Part One: Learning Outcomes

I’ve just submitted my first assignment. Before moving on to Part Two, I wanted to revisit my movement across the course learning outcomes. I worked this entry out in my physical learning log and have summarized it here.

  1. Can I demonstrate an awareness of a broad range of contemporary practice in the creative arts?
    • I have knowledge and awareness about contemporary artists whose work, media, themes, and approach are very diverse. Sam Taylor-Johnson (video art), Peter Campus (video art), Jeremy Deller (diverse media, including video, performance, event organization), Katy Paterson (multimedia), Jem Finer (sound, music), Alec Finlay (text, video) and Ian Hamilton Finlay (text, sculpture, landscaping), Grayson Perry (pottery) come to mind.
    • I began this course with surprisingly (even to myself) little knowledge of the contemporary art scene. I feel myself engaged and inspired by the forms the genre takes.
  2. Can I demonstrate an understanding of the scope and interrelationship of a range of creative disciplines?
    • I’m thinking and talking about art a lot these days, relating it to everyday life, podcasts I listen to, works of fiction I’m reading, galleries I visit, films I watch. The themes and works we’ve looked at keep coming up for me in conversations at coffee shops with strangers, friends and family alike, which is for me proof of an increasing awareness of the slippery borders and interrelationship of different disciplines. Today, we see individuals resisting categorization more and more, and artists are no different. Additionally, the way we consume art nowadays necessitates a kind of flexibility and openness with regards to how a work of art might be accessed, experienced, presented across different platforms, and continue to evolve in time and space.
    • Artangel’s mission, as expressed both by Finer’s Longplayer and Deller’s The Battle of Orgreave, is to commission work that takes many forms, engages people on multiple levels, and evolves in interesting (sometimes unpredictable) ways in time and space.
  3. Can I demonstrate a knowledge of basic research tools, skills and an awareness of the theoretical background to the creative arts?
    • The different tasks, exercises, projects, case studies and written analyses leading up to the first assignment afforded me countless opportunities to practice my online and library research skills and to record my findings and observations through drawing, note-taking, blogging, mindmapping and more formal writing and referencing.
    • The theory I’m aware of around art is diverse in scope but, for the time being, fairly superficial in depth. Regardless, I came to the course with previous exposure to and knowledge of specific critical theories and I love making more space for that in my everyday thinking, as well as in my interactions with art and related academic content.
    • The Grayson Perry Reith lectures were a great jumping-off point for applying theory to our understanding of art and I’m reinforcing my knowledge through reading and increased gallery and museum visits.
  4. Can I demonstrate an ability to think critically and reflect upon my own learning?
    • I definitely came to the course with developed critical thinking skills: teaching literature plus years of self-help books and well-being practices have taught me a lot about that. If anything, I think I need to practice zooming out when I reflect upon my learning, focusing on the bigger picture (within reason) rather than small details.
    • In any case, I’ve put a lot of thought and work into my learning log and revisiting it now reminds me of how much learning I’ve packed into just a few months.

Follow-up reading/listening:

  • Stallabrass’ “Contemporary Art: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford), available via
  • Callender and Edney’s “Introducing Time” (2004)
  • Newall and Pooke’s “Art History: The Basics” (2008)
  • Wilson and Lack’s “The Tate Guide to Modern Art Terms”

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