadline to apply is March 15, 2020

  • Courses

    During the program, you will take one course for a total of 6 UC Berkeley units.

    Course: Art 160N
    Title: Special Topics in Visual Studies: Creative Research Studio
    Instructor: Jill Miller & Greg Niemeyer
    Units: 6
    Description:

    This course will explore art about the Sea on the stunningly beautiful, ecologically diverse and yet precarious island of Mo’orea in French Polynesia. The Richard B. Gump Station, a research station operated by UC Berkeley, will be the course home base, and students will engage in creative research with two faculty members during the course of one month. 

    In the first two weeks, students will experiment with a variety of traditional Polynesian art forms through intensive workshops with local artisans at the Atitia Center. Students will create two art projects that utilize the techniques learned in the workshops at the Atitia Center, specifically weaving Polynesian nautical maps and carving vessels.

    In the second section, students consider rendering the sea with new media, specifically video and music. Assignments involve sound recording, video recording, music production, data sonification, video editing, and video dissemination. Students will complete sound art, music video, and video art.

    In both sections students will learn new strategies in contemporary creative research and art practice to reflect critically on the environmental and social dynamics of the sea in the context of Polynesia, with its significant exposures to colonialism, climate change, as well as with its tremendous natural and cultural resources.

    The course components include: drawing, recording, measuring and observing the natural environment (plein air), weaving and woodcarving workshops with local artisans; creating music video projects; reading and discussion sessions; attending a Tahitian art festival; and exploring stunning lagoons, tiny islands, and rugged natural sites for journaling, sketching, data collection and videography.
     
    You can fulfill the L&S International Studies breadth requirement by full participation in a Berkeley Summer Abroad program. All of the required courses must be completed with a C-/P or better. Consult with your college/major advisor to see which degree requirements this course may fulfill.

    Summer Abroad staff will enroll you in courses after your acceptance to the program. Please make sure there are no active blocks on your student account that may impact your course enrollment.

  • Costs

    Tuition and Program Fee

    The fees to participate in this program are broken down into 1) tuition and 2) program fees, which are applied to your student billing account as follows:

    2020 Fees UC Students Visiting Students
    Tuition (6 units) $2,514 $3,300
    Program Fee $2,910 $2,910
    Total Cost $5,424 $6,210

    Fees are subject to change. All non-UC Berkeley students must pay an additional Document Management Fee of $60.

    Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses In addition to the fees outlined above, Berkeley Study Abroad has estimated costs for out-of- pocket expenses. These amounts are used to calculate financial aid packages for eligible students. Actual expenses will vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

    2020 Estimated Expenses                                 Amount

    International Airfare and Transportation $1,456
    Additional Meals $787
    Books $290
    Personal Expenses (i.e. phone, passport, visas, etc.) $511
    Total Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses $3,044 

     

    Financial Aid

    Financial aid is available for Berkeley students who are enrolled in at least 6 units during the summer. All other students should contact the financial aid office at their home institution for more information.
     

    Explanation of Fees

    Tuition is based on a per-unit cost:

    • The UC undergraduate student rate is $419 per unit
    • The visiting student rate for all non-UC participants is $550 per unit

    The program fee includes* the following items:

    • Student housing for the duration of the program + breakfast daily.
    • On-site orientation activities, excursions, etc.
    • Travel insurance to cover accident/sickness medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, security extraction, and other travel assistance services
    • Other program-related costs including fees for group transportation, guest speakers, etc.
    • The $400 deposit. If accepted to the program, the $400 deposit is non-refundable and will be applied towards your program fee. If you are waitlisted or denied admission to the program, your deposit will be refunded. Please note that for continuing UC Berkeley students, the deposit will be charged to your CalCentral account at the time you apply. Financial aid eligible students can wait until their summer aid is disbursed to pay the deposit.

    *Please note that the list of items included in the program fee is not all-inclusive and is subject to change.

    The following items are excluded from the program fee:

    • International airfare
    • Personal expenses (souvenirs, routine medical expenses, toiletries, etc.)
    • Course materials (textbooks and readers)
    • Other travel expenses (passport, visa, etc.)
    • Additional meals
    • Commuting costs for daily travel to and from classes

  • Timeline
    Application opens February 3, 2020
    Application closes March 15, 2020
    Applicants notified of selection March 20, 2020
    Deadline to confirm participation or cancel for a refund of all program-related fees, minus $400 deposit April 3, 2020
    Attend pre-departure orientation* Late April-May
    Arrive in Mo'orea July 5, 2020 
    Last day of program August 2, 2020

    * These events take place on the UC Berkeley campus. If you are not on campus during this time, we will schedule a meeting via phone or Skype.
    † Students are expected to check into program housing in Mo’orea on July 5, 2020. Students are expected to check out of program housing on August 2, 2020. Students who depart after the last day may do so, but they are responsible for arranging their accommodations outside of the program end date.
    All dates are subject to change.

  • Instructors

    Program Co-Director: Jill Miller
    jillmiller@berkeley.edu

    Jill Miller is a visual artist who collaborates with individuals and communities in the form of public interventions, workshops, and social practices art. She often creates non-vital public services, using the opportunity to point the finger at something lacking in our culture. For example, The Milk Truck, an emergency breastfeeding advocacy vehicle, called out establishments who were hassling or harassing breastfeeding mothers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She intentionally uses humor as a strategy to open questions about the difficult subject matter. She received her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles and her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, in English. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, and collected in public institutions worldwide including CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

    In 2018, Jill was hired by the Department of Art Practice to start public practices art program. She is renovating a 3700 square foot courtyard in Wurster Hall, and it will open as a public practices community space in 2019.
     

    Program Co-Director: Greg Niemeyer
    niemeyer@berkeley.edu 

    Greg Niemeyer is a data artist, and the Chair of the Department of Art Practice at UC  Berkeley. He's a former Director and co-founder of the Berkeley Center for New Media. He studied Classics and Photography in Switzerland and started working with new media when he moved to the Bay Area in 1992. He received his MFA from Stanford University in New Genres in 1997. At the same time, he founded the Stanford University Digital Art Center (SUDAC), which he directed until 2001, when he was appointed as a professor for New Media at UC Berkeley's Department of Art Practice. He is a co-founder of  the Berkeley Center for New Media, an interdisciplinary center for the critical analysis of new media experiences.  In both roles, he creatively investigates the impact of new media on human experiences. 

    Greg's creative practice focuses on innovations of digital tools for mediations between individuals, communities and environments. His main focus is Data Culture. His art projects explore data culture critically and creatively and include Liquid Bell (2019),The Metered Tide (2019), Quantopia (Yerba Buena, 2019), Tsar Bell (2015) polartide (Venice Biennale, 2013-2014) and The Black Cloud (Machine Project, Los Angeles, 2008). Black Cloud was funded by the MacArthur Foundation to provide an alternate reality game and a social network for measuring air quality and taking actions to benefit indoor air quality. The project has evolved into a startup company, Aclima Inc., where Greg serves as the Senior Advisor for Social Engagement. The origin of “Black Cloud” is “Tomato Quintet” with Chris Chafe (Machine Project, 2007, SJ01, 2010, NAMOC, 2011) which connects tomato ripening processes to music, music to people and people to the ripening process.