Category: Research & Notes

Cinematic film, expanded cinema and site-specific experience

Reading the book Between the Black-Box and the White Cube: Expanded Cinema and Postwar Art by Uroskie (2014) as a preparatory exploration of the cinematic film and crossovers with post-modernist art. Cinematic experience and the conception of the expanded cinema in the 1960s was an influential cultural product on post-modernist art. Cinema films screened in movie theaters developed from a…

Richard Serra – Thinking on your feet (DVD)

“To see is to think” – Richard Serra During part 5 I was facing several times works by Richard Serra (Ex. 5.0, Ex.5.5, site specificity, Minimal Art). Thus. I was interested in watching a DVD documentary about his work in context of a major retrospective at MoMA. I’ve attached some film stills – knowing that Serra’s work can only truly be…

Contemporary Art – Slave of opposition ?!

I am noting down my thoughts, to release inner pressure, and to reflect on my journey throughout this course (not a statement, rather a verbal image): From all my reading and research I got the deep impression that with increasing self-critique as part of artist’s identity, the avant-garde in all its difference became just a struggle with defining itself. Greenberg…

Video Art and Cinema

Exploration of difference of human experience   Art tradition Video art relates to the device (TV, videocamera) and the process (moving images). Videos or films can be shown in various venues and spaces, and even can be archived on mobile devices (e.g DVD, mp4 etc.). Nowadays, videos screened online are mostly streamed, i.e. the remote screening device is dislocated from…

Performance Art and Installation

Performance and installation art have in common that both are ephemeral forms as a new field of artistic experimentation and interrogation. In opposition to modernist paradigm of art as object as mobile commodity and to find new expression especially with Feminist movemen seeking for a different identity. The commodified art object was replaced by the artist’s action and intervention. Feminist…

Conceptual Art and Text – and what next

Questions Reading through the course material I got stuck with some questions and non-clear thoughts. I decided for a reading around the topics of conceptual art, minimal art, post-conceptual art and what we or the art world, consider as contemporary art. Some questions (page numbers referring to course material UVC, 2016): How can we differentiate between conceptual art as genre…

Remark to Ex 5.1 Kant

In preparation of exercise 5.1 and to provide a very short summary of three key points of Kant’s ‘Critique of Judgment’ (Kritik der Urteilskraft) I need to take note of my approach and concerns: I selected as summary for the exercise the more extensive article by Ginsborg on the Plato Stanford Encyclopedia and took reference to the original German works by…

Parallel Project ‘Difference and Becoming’ – new site and link

From some discussions in the OCA forum as well as my own reflection on how to proceed with my parallel projects, I decided to create a separate wordpress site/blog dedicated to my current project ‘Difference and Becoming’ in context of Deleuze and the ‘ruin of representation’ (Olkowski) Here the link to my seperate site: https://differencebecoming.wordpress.com  I will keep in the menu…

Stefan513593 - Asher - space contraction

Preparation A4: Michael Asher Claire Copley Gallery, 1974

Claire Copley Gallery, 1974 Related to my previous researches on Asher’s other works and context of Minimal Art, conceptual art and institutional critique. The removal of the partition wall between exhibition space and space of operations, the restoration of one integrated gallery space with display standards (i.e. all walls white, no discontinuity visible) but without and artworks on display, and…

Stefan513593 -life cyle art

Preparation A4 – Space, conceptual art and institutional critique

Michael Asher’s work in the Claire Copley Gallery (1974) addressed the gallery space as artwork from a perceptual and a social context perspective. As seen before it is important for the reception of any artwork to consider the historical context as well as the social and art theory context of his time. Otherwise, when looking backwards one may be biased…

Film ‘The Visual Language fo Herbert Matter’

Its’ not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see – Henri David Thoreau A film about the perhaps not so well known Swiss graphic designer and photographer Herbert Matter (1907-1984). The film ‘The Visual Language of Herbert Matter‘ captures as a visual story and documentary the life of Herbert Matter from his birthplace Engelberg in Switzerland to…

Preparation A4 – Michael Asher’s works and key concepts

Asher’s Work in the 1970s Michael Asher (1943- 2012), an American Conceptual Artist from Los Angeles, was and is considered as one of the founder of ‘Institutional Critique’.  A. Fraser (2011) looked specifically at the context of artists as Daniel Buren, Hans Haacke, Marcel Broodthaers, and Michael Asher and their influence of the conceptual critique of Modernist institutions. Asher’s works…

