FIN2044 : The Social Turn (Inactive)
FIN2044 : The Social Turn (Inactive)
- Inactive for Year: 2023/24
- Module Leader(s): Dr Harry Weeks
- Owning School: Arts & Cultures
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.
|Semester 1 Credit Value:||20|
|European Credit Transfer System|
Modules you must have done previously to study this module
|FIN1013||Art Histories I|
|FIN1014||Art Histories II|
Pre Requisite Comment
Students should have successfully completed stage 1 Art History modules.
Modules you need to take at the same time
Co Requisite Comment
Art historian Claire Bishop suggested that contemporary art underwent a 'social turn' in the 1990s; a turn that comprised a privileging of participation and public engagement with and within art practice. However, although participation has certainly become a major concern of contemporary art practice and theory, it is by no means a novel concern. Indeed, Bishop has acknowledged that: ‘This idea of considering the work of art as a potential trigger for participation is hardly new - think of Happenings, Fluxus instructions, 1970s performance art and Joseph Beuys's declaration that “everyone is an artist”.’ Therefore, taking as a starting point the ‘dematerialisation’ of art proposed by Lucy Lippard and John Chandler in the late-60s, this course expands upon and elaborates this history of socially engaged art since the mid-twentieth century, contextualising contemporary participatory art within a lineage of politicised, socially engaged practice passing through Situationism, feminist performance, Institutional Critique, and community arts. The course ultimately orients itself towards the drive towards democratisation that underpins a great deal of the participatory art of the past 50 years. The concept of democracy will be analysed from both art-historical and political perspectives – particularly considering the intersections between art and politics since the mid-20th century – as well as being discussed in light of sociological analyses of the demographics of the art field. Recalling Suzanne Lacy’s ruminations on the benefits of ‘leaving art’, we will consider to what extent democratisation is possible within the field of art, and at what point art and activism might converge.
The course is designed to introduce students to the particular demands that socially engaged art and other dematerialised practices present to the art historian or theorist. Students will be encouraged to integrate sociology, political and critical theory into their research, echoing the sociological and political implications of art’s entry into the realm of the social.
Outline Of Syllabus
The course is structured thematically and semi-chronologically, beginning with discussions of conceptual art in the 1960s through the lens of dematerialisation and working towards the most recent developments in participatory art, most notably the rise of ‘useful art’ in the 2010s. Throughout the course we will also consider some broader issues pertinent to socially engaged practice, including their documentation, their institutionalisation, and questions of representation and inequality. We will conclude by considering socially engaged practices in the contexts of theories of democracy.
The syllabus consciously introduces the oft-overlooked Community Arts Movement into what might be seen as an emerging canon of social engagement in contemporary art, in doing so raising the spectre of class as crucial to considerations of art’s attempts at democratisation. Case studies are drawn from a broad geographical spread, however we will be attendant to the Western biases implicit within contemporary art, despite its claims to globality.
The course will be structured around the following themes:
• Situation and Site
• Audience and Presence
• Dialogue and Collaboration
• Relational Aesthetics
• Ethics and Antagonism
Intended Knowledge Outcomes
On completion of The Social Turn, students should have knowledge of:
• Theories and practices relating to art’s social turn
• Key developments in socially engaged art over the 20th and 21st centuries
• The political and theoretical underpinnings of socially engaged practices, including feminism, Marxism and communitarianism
• How socially engaged art relates to other developments in modern and contemporary art, including performance, minimalism and the documentary
• General tendencies in the sociology of art
Intended Skill Outcomes
On completion of The Social Turn, students should have developed skills in:
• Presenting information and ideas in a clear and engaging manner
• Researching in an intelligent and sound manner
• Interdisciplinary research and learning, and how it might benefit the practice of art history
• Discussion in an online group context
• Analysing artist-audience relationships
• Close engagement with texts
• Dealing with works of art that resist established art-historical methods of analysis through their social, ephemeral and conceptual form
|Structured Guided Learning||Lecture materials||11||1:00||11:00||Online lecture materials|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||11||1:00||11:00||In person lectures|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||50:00||50:00||10 hours for Formative Assessment 40 hours for Summative Assessment|
|Guided Independent Study||Directed research and reading||11||3:00||33:00||Lecture and seminar preparation|
|Structured Guided Learning||Structured research and reading activities||11||1:00||11:00||Online asynchronous seminar enhancement|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||11||1:00||11:00||In person seminars|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||1||73:00||73:00||Independent study|
Jointly Taught With
|FIN3044||The Social Turn|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
The module will revolve around weekly lecture materials, delivered both in person (1-hr per week) and online (1-hr per week) via ReCAP. These will be supplemented by in-person seminars and asynchronous structured learning activities in order to foster group discussion and analysis.
Lectures: to allow definition of the scope of the syllabus, an introduction to a body of knowledge, and modelling of the level and nature of the analysis required.
Online lecture materials shared via ReCAP (including pre-recorded interviews, artist moving image work): to allow definition of the scope of the syllabus, an introduction to a body of knowledge, and modelling of the level and nature of the analysis required. These are broken down into smaller sections for ease of online digestion.
Seminars: to encourage interaction and the development of cognitive and key skills; to allow preparation and presentation of directed research on specific issues and case studies.
Asynchronous structured learning activities: to develop essay writing skills, close reading skills, visual analysis, and better encourage interaction between peers in their analysis and discussion of the course content.
Nb. In person lectures and seminars can move to synchronous and asynchronous online delivery as required in response to pandemic-related restrictions.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.
|Case study||1||M||500-word analysis of single work/project|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
The essay affords the student the opportunity to conduct academic research into a topic relating to the course, from a selection of questions set by the course organiser. These questions will be oriented towards encouraging students to engage closely with the practices studied on the course. This assessment will be supported by discussions during seminars.
The Case Study Analysis allows the student to practice close analysis of one work or project, something often missing from art-historical treatments of socially engaged practice. This assessment is designed to encourage independent study and foster in-depth research. It is also an opportunity for the student to hone in on a case study that they feel particularly drawn to. The case study analysis offers the chance to hone writing and analytical skills in advance of the essay in a formative and less pressurised context. The formative nature of the assessment will permit fast feedback, allowing the case study analysis to really feed into the summative essay.
Past Exam Papers
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