New Genres

SFAI’s New Genres program has strong roots in the history of conceptual art, where the artist’s concepts, intentions, and questions are the art medium and the work itself.

Initially founded as a major in performance art and video, New Genres quickly expanded to also encompass site specificity, social practices, and other trans-disciplinary media and approaches.

New Genres courses are post-studio laboratories for experimentation and discovery, in which students are challenged to respond to society and culture by identifying the best means of expression for each individual work. Dialogue and discussion are key tools in the advancement of ideas that become manifest in the form of the work.

Past Courses

  • Internet Killed the Video Star
  • Athletic Aesthetic
  • Photoworks: Conceptual Photography
  • Embodiment for Artists
  • We Want the Airwaves
  • Conceptual Drawing
  • The Temporary: Performance, Interventions, Installation
  • Advanced Video: The Moving Image
  • Issues in Contemporary Art: Conceptual Landscape


New Genres resources include shared spaces throughout campus: studio/performance spaces/classrooms with Internet connection; video,VHS, miniDV, and U-matic video formats; the latest digital cameras; editing rooms; AVID video editing and Final Cut Pro stations; an audio editing room; a dub room; and a computer lab with the latest digital technologies and software. Students also have access to a fully equipped lighting studio with green-screen (studio X).


See a sample four-year academic plan in the BFA in New Genres program to help you decide what courses to take when.

Total: 120

Title Units
Liberal Arts Requirements 33
Studio Requirements 72
Art History Requirements 15

Studio Requirements

Title Units
Contemporary Practice 3
New Genres I 3
New Genres II 3
Issues in Contemporary Art 3
Installation Distribution 3
Video Distribution 3
Photoworks 3
New Genres Electives 15
Senior Review Seminar 3
Electives in any studio discipline 24
General Electives 9
BFA Graduate Exhibition 0

Art History Requirements

Title Units
Global Art History 3
Modernity and Modernism 3
Art Since 1945 3
History of New Genres 3
Art History Elective 3