Deleuze, Hegel, Difference and Master/Slave Dialectic – Confusion Entangled

On recognition  – a resolved confusion: Difference not as negation but as an unrecognized and unrecognizable difference, a difference affirmative in itself. – Deleuze (Williams, 2001:170) and Hegel stated further that (WIlliams, 2001:171): ‘Sublated contradiction is no abstract identity, for that is itself only one side of the contradiction. When we say that ground us the unity of identity and difference,…

More reflection on Deleuze and multiplicity of Ideas

My tutor suggested to read the essay by John Protevi, an esssay that the author called a ‘Preparing to learn’. Most of the aspects explored in the essay are not new to me and are a comprehensive summary of Deleuze Difference and Repetition. However, there were two points that seem to me important to capture: The underlying concept of multiplicity…

Part Three – Assignment 3: Reflection on tutor’s feedback and tutorial

Overall evaluation: Today, after receiving a short and comprehensive formative feedback, I had a video tutorial with my tutor. My tutor annotated my essay with, as he described it, ‘provocative rather than critical’ comments and questions. The main point is ‘to raise competing ideas wherever possible to keep my thinking’ going. I am very glad for such thought-provoking input. Not…

Olkowski – Deleuze and the Ruin of Representation 

In parallel to my readind of Deleuze Differnce and Repetiton, I started to read Olkowski’s book on Deleuze and the ‘Ruin of Representation’. Ruin of Representation Not having read it yet completely, I was pleasant surprised to see how the author critically interrogates feminist critiques of Deleuze (and his co-writer at times Guattari) and suggests a different viewpoint in understanding…

'Soulscape #022', (c) SJSchaffeld, 2013

Tracey Emin: Exploration of the Soul, 1994 – a personal reflection

Fellow student Catherine (#514913) brought to my attention the diaries by Tracey Emin in context of dealing with suffer, death and our reflection and feelings how we can (should, would) apply and use them of our own art making. Especially if those feelings are mediated through others e.g. patients. Tracey Emin (b. 1963) wrote 1994 over a time period of…

Margaret Olin: ‘Touching Photographs’

While interacting with fellow student Stephanie on her blog, she shared me with an article on signification of photography and photographs by Margaret Olin (2002). It’s about Roland Barthes and his ‘Mistaken Identification’ with photographs of his mother and aunt. Barthes description in Camera Lucida (1980) as a personal experience with old family photos is based on Peirce’s semiotics alongside…

'Drawing space', (c) StefanJSchaffeld, 2017

Deleuze: Difference and Repetition

In context of this part of the course and to understand better underlying theories and motivations, I decided to read, at least partly, some key texts by Gilles Deleuze (1925 – 1995). The following notes and reflections are based on Difference and Repetition (2017), focusing on the last chapter ‘Conclusion’. In parallel, I am reading Olkowski Gilles Deleuze and the Ruin of Representation,…

Firstness and Difference in Being

Initial challenge The course material (OCA, 2016, p.103) states that the first can only be compared if a second and third etc. is present, exists.  I am a bit confused by the argumentation and need therefore to reflect on this and to put it into context (of everyday life and theory of difference) The comparison of Newman text‘s of the ‘original…

The Primitive and the Authentic

Modern art and the primitive The course materials mentioned briefly the ‘primitive’ and the influence of it on Western modern art as a search for basics and simple authenticity. Tribal art and especially exotic tribal art was attractive to artists in the late 19th century. Inspired by anthropology, natural science e.g. Darwin, and circulation of Japanese wood prints artists as…

Galaxus- advertisement - Switzerland - Sep 2017

Postmodern advertisement

To commute these days in Switzerland with public transportation makes one aware of a recent advertisement campaign by the Swiss electronic seller Galaxus. Galaxus is the ‘Amazon’ in Switzerland. Switzerland is a small country and sellers and chains are still Swiss origin rather than international global companies. Migros and Coop were and are the main food market chains, nowadays challenged…

Stefan513593 - Part 4 - Meaning, Difference and Information

Meaning and Difference

I already figured out that some aspects will be challenging in this part. Reading through the course material once, making notes and preparing the next exercise, I stumbled over a few statements in the course material that I really didn’t understand well. A few quotes (Open College of the Arts, 2016): ‘Resemblance accounts for difference by degree – visual difference,…

OCA Student Handbook

Today, I received the new student handbook for studying with UCA/OCA.  When I came to page 32, I couldn’t believe to see a very familiar image. I am featured with my UVC blog as an example for how to build an online learning log. I was so happy and proud to be referenced  😊😃     Reference: University for the…

Part Four – Difference – initial confrontation

What is difference? Blue is not red and you are not me. But is that all how we can define difference? Dictionaries consider as synonyms for difference words as: distinction, dissimilarities, dissimilitude, distance, contrast, disagreement, diversity etc. I became aware that difference is more and deeper. Differences in the form of binaries were and are at times used to support ideology…

