“This is my truth, now show me yours” – (attributed to) Aneurin Bevan
In March 2017 three books were published on the same apparently new subject: d’Ancona, Ball (11 May 2017), and Davis (18 May 2017); the term ‘post truth’ seemed to have come from nowhere to being described as a new ‘mainstay in political commentary’ and announced as ‘word of the year’ by Oxford Dictionaries. Despite the apparent novelty of the term (which is defined in part as foregrounding emotion rather than rationality in public communication), it can be linked to other earlier critical perspectives on propaganda, often derived from wartime contexts, and the notion of bullshit discussed by Harry Frankfurt which emphasises the distinction between those with and without respect for the truth. These ideas can be applied and explored across a range of contexts in creative practice, and the studio will encourage students to consider them in relation to popular culture, political communications, film and media, promotions and marketing, art and design.
- Arendt H (1972) Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics; Civil Disobedience; On Violence; Thoughts on Politics and Revolution. 1 edition. Mariner Books.
- Ball J (2017) Post-Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the World. Biteback Publishing.
- Beckett C (2017) ‘Post-truth’: a myth created by journalists? Polis. (Accessed 7 July 2017).
- d’Ancona M (2017) Post-Truth: The New War on Truth and How to Fight Back. 01 edition. Ebury Digital.
- Davis C (2017) Post-Truth by Evan Davis; Post-Truth by Matthew d’Ancona; Post-Truth by James Ball. (Accessed 7 July 2017).
- Davis E (2017) Post-Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It. Little, Brown Book Group.
- Frankfurt HG (2005) On Bullshit. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- John Corner (2017) Fake news, post-truth and media–political change. Media, Culture & Society 39(7): 1100–1107.
- Jowett G and O’Donnell V (2015) Propaganda & Persuasion. 6th ed. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
- McIntyre L (2018) Post-Truth. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- O’Shaughnessy NJ (2004) Politics and propaganda: weapons of mass seduction. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
- Rabin-Havt AR (2016) Lies, Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics. New York: Anchor Books.
Photograph: Mark Thomas/Rex/Shutterstock (Guardian, 16 June 2016)
Studio 01: ideas in places
This studio prescribes a direct treatment of place, whether subjective or objective.
Studio 02: Narrative and Storytelling
This studio focuses on modes of storytelling and narrative conventions. We will particularly consider how narrative intersects with, and informs, identity.
Studio 03: The Conquest of Joy
This studio encourages dialogues around the cultural production at a time when narratives founded on certainty have ceased to make sense.
Studio 04: Bullshit, propaganda and post-truth
This studio will look at the emergence of the notion of ‘post truth’ and explore links between other ideas around propaganda and Harry Frankfurt’s argument about ‘bullshit’. We will consider the usefulness of these ideas, and how they can be explored in creative practice.
Studio 05: Meaningful Work
This studio will consider the value of making -in itself, independent of the product or outcome, exploring the idea of craft as meaningful work.
Studio 06: Writing Rough
What are the outer limits of the essay? Write on the edge of the possible in a rich, researched and evidenced discussion which creatively explores the expanded field of the essay.
Studio 07: Thinking with Ruins
This studio pays heed to these cultural forms and persuasions but asks, how might we productively think with ruins in the present?
Studio 08: The things you can tell just by looking (or, Oriented Writing)
Writing tells us who we are and how each of us thinks and interprets the world.
Studio 09: Le Marteau Sans Maître
Digging through the deepest layers of archaeological time, André Leroi-Gourhan (La geste et la parole, 1964) concluded that for millions of years, human culture and technology evolved without complex language, rational planning or abstract ‘thinking at a distance’.
Studio 10: Globalism
For good or ill, we live in a global world. Whilst this may appear to be obvious, globalism is only a relatively recent term as is the phenomenon itself. What do we mean by this? How did we arrive in this place?
Studio 11: Performative Acts: Art, Architecture and Writing
Nico de Oliveira
In the last decade or so we have moved from objects to subjects or audiences. In parallel, the word performative has been adapted from a theoretical term to a key rubric within the discourse of contemporary art, architecture and beyond.
Studio 12: Decay, Repair and Back Again
Things break down and decay. In this studio you will experiment repair as strategy to negotiate breakdown, and you will practice mining patina and weathering for information and stories.
Studio 13: ‘If I stay silent nothing will change’: Identity, Politics, Social Change and Creative Culture(s)
This cross-disciplinary studio considers how power, culture, politics, identity, representation, activism, social media, and mass culture theory intersect with a range of arts practices, including photography, architecture, design and fine art, film studies, fashion and music, sound, pop art, and theatre.
Studio 14: A Material World
As the title suggests, this Studio will be based on the processes that are intrinsic to the design and making of textiles, however it will also be looking at the materiality of these textiles as objects.
Studio 15: Souvenir
This studio is concerned with those objects that are lent a particular enchantment because of their relationship with the past. It considers the role of memory and how it is embodied in cultural artefacts.