Code: ARTS3032

Credits: 90 ECTS cr

Teacher in Charge: Marko Karo

Learning Outcomes

CuMMA (Curating, Managing and Mediating Art) is a two-year, transdisciplinary major on contemporary art and its publics. It provides a structure for reflection and acting, learning and organizing in art institutions and the public sphere. We aim to explore possibilities to understand and shift the paradigms of contemporary art and the world around us. Thus we understand curating, educating and organizing as ways of being active, of creating relations and of being open for unexpected encounters, thoughts and knowledges.

The CuMMA studies give the students the opportunity to learn with and from artists, activists, practitioners and theorists. The content is actively developed in relation to the changing demands of the curatorial and cultural field. We put an emphasis on developing ways to promote each student’s own curatorial, theoretical and educational thinking. Our pedagogical models are based on shared expertise and exploratory learning and are applied in order to create an open, conversational and dialogic space for learning and acting.

The studies develop comprehensive and innovative professional expertise in critical curating, managing and mediating art. The students learn to navigate the multifaceted theoretical and practical sceneries of the art world. CuMMA graduates are professionals who are able to use their knowledge both imaginatively and critically in various tasks and organizations within the contemporary art scene.

CuMMA Major Learning Outcomes:

Content Outcomes:

  • Students understand and are interested in international discourses on the visual art scene
  • Students learn and discuss about relevant theories for curating, managing and mediating art
  • Students see the interconnectedness of cultural substances and organizational practices, and can shift their perspective from individual processes to institutions and to public sphere
  • Students get an insight in the classical curatorial tasks as collecting, showing, researching, organizing and mediating, they learn to analyze them critically within history and to actualize them for their practices

Skill Outcomes:

  • Students are aware of different representational and post-representational practices, and can use different methods to produce, curate and build exhibition contents
  • Students learn about and experiment with strategies of conceptualization, narration, visualization, education and communication of projects in museums and institutions

Academic Skills:

  • Students learn to analyze and write on exhibitions
  • Students are able to engage in open research processes that think together theory and practice based approaches
  • Students master the basics of academic writing, and are able to use valid references in their texts

Education Content

The CuMMA major comprises theoretical lessons, workshops, practical projects, excursions and a thesis. Theoretical studies respond critically to the current practices of curating, educating and organizing in the field of contemporary art. Mutually, the practical side of the CuMMA studies aims to (re)conceptualize and challenge the conventions of the art world. Together with its curatorial and educational core content, the major also gives its students insights in critical management studies of the cultural field. It employs experimental and intensive forms of study to give the students the opportunity to analyse institutional structures and invent new strategies of organizational thinking and practices.

The two-year major consists of 120 ECTS composed of shared studies, optional studies and specialisation studies. The curriculum is based on personal study plans, in which the students can also include studies completed elsewhere (during the degree or previously), optional art courses or other modules from Aalto University.


Major Studies 90 ECTS



ECTS Credits

 Joint studies



Introduction to Visual Culture and Contemporary Art



Exploring Historical and Theoretical Roots



Academic Skills



Thesis Seminar



Aalto Dialogue



Artist in Society



Master's Thesis


CuMMA studies


Obligatory courses for the CuMMA Major students.


Transnational Practices and Policies – Excursions



Theoretical Frameworks of Curating and Mediating Art

5 *


Practices of Producing and Exhibiting Art

5 *


Tools of Curating, Managing and Mediating Art

5 *


Contemporary Art and Art Exhibition as Learning Environment

5 *


CuMMA Project

6 *

 * ) Not offered on 2017-18.