Assignment 3: Peer review and reflection on responses

I posted my draft essay for peer review and received valuable and diverse feedback. The forum thread is available from: https://discuss.oca-student.com/t/draft-essay-for-uvc-assignment-3/5453?u=stefan513593 Some feedbacks were direct, some indirect, some did reflect themselves  on the question, and some were inspired to read even Plato’s text.  I very much appreciated having this opportunity and I am grateful for those people who took the time…

Preparation A3 – Reality experience and embodied meaning

Introduction My research so far left me with an unsettling feeling that all theorists from Plato to Deleuze, the structuralists and post-structuralists were very much looking from a logocentric perspective. The tradition was based on the concept that language and writing followed ideas, other as the structuralists were taken the positions that meaning is the effect of language (Belsey, 2002,…

Stefan513593 - Prep Assignment3 - Plato - Simile of the Cave

Preparation A3 – Allegory of the Cave

My working thesis Reality perception a question of power  I looked at Plato and The Republic alongside the Simile of the Sun and the Divided Line in a previous post Here I will take the essence from the Allegory of the Cave, as part of my brainstorming and initial essay outline I read it once. I figured out that through…

Preparation A3 – Plato and a dualistic philosophy / The Republic

Plato (around 428  BC – around 348 BC) was student of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle and founder of the Academy in Athens. I wanted to understand more about the motivation and rationale behind Plato’s Politeia (The Republic). What was the background for him and what the idea that made him to write the Allegory of the Cave? As Deleuze…

CHECK: Planned reading list for part 3: June-July 2017

Important for understanding and introduction Pooke, Newall Art History: The Basics (Chapter 4 ‘Semiotics and poststructuralism’)  – Done Christopher Butler Postmodernism – Very Short Introduction – Done C. Freeland Art Theory – Very Short Introductio‘ – in progress C. Belsey Poststructuralism – Very Short Introduction – Done D. Chandler Semiotics – the basics – Done Bryson, Holly, Mosey Visual Theory – in progress Relevant for coursework…

Preparation A3 – Reality in film, between fiction and manipulation

In preparation for my assignment essay with regards to ‘shadows’ of reality on screens (TV, cinema) and the way we perceive or conceive reality, facts, and truth, I want to look on another category of visual culture: Documentary and Reality TV and how those provide us with illusions or delusions “Mirror with a Memory” – O. W. Holmes Holmes notion on photography…

‘The Matrix’

It is quite some time ago since I’ve seen Matrix the last time. Actually, I cannot recall it. The film is mentioned in the course material relating to simulacrcum and articulate intelligence with some relations to Plato’s cave and Baudrillard’s rather dystopian description of simulacrum reality. I was curious to see what to take from it. One aspect became very…

Stefan513593 - Part 3 - Representation matrix extended (Mitchell, 1987)

Preparation A3 – Representation (2)

Based on my previous reflections on Representation I researched more and read Mitchell’s argumentation on iconology (Mitchell, 1987) as I find it most relevant in understanding Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. How do we make image of objects? What is representation, what imagination, what illusion? How do we know what is real? It gave me some better understanding to see where…

Preparational thoughts for Exercise 3.8: Nature is Culture / Binary opposites, signs and meaning

Binary opposites, sign, representation and meaning  When people see things as beautiful, ugliness is created. When people see things as good, evil is created. Being and non-being produce each other. Difficult and easy complement each other. Long and short define each other. High and low oppose each other. Fore and aft follow each other. Tao Te Ching Binary oppositions: A…

Preparatary notes for Exercise 3.6: Misrepresentations

Conditions for Critical Thinking In an earlier post on the relativism in context of ‘fake news’ and divergent opinions and the challenges in postmodern education I reflected an article in the Swiss newspaper NZZ (Otto, 2017) – click here. This seems to be quite spot on the for my answer of the question of misrepresentations in a socially constructed world. Postmodern…

SJSchaffeld (2017) Prayers's Rock, pencil and pen on paper (A4)

Artificial Intelligence – Amendment Exercise 3.5

After posting my last exercise work on Artificial versus Human Intelligence I read in the last issus of Smithsonian an article about the technology center in Korea (Shteyngart, 2017).  Seoul, the capital of South Korea, with nearly half of the population living in the 25 Million metropol. A country addicted to the sense of perfection as the hero in the TV show …

