Block 5, Week 10 — Research Discussion — Katerina and Russel

David Somers bio photo By David Somers Comment

For this week’s group tutorial, Katerina and Russel are doing their research presentation.


Today is officially the last week of this block.

The next block (the last one!) starts 18 May.

On 1 June there will be Symposium 2 (for which a 5 minute video is required that summarises our research and practice).

Next week, an extra, and very quick, group chat just to discuss planning for the final show.

There have been no one-on-ones with Jonathan this block, but they will be scheduled over the next two weeks.

Confirmed: Like last year, the final show will be in the Wilson Road building. This is great news as the location is a good.

And now, on with the final two research discussions.


A post of the research discussion on her blog. An intro about she is interested in vis-à-vis art practice and her research paper.

Firstly, phenomenology - perception

ontological reciprocity of subject and object of experience

Is it is always visual? What about other senses?

It can refer to other senses.

phenomenology refers to “mechanisms of perception” — not only visual stimuli but also whatever can help you experience something, even mental processes

For solipsism, Katerina expands:

… is a weird theory, because on the one hand it denies the existence of others, but on the other hand it refers to the concept of analogy, for understanding other realities

Secondly, body / flesh, specifically the “flesh” and its role in perception and memory.

haptic visuality — an interesting concept. Looking and seeing how a texture will feel, based on memories/experience. learning how to see past the image I think, to be able to feel with your eyes. Refers more to a digital image, to be able to give a certain quality in the work that can be perceived as haptic.

The use of “flesh” to describe the reversibility of our relationship with the world.

Thirdly, embodiment - situation,

Our physical situation in the world affects our perceptions and experience

The context of location? It will be perceived differently in different places?

The connection between the piece and the place, like the idea of shared/public perception and memory of a certain site


An image containing some images and text.

Why send this as an image? Why not a webpage? My eyes are bleeding.

Subject for discussion: The “culture of use”.


In Defense of the Poor Image

An ever-increasing number of artworks have been created on the basis of pre-existing works more and more artists interpret, reproduce, re-exhibit, or use works made by others or available cultural products

Russel considers himself a postproduction artist:

I’m not concerned about the origin of the image, of commentating on it (like the situationists did) — I’m using it as a form

I ask: Isn’t this a bit like digital collage… taking from here and there… remixing… reforming.

To which an emphatic:

that’s exactly what it is

T he artwork as a piece of data to be moved about (as Duchamp moved the bottle rack into the gallery)

Visual Chinese whispers?

What of the ethics of appropriating images? Where do the images come from? Their selection criteria?

I would never use imagery that didn’t originate in film, tv, comics etc. I’m not interested in real life. When I find the right still or moving image it’s very clear to me.

There’s the point of strong copyright culture and the ‘aura’ of the original still being considered an important idea. But Russel:

stopped being concerned about selling work or having physical shows … my work is available for anyone to take and use as they want — that’s why I put it all on instagram

when I stopped worrying about physical outputs for my work (so I could sell it) my whole practice became much more refined

Ironically, for the final show he’s making a “massive” physical piece.


A bit like last week. Familiar with the work of one (Katerina), and it clarified a lot about her practice… not familiar with the work of the other (Russel) and found it hard to grok, notwithstanding finding some aspects unusual (the appropriation). However, one key thing from Russel’s paper was his role of “Artist as detective”: this is an interesting way to phrase the artistic journey; in my case my practice is driven to seek an answer to a (self-asked) question.

Further Thoughts

Eeks! This MA is almost over. 50 weeks have passed so quickly. I saw that the first years recently posted their mid-point review posts… seems like only last week I did mine, and yet it was a year ago. That final show is fast approaching, and as discussed earlier, there is even more impetus now to “Get Shit Done”.

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