Unit 2: Assessment

Unit 2 work
Unit 2 has seen a dramatic shift in emphasis from one of experimentation in subject matter and form, to one of reflection, curation and experimentation in presentation and then its execution.

Curation and outputs
The nature and practice of artistic curation has been explored in terms of three primary outputs:

  • Books. this has involved researching and exploring imagery to support the book (that turned into books) such as cover imagery and chapter breaks, as well as exploring formats, scales, fonts and a whole raft of other things in addition to the selection and production of images. The books can be found for sale on Blurb and Amazon .
  • Websites.  I produced five websites in total: three sites focused wholly on the MA consisting of this blog, one Unit 1 (provisional outcome) site and one Unit 2 (resolved body of work) site; and a nest of three non-MA branded sites focused on 1) Paralysis Unseen 2) photographic essays and 3) images as spectacle. These are brought together via a main linking site here.
  • Exhibition (prints, paintings, sculpture and the books). The decision making regarding dedicated exhibition content was determined in large part by a decision not to try and adapt my resolved body of work (the book Paralysis Unseen) into exhibition content but rather raise questions in the viewers minds about the nature of representation.
    • As people wander around they will keep seeing different evocations of the same wheelchair symbol. This should trigger questions in the viewers’ minds: what are these signs? What is the purpose of the symbols? What are they doing here? Are they part of the exhibit? What do they mean?
    • Then as viewers come to the room where my desk installation is they will see two images – one very large 82cm image and one small 24cm image making the social construction of disability explicit and business cards with the same symbol and the books – and be invited to view them. It will be at this point that people will get the connection ie that they are signs directing people toward my resolved body of work. They will then be invited to sit, read and comment on the book.
  • Thus the research, experimentation and production of the exhibition pieces was aimed at providing a short, powerful, overarching statement about the nature of re-presentation and disability and impairment rather than detailed arguments.

I am clear now why curation is a discipline in its own right: the selection and organisation of images for books and their graphic design; the format, organisation and relation to online work, including all the necessary coding for simple navigation; and the more traditional negotiation and organisation that stands behind the final exhibition presentation have all required their own set of knowledge, skills and expertise. This aspect of the work both surprised and engaged me and is something I have become very interested in. I hope that interest shows through in my final products.

Researching and planning the marketing my work
The last few months of Unit 2 saw a move from the production, and in some cases installation of work, to marketing it. This has involved its own set of products and activities. Any gaps in time have been filled with curation and work on new or ongoing projects.

Completed project work
While most of my time has been spent on the above my practice has continued with a focus on the following work.

  • Project 18: Craft
  • Project 19: Words
  • Project 20: Physical
  • Dad (2016)
  • Heart block

Video presentation
Part of the reflective process involved the requirement to create a video and that can be found here.

Quality of work
This can only be determined by those who view it. But I am content with my resolved body of work as shown in the book as well as my final exhibition content.

Quantity and engagement
The main vehicle for engagement has been this blog. Indeed blogging has become central to my artistic practice and I now engage with a wide range of virtual colleagues. The nature of the engagement varies as you can see from the data below (as of 1.25pm July 6th 2016).

Headlines

  • 970 posts
  • 15189 views
  • 4620 visitors
  • 1399 likes
  • 977 comments
  • 199 followers
  • 96 blogs followed

You can make your own mind up about that the numbers tell you, but for me they give me a good sense of external interest ranging from the passive to more active engagement. I think they also show that I need to do more to promote my work amongst target audiences (ie those interested in photography art and or the politics of disability).

Note: Weebly does not offer free usable data so none is presented here for sites using that service.

Group work
I participated in one group project in the last part of this MA– see here.

Final summary and reflection
My (500 word limited) final summary and reflection can be found here  and is a short review of the whole MA.

New work
The focus of this year on curation has coincided with my parents deaths and brought me to a natural point of transition and change.  I will continue to market Paralysis Unseen but my project based work has moved to begin a new project entitled Family Album where I am viewing and remembering and then digitising, curating and publishing my late parents’ analogue photos. I do not know what the final products of this endeavour will be yet (and nor should I).

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