Journal of Arts Writing by Students

Published by Intellect
Print ISSN: 2055-2823
This study focused on how the urban environment of a Greek city, Patras, visually bore witness to the impact that COVID-19 has had within its public spaces. It also focused on how the human involvement is reflected on the city surfaces, and even its absence denotes the new conditions caused by the pandemic. Time appeared to be frozen on the city surfaces and its visual remainders point to a previous era, when a pandemic may have sounded more like a sci-fi scenario, or over the ‘breaks’ of successive lockdowns. In order to record and document the fragmented spatial and temporal actualities, I relied on fine art practices such as photography, photogrammetry and 3D models for the production of an archive of the current historic imperative.
How is it that the paradigm shift from mechanical to video-based arcade gaming has created a loyal video game following that holds true today? This article will explore the historical development of video arcade games, their instantaneous popularity and their continued presence in the world of contemporary gaming. In reading the affective experience of gaming through the lens of actor-network-theory (ANT), a number of factors can be specified for the popularity of nostalgic gaming: the affective design of interface, the emergent symbols of the arcade game, the spectacular nature of play, the mastery of a game (maximizing play per dollar spent), and the affective potential of precognitive actions and its relation to nostalgia. This leads to the conclusion that all these factors co-produce a wholly novel experience particular to the network of the arcade.
The basis of this project and the sketchbook response to the Beijing residency was to summarize my findings on geologic formations that are created in Beijing’s parks and public spaces and how these can be used in the studio as reference materials in creating representational and abstract sculptures made of bronze, copper, aluminium and iron. Chinese ink paintings were used as a starting point for creating photographic dioramas in the studio, using the faux stone and rock techniques used in fabricated landscape gardens. Upon completion of the residency, a series of metal sculptures based on stones incorporating a sense of faux landscape features had been cast successfully.
Artists working in the field of animation, games and films are expected to have in-depth knowledge of three-dimensional (3D) software as well as traditional art principles. However, when it comes to creating conventional paintings, many artists have yet to use 3D computer imaging. 3D software expands beyond what is possible in other computer programmes such as Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator by giving the creator access to unlimited potential in three dimensions. My work embraces these modern technologies, crossing the boundaries between new and old media, to inform the paintings I create with oil on canvas. I utilize 3D software to push the surreal yet realistic quality of a setting. In this article, I explore my work in the context of historical precedents and contemporary examples that combine conventional media and 3D computer imaging. Keeping up and creatively employing these technologies within conventional modes of painting presents an opportunity to push the boundaries of my art.
This article reports on the work developed on the first semester of the 2020–21 academic year in a curricular unit called art and visual culture belonging to the curriculum of the master’s course in design and visual culture at IADE, Faculty of Design, Technology and Communication of Universidade Europeia, Lisbon, Portugal. For the students’ work – to write an academic article – we used JAWS as a template for a hypothetical submission. Each student developed one article as if to submit for publication in this journal. The work was divided into two phases: research and writing. In the first phase, art and humanities methods were explored, concerning reading and organizing textual and visual materials. Gillian Rose’s Visual Methodologies and Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne method were explored. Students chose one exhibition held in Lisbon at the time to be the subject of the article. A ‘Warburg panel’ was created, bringing depth in analysis linking contemporary art or visual culture with Romanticism and or Modernism. In the second phase, writing was structured organizing a visual rhetoric deriving from the images already collected. Textual strategies like paraphrasing, quoting and commenting were also explored to finalize an article using a defined article already published by JAWS about an exhibition held in Portugal. The article concludes on the virtue of using academic journals as a learning tool.
This article argues that the Internet today constitutes a social and cultural space, holding within it a culture distinct from that of the physical world with its own customs, morals and beliefs. Taking as a case study Tim Price’s Teh [sic] Internet is Serious Business, which premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in September 2014, it will use Patrice Pavis’ ‘hour-glass’ model to carry out a textual analysis of this adaptation of the factual story of the formation of online activist groups Anonymous and LulzSec for presentation within the theatrical form of contemporary Britain, a narrative which has become one of Internet Culture’s major cultural myths.
