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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Art

Undergraduate Course: Critical and Cultural Theories of Contemporary Art (ARTX08087)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides you with thematic perspectives and methodologies of Visual Culture. You will develop an understanding of Critical and Cultural Theories and their relevance to art theory and practice. The course will show you how these discourses and techniques can be applied to vary our take on objects, ideas and experiences which we may otherwise conceive of as fixed. We will specifically focus on the radical questioning of conventional concepts of truth, value, unity and stability. This course provides routes to understand how disparate experiences come to form specific cultural paradigms that are interrelated with the production and reception of contemporary art.

The framing of this course intends to give an up-to-date grounding in key arguments in Visual Culture and Critical and Cultural Theories of Contemporary Art in order to complement students' existing studio practice or study in another subject area.
Course description This is a lecture-based course, with accompanying seminars. Each lecture will be for one hour with a one hour seminar scheduled afterwards.

The broad selection of themes which will be explored cover a spectrum of critical and cultural concepts of art including: the art world(s), aesthetics, populism and ideology, museums and institutional practices, concepts of time, the simulacra, gender and identity, decolonisation, power and surveillance technologies, net art through postinternet, performativity, sonic arts, art and protest, and concepts of environmental art through ecology and the anthropocene.

Weekly classes will run with assigned readings from a combination of canonical texts relating to visual culture, and more recent comparative readings from the media sphere. This classroom activity aims to encourage a discursive participation, in order to increase students ability to critically reflect upon live current debates and inform their developing artistic practice.

Students will be provided with feedback and feed forward essay tutorials mid-semester to allow for reflection and development of their research skills between formative and summative submissions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking History of Art 2A Reason, Romance, Revolution: Art from 1700 to 1900 (HIAR08027) OR History of Art 2B From Modernism and the Avant-Gardes to Postmodernism and Globalisation (HIAR08028)
Other requirements This course is primarily for Art students only, should there still be spaces available after welcome week, you can ask your personal tutor/admin team to enrol you.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  87
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, External Visit Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative Assessment (1000 words)
Comprising of a resource list (600 words) with essay proposal (400 words)

Summative Assessment (4000 words)
Feedback Formative Essay - submitted mid semester approx. week 6 via Learn Written/verbal feedback/forward via Learn in 15 working days of submission
Summative Essay - submitted approx. week 12 via Learn
Grades and written feedback via Learn in 15 working days of submission

Formative assessment (feed forward) will be given in relation to the written assessment at the mid-point of semester. Summative assessment: 4000 word essay. Grades and written feedback via Learn in 15 working days of submission.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Present evidence of independent, scholarly research.
  2. Critically analyse and synthesise ideas, concepts, information, and themes relating to Critical and Cultural Theories and their relevance to contemporary art theory and practice.
  3. Produce critical responses to Critical and Cultural Theories of Contemporary Art.
Reading List
Cavallaro, Dani. (2001) Critical and Cultural Theory. UK: The Athlone Press
Bishop, Claire. (2012) Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship. London: Verso
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. (2017) Empty the museum, decolonize the curriculum, open theory. In Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 25 (53) McKee, Yates. (2016) Strike Art: Contemporary Art and the Post-Occupy Condition. London: Verso
McHugh, Gene. (2011) Post Internet. Italy: Link Editions
Additional Information
To Demonstrate and/or work with:
A knowledge of the scope, defining features, and main areas of the Critical and Cultural Theories of Contemporary Art as framed through the discipline of Visual Culture.
Apply knowledge, skills and understanding:
In using a range of professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with the Visual Culture, a few of which are advanced and/or complex.
Undertake critical and cultural analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues in contemporary art practice and theory
KeywordsContemporary Art,Critical Theory,Cultural Theory
Course organiserDr Julie Louise Bacon
Tel: (0131 6)51 5800
Course secretaryMiss Hannah Morrison
Tel: (0131 6)51 5763
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