At the end of 2011, the University Paris 8 won the "Initiatives of excellence in innovative training" call for projects. Its program revolves around five fundamental principles:
creation as an epistemological engine of innovative pedagogies (via a workshop-laboratory), the systematic use of cutting-edge digital technologies for teaching and collaborative work, personalized accompaniment for students (from recruitment to graduation) as part of project-based pedagogy, evaluation and transparency of results, and professional employment.
University Paris 8 brought together partners such as Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense University, The House of Human Sciences in Paris Nord, the National Academy of dramatic art, the National Archives, as well as 37 foreign partners.
As part of this program, extrapole initiated and implemented a set of workshop-laboratories, immersive seminars, and study trips, as presented below.
Workshop laboratory list :
- Queer Zagreb, May 2016, Zagreb
- Half a House, half a university, May 2017, Florence
- Description Vertigo, January, May 2018, Paris
- A transdisciplinary arts-sciences exploration, January 2019, Melbourne
- Perspectives merged by intercultural & trans-practical experience, postponed to 2023, Belgrade
The educational models mobilized were:
Principle of assessment used as a mode of observation.
Modalities of work and collaboration in a group.
Active participation in events (learning by doing).
Principle of continuous interaction with other participants, teachers and the professional world.
Collective reflection and sharing of feedback on experience.
Open format for contribution/sharing of lived experiences and inquiries undertaken (web doc, films, poems, essays, etc.).
A transdisciplinary arts-sciences exploration, January 2019, Melbourne
An intensive arts-sciences program was conceived and produced in collaboration with the Science Gallery Melbourne (SGM) team. The SGM is part of an international university network (Science Gallery Network) whose mission is to stimulate the creativity and engagement of young people in artistic and scientific initiatives (STEAM).
The program of this workshop-laboratory was built on an alternation of theoretical and practical sessions, on a model of sharing and transfer of experiences, in order to allow students to:
understand the challenges of a cultural project in a relocated context;
anticipate the difficulties and opportunities linked to international cooperation;
understand the challenges of conceiving and implementing an artistic and scientific project in its local and international dimension;
identify external (with audiences) and internal (with teams) media issues related to arts-sciences strategies and activities;
learn and observe, become familiar with assessment and interview techniques (writing of a logbook, an experience, furnishing a documentary support).
The sessions were moderated by Agnès Henry and Catherine Coleman, Dr. Robert Walton and Angharad Wynne-Jones, Dr. Guy Moron, and the Science Gallery team: Rose Hiscock, Ryan Jefferies, Lee Casey, Dr. Niels Wouters.
Description Vertigo, January, May 2018, Paris
This workshop-laboratory is part of a collaboration between the PCAI Masters Degree (International Cultural and Artistic Project, University Paris 8) and the Gerphau (ENSAPLV, École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture of Paris-La Villette) study and research group.
As a continuation of the “Vertiges de la description” study days, organized by the Gerphau in 2017, we continued to reflect with students on the role and function of descriptive practices in the projects and research that we lead.
This workshop-laboratory had a double objective: on the one hand, to explore what descriptive practices can produce in the development of research and actions, on the other hand, to invest in and question the modes of description of our own projects.
From our different disciplines and practices, the challenge was to be able to discuss and work on description while agreeing to avoid the traditional "reasoning sequences" (observation - description - analysis - interpretation) and to disrupt the myths of fidelity, neutrality and immediacy.
For each session, we set up collective exercise protocols allowing students to discover and experiment with certain descriptive practices, based on the specifics of their respective projects.
We invited architects and artists who each (differently) placed description at the heart of their practices. Claire Bartoli (blind actress, storyteller) and Anne Frémy (iconographer, art teacher at the ENSAPLV) participated in the audio-description of cinematographic works and the creative description of works of art.
We also invited young doctoral students in architecture (Sophie Goupille, Anaëlle Mahéo and Philippine Moncomble) to present how the invention of new descriptive practices was part of their research: description as a material, as an instrument, as an invention of new forms of research.
Half a house, half a university,
May 2017, Florence
This intensive and immersive seminar was designed as part of a N.O.W (New Open Working process for the performing arts) European artistic cooperation project.
It took place in Florence during the Fabbrica Europa festival. Over 5 days (from May 10 to 15, 2017), 9 students of the PCAI Masters degree (M1 and M2) took part in two laboratory outings questioning the inter-individual interaction in shared artistic endeavours:
- The Half a House (HAH) project: an immersive one-week seminar, co-constructed by the artists attached to N.O.W. and organized around thematic days (Fragility, Porosity, Permeability and Agency).
This event was built on the basis of an exchange and a dialogue of practices led by a dozen artists, artist-researchers, teachers-researchers or local scientists to address the themes chosen in their discipline(s) and their place of work, to then share them with an audience.
The days therefore took place in two parts; a morning around each person's respective practices, followed by a discussion and a working session with the guest researcher of the day.
- The Rope, initiated by N.O.W: this work responds to the European call for commission CURRENT UTOPIA, which was won by the Flemish artist Ief Spincemaille.
This commission, written collectively by the partners of the network, aimed at offering an artist or a collective of artists an open framework conducive to experimentation. It concerned questioning art as a vector and/or interaction tool in public space, of testing methods regarding knowledge of a territory in its historicity and current uses.
May 2016, Zagreb
For 5 days, 14 students (University Paris 8, Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, École Nationale Catholique, École Nationale Supérieure Cachan) studied the Domino project, an artistic and cultural LGBTQI + activist organization emblematic of Zagreb which has initiated and developed the “Queer Zagreb” project for nearly ten years, at a regional and international level.
The objective of this program was to enable students to take stock of professional reality at the local, European and international level and to derive intellectual, creative and relational benefit from it. From a given project, it was also a question of identifying and putting into perspective the social and environmental issues in terms of a territory and its cultural policy.
The seminar included several modalities of interaction and participation with members of the organization's team and local operators. Thus, the students were able to examine on site the issues concerning intervention and programming strategies for the "Queer Zagreb" project, and the challenges of production and of the artistic gesture.
Perspectives merged by intercultural & trans-practical experience, postponed to 2023, Belgrade
This is a study trip to discover Belgrade’s cultural and artistic scene. This project was scheduled for May 2020. Due to the health crisis, it will be rethought for 2023. This workshop-laboratory was initiated by the PCAI Masters Degree (Projet Culturel et Artistique International) of University Paris 8 and organized in collaboration with the Masters in Cultural Policy and Management of the University of Arts in Belgrade.