Take a walk with me through my MFA – Master of Fine Art

So here I am taking on another year in academia.  Undertaking a postgraduate course gives me very mixed feelings; trepidation, anxiety, a little bit of artist neurosis but mostly and I am really excited. I have so many concepts that I want to explore….too many if I am honest and I believe this to be my starting point.  I need to find my core, immerse myself into the depts of my own Dantes Inferno until I find my pivot point………..my central axis, from whence my concepts and ideas spiral.

Just as well the first module is called “Position”!

Position (30th September 2015)

They (Our tutors) are asking us………..What is your position?

I feel like giving a grid reference as an answer to this question as it would certainly be easier.  When drafting my Artist Statement this is a question that I tried to answer. Why do I create? What is my core motivation? What is my process?

(My Artist Statement is a working progress…)

Introduction to the Position Module

Words and statements that came from group discussion during our first session in regards to our “Position” as artists.

  • What are you about?
  • Why?
  • What or who influences you?
  • What are your values?
  • How have you arrived at your conclusions/concepts/final pieces?
  • Core
  • Voice
  • Key Texts

I think many of these things I had already been doing just not documenting them. Good to know that I am on the right track.

During this first class we also discussed what was expected of us throughout the year and what we were expected to produce:

Expected outcomes:

  • PDP – Profesional Development Portfolio (2500 – 4000w) Summery taken from the 2500w to be submitted at the end of each module
  • Contextualisation Book (All work throughout the year, experimentation, exhibits visited, research, areas of interest)
  • Documentation Book (All work completed, biography, artist CV, Exhibitions)
  • Online presence (Blog/Website)
  • Attend 50% of Seminars
  • Produce/Experiment/Explore/Create work throughout the year
  • Final Exhibition of Work

I have to say I am feeling a little overwhelmed but also eager to get started. As I said earlier I have ideas of what I want to do practice wise however I am also aware that these ideas should not be set in stone and I should allow them to be subject to change through exploration. Its difficult not to be blinkered by my own passion to move forward. This is after all a course that is designed to encourage you to create work through research and discovery.

Homework

Homework given ……and so it begins.  We have been set the task to create and deliver a 10 minute presentation of introduction.

Topics

  • Previous work
  • Where you are?
  • Where you want to go?

I have to say I am looking forward to learning about my peers practices. I am not looking forward to delivering my own as public speaking sometimes makes me a little uneasy. I did offer to deliver mine in the first group next week.

Seminars

In the afternoon we had a seminar/group meeting. This was to introduce us to the new theory/research aspect of the course. To be quite frank it was all a little confusing. We discussed the different seminars that we are to attend and the amount of written work expected. We also got to introduce ourselves to everyone. The group consists of all the Masters students across the departments and disciplines. It was really interesting to hear everyones areas of interest. I even found others with similar interests to me. One lady “Tiff” who is also keenly interested in participation as an art medium or process suggested a book to me: “The One and The Many” by Grant H. Kester. I later looked at reviews then ordered it online….just have to wait now. Tiff and I also spoke about another book that we had both read “Artificial Hells by Claire Bishop, we are both agreed with Bishops stance. It is a great motivation to meet people who are working with similar concepts.

Work on my Presentation

I spent a lot of the week thinking about my position as an artist and pulling my presentation together.

7th October 2015 – Presentation Day

I was nervous as I was aware that my presentation was a little cheesy in its execution.

Previous Work

The initial slides showed my Artist Statement, my most recent exhibition pieces – I discussed the concepts behind these and brought in some examples (Sand casted handle of the zoetrope for scale and my augmented reality business cards)

Position

Then I talked about my current position as an artist, where I though maybe my work was going:

  • Create less negative works
  • Mediums – Affordable/Accessible electronics – Recycled/Reclaimed Materials
  • Encourage Dialogue
  • Participation/Interaction
  • Re-examine my Artist Statement

Possible Future Focus

  • Sound/Light Garden – Create a space that is non threatening, interactive and enjoyable yet also discusses important and difficult topics
  • Participatory Workshop – Learning environment that teaches and inspires creativity whilst also addressing current global issues

 

Finished Presentation

The tutor and peer feedback from the presentation:

The general consensus is that I should be less concerned about the audience and follow my own creative style. I was worried that some of my work would be somehow misconstrued as dark and scary and drive an audience away rather than encourage them to participate. However I am aware that I have a certain style that is unique to me and I don’t want to lose that in the process.

Some Artist of Interest – You can see details about each of these on my posts page.

Nina Waisman – Media Womb

Luke Jerram – Aeolus

Sam Aaron – Sonic Pi

Zimon 2013 – 43 prepared dc-motors, 31.5kg packing paper

David Bond  – Project Wild Things

Gabriele Galimberti – They Just Want To Play”

14th October 2015 – Judit and Mark

They asked us to consider:

Beating the Boundary?

How do you make decisions?

How do you pull your work together? 

What are your research methods? 

Is your work lost in translation?

What is your question? 

Discussed the merits of mapping your process and document where you have been. 

I found this session a good start after our presentations as it is very easy to get lost and lose your core when you are in the research process. These are good questions to consider regularly during the process a you can use them to pull you back to your core ideas or even get you to revaluate your  position in regards to your core. 

14th October 2015 – Sesson with Alexandros

More on what and how to complete the PDP. 

It’s basically a journey through your process highlighting key points along the way. 

Another student recommended a book: “The One and The Many” by Grant H Kester (ordered it, reviews read well) 

Sharing Knowledge – Arduino

I have been sharing ideas with another student in regards to my limited experience with the micro-controller “Arduino”.  He seems very keen to learn about it and I am very keen to learn more about it. ….need to find out about booking more classes. 

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