Yoon Bahk scribing of the lecture as delivered...scribing of scribing..she found it a bit difficult :-)
This ‘redrawing’ of Hockney’s Rake’s Progress was what I delivered at the DRN Conference in New York in 2013.
Andrew Love provided an animation of Duchamp’s Urinal floating out Space Odyssey 2001 style to meet the plinth of ‘new knowledge’…to accompany it.
I now preparing some ‘notes’ to explain the sequence as there was no paper deliberately…it was a visual essay.
It examined the search for embodied ‘new knowledge’ as defined by Frayling in terms of where it located in an art object as ‘communicable’…I argued that this visual essay was both art work and textual therefore contained that communicable knowledge….in other words here is proof in the actual pudding of the presentation…
It sat alongside an American presenter who had produced a PhD in Graphic Novel form on same premise…..a bit ahead of myself here but it was pretty unique….still is.
Surprise of the week was news that Moogee had his own chapter in a new Loughborough/UAL/Teachers Columbia publication 🙂
This is the final entry in the studio diary section as I will be assessed on my M.A. this Wednesday afternoon. To prepare for this I have created the pdf below and uploaded to Scribd detailing the progress made throughout the M.A. and the final outcomes at this point.
Where I go from here is a good question and not one I can answer easily.
There are three separate yet overlapping areas I have become deeply interested in.
1. Drawing research ; phenomenology of drawing and in particular an interest in sense of place and notions of ‘signature’ in terms of preparatory drawings especially in Gorky, Miro up to Motherwell and Twombly all developing out of the surrealism and dada influence on mid-century American painting.
2. Early film/photography and magazine culture of the 18th Century/early 19th century and its relation to current developments in web. I have a paper to present in Paris on Charles Dickens magazine illustration end of March and I will be concentrating on that alone from now until then.
3. The continuation of this research into artistic research theory/philosophy of aesthetics and its dissemination through fine art pedagogy.
All three are possible PhD subject matter and how my institution views my future will probably have a major bearing on where I go.
My heart though probably in number one…..my head in number three and my teaching future at present tied up somewhere in number two whether I like it or not…….
Interesting times ahead 🙂
Meanwhile I’d like to thank Deborah Harty for her very good supervision and for stopping me going off-track all the time or as they like to say in academia develop ‘focus’. Focused I am right now but come Thursday who knows:-)
please note the backgrounds have distorted in this display.
Spent afternoon at studio reading final submitted chapter of the 2nd edition of James Elkins’ ‘Artists with PhDs’. The article was Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield’s ‘Writing as practice: Notes on materiality of theory for practice-based PhDs’. This is a very fitting coda to my never-ending M.A. by research project which I started way back in September 2010 and which will finally end at end of January. It especially pertinant as Dronsfield has supervised at least two ‘challenging’ practice as research PhDs at Reading University and his analysis of art practice as ‘knowledge’ from Ranciere and Nancy points of view is superb in its pinning down of the fundamental fault-line in all art practice as research in terms of the academy.
He goes back to Kant’s third critique to mine into the basis of the ‘compromise’ all fine artists feel when confronting then toppling into the Cartesian well of rules that is the university. Most drown in the essential contradiction of ‘freedom of the artist’ V ‘the academy’ rules. Dronsfield brilliantly excavates the reason for this which present right back in Kant ( written 30 years before the first scientific ‘rational’ PhDs awarded in Berlin in early 1800s).
I will be illustrating the argument next week but essentially the ground was set early in the following paradox and leads the art practice as researcher to always be left in a APORETIC SPACE.
The humanities are in an important sense opposed to the aesthetic. The humanities draw the artist back from the truth of art, mind which is freedom, ailment from the way in which art threatens to present or show its freedom unconditionally, back to the social, to the way in which art might communicate the ideas it seeks freely to express. (Jonathan Laney Dronsfield – forthcoming article in Elkins book).
Never thought I’d end up here..started out with a locative media project end up deep in continental philosophy…
Problem is I actually enjoying it…a PhD prison cell beckons …..
No studio diary entries this week as I only made it into studio for an hour. Various work related problems kept me busy and rest of time I was starting new research at home.
My next conference is in Paris in March. It continues the theme I started exploring in Amsterdam Film-Philosophy Conference. This is the role of Victorian magazine illustration (disseminated by the railway) in development of sequential narrative that became film and comic art.
The new blog here: https://shaunbelcher.com/rpt
I have separated from this ‘Graphic Research’ blog as although related the focus there is very much on the art historical angle (Frayling’s ‘Research INTO Design’ NOT through or for which this practice-led blog is more concerned with).
I have already discovered a mine of information including original Dickens annotated sketches by his illustrators. My intention is to look at the ‘sequential moment’ and try and establish if the mass circulation of the first Pickwick Paper pamphlet might be a significant milestone in sequential terms.
This I will then relate to the cross-disciplinary proliferation of images and tropes in an attempt to build a firmer picture of what cartoon/drawing, comic and photography actually meant at this time.
I am also looking at the role of technology based on Brian Winston’s political analysis after Raymond Williams.
Here a steel engraving by Phiz from the Pickwick Papers from March 1837.
Source : http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/phiz/pickwick/28.html
Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.
