Tutorial: Block 5, Week 2

David Somers bio photo By David Somers Comment

Today we were due to start the research discussions.

Nobody wanted to go first, so this week wasn’t signed up for.

So, to start, a bit of a discussion about what the research discussions are all about.

The Research Discussions

Jonathan summarized:

  • The idea of the research discussions is to give you all space to explore your ideas with the group in a bit more detail before you create and present a five minute summary next term.
  • It is a chance to ask questions and not always be certain.
  • A chance to get feedback that will be useful to help develop your thinking.

Alejandro said [in the morning session] “but my ideas have developed since the research paper” — that is fine as this is about presenting that development and how the research and practice are impacting on each other.

My research paper was more about WHY than the HOW or WHAT…. so I’m trying to work out how to frame it in context. As Jonathan said:

connecting the why, how are what — a good, but challenging, way to approach this

In terms of practicalities, can present information from our blog and snippers from research paper: put images and text together on your blog - and take us on a journey through your research and practice. Could present live video you could, but it is very challenging to present live video and watch typed comments and questions. Best to keep it simple.

And now, a simple wander through some interesting work

Have we heard of artist Rachel Maclean?

No, nobody has.

This is an extract from a 30 minute film. She plays all the characters but uses actors to create the different voices:

The second youtube video is very badly presented but that is part of the point, it is presented like a bad, cheesy children’s tv show, and that is a significant reference for Maclean’s work

I got distracted by another of her works:

Her own website continues to aesthetic… not your typical indexhibit artist site…

As does her current expo at the Tate

side note to capture web shots: web-capture.net

A similar artist — Clunie Reid — see:

I found a video of Rachel talking about her work:

Childhood utopia. Psychedelia. Phantasmagoria. Other worlds.

And now a crit of her work. What is she trying to do? Some of the key things we noted: It is like a mirror to society. Some of her later work reminds me of Bosch… so putting up a mirror to the world to satire and be critical. Innocence Lost. The feel of a disturbing mirror. Dystopian not utopian. Is she making a choice? We might read it as dystopian but is she actually making that statement. I think so. She’s presenting a disturbing perspective… sugar coated… very much taking the innocence of the children TV aesthetic and distorting it (satire)… so, yes, by choice she is doing that. She is not ‘simply’ doing anything it is very considered and patient work

To change, a bit.

Why we dreamed about floating down stairs when we were kids

And, Jon Rafman had a exhibition in London a little over a year ago which has a spectacle feel to it and engaged with similar themes although very different outputs.


it’s too much of a sort of ‘joke’ (wrong word but i diunno what else to say) performance for me to be interested in it or the themes it explores .. sorry ha it just reminded me of the spaced episode where daisy was doing performance art and repeating the word rabbit dressed as a bunny (cant find clip).

Here’s the clip:

Asset #57763
Rabbits!. from tumblr

So, of course, with a reference to SPACED, how can we not view this classic bit:

There is ArtyBollocks, and now, there is LazyCurator. Here are a few titles it gave me

  • For Love of Dilettantes: Figuring the Avant Garde
  • Archaeological Dreams: Constructing a Praxis of Samenes
  • Extravagant Chemistry: Cheating the System
  • Postcolonial (Im)Possibilities? The Politics of Change
  • Romancing Media: The Dysfunction of Change


This was a really enjoyable tutorial. Discovering new works. Revisiting clips from SPACED.

One of the standout things was Rachel Maclean’s Website. Instead of churning out an atypical indexhibit-based artist site, something aligned with her aesthetic.

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