WOOFISM and beyond

Different Options – Future Plans?

I am at a turning point in regards to the Multimedia M.A. by registered project.

I have two distinct ‘research’ orientated bodies of work. For the sake of my own sanity and that of others I need to take advice and choose one path to concentrate on from September 2012 onwards.

My position has become more not less complex with the closure of the ‘Multimedia’
(Interactive Media Pathway specialisation i.e. Web) course I work on in July 2014.

The two options are described below. Both seem to be viable ways of moving forward and relating to possible future employment. As I have been excluded from any involvement in teaching Fine Art at Nottingham Trent I have to accept that getting my MA RPT redesignated as a Fine Art M.A. are slim although it would actually be the most fitting and accurate way forward for my practice but politics seems to outweigh common sense in this regard. I very clearly entered Fine Art/Multimedia in brackets on my original proposal but this was changed to just Multimedia..possibly because my fee waiver was given as part of PDCR process by the then ATL of N.I.A. ironically neither her role, pharmacy N.I.A. or the Multimedia course will exist soon.



Title: Track: Metaphors and a sense of belonging in a networked field of vision.

( part one last year. https://shaunbelcher.com/blog/?cat=18)

Mobile Phone Film and Oral History narration used as a vehicle for exploring Deep Mapping. I ended up working out of the area defined in Patrick Keiller’s exploration of contemporary British landscape to offer a ‘lo-fi’ film of a ‘walking lecture’ on a range of topics including politics, recipe land use and rural landscape whilst physically walking the ‘non-space’ (Auge) of a disused railway track now converted to a social ‘nature’ park. It really close to concerns expressed in poetry ( Last Farmer : Salt Publications 2010). Also I came close to conventional art history area in researching a lot of historical art groups and ruralism in relation to the Blewbury Art Group ( 1920’s).

Total film length 50 minutes divided into sections.

Examples including short experimental film footage using mobile 3GP footage is uploaded to Vimeo here : http://vimeo.com/user2430018/videos

Continuing to where I left off in Multimedia MA September 2011. I have also experimented with resampling and pixillating images and physically moving through individual frames and using screen capture..see vimeo…that purely experimental at moment.

If I am forced to continue M.A. as ‘Multimedia’ I will probably digress into ‘digital drawing’ on film or animation related activity ( Brackage/Lye area) I expect rather than more deep mapping (the original RP proposal’s ‘app’ idea was to process some kind of original drawing and additional drawing in layers using GPS).

Future Plans?

On completion if content more film orientated it  could relate to a separate ‘Film B.A. course is set up within NTU but this is far from certain.






Graphic Research? : ( preparing fro DRN conference in September)

Cartoon and comics drawing used as a vehicle to explore Frayling’s three categories of research with an emphasis of Research FOR Art and Design. Working out of a fine art tradition of critical cartooning and research which includes Pablo Helguera, viagra Mark Staff Brandl and historical antecedents like Ad Reinhardt, Philip Guston and Saul Steinberg I use visual language to explore the notion of ‘Graphic Research’ as a tool for research.


The presentation will involve a ‘comic strip’ presentation based on a traditionally referenced academic paper opening up a ‘third space’ for investigation. Especially interested in pedagogy of M.A.s and Phd’s within art schools drawing out Elkins notions of terms and conditions of assessment and validity.

I will present a poster of this at School Research Conference (2oth June) and possibly a paper too. I am also presenting this material at the Drawing Research Network Conference at Loughborough University in September.


Of course my studio practice is Fine Art / Painting but for reasons noted above this is not being recognised in any form by NTU and has not been for five years since the Drawing Out Staff show where I and another member of staff had our work consigned to the corridor as not ‘good enough’ to hang with the elite who ironically mostly could not draw at all :-). After that experience I ‘excused’ myself from all staff shows and still do.

 Future Plans?

Ignoring the obvious connection to Fine Art pedagogy and content the next best fit for this material would be as a Graphic Design M.A. In present circumstances this may make the most sense especially as it aligns with graphic artists and graphic areas of concern within the DRN. Indeed at a recent symposium at Nottingham Contemporary (Comic(s) Bodies) organised by Nottingham University’s Matt Green the description ‘Graphic Research’ was coined about my work following on from Graphic Medicine and Graphic Novel to describe a narrative comic(s) approach to research 🙂

This would then align me with Graphic Design in future and possibly lead to employment in that area at both undergraduate and postgraduate level?

Finally the wild card which Trent studiously ignores every time I mention it…

They might finally realise they have a quality Fine Artist in their midst and take advantage of it instead of ignoring me but a lot of attitudes seem ingrained and Moogee is not going to change his opinions. Maybe our new Dean shakes the tree a bit …

Which in a sane world would mean a Fine Art M.A. and progression to teaching what I really know best..FINE ART!

Failing any of these options working out I could just do as Alan Moore suggested and ignore the whole thing do what I do and wait to be fired in 2014…as he said at Nottingham Contemporary this week you just do it ..it is not about degrees and research outcomes and impressing the institution it is just you and your art alone in a room the rest is bollocks:-)




  1. Danny

    Of all the above to me, at least, the “deep mapping” seems the best for an Ma arc. If this led to “cartoon” commentary in the context of digital mapping and the ideas around personal interpretation of space/location/journey the multimedia tag still seems appropriate. The very mixed media feel of this might also lead to somewhere more interesting.

  2. shaun belcher

    Interesting approach combining the two really? Possible would fit with the Len Lye drawing on film idea..animating cartoon style comments across landscape at GPS location..just musing for now?

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