Studio 10: Constellating

Studio brief

As creative practitioners we digest and produce images every day – as citizens of the digital age we consume between hundreds and thousands of images each day. This dissertation studio will slim down your daily diet to one image.

This studio introduces a method and approach to critical writing that requires you to use one image as a point of departure. Through a series of workshops, screenings, discussion and gallery visits you will use one image to generate a rich constellation of language, themes, ideas, digressions, tangents, histories and cultural narratives to critically discuss.

As a studio community we will first explore the elemental language of an image, identifying how medium, materiality and form produces reading, meaning and narrative. We will then investigate, researching with an intent to discover the what, why and how one image speaks. Using visual language to form critical language, you will apply these ideas to discuss, debate and question the themes raised by your image.

Week 1 to 7

To start your journey you will choose an image in Week 1. This image could be related to a topic you are interested in writing about, an image that directly relates to your creative practice or it could just be an image that particularly intrigues, excites, repulses or shocks you.

Through the studio sessions you will use your image to generate a rich constellation of content through testing research methods, forming opinions and constructing arguments by responding to a variety of texts and critical ideas that will build through the seven weeks to arrive at an exciting dissertation proposal.

Reading list

  • Barthes, R (1977) Image Music Text; The Rhetoric of the Image pg 32 to 50. Harper Collins.
  • Didion, J (1976) Why I Write. The New York Times
  • Robertson, L (2001) Monday. The Poetry Foundation 
  • Sontag, S (2003) Regarding The Pain of Others. Penguin.
  • Steyerl, H (2009) In Defense of the Poor Image 
Artwork entitled Liquidity involving waves and a balaclava-clad person


Tutor Sinead Evans

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