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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Art

Undergraduate Course: Contemporary Artistic Research (ARTX10051)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course gives an overview into the current place of artistic research in contemporary art practice. The popularity of Donald Bathelmes 'Not knowing' stands for the hiatus of dominant methods in artistic practice. Conversely artistic research, in recent years, has witnessed an increase in debate with writing giving an explicit verbal account of implicit knowledge embodied in an artistic practice.

This course will ask what role does writing play within contemporary artistic production? And how is artistic production a form or re-writing? The course will introduce and ask you to consider the artist performance lecture as the genre that balances on the boundary between art and academia.

Course description This course asks that you look at your artistic work through the lens of contemporary artistic research. This course requires that you look at issues of contemporary artistic research through extrapolating, dwelling, and in critically reflecting upon your own artistic processes. The course will utilize the lecture and seminar but will also utilize exhibitions, presentations of contemporary art within Edinburgh during the period of the course to locate the ongoing discussions. The course will cover such topics as:

Introduction to Contemporary Artistic Research.
Not Knowing - On how artists think.
Art as a form of re-writing, painting as an art, like poetry and fiction is in the business of writing us or writing us again or anew - alva noe
Reflective and reflexive practice.
Artists writing (Judd, Lewitt, Hess, Smithson, Kosuth, Tuttle, Fraser)
The artist performance lecture
The archive
Practice-based and/or practice-led
Self-direction, Networking and Collaboration

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only available to students on a Degree Programme in the School of Art.
Additional Costs Students are expected to pay for Art Materials and Equipment. Specific materials and equipment costs will vary depending on students individual choice of method of production.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 2, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 14, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, External Visit Hours 2, Online Activities 1, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1. You will be asked to present a performance lecture which will be delivered to your peers and seminar group leader. The lecture should last for 15 minutes. The performance lecture acknowledges the site of the academic lecture is a zone to be subverted and re-written. Your performance lecture must communicate your artistic methods relationship to contemporary art research. This component will be addressing learning outcomes 1+2 and will account for 50% of the final grade.

2. You will present a contemporary artistic research statement (maximum 1000 words). This statement should reflect upon your performance lecture and situate your artistic processes and methods in relation to key debates that have been introduced during the course and are pertinent to contemporary artistic research. This component refers to learning outcomes 3 + 4 and accounts for 50% of the final grade.

Feedback (a) Both aspects of the assessment will be formativly assessed in week 6 of the course. For the presentation to peers you will receive a letter grade (from seminar leader) and verbal feedback (from both peers seminar leader) and which will provide feed forward to allow you to improve the summamtive assessment.

For the written artistic research statement you will receive a letter grade and a short written statement which relates directly to the learning outcome 3.

(b) Summative assessment will take place in week 11 of the course and will consist of a 15 minute presentation to peers. The final research statement will be submitted in week 12 to allow for the necessary time to reflect on the presentation.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Prepare and make constructive contributions to tutorials, seminars, crits, and presentations on the area of artistic research.
  2. Communicate your methods and processes, in an innovative form, which demonstrates understanding of the key issues of contemporary artistic research
  3. Critically reflect on your methods and processes, referring to key texts, to establish your relationship to contemporary artistic research.
  4. Communicate your artistic research, showing analysis and initiative, in a well structured and coherent statement.
Reading List
Biggs, M. and Karlsson, H. (eds), (2011), The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts. Abingdon: Routledge. Available at: companion-to-research-in-the-arts.pdf

Cocker, Emma. Tactics for Not Knowing: Preparing for the Unexpected in: Fortnum, Rebecca and Fisher, Elizabeth (eds). (2013) On Not Knowing - How Artists Think. UK: Black Dog Publishing

Gray, C. & Malins, J. ((2004) Visualizing Research: A Guide to the Research Process in Art and Design. UK: Ashgate Available at:

Madoff, Steven Henry (ed) (2009) Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century) MIT Press Available at:

Williams, Gilda. (2014) How to write about contemporary art. London: Thames and Hudson

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Reflection, Analysis, Communication, Criticality, Collaboration
KeywordsPerformance lecture,re-writing,not knowing,reflective practice
Course organiserProf Karen Forbes
Course secretaryMiss Catriona Morley
Tel: (0131 6)51 5763
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