YR 1 Proseminar: Research Practices 2019-20
Proseminar: Research Practices
Y1 seminar led by Liesbeth Bik, Kate Briggs, Jan Verwoert and Katarina Zdjelar
4 credits: 8 sessions throughout the year.
Research Practices is a provision for first year Master Fine Art students. It is an invitation to share and discuss, to speculate on and try out (and possibly also to discard) various understandings of and relationships to the activities of “research”. What is research for an artist? What counts as research? What forms or actions does research consist in? When and how is research productive for an artist – and what exactly can it be productive of? When and how do practices of research get described, shared and made visible, in artworks, for example? And when and how are they hidden and obscured? This monthly seminar is a space to think these questions through together by means of discussion, observation, listening as well as directed activities and exercises. Part of our project will be to explore a new vocabulary for talking about what is commonly called “research”: perhaps “research” is the wrong term for some of us or all of us? Perhaps the term “references”, likewise, could be replaced with something else? The primary aims of this seminar are to enable students to identify, articulate and affirm in their own terms the value of their existing approaches to research, as well as to actively explore the affordances of new ones. Each session will be led by a different practitioner (artist, writer, critic, curator) who will open out these questions in relation to their own practice. The practitioners will assign the students a task per session – an action, style or approach to research to be activated in their own time. The seminar will culminate in a public presentation in the summer (the form of which is to be decided) and the submission of an essay on research and practice in the spring. In this way, Proseminar: Research Practices facilitates the Graduate Research Project and Thesis in the second year of study.
Session by session course outline:
Session 1: Introduction to the Questions of the Seminar + The Problem of Reading with KB
"I'm aware that young curators thinking about exhibitions and curating in institutional structures sometimes talk about research when they mean looking something up or reading. That's not research, that's reading."
Liam Gillick in dialogue with Lucy Cotter, Reclaiming Artistic Research (Hatje Cantz, 2019), p. 27
Notes on the discussion from Pascale + Linus + Bruno:
Keywords noted in the discussion: naivety, carelessness, play, intuition, intellectual food, inhibition duty, situatedness, embodied experience, embodied knowledge, economies and ecologies of knowledge-exchange (making the most of local resources!), responsibility, self-consciousness of one's position and privilege, discovery, research as a parallel track to art-making, as a preparation for art-making, as a journey, unlearning, googling, grounding authority (how and at what point do you claim the right to pronounce on other bodies of knowledge?), copying, plagiarism, translation and transformation...
TASK: make a personal Reader to accompany you throughout this first year of study. A Reader (as a type of book) is a collection of different texts brought together for their relevance or relation to a general question or area of inquiry. We will consider the example of Revolution: A Reader, ed. Lisa Robertson and Matthew Stadler. Your Reader will be an open collection of a diverse body of materials that you intend to read or reread, a companion that you will engage with, react to, annotate and learn from over the course of the coming months. Print your Reader in an edition of 2: one for your personal use, to add to and annotate and one for your tutors. Deadline for the Reader (which can of course be added to throughout the year): 11am, Weds October 9th.
READERS online links:
All Physical Readers are in the office....
"Everything depends on what, if anything, we find interesting, on what we are encouraged and educated to find interesting, and what we find ourselves being interested in despite ourselves. And when we are interested, we pay attention."
Adam Phillips, Attention Seeking (Penguin 2019), p. 3
Question: Might it be possible to rephrase the question research in terms of attention? Of paying attention? What - inside or outside the studio - are you currently paying attention to?
Please upload your responses with your name here:
'Session 2: Fold in Fold out Research / Frankness and Innuendo part 1 with JV