Faculty of Art Video & Media Arts Course

Videoandmediaart Course

In pursuit of video as art

Picture. Design. Color. The transformations of these elements and their coordination with sound and rhythm—through such visuals and sensations an artwork is produced that reaches into a person’s heart. SEIKA’s Video & Media Arts Course looks for video artwork that expresses not “narrative” but “sensation.” Not merely the kind of story or script-led work seen in films and TV drama, but also utilizing the power of the moving image itself to target human emotions.

For example, you may have heard of projection mapping. As seen in famous recent examples at Tokyo Station or the Sapporo Snow Festival, video images are projected onto buildings and walls, creating fantasy spaces that enchant audiences. Music videos are similar. They take imagery evoked by a song and express it through film and video, sometimes dynamically, sometimes beautifully. Additionally we can find animation that uses computer graphics, or the motion graphics used in TV commercials, websites or video games, or even experimental short films that emphasize visual content and utilize visual effects. As media and technology evolve, new video art is created.

Students taking the SEIKA Video & Media Arts Course learn about the relationship between media and art through a range of production technologies and from the history of the moving image. Though the medium has always kept on changing, the creative approach is always the same—“What can I express here only through video or film?” The aspiration is to create video as art that can stir the emotions and reach into the hearts of audiences. Connecting media and art, students will become the new generation of creators.

Four years in the Video & Media Arts Course

  • 1st Year

    Three portals for opening up the possibilities of video art

    Though we call it all video art, in fact the methodologies, effects, and means of releasing work are manifold. SEIKA’s Video & Media arts course flies the flag for creating art through video, and sets its curriculum around three main components: Art animation, short films, and media art. And the common theme of all three is to move viewers without resorting to words, just through the power of video.

    Students in the first year select the classes they are interested in and study the foundations. For example, in art animation classes students draw 200 pictures by hand, using them to create a video lasting around one minute, to gain an understanding of the framework of animation. Short film classwork includes experiencing the full process of planning, shooting, editing and then screening a film on a given theme. Meanwhile, students who focus on media art begin to learn how to use digital video software and try making simple video games using Flash.

    It is important to go beyond the scope of your immediate field. Additional classes provide opportunities for students to learn about sketching, creativity in three dimensions, and sound art.

    Of these three main areas, students can choose the one they find the most fun and rewarding to explore. As the year ends, they will then re-assess this experience and move on to the next step in their studies.

    1st year
    1st Year Goals
    Selecting classes from three areas, acquiring software techniques and knowledge through producing video artworks.
  • 2nd Year

    What is necessary for creating new video art?

    In first year students worked in three main areas. In their second year, students work on expanding the breadth of their creativity and acquiring specialized techniques. An art animation student will thus experience everything from clay animation, the predecessor of 3D animation, through to the very latest 3D computer graphics animation. They learn a range of creativity even when the “three-dimensionality” is the same.

    Those studying in the short film area take classes learning specialized editing techniques through producing video works, together with classes that teach composite technology, such as special effects and visual effects. Meanwhile media art students transform places and entire spaces into video art works, attempting to create installations that produce interactive communication, such as video that comes alive when audiences touch it.

    Other classes are available that are connected to all fields, such as music and sound modules, and students can select these according to their interests. This diverse learning of video technology exists in order to create video art that no one has seen before. Students will become further aware of this goal through coming into contact with moving image theory and classic examples.

    2nd year
    2nd Year Goals
    Learning constructive techniques in each field. Referencing the moving image canon, searching for new video art creativity.
  • 3rd Year

    Your creativity grows by being seen

    Students encounter a range of video art in their second year studies. Now they look further for the form of expression they wish to devote themselves to, and move on to the task of presenting their vision to the world.

    For example, SEIKA invites artist who are active domestically and internationally, such as film directors, video artists and TV commercial directors, to lead workshops. Following real-world working methods, students form teams to create projects, and then present them off- campus in an exhibition. These team projects are diverse, including not only artworks shown on monitors, but also video “performances” projected onto giant pieces of architecture, as well as interactive installations that are triggered by the actions of audiences.

    After presenting their work to the public, students consider audience response, since it is important to utilize new ideas and identify problem areas for the next project. Looking ahead to their final graduation projects and future careers, students refine what they want to make.

    3rd year
    3rd Year Goals
    Establishing an individual style of creativity through group production work, and planning and executing exhibitions.
  • 4th Year

    In search of video art that no one has ever seen before

    For their graduation projects, students are instructed directly by two tutors in the faculty. According to the video project you wish to create, you select a tutor who, for example, specializes in media art or one whose area is sound design, and then receive the appropriate technical advice from them for your project.

    Other than graduation projects, course assignments are also given, to promote a deeper understanding of the moving image. After conducting research on an artwork or artist associated with their graduation project, students write an 8,000-character report on the significance of their own work. In the second semester, students also make presentations once a month, training themselves in conveying their ideas and gaining communication skills that can be applied in all areas of life.

    The greatest learning students take away from their graduation projects is the spirit of experimentation. Such an ethos, cultivated in the pursuit of the possibilities of video art, will be important throughout their life.

    4th year
    4th Year Goals
    Learning high-level video art creativity. Acquiring writing and presentation skills that look ahead to students’ future career paths.

Career paths after graduating from the Video & Media Arts Course

The course comprises four years of pursuit of the possibilities of video creativity as art. Students find the creative areas that are their forte, whether it is animation, short films or media art, and by the time they graduate have acquired specialist knowledge and techniques. The industries and professions in which students can utilize these are numerous, and graduates go on to work in film production and online media, including television, TV commercials, and animation. Studying video from an art perspective is a real advantage and means you can develop new forms of video creativity.

Career choices

  • Making video and film in television, TV commercials or animation industries
  • Video or computer graphics designer for online media
  • Forming a video art unit with friends and creating artworks
  • Teaching art and video/media studies at junior high school or high school

Other career options

  • Web designer
  • Film editor
  • Animator
  • Video game designer
  • Visual effects designer
  • Media artist
  • VJ
  • Museum curator etc.

Video & Media Arts Faculty Members (in Japanese)