Department of Art

Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art (ViCCA)

Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art (ViCCA) is a two-year transdisciplinary Master’s Degree Programme at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Finland.

Welcome to ViCCA

Four ViCCA students stand apart amongst the forest trees looking for mushrooms
A ViCCA student stands in front of projected screens talking about her work with a macbook in hand
A student hangs her work from one of the stairwells in the Vare building at Aalto University
A student arches over the laboratory workspace to look more closely at some of the petri dishes laid out before her. In the background, two students converse with each other.
Students gather outside an old military bunker, in the middle of a forest, on the island of Reposaari
Green moss is placed around a macbook as part of an exhibition display
Close up of a digital piece showing swirls of blue and some fictional text laid over the top

***Images taken before the Covid-19 pandemic prior to official recommendations for social distancing and mask use. Please follow current guidelines and stay safe!

Get to know us

The ViCCA prograne

Master's Programme in Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art

ViCCA explores emerging knowledges and practices at the intersections of visual cultures, curating and contemporary art. We facilitate students to develop and contextualize their own practices within and in between these contexts. The programme is open to artists, curators, scholars and practitioners with different backgrounds and experience, who are looking for opportunities to understand, challenge and shift the paradigms of contemporary art and the world around us.

Study options
Apply to ViCCA

How to apply to ViCCA

The admissions to Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art (ViCCA) are organised once a year. The current application time is December 3, 2018 – January 11, 2019.

Department of Art

The programme merges theoretical and practice-based artistic and curatorial processes, offering an opportunity for the students to develop, deepen and re-contextualise their skills and knowledge across disciplines. At ViCCA, the faculty works with students to diversify and develop their knowledge base, offering concrete opportunities to develop research competencies, methodologies and a sense for artistic and critical thinking. 

Art, visual culture and the forms of organisation that go into making them public cannot be described as a mirror of society but rather they are and always have been an active agent in worldmaking. Characterised by a strong transdisciplinary approach across art, science and technology, ViCCA offers students access to emerging knowledge and practices at the intersections of multiple fields through an arts-driven engagement with societal, political, economic, ecological and philosophical concerns. 

Encouraging experimentation with diverse practices, contexts and forms of research, ViCCA is open to artists, practitioners, curators and research-oriented individuals with different backgrounds and experience, who are looking for opportunities to understand, challenge and shift the paradigm of contemporary art and the world around us. 


Image of a book cover

On the Philosophy of Central European Art Published by Rowman & Littlefield's Lexington Books

Senior University Lecturer Max Ryynänen's book is an introduction to the history of the concept and the institution of (fine) art, from its ancient Southern European roots to the establishment of the modern system of the arts in eighteenth century Central Europe.

Department of Art
A poster with a pink background with text stating the three speakers and moderator for Adaptation and Bodies in Context LASER talk

LASER at Aalto Launches with Adaptation and Bodies in Context, Moderated by Laura Beloff

Adaptation and Bodies in Context will inaugurate LASER at Aalto University. Moderated by Laura Beloff, Head of the ViCCA programme.

Artists from the peripheries in parallax research group take part in a performance: they hold a red string between them. They stand in a snowy forest.

peripheries in parallax: BRAVE NEW PERIPHERIES, Opening Conference and Art Event

peripheries in parallax: BRAVE NEW PERIPHERIES is a two-part conference mapping out the implications and alliances of ‘peripheries’ and ‘peripheral approaches’ through art, artistic research and related fields in society. Alongside the conference, a durational, curated Art Event ‘MATTER’ takes place at the Aalto University Campus. The opening event will be held on the 22nd January 2021.

Department of Art
museum of impossible forms

Museum of Impossible Forms wins State Art Prize 2020

ViCCA congratulates its students and alumni who have been active (and often founding) members of the Museum of Impossible Forms (est. 2017) – an anti-racist and queer-feminist cultural center in the suburb of Kontula – for the 2020 State Art Prize that they received from the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

A student holds an orange birch bolete mushroom - it has a bright terracotta top and a darker stem

ViCCA Students Launch Walk & Talk Initiative: #1 Mushroom Picking in Nuuksio

The first ViCCA Walk & Talk took place on 17 October 2020 in the Nuuksio National Park.

Department of Art


A series of colourful circles frame the names and thesis topics for 14 December 2020

MA ViCCA Thesis Presentations 14 December 2020

MA students in Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art present their thesis research in an online event.

Orange and brown circles from the background of this poster with the names and topics of the upcoming MA ViCCA presentees

ViCCA Thesis Fall II Presentations, 26-27 November 2020

MA ViCCA students present their thesis research and papers in an online event.

ViCCA's staff and students in front of the amphitheater on the Otaniemi campus. Sunny day of June.

Inaugural ViCCA CROW Awards & Graduation Picnic (and Senior CROW Award for Retiring Senior Lecturer, Taina Rajanti)

On 17 June as we emerged from lockdown, the MA program in Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art (ViCCA) hosted an appropriately-socially-distanced, graduation picnic beside the Aalto University amphitheatre. 

Department of Art
ViCCA's Public MA thesis exam presentations on Monday 18.5.2020
ViCCA thesis presentation poster 15.6-17.6.2020

Online MA Evaluations Next Week at ViCCA 15-17 June

Online MA Evaluations Next Week at ViCCA 15-17 June


The archive of projects and events which were organised before 2019 can be found at 

Our staff

Laura Beloff

Associate Professor of Visual Culture and Artistic Practices

Laura Beloff

Max Ryynänen

Senior University Lecturer in Theory of Visual Culture

A photograph of Max Ryynänen, a Senior Lecturer on the Theory of Visual Culture at Aalto University’s Department of Art.

Bassam el Baroni

Assistant Professor of Curating and Mediating Art

Bassam El Baroni

Lucy Davis

Professor of Artistic Practice, Contemporary Art

Lucy Davis

Pia Euro


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