WOOFISM and beyond

Category: conference (Page 2 of 2)

M.A. assessment and DRN New York


I finally had assessment for M.A. stages one and two ‘Research Proposal’ and ‘Development’.
Was a lengthy session which explored where the work might lead in terms of developing as both practice and research.
I also proved the age old maxim that any power-point created on a PC will not work on a MAC..it still true 🙁


I also had good news about my submission for the Drawing Research network Conference 2013 in New York. My paper was accepted which means I have a lot of work to do between now and M.A. show in October!

More info on DRN Conference here: http://www.drawing-research-network.org.uk/call-for-submissions-drn-conference-2013/

R.Mutt – Research Investigator


I started to plan out the next phase of the ‘Research Odyssey’ and here two drawings and below the proposal sent to DRN for this year (not expecting to get accepted two years in a row) but happy that last year’s Moogee V Frayling has appeared in the proceedings for DRN 2012:-)

Link to publication here: http://www.drawing-research-network.org.uk/drn-2012-proceedings/

DRN proposal 2013

2013 A Research odyssey: The art object in search of new knowledge

Parodying both Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Rake’s Progress (Hogarth mashed up with Hockney ) the paper will be a dual submission of traditional academic paper and cartoon strip.

Following on from the previous investigation of Frayling’s categories this time the focus of the research will be the character of ‘The Art Object’ . The paper will chart the rise of the notion of ‘The Art Object’ and search for examples of the ever elusive ‘new knowledge’ which presently beckons like the ‘final frontier’ at the centre of postgraduate artistic research .

It will draw on examples of a range of contemporary theories to try and understand where this ‘knowledge’ may or may not lie and its elicitation (if found) may guide future practice and inform pedagogic delivery especially at PhD level.
Interleaving graphic techniques and traditional academic paper methodology will in itself create a trans-disciplinary enquiry. This enquiry along with an animated sequential version of the cartoon forms the basis of a current M.A. by registered project enquiry into drawing, sequential narrative, animation and the current state of research methodology.

Keywords: Art and design research, PhD, studio art, methodology, practice-led research, final frontiers, new knowledge and woolly theory.

Shaun Belcher
Nottingham Trent University

Submission type:
• Drawn / Practice-based submissions + • Theoretical, philosophical or contextual papers

Moogee in The Times Higher Education



Moogee in the THE 🙂

A bit of ‘raised profile’ news for my canine cartoon research character…

A ‘Moogee the Art Dog’ V Frayling’s Categories cartoon accompanies a ‘Practice as Research’ feature in this week’s Times Higher Education edition (March 7th) by Matthew Riesz article.

Moogee Cartoon and original paper it based on available here: http://www.shaunbelcher.com/research/?p=229

and as part of Drawing Research network Proceedings available here:


Post Conference Papers


Have rewritten the ‘Perfect maps:Imperfect Practice’ paper to contain new knowledge gained at conferences.

This paper has now appeared as part of Drawing Research network proceedings 2012 and now available here: http://www.drawing-research-network.org.uk/drn-2012-proceedings/

New title is Can grey ravens fly: Beyond Frayling’s categories.

Here original document and the associated cartoon strip.




RP Research Overview 2010-2011 – conclusion

It is ‘Graphic Research’ Spock but not as we know it…

An earlier post (see below) relates my two year long tussle with the idea of a ‘Multimedia’ M.A.by research project which spawned tis separate research trajectory as a by-product.

The turning point for treating cartooning of art criticism/history as a viable research subject came with my acceptance for the Mostyn Humorous Intent Symposium in March and subsequently acceptance for three drawing related symposia in September 2012. All related to notions of practice and drawing in some way. All reflected my seven year output of critical cartoons and blog entries which began in 2005. In this period I have had work published by Axis, Arts Professional and Matter Magazine ( interview with Matthew Collings). Ironically none of this has been recognised ot supported in any way by my institution. Indeed this has been conducted beneath the radar because of the nature of the material created and because as a member of a ‘Multimedia’ faculty I was coerced into accepting a ‘Multimedia’ M.A. as part of professional development. Ironically again, professional development seemed to disappear when my course was closed down (it has two years to run) in October 2011 coinciding with my decision to take a year of absence because of my mother’s serious illness of which she passed away in June this year. Having removed both the raison d’etre of professional development and having offered no supervision or help at all during my first year of ‘study’ it not surprising I a little confused.