After the great time in New York ( Metropolitan Museum of Art and Guggenheim were fantastic) it is back to earth with a bump (work) and time to take stock of what to do next on M.A. as complete at end of January 2014. I have been in touch with James Elkins and there only a couple of chapters still to come in book so I can concentrate between now and Xmas in getting that sequence completed. I also need to update the Rakes Redrawn sequence with some Hogarthian written titles mimicking original and Gilray etc. Whether this will be enough to get into the DRN proceedings I not sure but as whole idea was that this piece was ‘drawing-led’ not written a full paper seems inappropriate. I may take ideas and rewrite into a separate paper though.
Here some images from New York conference – the final image is Yoon Bakh’s take on my talk as a visual ‘scribe’:-).
I have now finished drawing the 16 ‘plates’ imitating Hockney’s Rake’s Progress but using it as a template for mapping concerns over the place of ‘new knowledge’ in art research.
It already becoming a fascinating jigsaw puzzle of a task. Firstly there is the original Hogarth moral tale, then there is Hockney’s New York adventure ( which has overtones of Whitman and Dreiser apparently – his reading at the time). Then there is the Duchamp tale of the urinal (again New York based) and the Kubrick overtones of the ‘Muttley’ spaceman as art object character and finally the whole point of the exercise ‘ investigating’ new knowledge whatever that is…
Here I finally sinking into the real question….via Polanyi’s ‘Tacit Knowledge’ and Eisner’s ‘Art and Knowledge’. Phew…the latest drawing in sequence divides the philosophical roots and branches (literally) as best I can ( open to debate of course). I have tried to show the ‘new knowledge’ foliage in the tree as the most recent and most referenced at the ‘Practice makes Perfect’ conference. So this just a rough mapping of current fashions and directions at best.
Drawing it out like this (literally) is really helping me focus on what actually seems to be going on. The Slager attempt to bridge the cartesian/ embodied knowledge divide and the way Frayling’s categories and their impact is actually quite separate to the philosophical underpinning which far wider ranging. The previous paper analysed Frayling’s influence on art and design research in general rather than just fine art. The philosophical debate around embodied/tacit and where new knowledge may be located ( or not) is very much a fine art concern and seems to me at heart of the instability of the art school with regard to research within the ‘academie’.
The second image from the Hockney Rake’s Progress parody rebranded as art research.
Already the visual story becoming complex if going to map the version of Hogarth into a research tale! In this image ‘The Inheritance’ the art object ( I calling him/her ‘Muttly’ after R.Mutt signature on the Duchamp urinal) is receiving the inheritance of art research categorisation and theory from Sir Christopher Frayling. Thus ‘in, for and by’ and a litter of papers and books….meanwhile Bruce Archer’s paper is overshadowed and the ‘New Knowledge’ monolith floats over a wobbly map of the UK academic scene:-) Next image is called ‘Meeting the good people’ and will involve three statues and three philosophers.
The original sequence of 8 Hogarth pictures here: http://www.soane.org/collections_legacy/the_soane_hogarths/rakes_progress/
Well tomorrow 1st October so 22 days to go until DRN New York and finally embarked on the Art Object in search of new knowledge sequence!
I carefully re-read proposal (read it here http://www.scribd.com/doc/159584262/Drn-Proposal-2013 ) and fortunately I was quite careful about what I had promised. This means that I can just about fulfill promise to create a cartoon sequence but the full paper will have to be completed later (hopefully by M.A. completion date of January 24th). As for the animation I was really setting a high bar there and I think it may well develop separately to the DRN conference.
I have completed the sequence of 16 illustrations of contributors chapters to Elkins book and hope to complete the Elkins chapters after New York from the animation tests. To be honest I only likely to show a few sequences if that at end of presentation.
The project has however come together in my mind. the original ‘Rakes Progress’ by Hockney is a sequence of 16 images about his first trip to New York which dovetails with my first visit too. There however the comparison stops as my sequence whilst using the visual parody of Hockney’s suite of etchings will focus on current art research terminology specifically the idea of ‘New Knowledge’. Here I crossover with Elkins chapter on ‘Beyond research and new knowledge’ in Artist with Phds. To that extent this very much a continuation of investigation begun in previous conference with Frayling paper.
The drawings will mimic the number of Hockney etchings (16 in all) and end up in an art research ‘Bedlam’ 🙂
Here a photo from the studio whilst working on first drawing.
Only 15 to go! Also instead of drawing sequence after writing paper this time I experimenting with drawing first and literally ‘drawing out’ ideas for paper one for practical reasons and two as an experiment which may go dreadfully wrong. It interesting to see how drawing first affects decisions on what to include and structure of final paper. I will give an overview of ideas in presentation as at 20 minutes that roughly one image a minute.
To see original Hockney sequence see here http://www.hockneypictures.com/graphics_rakes_progress/graphics_rakes_01.php
Managed to write 4000 words for presentation Wednesday. Been doing nothing else last two weeks to get it done. To get into working shape for submission needs to be 5-7,000 words APA rigorous!
Here the document I taking as loaded onto Scribd earlier.
Simplistic but this rough outline of new directions is kind of accurate.
Path One: Traditional practice-led craft orientated production – drawings not theoretical more instinctive. Crossing into surrealist/automatic and subconscious areas.
Path Two: Literary/Historical..orientated toward factual and historical research linked to a wide gamut of technology in early stages affecting a specific area of the Thames Valley – possible PhD subject area? Relating developments in 1850s to present day impact of ubiquitous media. Possible crossover with poetry/cultural geography. e.g. Charles Tomlinson’s borders thesis.
Path Three: Criticism as Research/Graphic Research. Cartoons as investigative art criticism. James Elkins and Mark Staff Brandl connection. Political edge.