This writing accompanies Su Yang’s practice as research work, consisting of a series of paintings exploring questions of beauty and cosmetic surgery amongst Chinese women. Her research aims to investigate the influences on representation of women in contemporary Chinese art from feminist perspectives. Her Ph.D. study focuses specifically on the representation of the female form, how it reflects changing notions of beauty and how the achievement of ideal beauty, through forms of unnecessary harmful nontherapeutic cosmetic surgery is achieved. Her wider research also includes a study as to the nature and impact of feminist art in contemporary Chinese art.
Towards the end of the 1970s the American art scene welcomed a new era: postmodernism. The new radical practices and ideas concerning representation were central in the photo-conceptual art of this period, and appropriation became the key deconstructive method. This is an article about the Pictures Generation, the way postmodernism was initially theorized, and deconstructed, and the notion of desire through the analysis of significant artworks of that period.
Human civilization can now be considered to have crossed over to the Age of the Anthropocene, the current geological period when human activity has a great influence on the environment of the world and this has had severe implications on the environment. When André Bazin, French critic and film theorist writing between 1943 and 1958, penned his famous treatise on photography and cinema, the visual form was still in its formative years. However, in the present day the effects of the Anthropocene on geographic and topographic factors are creating different and newer discourses of memory in relation to the culture and society. Hence, it becomes essential to redefine the role of the photographer in these terms. This article looks at this role in the context of Sunderbans, a natural region of mangrove forest spanning southern Bangladesh and a small part of West Bengal in India, through the photography of Swastik Pal, an independent photographer and writer based in Calcutta.
Human civilization can now be considered to have crossed over to the Age of the Anthropocene, the current geological period when human activity has a great influence on the environment of the world and this has had severe implications on the environment. When André Bazin, French critic and film theorist writing between 1943 and 1958, penned his famous treatise on photography and cinema, the visual form was still in its formative years. However, in the present day the effects of the Anthropocene on geographic and topographic factors are creating different and newer discourses of memory in relation to the culture and society. Hence, it becomes essential to redefine the role of the photographer in these terms. This article looks at this role in the context of Sunderbans, a natural region of mangrove forest spanning southern Bangladesh and a small part of West Bengal in India, through the photography of Swastik Pal, an independent photographer and writer based in Calcutta.
This article explores what the ambiguous notion of ‘critical’ art implies, using the following three terms which I think are important to address the inquiry: ‘boundary’, ‘Antonio Gramsci’ and ‘polyphony’. In this article, I will consider various efficacies of critical art and discuss works that have critical significance. Critical art and projects can be works that aim to draw a new frontier in relation to political issues by interrogating both the visible and the invisible, or it may be that art projects provide an alternative model of sensibility and subjectivity in order to enable us to become subjects, creating another possible society.
This article explores gaps in communication and mistranslations between languages and cultural identities. My article centres on my artistic research practice, alongside Chinese contemporary artists, Xu Bing and Ai Weiwei, who brought their own culture to bear on the experience of living and making work in the West. When facing the clash of cultural and linguistic environments, the work featured seeks to find a balance between inclusive and exclusive language systems. What seems to be ‘lost’ in translation can be used creatively in art practice, through hybridized forms and often through humour, to ‘find’ new meanings for myself, and hopefully for the audiences of my work.
Social practices, whether described as socially-engaged, participatory or community-based, share the potential to transform audience members into active participants in an artwork or project. However, the purpose of this public engagement is sometimes in conflict with the private experience of the viewer, constructing a complex relationship between audience, artist and gallery. Beginning by contextualizing the historic position of the audience in relation to the arts, the present article uses this as grounding to unpick elements of the dynamic which exist today. ‘The audience’ investigates the reported social benefits of engaging in the arts, questioning how evidence of these positive effects is reported and judged. This article exemplifies Marcelo Sánchez-Camus’ work with patients in palliative care and Spacemakers’ community-based projects as artworks intended to instigate positive social change. Further, ‘The artist’ explores the relationship between those facilitating these projects and their audience. By breaking down the term ‘audience’ into viewers, participants, collaborators and co-authors, one can use levels of agency to segment those involved and the differing experiences of their involvement. Petra Bauer’s long-term collaborative work with SCOT PEP is used to demonstrate how a group’s agency and stakes within an artwork can be enhanced by building relationships on equal terms. Finally, ‘The gallery’, uses the high-profile examples of Tate Group and Venice Biennale to demonstrate how the more powerful entities in the art world can misrepresent engagement and participation as quantitative markers of success or accessibility. This article ultimately aims to question what motivates the production of social practice and how these entities are important in constituting a successful process and outcome, for audience, artist and institute.