I took matters in my own hands in March 2012 by applying to the Mostyn conference which firmly in the Fine Art area. The drawing conferences could be seen as straddling both fine art and graphic design. In light of this it makes clear sense to me that if I attempt a PhD M.A. it  should be re-assigned into one of these two areas and I hope to sort this out before commencing one. As the research also combines pedagogic research it may be difficult to find a supervisor again. Trent is presently lacking a art history professor or staff at that level with a art history background since Richard Woodfield left maybe the new Dean will freshen things up a bit. That is for future after the M.A. completed.

So I now have to complete the three symposia. Develop or rewrite the original MA:RPT proposal in light of changes of direction.and then focus on creating a body of work in the ‘graphic research’ area to lead up to PhD ( a term invented by myself in conversation with Ian Williams a.k.a.Thom Ferrier at a graphic novel conference at Nottingham Contemporary).

My interests going forward towards PhD (RESEARCH ROUTE) are firmly in the areas of art criticism/history (comic and written) and for M.A (PRACTICE ROUTE) new media and painting and drawing.

Even a week of travelling elsewhere artistically speaking is very welcome…..and maybe signals a new start.

Moogee on tour? September 2012

I am busy preparing for three drawing related conferences in a row in early September 2012. It feels a bit like doing music or poetry gigs 🙂

The first is ‘Practice makes Perfect: Theorising method in in visual research’

at Swansea Metropolitan University on 9th/10th September.


The second Drawing Research Network: ‘Drawing Knowledge’ at Loughborough University on 10th/11th September.


and finally ‘Thinking Through Drawing 2012: drawing in STEAM’ at Wimbledon College of Art on 12-14 September.


The first and second will be a paper/presentation about my practice called

‘Perfect Maps and Imperfect Practice: How practice-led methodology turned into graphic research.’

probably delivered in a cartoon/comic strip or graphic novel style 🙂

The third is different in that I have been invited to perform live drawing whilst the conference events in progress alongside such artists as Robert Shadbolt see http://robertshadbolt.net and Yoon Bakh Royal College Innovation Design http://rca.academia.edu/YoonBahk.

Students and Staff at NCN ‘interactive drawing workshop’ March 2012.


Drawing Research Network Conference September

I am very pleased to be one of the speakers at this year’s conference at Loughborough.

The Directors of the DRN and TRACEY are pleased to announce
the 2012 Drawing Research Network Conference.

10th and 11th September 2012
School of the Arts/Loughborough Design School – Loughborough University

Further details here:


Alongside the Conference I have also been selected for a digital show.

Here the images that selected.

Different Options – Future Plans?

I am at a turning point in regards to the Multimedia M.A. by registered project.

I have two distinct ‘research’ orientated bodies of work. For the sake of my own sanity and that of others I need to take advice and choose one path to concentrate on from September 2012 onwards.

My position has become more not less complex with the closure of the ‘Multimedia’
(Interactive Media Pathway specialisation i.e. Web) course I work on in July 2014.

The two options are described below. Both seem to be viable ways of moving forward and relating to possible future employment. As I have been excluded from any involvement in teaching Fine Art at Nottingham Trent I have to accept that getting my MA RPT redesignated as a Fine Art M.A. are slim although it would actually be the most fitting and accurate way forward for my practice but politics seems to outweigh common sense in this regard. I very clearly entered Fine Art/Multimedia in brackets on my original proposal but this was changed to just Multimedia..possibly because my fee waiver was given as part of PDCR process by the then ATL of N.I.A. ironically neither her role, pharmacy N.I.A. or the Multimedia course will exist soon.



Title: Track: Metaphors and a sense of belonging in a networked field of vision.

