Studio 24: Words in Space

Studio brief

What happens when language interacts with space? What kind of a medium can writing be? What kind of things are words? How do words behave in spaces? How can a practitioner write 'with' their work? What is language, anyway? What is a question mark, and what does a question "mark"?

This Dissertation Studio revolves around questions such as these. The first seven weeks of teaching will involve visits and study sessions reflecting on the role words play in the visual world, in performative spaces and in the urban environment. On words inside and outside of writing. These visits are aimed to stimulate conversation and critical discussion within the group. There will be a screening of key experimental films, but otherwise these sessions will take place away from The Cass building.

Any dissertation topic will gain something vital and subtle from paying attention to writing as a medium, and to the forms of language that belong to the topic's subject matter. The studio will also be especially relevant if you are interested in the following notions:

  • writing per se
  • writing as a medium
  • 'art writing'
  • narrative
  • the display of text
  • typography and the transmission of language
  • the language carried by buildings and the idea of writing and reading the built environment
  • the role language plays in performance
  • the 'practice of theory'
  • text as a form of illustration
  • interdisciplinary discourse
  • the encyclopaedic

Summer preparation:

Prepare a short and very open 10-minute presentation about your initial dissertation ideas for the first group meeting. This can take any form, for example a powerpoint, a narrative or a diagram.

Reading list

  1. Maurice Blanchot, The Space of Literature, trans. by Ann Smock (Nebraska: University Nebraska Press, 1989)
  2. Pierre Cabanne, Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp, trans. by Ron Padgett (Boston: Da Capo, 1979)
  3. Don DeLillo, The Body Artist (New York: Scribner, 2001)
  4. Charles Harrison, Essays on Art and Language (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991)
  5. Orhan Pamuk, The New Life, trans. by Güneli Gün (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998)
Photograph of books titled, Lettering: Other people's wardrobes.


Tutor David Price

Tutor Biography


Dissertation Studios