This article developed in three parts the precursory practice-based research, through a phenomenological framework, to the following yet-to-be-resolved core question: is it possible for the artistic (and ritualistic) object to be imbued with what we consider to be the essence of life? The research arrives at this question by exploring how silence and sound can contribute to the perception of life, highlighting language as a driver for cultural change and advancing the use of a new pronoun assigned to those who bear life.
In 2006 Heathrow Airport began campaigning for its expansion and the build of a new runway in order to accommodate its growing number of flights. The costly proposal was, and still is, met with anger and protest by environmentalists, politicians and more adamantly, by the neighbourhoods facing destruction. Consequently, activists have defended and occupied the site of the proposed third runway for the past five years. The following article investigates the spatial politics of resistance within Grow Heathrow, a space propagating the need for community-led activism and D.I.Y. architecture.
This article is a reading of Rachael Champion’s work Raze Bloom through the philosophy of Hannah Arendt, in her book The Human Condition. Focusing on the category of work and products of homo faber (the man-made world), with specific attention paid to the problematic relationship of humans with nature and the authority of science on the earth and human life.
This article starts with the premise that artists have an intrinsic understanding of visual space through a theoretical awareness of spatial discourses in art, including the ‘gesture’, objecthood and post-studio debates. This understanding then becomes interwoven into the practical aspects of sustaining an art practice, and expanded within the broader context of the socially felt space within which artists make work. The article looks at practices that exemplify the artist’s need for space, in relation to: spaces in which artworks are produced, stored and distributed; the depicted studio; occupations which deny headspace; and gendered containment of domestic space. Lastly, the article asks whether practices with varying adaptability to spatial resources are then varyingly resilient when there is a lack of space, resulting in different levels of sustainability for different types of practice.
This article articulates an example of the relationship between practice and theory that utilizes the Freudo-Lacanian approach, of a researching art object. The artwork and the writing are not separate entities, but rather ask the same questions and intervene into public space in New York, and the academic world simultaneously. The Public Utteraton Machines, which will be installed on pavements in New York in 2014, are not finished when installed, because they ask questions.This article furthermore synthesizes arguments for the relinquishment of traditional notions of the creative magus or genius figure, disengaged with society, in favour of artistic research as a means to forge a coherent connection to the world outside the artists own life world. It argues that the separation between practice (making art) and art history (writing about other art), i.e. an art historical approach to interpreting art, is not the only way to create or interpret public art and writing. Therefore in this case, intervening into the public art discourse in New York where my research takes place, through an unfinished object in space is most appropriate.
Art historian Carrie Lambert-Beatty offers the term ‘Parafiction Art’ to describe an emergent genre of artwork in which the artist imitates, invents, fakes or makes up narratives, people or events that are perceived by the spectators, for different reasons and for different lengths of time, as true. These works play on the overlap between fact and fiction in a unique manner:Like a paramedic as opposed to a medical doctor, a parafiction is related to but not quite a member of the category of fiction as established in literature and drama. It remains a bit outside. It does not perform its procedures in the hygienic clinics of literature, but has one foot in the field of the real. (Lambert-Beatty 2009: 54)This is why Parafiction Art possesses the power to influence specific contexts, and to challenge their statuesque. Arguing for the special importance of Parafiction Art within political contexts that strongly adhere to specific truth-values, this article examines recent parafictional practices in Israel and Palestine, and how these works challenge the hegemonic regime in this problematic geopolitical context: the right-wing Israeli government on one hand and the terrorist attacks on the other. Hardly any English literature has been published on the subject to date.
This article is intended to reflect on how performance art can be a channel through which play and work intertwine. The authors Sven Lütticken and Erving Goffman are used to support the idea that work and leisure have become indistinguishable and that life has become a generalized performance. It is theorized that art and play have characteristics that antagonize the sphere of work under capitalism. Three performances by the author are presented: The Machine Must Go On is about competition and acceleration in the work environment; Slow Woman is about the invisible and undervalued domestic work and consequently the disparities between men and women in this matter and Business Game about the power dynamics involving Mexican workers and American companies.