Stefan513593 - Part 3 - Comparision Modernism and Postmodernism

Modernism versus Postmodernism in Art

A visual comparision of Modernism and Postmodernism. Most taken from Butler (2002). Surprised that a few aspects are shared between both     Conclusion: Postmodernism is not an era that followed chronologically Modernism. A few aspects relevant for Postmodern theory occured already begin 20th century (Duchamp, Dada, Surrealism). Postmodernism is based on  multicultural pluralism and relativism Postmodernism can be seen…

Thoughts on Post-Modernism

“Meaning is generated by socially encoded and constructed discursive practices that mediate reality so much that they effectively close off access to it.” – Alun Munslow The following thoughts are my reflection related to the content described on Postmodernism by Sturken and Cartwright (2009, chapter 8) as well as by Butler (2002, chapter 1 and 2) Deconstruction and Jacques Derrida:…

Machinocene and artificial intelligence

It seems as if I am more sensible in reading articles in newspapers related to the coursework now. It  just happened that a few days after the ‘Transhumanism’ article appeared, I read in the Swiss newspaper NZZ (22  June 2017) an article by Eduard Kaeser, a scientist and philosopher, about ‘Auf der Schwelle zum Maschinozän / At the threshold towards machinocene‘…

Humanistic critique of Transhumanism

In scope of the course work and the question of artificial versus human intelligence I read recently an article in the Swiss newspaper NZZ (19  June 2017) about ‘Wider den Transhumanismus / Against Transhumanism‘ Transhumanism can be described as a movement aiming to transform human conditions of life by developing enhanced technologies. They consider this as an evolutionary development towards ‘posthuman’…

Part Two – Assignment 2: Reflection on tutor’s feedback and tutorial

I received from my new tutor my annotated essay back with some heads-up questions to discuss in our upcoming tutorial. It seems that I improved my assignment  work and approach. Mostly good points but also open questions related to Modernist, Post-Modernist. I summarize here my reflection on annotated essay received as well as key bullet points from our tutorial. Overall,…

Stefan513593 - Part 3 - log - Presentation

Representation

While re-reading the course material (pp.72-74) I had some critical remarks on some statements. Presentation as related to presence in time and space: => This seems to be a rather a realist and materialistic perspective that the ‘model’ had to be physicially there with the artist. I would rather widen this perspective with the phenomenlogical term  ‘noema’ (Husserl etc.) that…

Notes: Speculative Realism and OOO – a new shift in Art?

In the last issue of Elephant magazine (issue 31, Summer 2017) was an demanding article by Ben Eastham about a new focus in art on objects and materiality in art. After the detour in the ‘virtual’, non-materiality of digital and internet world, ‘things’ and physical objects are considered again as the new contemporary expression. The author argued that collectors were…

Education in post-factual times

In scope of the current course topics, I looked at a recent article in the Swiss newspaper NZZ (17 June 2017) about ‘Education in a post-factual era (Schule im postfaktischen Zeitalter)’ The German author Reinhardt refers to an agreement in German education system from 1976, the Beutelsbach Consensus where the role of the teacher was articulated: Prohibition against overwhelming the student, Treating controversial…

Stefan513593_Aftermath - assignment 2 - contemporary clusters

Aftermath A2 – Cluster presentions of contemporary art and its relationship with ‘Surrogates’

In the aftermath of my assignment work for part 2 and while searching for ‘Surrogates’ appropriations I came across a contemporary art practice. More and more I do see images online and in galleries and museums where pictures are hanging as grid, as cluster (more or less structured and presenting thus to the viewer a ‘meta-picture’ . The amount of…

CHECK: Planned reading list for Part 2: March – May 2017

My plan for reading on Part 2 and Modernism: General:  Mirzoeff ‘Visual Culture reader’ – OPEN Sturken, Cartwright ‘Practices of Looking’  –PARTLY Specific C. Butler ‘Modernism – A Very Short Introduction’ DONE D. Cottington ‘Modern Art – A Very Short Introduction’ DONE F. Frascina, C. Harrison (eds) ‘Modern Art and Modernism: A Critical Anthology’ –PARTLY Wood, Frascina, Harris, Harrison (eds) ‘Modernism in…

Cluster pictures - by Timothy Goodman - tapetenteam.de

Assignment 2 Preparation: The Spectator and the Simulacra

Here I am collecting loosely found images and texts related to visual perception of pictures in social and cultural context, more related to today’s visual environment rather than the 1980s. Relating this to Allan McCollum’s ‘Surrogates’ in a kind of visual confirmation of the alienated appeal of pictures as a situational background ‘noise’. In context of my earlier reference –…

