Increasingly artists are confronted with technologies and systems whose internal operation appears mysterious to its users. We could say that the very tools on which our creative work depends are fundamentally opaque. While artists may have been able to express a certain understanding of analogue technologies, even a basic understanding of how digital technology works eludes the majority of its users.
In science, computing and engineering, a black box is a device, system or object that can be viewed in terms of its inputs and outputs without any knowledge of its internal workings. Its implementation is "opaque". Almost anything might be referred to as a black box: a transistor, an algorithm, a camera or the human brain.
The late media theorist and philosopher Vilém Flusser showed how we might approach the black box beyond a prosaic technological encounter and to consider the functioning technological device as the materialisation of a complex socio-economic regime that eludes the user.
This studio places the concept of the black box as a point from which we will navigate our exploration of images, sound, materiality and technology. While the black box might suggest a poetic apparition of negativity, it also quite simply places the fact of not knowing at the centre of artistic production. This studio is for students working in sculpture, performance, painting and printmaking as much as it is for those wanting to explore a wide range of analogue and digital technologies.
- Harry Sanderson, Human Resolution, 2013
- Hito Steyerl, The Wretched of the Screen. Sternberg Press. 2012
- Social Media Is Not Self-Expression, Rob Horning, 2014
- Bernard Stiegler, The Discrete Image, 2002
- Nam June Paik, Sistine Chapel (1993)
- Ryan Trecartin – I Be Area (2010)
- Hito Steyerl, How Not to be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational. MOV File, (2013)
- Susan Hiller, Ghost /TV (2019)
- Ed Atkins, Old Food (2018)
- Eva and Franco Mattes, My Generation (2010)
Studio Art 01: We, the Contemporary
Andrea Medjesi-Jones and Karen David
What is ‘Contemporary’ about painting? That's a question this 2D studio tackles from multiple directions.
Studio Art 02: Art and Non-Art
Galia Kollectiv and Joseph Noonan-Ganley
Allan Kaprow described non-art as “whatever has not yet been accepted as art but has caught an artist’s attention with that possibility in mind”.
Studio Art 03: The Black Box
Patrick Ward and Dr Jonathan Whitehall
Increasingly artists are confronted with technologies and systems whose internal operation appears mysterious to its users.
Studio Art 04: The Thingy World
Rosemarie McGoldrick, Olga Koroleva and Jessie Flood-Paddock
The critic Viktor Shklovsky's striking words a few months before the Russian revolution over 100 years ago were against the attrition of routine.
Studio Photo 05: UN/staging the UN/staged
Heather McDonough and James Cant
UN/staging the UN/staged considers image making through a critical lens of the constructed and unconstructed image. It sets out to challenge the binary distinction between photographic works that are considered staged and those works that are considered unstaged.
Studio Photo 06: Disrupting Borders: the Personal to the Universal
Ania Dabrowska and Yiannis Katsaris
Disrupting Borders: the Personal to the Universal, responds to timely contemporary issues supporting students in making works that embrace speculative visions, deconstruct cultural and political myth-making and forecast new contemporary photographic subjectivities.
Studio Photo 07: Shifting Glances
Paola Leonardi and Lee Brodhurst Hooper
A fleeting stream of images passes on our screens: everyone has a camera, we snap photos on our phones, we upload them to the cloud, we like them on Instagram, we search them on online platforms, we send them to friends, we snapchat them to strangers.