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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Art

Postgraduate Course: Contemporary Art + Anthropology (Level 11) (ARTX11042)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis experimental course is co-delivered by the School of Art (Edinburgh College of Art). It explores and develops the convergence of the anthropological turn in contemporary art practices with the visual, material and practice turns in social anthropology with the aim of fostering a new art+anthropology interdiscipline.

The course will engage you with the anthropological and ethnographic turns in artistic practice and the practice-turn in social and visual anthropology, foregrounding 20th and 21st century case studies wherein art+anthropology have become enmeshed. You will participate in collaborative practices and approaches that combine artistic and anthropological research methods. You will learn how to work on an innovative research project that is informed by anthropological research and contemporary artistic practice.
Course description This unique course invites artists and anthropologists to learn and work together. In its explicit support for practice-as-research (immediation); this course leads a collaborative approach that is rapidly growing in significance across the humanities and social sciences internationally.

The first part of this course will introduce you to the anthropological turn in artistic practice. Seminars will engage you with approaches that are shared by artists and anthropologists such as: practice-theory/theories of practice, collaborative ethnography, participatory visual methods, sites, fieldwork, fieldnotes/sketchbooks, social practice, activism, action research, surrealism, weirding, vitalism, carpentry, ecomaterialism and neomaterialism. This will provide a primer to support a short collaborative project (Atelier) that will combine contemporary artistic and anthropological research methods.

In the second part of the course you will develop and propose your own research project under the supervision of staff from the School of Art. Your project will equally combine contemporary artistic and anthropological research methods.

Based in ECA's School of Art, this course is aimed at art students keen to cultivate work informed by emerging approaches in Anthropology. It is, equally, aimed at social science students who wish to pursue visual and material research practices responding to the latest developments in contemporary art. As such, the course is equally suitable for artists or anthropologists interested in working collaboratively to share and develop innovative interdisciplinary contemporary research practices. Students on the course will contribute to the University of Edinburgh's research network: 'Atelier: Making Research Material in the Arts & Social Sciences.'
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only available for students on the Contemporary Art Theory programme.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  24
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 1.5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 15, External Visit Hours 5, Online Activities 15, Formative Assessment Hours 0.25, Summative Assessment Hours 0.75, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 158 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One Project Book comprising a Portfolio of your research for the course and your Research Proposal. LOs 1,2,3 equally weighted
Feedback Formative: You will receive formative oral feedback on your Project Book during supervision.

