Yoon Bahk scribing of the lecture as delivered...scribing of scribing..she found it a bit difficult :-)
This ‘redrawing’ of Hockney’s Rake’s Progress was what I delivered at the DRN Conference in New York in 2013.
Andrew Love provided an animation of Duchamp’s Urinal floating out Space Odyssey 2001 style to meet the plinth of ‘new knowledge’…to accompany it.
I now preparing some ‘notes’ to explain the sequence as there was no paper deliberately…it was a visual essay.
It examined the search for embodied ‘new knowledge’ as defined by Frayling in terms of where it located in an art object as ‘communicable’…I argued that this visual essay was both art work and textual therefore contained that communicable knowledge….in other words here is proof in the actual pudding of the presentation…
It sat alongside an American presenter who had produced a PhD in Graphic Novel form on same premise…..a bit ahead of myself here but it was pretty unique….still is.
Surprise of the week was news that Moogee had his own chapter in a new Loughborough/UAL/Teachers Columbia publication 🙂
This is the final entry in the studio diary section as I will be assessed on my M.A. this Wednesday afternoon. To prepare for this I have created the pdf below and uploaded to Scribd detailing the progress made throughout the M.A. and the final outcomes at this point.
Where I go from here is a good question and not one I can answer easily.
There are three separate yet overlapping areas I have become deeply interested in.
1. Drawing research ; phenomenology of drawing and in particular an interest in sense of place and notions of ‘signature’ in terms of preparatory drawings especially in Gorky, Miro up to Motherwell and Twombly all developing out of the surrealism and dada influence on mid-century American painting.
2. Early film/photography and magazine culture of the 18th Century/early 19th century and its relation to current developments in web. I have a paper to present in Paris on Charles Dickens magazine illustration end of March and I will be concentrating on that alone from now until then.
3. The continuation of this research into artistic research theory/philosophy of aesthetics and its dissemination through fine art pedagogy.
All three are possible PhD subject matter and how my institution views my future will probably have a major bearing on where I go.
My heart though probably in number one…..my head in number three and my teaching future at present tied up somewhere in number two whether I like it or not…….
Interesting times ahead 🙂
Meanwhile I’d like to thank Deborah Harty for her very good supervision and for stopping me going off-track all the time or as they like to say in academia develop ‘focus’. Focused I am right now but come Thursday who knows:-)
please note the backgrounds have distorted in this display.
Spent afternoon at studio reading final submitted chapter of the 2nd edition of James Elkins’ ‘Artists with PhDs’. The article was Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield’s ‘Writing as practice: Notes on materiality of theory for practice-based PhDs’. This is a very fitting coda to my never-ending M.A. by research project which I started way back in September 2010 and which will finally end at end of January. It especially pertinant as Dronsfield has supervised at least two ‘challenging’ practice as research PhDs at Reading University and his analysis of art practice as ‘knowledge’ from Ranciere and Nancy points of view is superb in its pinning down of the fundamental fault-line in all art practice as research in terms of the academy.
He goes back to Kant’s third critique to mine into the basis of the ‘compromise’ all fine artists feel when confronting then toppling into the Cartesian well of rules that is the university. Most drown in the essential contradiction of ‘freedom of the artist’ V ‘the academy’ rules. Dronsfield brilliantly excavates the reason for this which present right back in Kant ( written 30 years before the first scientific ‘rational’ PhDs awarded in Berlin in early 1800s).
I will be illustrating the argument next week but essentially the ground was set early in the following paradox and leads the art practice as researcher to always be left in a APORETIC SPACE.
The humanities are in an important sense opposed to the aesthetic. The humanities draw the artist back from the truth of art, mind which is freedom, ailment from the way in which art threatens to present or show its freedom unconditionally, back to the social, to the way in which art might communicate the ideas it seeks freely to express. (Jonathan Laney Dronsfield – forthcoming article in Elkins book).
Never thought I’d end up here..started out with a locative media project end up deep in continental philosophy…
Problem is I actually enjoying it…a PhD prison cell beckons …..
As my M.A. will finally complete in January 2014 my mind has started to wonder what next? the logical progress would be toward a PhD as teaching seems to be getting more and more vague come September 2014. I will have taught a subject which no longer of great interest to me now (web design) for seven years by then so time for a change. I may move into more research related teaching but this not guaranteed and if so will be in Graphic Design not multimedia which has been deemed to officially not exist by NTU art and design.
Whatever the outcome of that I looking to move forward to a PhD preferably funded. I starting to look into that now in preparation. I doubt that my institution will support me through it for various reasons some political some just resource driven. For now I have a few irons in fire who knows which will be drawn out….here a few options badly delineated.
Simplistic but this rough outline of new directions is kind of accurate.
Path One: Traditional practice-led craft orientated production – drawings not theoretical more instinctive. Crossing into surrealist/automatic and subconscious areas.
Path Two: Literary/Historical..orientated toward factual and historical research linked to a wide gamut of technology in early stages affecting a specific area of the Thames Valley – possible PhD subject area? Relating developments in 1850s to present day impact of ubiquitous media. Possible crossover with poetry/cultural geography. e.g. Charles Tomlinson’s borders thesis.
Path Three: Criticism as Research/Graphic Research. Cartoons as investigative art criticism. James Elkins and Mark Staff Brandl connection. Political edge.
As part of an interview for course leader of M.A. Fine Art at Nottingham Trent ( the proverbial snowball in hell chance as they say). I prepared the following course structure ‘plans’. The reaction was a little bemused but the thinking embedded within has already been corroborated by information on trends developing at other M.A. courses.
The traditional M.A. is now an expensive additional outlay on top of three years and approximately £100K of debt for a home student so unless there a viable and necessary reason for having one the market doomed to collapse. That reason could be academic progression (the traditional bridge between B.A. and PhD) or it could be cheapness (the international student who chooses a course because not as expensive as London based institutions).
Either way the outlook is for a radically different postgraduate landscape sometime soon.
The first document explores viability for both an M.A. and M.F.A. which matched courses to expectations of consumers geared to ‘practice’ or ‘research’ outcomes. The others map ‘student expectations’ (a core mantra of the institution) and possible reorganisation of the whole structure from a new foundation through to PhD.
Needless to say I over-pitched the whole thing and should have kept this all back until the head of M.A. post becomes available…..and as usual I am too quick to spot trends…By the time thie institutional supertanker starts to change course I will probaby be long gone. I am posting so I can have the limited satisfaction of looking back in due course and saying ‘I told you so’….
It also interesting as a part of my investigations into course structures and could be seen as ‘action research’ even if as I expect I do not get the job ….
In addition to Frayling’s first document the RCA published more in the series – here all the ones available online through http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/
Volume 1, Number 1 1993/4
Sir Christopher Frayling: Research in art and design
Volume 1, Number 2 1993/4
Roger Coleman: Design research for our future selves
Volume 1, Number 3.
Alex Seago : Research methods for Mphil and PhD students
Volume 2 Number 1 1996/7
Alex Seago and Anthony Dunne: New methodologies in art and design research: The object as discourse
I have been making comments and reading with interest the revisions which James Elkins is posting online here: http://jimandmargaret.wordpress.com/ and opening up for debate on facebook.