Language and methods adopted from repair traditions found in the new cultural milieu that followed the 2007 financial crisis new conditions. The new context enabled repair to be presented as providing an alternative sphere of engagement with materiality suspended from the unpredictable and de-personalized arena of market economy; and granting new consumer rights unfettered by warranty policies and black box inaccessibility. The same period saw a renewed appreciation in ruins and palimpsests for the stories they can tell, which are perceived to be lost in interventions aimed at reestablishing the original undamaged appearance or artefacts and buildings.
Repair does not come after making or building. It is part of the same operational chain. Using, breaking and repairing all add to the set of meanings and affordances inscribed in an object or an architecture. A broken thing is a chance to engage with functions and materiality. From this point of view, repair is part of the field of practice. Likewise, decay and breakdown can be part of the field of research when they are engaged with rather than removed from sight through orthodox conservation or disposal. The effects of use and misuse turn into data-conveying documents when a reader manages to extract content and interpret it as information or feedback. Weathering and the patina accrued from labour of feet and hands records political events and the story of social change. Dust is a tangible trace of the continuous global flux and remix of materials to which humans only contributed.
The methods that participants will be introduced to include: object biographies, ecology, media archaeology, network and script analysis, interaction design and distant reading. Projects can range from action research seeking transformative change to forensic readings of artefacts, artworks and architecture. ￼The remit of this studio is inclusive. The concepts of weathering, breakdown, and repair are not to be understood only literally and can be applied to most research subjects. Your tutor will work with you to find a viable angle for your research.
- Giorgio Agamben, “In Praise of Profanation,” in Giorgio Agamben, Profanations (New York, NY: Zone Books, 2007): 73-92.
- Tim Ingold, Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013).
- Susan Yelavich and Barbara Adams, eds. Design as Future-Making (London: Bloomsbury, 2014).
- Gabriele Oropallo, “The Fixing I: Repair As Prefigurative Politics,” in Guy Julier, Mads Nygaard Folkmann, Niels Peter Skou, Hans-Christian Jensen, Anders V. Munch, eds. Design Culture: Objects and Approaches (London: Bloomsbury, 2019): 157-170.
- Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010).
- Jennifer Gabrys, Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics (Ann Harbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2011).
- Jussi Parikka, A Geology of Media (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2015).
- David Pye, The Nature and Art of Workmanship (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968).
- Shannon Mattern, Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2017).
- Teresa Stoppani, “Dust: From Form to Transformation,” in Teresa Stoppani, Unorthodox Ways to Think the City: Representations, Constructions, Dynamics (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018): 144-185.
Image: During riots in the city of Vlorë, Albania, people break off stones from the pavement to use as ammunition. Photo: Robert Nagle, 1997 (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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.