Stefan513593 - Assignment2 - monochrome - log pages

Assignment 2 Preparation: Monochrome in Art History

Part of the assignment is looking at the relationship of Allan McCollum’s ‘Surrogates’ and the monochrome painting that were created since Kazimir Malevich’s ‘Black Square’, 1915. I am not looking at monochrome paintings that are done with one or two hues only or the grisaille technique that was essential as part of chiarosuro and ‘illusionstic’ painting in art history. Here…

Stefan513593 - Assignment2 - Allan McCollum - log images - 2

Assignment 2 Preparation: Allan McCollum, Surrogates and his time

In preparation of my assignment with Allan McCollum-s ‘Plaster Surrogates’ as subject matter I am looking here more into the artist McCollum and his time in art and culture. For this purpose, I created a Pinterest board with collection of Allan McCollum’s works as well as with other assignment relevant images (e.g. ‘Monochrome’, cultural images) I describe here in the…

Impact of photography and reality

“We cannot claim to have really seen anything before having photographed it”  – Emile Zola In the context of my recent investitgation of reality, modern art, flatness and subjective perception, I I was wondering why Greenberg did not mention in his most known essays (‘Avant-Garde and Kitsch’, ‘Modernist Painting’, and ‘After Abstract Expressionism’) the medium of photography. What does photography make…

Tutor change

OCA office notified me two weeks ago about a tutor change for this course. My previous tutor went on maternity leave and now I was assigned to Peter Haveland. I know him from the OCA discuss forum quite well and I am excited that he became my new tutor. I had yesterday a short google hangout with him to get acquainted…

The Repatriation of the White Cube – the CATPC in Congo

While reading the Dutch newspaper NRC from 27 April 2017, I came across an image of white cube with Afrian people around. I was curious to know more about this. My recent research on modern art and the rise of MoMA as an influential cultural institution that led the art world since Alfred Barr’s curated exhibition of ‘Cubism and Abstract Art’…

Stefan513593 - Dana Schutz 'Open Casket', 2016 - Exhibition and Spectacle

Exhibition and Spectacle: Dana Schutz at Whitney Biennial

The Swiss newspaper NZZ (4 April 2017) as well as plenty of other global media reported on the recent protest at the Whitney Biennial. Focus point was the painting ‘Open Casket’ (2016) by Dana Schutz. An American artist who is known for at times grotesque figurative paintings in a gestural and abstract approach. The point of departure of the protest…

Avant-Garde

Pages from my paper log – clips and others.     What are key aspects of Avant-Garde? For answering this question I looked up what Greenberg said in his essay ‘Avant-Garde and Kitsch (Greenberger, 1988, p.5-22) as well reading the short introduction on Modern Art by Cottington (Cottington, 2005), that I found a fantastic overview on Modern Art. Avant-Garde art and…

How to improve my assignment work

Key topics from my intense reading of study skills materials on critical thinking and essay planning and writing (OCA, Palgrave Study Skills, and an assignment planner from Kent University): Plan properly my reading and writing time Go through a structured essay plan for assignment works (Fig. 1): 1. Understanding the question (academic key words!), brainstorming ideas and develop a working…

Stefan513593 - Visual images in protest and propaganda - 2

Visual images and ‘Advertisment’ in political protest

A provocative banner placed anonymously on the Bundesplatz in Bern, Switzerland resulted in a nationwide shock and a drastic response from the depicted person (Erdogan, Turkey). The established and trustworthy Swiss newspaper NZZ wrote an article about it on 28 March 2015 (Gemperli, 2017). The main topic was a banner in public space in the capital of Switzerland during a political demonstration…

Part One – Assignment 1: Reflection on tutor’s feedback

Full tutor report available at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B01FNjP84PHhQUxtMm1NNkdaSU0 (access to be requested) The first time for me to receive feedback on a purely academic course unit. It took a while for me to digest and to reflect on the report, to see where I am now and where I need to go. First, it took me off the hook but now I can see…

Shigetaka Kurita 'NTT DOCOMO. Emoji (original set of 176)' 1998–99

Emoji: A reflection on daily visual language

Attracted by an article in the Swiss newspaper NZZ from March 24, 2017. As quite typical for media the title is challenging and perhaps unsettling ‘Wenn der Schleier zum Emoji wird (When the veil becomes an emoji). Starting point of that article is the submission of en emoji proposal by a Saudi teenager living in Germany who felt that she with her…

Expected learning outcome and assessment criteria

Before embarking and plumbing into the course I want to make sure that I understand the expected learning outcome and the core criteria for assessment, that I hopefully will pass successful and still this year (heading for Nov assessment) Course learning outcome Demonstrate a degree of fluency with selected theories Debate the autonomy of art Explain the concept of ‘difference’…