Studio 3: Future Fictions

Studio brief

Our world is in the midst of a silent revolution. Computer algorithms take less than a nanosecond to make or lose billions, street fighters tweet constant updates during uprisings, the book shop is dead and its place is taken by the perpetual movement of Amazon’s huge warehouses. New digital technology offers huge potential and poses enormous problems in altering the very nature of work, politics, communication, the body and our physical environment.

Can we find the right tools to think about and respond to these enormous changes? How can art address the 21st century in the same way that surrealist film, cubist painting, pop art appropriation or constructivist photomontage defined the 20th? Can the laptop replace the studio or YouTube the gallery? Is the smartphone all you need to capture the world we live in or even create new ones? What does painting look like after the Internet? How do image-objects behave when they move between the virtual world and the gallery, the media and the street? How does art move fast enough to respond to a world of high frequency transformation?

Future Fictions considers dystopian fictions and strategies of subversion to think about the power of art in the information age. Looking at technologies of speed, post-human ecologies and future archaeologies, we will try to understand our own social context as contemporary artists. By combining practical projects, reading seminars, discussions, film screenings, lectures, presentations and gallery visits, we will explore different ways of integrating theory and practice. Although this studio’s starting point is the relationship between technology and art in a changing world, there are no limits on the media and materials students can use from performance and video to object- and image-making and beyond. Through this multidisciplinary approach, students consider different ways of constructing meaning. An emphasis on peer learning aims to allow students to develop a critical language they can use to speak about art with confidence.

As part of this studio, we will be experimenting with online curatorial practice and looking at how these can be translated into a live gallery event. We will also be conducting a field trip to The Lighthouse in Brighton, a leading art centre for digital arts, where we will meet the curator. Special research days will be complemented by practical sessions with lecturers and guests such as Milika Muritu from Cell Project Space in London.

Artists to look at:

Plastique Fantastique, The Atlas Group, Ant Farm, AAS, Marisa Olson, Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl, Oliver Laric, Artie Vierkant, Sabrina Ratte, Benedict Drew, Atelier Van Lieshout, Richard Hamilton, Group Material.

Image by Sabrina Ratte


Course Fine Art BA (Hons)
Tutor Pil & Galia Kollectiv
Oriana Fox
Where Central House 2nd Floor Studios
When Mondays and Thursday