( part one last year. http://www.shaunbelcher.com/blog/?cat=18)

Mobile Phone Film and Oral History narration used as a vehicle for exploring Deep Mapping. I ended up working out of the area defined in Patrick Keiller’s exploration of contemporary British landscape to offer a ‘lo-fi’ film of a ‘walking lecture’ on a range of topics including politics, recipe land use and rural landscape whilst physically walking the ‘non-space’ (Auge) of a disused railway track now converted to a social ‘nature’ park. It really close to concerns expressed in poetry ( Last Farmer : Salt Publications 2010). Also I came close to conventional art history area in researching a lot of historical art groups and ruralism in relation to the Blewbury Art Group ( 1920’s).

Total film length 50 minutes divided into sections.

Examples including short experimental film footage using mobile 3GP footage is uploaded to Vimeo here : http://vimeo.com/user2430018/videos

Continuing to where I left off in Multimedia MA September 2011. I have also experimented with resampling and pixillating images and physically moving through individual frames and using screen capture..see vimeo…that purely experimental at moment.

If I am forced to continue M.A. as ‘Multimedia’ I will probably digress into ‘digital drawing’ on film or animation related activity ( Brackage/Lye area) I expect rather than more deep mapping (the original RP proposal’s ‘app’ idea was to process some kind of original drawing and additional drawing in layers using GPS).

Future Plans?

On completion if content more film orientated it  could relate to a separate ‘Film B.A. course is set up within NTU but this is far from certain.






Graphic Research? : ( preparing fro DRN conference in September)

Cartoon and comics drawing used as a vehicle to explore Frayling’s three categories of research with an emphasis of Research FOR Art and Design. Working out of a fine art tradition of critical cartooning and research which includes Pablo Helguera, viagra Mark Staff Brandl and historical antecedents like Ad Reinhardt, Philip Guston and Saul Steinberg I use visual language to explore the notion of ‘Graphic Research’ as a tool for research.


The presentation will involve a ‘comic strip’ presentation based on a traditionally referenced academic paper opening up a ‘third space’ for investigation. Especially interested in pedagogy of M.A.s and Phd’s within art schools drawing out Elkins notions of terms and conditions of assessment and validity.

I will present a poster of this at School Research Conference (2oth June) and possibly a paper too. I am also presenting this material at the Drawing Research Network Conference at Loughborough University in September.


Of course my studio practice is Fine Art / Painting but for reasons noted above this is not being recognised in any form by NTU and has not been for five years since the Drawing Out Staff show where I and another member of staff had our work consigned to the corridor as not ‘good enough’ to hang with the elite who ironically mostly could not draw at all :-). After that experience I ‘excused’ myself from all staff shows and still do.

 Future Plans?

Ignoring the obvious connection to Fine Art pedagogy and content the next best fit for this material would be as a Graphic Design M.A. In present circumstances this may make the most sense especially as it aligns with graphic artists and graphic areas of concern within the DRN. Indeed at a recent symposium at Nottingham Contemporary (Comic(s) Bodies) organised by Nottingham University’s Matt Green the description ‘Graphic Research’ was coined about my work following on from Graphic Medicine and Graphic Novel to describe a narrative comic(s) approach to research 🙂

This would then align me with Graphic Design in future and possibly lead to employment in that area at both undergraduate and postgraduate level?

Finally the wild card which Trent studiously ignores every time I mention it…

They might finally realise they have a quality Fine Artist in their midst and take advantage of it instead of ignoring me but a lot of attitudes seem ingrained and Moogee is not going to change his opinions. Maybe our new Dean shakes the tree a bit …

Which in a sane world would mean a Fine Art M.A. and progression to teaching what I really know best..FINE ART!

Failing any of these options working out I could just do as Alan Moore suggested and ignore the whole thing do what I do and wait to be fired in 2014…as he said at Nottingham Contemporary this week you just do it ..it is not about degrees and research outcomes and impressing the institution it is just you and your art alone in a room the rest is bollocks:-)



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