This essay discusses the recent Egyptian revolution and the surge of art which materialised and consequently contributed to the fuelling and documenting of the demonstrations. Considering the urgency and immediate need to create in a coming together of a people, this is analysed against Arendt’s theories of revolution and reflected against ‘Opera from Balconies’, an experimental theatrical project which took place spontaneously in various neighbourhoods in cities across the Egyptian Delta. It discusses echo of hope through collective engagement from the space of Tahrir Square to the domestic neighbourhoods of the ‘Opera from Balconies’ project.
Martina Copley’s practice is a vagabond investigation in the place where language recites.There are some principles. Letting the work speak how it is made. Uncertainty in a dynamic puts everything at attention. Everything requires attention. Look at the change of things, what takes place, notated and not. Vantage includes the way in which objects come into question even as they come into view. Stutter and stumble are descriptions of flow that have their own flow. Beginning in the middle, what happens in the middle is itself, and new. All things are equal to world.Carried by an interest in attention, annotation and the processes of abstraction, I approach my practice as a kind of transcription. I use temporal elements in a material proposition like the stutter, loop, iteration and fugue, to unstructure anticipation and complicate the ‘view’. Things that normally exist in different registers or levels of abstraction are apprehended at different degrees of nearness and distance. The work creates its own order of things as an accumulation of things, each thing its own way of holding something in attention. It is not the content of the object or the material I choose to work with that counts but everything that lies beyond it.
The aim of this article is to critically examine a culture-led regeneration project in Manchester. Through specific case studies I am aiming to contribute to the broad discourse around the nature of artistic production and cultural activity in this post-industrial city. This article outlines a new direction for artistic production in the ‘new maker’s economy’ which I am discussing with the intention of drawing out potential issues regarding the future of independent art organizations.
The following article depicts ongoing research from the project Quiet Dialogues, part of a Ph.D. thesis in artistic education in the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto. Quiet Dialogues is a project that aims to map, explore and materialize the interactions that occur between the passer-by audience of the city and the International Museum of Contemporary Sculpture of Santo Tirso. The project’s resulting map will be in a public online archive showcasing all the interactions collected during the research. As the museum displays its artworks in the public space, this research explores three behavioural categories the audience may react towards the artwork. They are as follows: a mental relationship (a stand-off with the memory), a physical relationship (using the sculpture as shelter or support) and a playful interaction (using the sculpture as a game or in a ludic approach).
This article explores the challenges and opportunities brought upon museums by recent changes in the way people communicate with each other and with institutions. To further understand the nuances of this issue, this study looks at the way the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) has proposed to evolve with the information age. Many theorists agree that the Internet has sparked a revolution for the consumer, who now has new power and a desire to participate. In the art world, this translates into a call to co-create and challenge expert culture. MIMA’s path evidences that catering to these challenges while staying relevant in the eyes of funding institutions is a tough balancing act. However, this new vision for museums paints a promising picture: an opportunity for museums to take an even more relevant part in politics.
This historical series of photographs, produced by the photographer Paul Bennett-Todd, selects from the period 2002–03 thirty images taken at the ‘SpeedQueen’ night at the Warehouse Club in Leeds. Bennett-Todd has presented this snapshot of the venue at the apex of its vibrancy and popularity; clientele at their self-assured peak. An energetic and inclusive event, ‘SpeedQueen’ embodied in its walls an almost poetic celebration of sexuality, transgender, class, race and age. ‘SpeedQueen’ ran at the Warehouse from 1997 to 2006, capturing the culture and colours of the new millennium where people, environment and music combined. Like Wigan casino and Manchester’s Hacienda, SpeedQueen (appearing originally as ‘Vague at the Warehouse’ between 1993 and 1996 occupies an almost mythological place in queer subculture’s own folklore.
In one of his Pensées, Blaise Pascal denounces the vanity of painting for claiming to reproduce reality. In an age dominated by works of art that privilege the process of production, Pascal’s statement seems rather outdated. However, this article aims to show to what extent Pascal’s thought still drives us to reflect upon the nature of art; more specifically, how it can be used as a contestation of art as objective representation, and how it connects to contemporary art through writings on art and translation theory.
Top-cited authors
Rohit Dasgupta
  • University of Glasgow
Rachel Hann
  • Northumbria University