Summative: You will receive written feedback on your Project Book and a summative letter grade for each of the three learning outcomes assessed.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Substantiate your knowledge and understanding of the reciprocity of anthropology + contemporary art by conducting independent research and collaborative forms of inquiry.
  2. Demonstrate critical understanding and autonomy in identifying key methods, practices and emerging tendencies in contemporary art + anthropology.
  3. Successfully communicate your research, reflective analysis and professional initiative in a well structured, coherent and creative Project Book.
Reading List
Braidotti, Rosi, 'Posthuman, All Too Human: Towards a New Process Ontology', Theory, Culture & Society, 2006, Vol. 23, No. 7¿8, 2006, 197:208.
Clifford, James. The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988.
Coles, Alex (Editor). Site-Specificity in Art: the Ethnographic Turn: 4 (De-, dis-, ex-), Black Dog, 2001.
Cook, Samuel R. 2008. The Collaborative Power Struggle, Collaborative Anthropologies 2: 109:14.
Kontturi, Katve-Kaisa, Following the Flows of Process: A New Materialist Account of Contemporary Art, Annales Universitatis Turkuensis, ser. B, tom. 349, Humaniora, Turku, University of Turku, 2012.
Kwon, Miwon. One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity. MIT, 2002.
Manning, Erin. Creative Propositions for Thought in Motion, Inflexions: A Journal for Research-Creation, 2008, No. 1,, ac. 30.
Massumi, Brian, Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation, Durham, Duke University Press, 2002.
McClanahan, Angela. 'Notes on Contemporary Art and Anthropology : Part I: Magic, Value, Games and Scams', pp. n/a , MAP: Journeys in Contemporary Art , n/a n/a 06 August 2013
Ramey, Kathryn. Between Art and Anthropology: Contemporary Ethnographic Practice, Visual Studies, 2011, Vol.26(3), p.271-272
Marcus, Georgee. Contemporary Fieldwork Aesthetics in Art and Anthropology: Experiments in Collaboration and Intervention, Visual Anthropology, 2010, Vol.23(4), p.263-277
André Demarchi. Traps, Chimeras and Pathways: Three Approaches of Art in Contemporary Anthropology, Espaço Ameríndio, 01 December 2009, Vol.3(2)
Rabinow, Paul. Marking Time On the Anthropology of the Contemporary, Princeton : Princeton University Press ;2009
Foster, Hal. The Artist as Ethnographer, in The Return of the Real, 171:204. Cam-bridge: MIT Press, 1996.
Fillitz, Thomas. Anthropology and discourses on Global Art, Social Anthropology, 2015, Vol.23(3), pp.299-313
Holmes, Douglas, and George E. Marcus. 2005. Refunctioning Ethnography: The Challenge of an Anthropology of the Contemporary.¿ In
Handbook of Qualitative Research, 3rd edition, ed. Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln, 109:13. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Elhaik, Tarek. What is Contemporary Anthropology, Critical Arts, 2013, Vol.27(6), p.784-798
Pahl, K. H. ; Comerford - Boyes, L. ; Genever, K. ; Pool, S. Artists, Art and Artefacts: Boundary Crossings, Art and Anthropology, Creative Approaches to Research, 3 (1\). 82 - 101
Köhn, Steffen. Organising Complexities: The potential of multi-screen video-installations for ethnographic practice and representation, Critical Arts, 2013, Vol.27(5), p.553-568
O'Sullivan, Simon, Art Encounters Deleuze and Guattari: Thinking Beyond Representation, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
Rutten, Kris ; Van. Dienderen, An ; Soetaert, Ronald. Revisiting the Ethnographic Turn in Contemporary Art, Critical Arts, 2013, Vol.27(5), p.459-473
Siegenthaler, Fiona. Towards an Ethnographic turn in Contemporary Art Scholarship, Critical Arts, 2013, Vol.27(6), p.737-752.
Schneider, Arnd. Uneasy Relationships: Contemporary Artists and Anthropology , Journal of Material Culture Vol. 1(2): 1996, pp.183-210.
Schneider, Arnd; Wright, Christopher. Between Art and Anthropology : Contemporary Ethnographic Practice, Oxford ; New York : Berg Publishers 2010.
Schneider, Arnd; Wright, Christopher. Contemporary Art and Anthropology, Oxford, England : Berg ;2006
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Graduates will develop the following skills:

Knowledge that covers and integrates most, if not all, of the main areas of contemporary art and anthropology, including their features, boundaries, terminology and conventions.

A critical, detailed and often leading knowledge and understanding at the forefront of contemporary art and anthropology.

Knowledge and understanding that is generated through personal research or equivalent work that makes a significant contribution to the development of the contemporary art and anthropology.

The ability to plan and execute a significant project of research, investigation or development.

The ability to apply knowledge, skills and understanding in applying a range of standard and specialised research and/or equivalent instruments and techniques of enquiry.

The ability to apply knowledge, skills and understanding in using a significant range of the principal professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with contemporary art and anthropology.

The ability to apply knowledge, skills and understanding in using and enhancing a range of complex skills, techniques, practices and/or materials that are at the forefront of contemporary art and anthropology.

The ability to apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to forefront issues, or issues that are informed by forefront developments in contemporary art and anthropology.

The ability to critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in contemporary art and anthropology.

The ability to communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise and to communicate with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists.

The ability to take responsibility for their work and/or significant responsibility for the work of others.

The ability to work in a peer relationship with specialist practitioners and to practise in ways which draw on critical reflection on own and others¿ roles and responsibilities.

Demonstrate leadership and/or initiative and make an identifiable contribution to change and development and/or new thinking.
Keywordscontemporary art,anthropology,fieldwork,practice-theory,action research,site,ethnography
Course organiserDr Linda O'Keeffe
Email: Linda.O'
Course secretaryMs Georgia Dodsworth
Tel: (0131 6)51 5712
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