Key thinkers over the year that have been influential on my practice

Marshall McLuhan:

Radical thinker, communications theorist. 

  • Predicting technological change.
  • Could argue he was Post Human as he had a strong relationship with technology.
  • Already seeing the potential of technology and how it could and has gone on to affect our lives dramatically in today’s world.
  • Author of many books such as:
  •     The Mechanical Bride (1951)
  •     The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962)
  •     Understanding Media (1964)
  •     The Medium is the Message - An Inventory of effects (1967)
  •     War and Peace in the global village (1968)
  •     From Cliche to Archetype (1970)
  •     The Global Village: Transformation in World Life and Media in the 21st Century (1989)
  • I think at the time from the 1950’s they were all experiencing this change in media, which affected everyone at that time, in which Marshall McLuhan was interested in the effects on society of these changes, which links heavily to my practice; although I don’t necessarily agree with some of his views, he has brought an honest approach to technological change, not afraid to be open about this and thus leads on to discuss Nicolas Bourriaud who in comparison links to McLuhan’s beliefs and views.

Nicolas Bourriaud: 

  • Also a radical thinker, curator and director.
  • Predicting trends like Marshall McLuhan - more so with the art world, but his predictions also consider an overall way of life.
  • Open to change and opportunities - ‘The Radicant’ (2009)
  • Bourriaud came up with his own theory, also like Marshall McLuhan: ‘Altermodernism’ - which is a term that reflects a nomadic, opportunist way of life. 
  • Bourriaud explored this theory through an exhibition he curated at Tate Britain, London. This was one of the few exhibitions to pose a question as to whether we are reaching Altermodern times - rather than state a concept. The exhibition seemed to work well because of this.
  • Many artists in the show worked in different mediums, all exploring ‘Altermodernism’ through change within artistic practices. More artists are opening their practice and looking into the world, temporarily becoming scientists, theorists, geographers. Their practices are open to change, as well as mine. I believe it is important to be a diverse and open artist - accept change and move on with the times.

Preparing for Viva

What I need to cover/do:

  • Mention 3 key thinkers/artists/philosophers (at least and know titles, dates and relevant info.
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Punctual.
  • Ability to contextualise/summarise your practice.
  • Present this however you want, without powerpoint.
  • Also an option for further exploration (so work could be left open for development with an MA/Postgraduate study.
  • 10 minute presentation, will be cut off if it exceeds this time limit (would be useful a week before to start practising to people around me and timing myself).
  • Enlighten the studio visually and conceptually.
  • Substatiating and referring to suitable references, sketchbooks, blogs and theories.
  • Have a statement there for the tutors to look at, printed on clean paper and maybe professionally bind.
  • Triangulate an argument.
  • Defend yourself.
  • Stand by your work, that is well researched and contextualised.
  • How have you developed? (productivity and progression).
  • What was good, what surprised me?
  • Chance/Serrendipitus - did I encounter change if so, was this important and why?
  • Be positive about every aspect of your work.

Conceptual and creative:

  • Ideas and doing.
  • Practice within studies.

Production and presentation:

  • Productivity in the studio .
  • Typical working processes.
  • What materials are used?
  • Is the presentation of work good enough?
  • Made in mind with the gallery expectations?
  • Professional?
  • Rationale behind certain decisions in the show, such as using a shelf, (why?) and maybe why that size? or series of prints?
  • using the space adequately.

Contextual knowledge:

  • This has to be well researched and I need to know what I am talking about. If I mention an influence I need to know this information overall (time, date, art period).
  • How has the context filtered in with the art work?
  • Mention relevant articles, journals, research papers, texts, quotes, interviews, exhibitions in relation to my practice.

Personal commitment engagement:

  • Independent.
  • Ability to work for yourself.
  • Diverse - very important as an artist.

3rd Year tends to be evaluative .

Q cards can be used. I found in my last Formative Assessment this proved extremely helpful as it allowed for a natural pause in between talking which meant I wasn’t talking too fast, and focused on what I wanted to say - with just specific details written down. 

It is useful to think of the tutors as people we don’t know, I also did this in my last assessment, and found i helpful - I was clear and concise and didn’t go off tangent, or the assessment becoming conversational. 

My next move I think is to have a look at what I have done overall in my last year, including research, and pick 3/4 relevant key thinkers that have played a massive part within my practice - and make sure I know what I am talking about, researching further if I need to. 

Also I need to think about how to present my portfolio on assessment, as I have large photographs and prints. Maybe a large portfolio folder so the tutors can flick through, as I won’t have space on my walls.