Part 2 – Project 1: Exercise 2

Write a list of everything you’ve read or written or seen or heard in the last 24 hours.

How many stories are contained within your list? This could be anything from notes in your learning log to the afternoon play on Radio 4, from a friend recounting a funny tale to the latest news online.

  • The things on my list I would count as stories are an 87k word fan fiction story I’m reading, the film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ that I watched last night, some marketing emails I read which include ‘personal’ stories from the writers, and some of
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Part 2 – Project 1: Exercise 1

The first exercise follows on from the ideas of ‘the arbitrariness of the sign’ and ‘the textual revolution and the story’:

What happens to a story when you take it from its source, make it permanent in print, and disseminate it to a wide audience?

  • When a story is printed, it reaches a lot more people than it would when told orally. It stops evolving too. No longer does it change with each re-telling. That particular story is set in stone (or ink), unless it is re-written by someone else.
  • Printing of stories can have negative implications – misinformation and
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Part 2: Creative Reading. Introduction: Exercise 1

A quick exercise to start this section of the course:

  • First, write down all the reasons you can think of why people read.

To escape
To learn
To improve their lives
For entertainment
To heal
To remember
To relax
To build vocabulary
To fall asleep
To improve writing skills
To make choices

  • Next, write down a list of reasons why people write.

To entertain
To heal
To learn
To inform
To capture
To remember
To communicate
To preserve
To persuade
To improve other’s lives
To improve writing skills

  • What do you notice about your two lists? Do some of the
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Project 3: Case Study – A Place Beyond Belief by Nathan Coley

A Place Beyond Belief is a 2012 work by Nathan Coley which you can view on his website here. It’s described as illuminated text on scaffolding, measuring 6m x 7m x 3m.

We are asked some initial questions about it:

  • What’s your first response to this piece?

At first look, I thought it was quite cool. The lights look like those on an old American theatre, or a bit like the lights around those Hollywood dressing table mirrors that I’ve always loved. The text coupled with the pretty lights makes it look like it could be the entrance to … Read the rest

Project 3: Research Point 2

We are asked to read an article on the Tate website, make notes, and highlight any artists we might want to look into further.

This is not the original article, as it has been taken down, but one detailed in the course errata. All the same, it was a very useful introduction to many artists who use text in their work, and the different types of text usage. Here are some notes I made:

‘Found’ Words: Printed Packaging, Labels and Layers

  • Add visual interest to work
  • Kurt Schwitters added bus tickets, sweet wrappers and other scraps to his works
  • Pop
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Project 3: Exercise 2 – Developing Your Research Skills

This exercise asks us to look at the work of Katie Paterson, particularly her piece Vatnajökull (the sound of).

We are asked how we would define this piece in terms of media, and told to make notes on the different layers of existence, the forms it has been displayed in, how it’s a genuinely site specific piece (unlike Longlayer from Project 2), and on Vatnajökull’s relationship to place, as well as Paterson’s use of text.

Firstly, I would categorise the original piece as mixed media. It is a sound installation, but there is also the neon phone number displayed … Read the rest

Project 3: Place in Art – Research Point 1

We are asked to:

Make a list of the artists mentioned in Dean and Millar’s essay. Look up at least one piece by each of the artists mentioned whose work incorporates text. How many of these pieces are relevant to the theme of ‘place’ and how do they reference place? Make notes in your learning log.

There are quite a few artists mentioned:

  • Caspar David Friedrich
    Known for landscapes featuring contemplative figures.
  • John Constable
    Famous for his landscapes of the Suffolk countryside.
  • Ian Hamilton Finlay
    Finlay was a poet and writer, as well as an artist (and gardener). He has
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Project 3: Exercise 1 – Place

This first exercise asks us to read the opening essay in Place (Dean and Millar 2005, pp. 11-26). We are told to try and get an idea of what the authors are saying, to reflect on how we found the exercise, whether we agree with what the authors are saying, and whether the piece has expanded our understanding of what the word ‘place’ can signify.

Firstly, I found this exercise difficult for various reasons. At a basic level, I have never read such a long piece of writing relating to art in the way this one does, and the vocabulary … Read the rest

Exercise 2: Interpreting Video Art

This exercise asks us to watch the video of Sam Taylor-Wood’s Still Life here: http://samtaylorjohnson.com/moving-image/art/still-life-2001 [accessed 13/03/17]

The main aim of the exercise is to write down our understanding of the piece in 250 words and explain what we think Taylor-Wood wants us to think about or experience from watching this?

There are a few questions we are told to think about:

  • Your initial response after first viewing

It took me a while to realise what the piece was about. Not a lot happens in the first 44 seconds of the 3 min 44 sec video and I fast forwarded … Read the rest

Case study Interpreting sound – Longplayer

This case study looks at a piece by Pogues member Jem Finer. It’s really a musical work, but could also be considered an installation and a performace piece. It started playing at midnight on the 31st December 1999 and will play for a thousand years. The ‘song’ is made up of 6 different versions of a 20 minute, 20 second score written for Tibetan singing bowls. One of the pieces is the original, and the others are transpositions. One is an octave below, one 7 semitones below, one 5 semitones below, one 5 semitone above and one 7 semitones above. … Read the rest