Nicolas de Oliveira
The studio looks at space as practice, since each location is a mutable entity framed as a moment in time, populated by individuals and shaped by their actions as artists, musicians, curators, designers, architects, writers and spectators. Space can be a kind of frame or perhaps stage on which things take place. Space is the catalyst for having things happening.
Writing about these spaces filled with diverse practices in creative, critical and challenging ways is the focus of the dissertation, yet it ought not to be seen as a separate task, but as a way of intervening in the work and its creative process and reception. Writing, in this way does not stand apart from the work, but becomes an integral part of it.
In the twenty-first century, everything seems to be less substantial, tangible – reduced or augmented to an atmosphere. In theatre, cinema and installation space largely ceases to be functional and tends towards illusion and special effect – dominated by immersive atmospheres. As technologies render virtual space an everyday occurrence it is imperative that we be able to understand the perceptual and conceptual shifts it brings about.
Studio 6 considers forms of writing as a means of interacting with the cultural and material world – through books, objects, exhibitions and buildings. Instead of focusing solely on the pragmatics of physical stuff, we seek out the atmospheres of place, site and space. Thus writing can be phenomenological since it chronicles the experience mediated through the senses: it stands alongside it, comments on it, it orders and choreographs. Writing about art and architecture, it is argued, has a strong curatorial remit since the writer intervenes in the presentation by interpreting and reshaping how we perceive and understand. Making exhibitions is then a form of both storytelling and critical engagement with artefacts; the way in which something is presented (visually, sonically or textually) is of great significance to how we perceive it – we can call the display an atmosphere, something that can be read, described and decoding with the aim of shaping our cultural environment.
- Introduction to the Dissertation Module and Formative Project
- The role of Atmospheres in Art and Architecture, Lecture Seminar
- Presentation of the Project
- Curating Display: Lecture Seminar
- November Exhibition Visit and Task
- Presentation/Reading of Student Texts/Reviews
- Group Tutorials
Readings and resources
- Gernot Böhme, The Aesthetics of Atmospheres: Ambiances, Atmospheres and Sensory Experiences of Spaces, Routledge, 2018.
- Katrina Palmer, The Dark Object, Bookworks, London, 2013.
- Boris Groys, Going Public, Sternberg Press, 2010.
- Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, University of California Press, 2011.
- Juhani Palasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin, Wiley, 2012.
- Anthony Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely, MIT Press, 1994.
- Junichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows, Vintage Classics, 2001.
- David Clarke, The Cinematic City, Routledge, 1997.
- Kenneth Goldsmith, Uncreative Writing: Managing Writing in a Digital Age, Columbia University Press, 2011.
- Dorothea von Hantelmann, The Experiential Turn, 2014
- Nicolas de Oliveira and Nicola Oxley, The Door Ajar: Patrick Jolley, Gandon Press, 2011.
- Alex Coles, The Transdisciplinary Studio, Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2012.
- Paul O’Neill,The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture(s), MIT Press, Camb.Mass., 2012.
- David Balzer, Curationism: How Curating Took over the Artworld and Everything Else, Coach House Books, 2014.
- Brian O’Doherty, Studio and Cube: On the Relationship between where Art is made and Art is displayed, Princeton Architectural Press, 2008.
- Mousse Magazine, On Display, Issue #61, 2017.
Image: Hans Op de Beeck, Staging Silence (3), video still (detail), 2019
|Tutor||Nico de Oliveira|
Dissertation Studios 2020–21
Studio 01: Another Place
Out of a direct treatment of place, whether subjective or objective, emerges another place. It is neither new, nor fixed in time, but it has remained unexplored, scarcely documented – piles of lime and useless cicadas.
Studio 02: Feminist Approaches
The Dissertation Studio 02 seminar series will address feminist practices within architecture, history and activism.
Studio 03: 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 04: 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 05: This is my truth; show me yours: Post-truth, propaganda and bulls**t
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 "bulls**t". We will consider the usefulness of these ideas, and how they can be explored in creative practice.
Studio 06: The Practice of Space – Writing Atmospheres in Art and Architecture
Nico de Oliveira
Dissertation Studio 06 looks at space as practice, since each location is a mutable entity framed as a moment in time, populated by individuals and shaped by their actions as artists, musicians, curators, designers, architects, writers and spectators.
Studio 07: 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 08: Speak, Form.
Dissertation Studio 8 asks: How is it that form might speak? This studio looks at the power of rhetoric, of the medium as message, of the figure as discourse.
Studio 09: 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 10: Sport and Aesthetics
Dissertation Studio 10 will examine the concept of aesthetics as applied within that most everyday activity: sport.
Studio 11: Le Marteau Sans Maître (The Hammer without a Master)
In a networked world where knowledge and information seems to be accessible everywhere and in any form; and where people in distant places appear to speak to us in real time from our computer screens, Studio 11 tries to imagine an ‘immediate’ and performative experience of the world – outside language and not shaped by our intellect and will.
Studio 12: Material Culture and Transcultural Exchanges
Dissertation Studio 12 is concerned with the increasing complexity of the material and symbolic flows of fashion, textile, artefact and commodity.
Studio 13: B(read)
Focussing on two of life’s key ingredients, reading and bread, this Dissertation Studio offers sessions that will encourage you to experience and experiment with both.
Studio 14: Rewilding
In this Dissertation Studio, we will examine some of the many ways in which art, architecture, and design connect to the discourse on rewilding.
Studio 15: “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 16: A Material World
This Dissertation 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 17: 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.
Studio 18: Modes of Human Exchange (Being-with and without)
This studio considers the current (exceptional) conditions of human exchange in a broader historical/social context, highlighting how facial/bodily gestures and the decorum of their physical/ambient surroundings have provided essential clues to the way we respond to, and interact with, the ‘other’.