Assignment 1: PechaKucha

Produce a PechaKucha critical presentation (for more information on PechaKucha click here), to include 20 images using audio visual analysis of an artefact object or image including approximately 500 words.

This assignment requires you to think about images and objects within a context.  As art and design students, your perspective on works of art is more analytical than that of the casual observer.  This is because evaluating and critically engaging with art and design artefacts will help you to understand your own art / design practice as it develops.  This assignment is designed to start you off as ‘critical observers’.

The assignment requires you to analyse an artefact / object or image.  This can be anything created within the subject areas of media, art and design. Your analysis should ‘set the scene’ for the viewer and discuss context and purpose of the artefact / object or image. You will be required to provide a more detailed response to your selected artefact / object or image by describing, analyzing and evaluating it.  You will probably be drawn to things that you like, but equally you may find yourself talking about works which you dislike.

There are four steps that may help you to gather the information required from the artefact / object or image you want to discuss

  1. Visual Description
  2. Visual Analysis
  3. Evaluation
  4. Interpretation

Using a combination of methods, including drawing, notation, writing, diagrams, photographs, etc. try to gather as much information as you can under each heading numbered 1 to 4.

  1. Description
    Record the way the artefact/object/image “is”. This is fact based information derived from observation.  Describe and record as much detail as you can, size, colour, form, materials used and so on.  Limit your observation to the description only.
  1. Analysis
    This is more specialist in nature than the description.  Consider the use of specialist knowledge and language in your observations.  Look to see how the artefact/object/image has been achieved: Do the techniques of material manipulation inform you how it was made?  What are the technical achievements of the piece?  Does it have a relationship to a tradition of similar works that indicate influence in the design or making process? What do the materials themselves tell us about the artefact / object or image?  Is it identified with a culture or particular subculture?
  1. Evaluation
    This step moves us away from the direct observation of the artefact/object/image and allows us to explore the context of the work.  Try to find out why the artefact/object/image has been made, and what it might mean. For example, does it convey a message? Does the artefact/object/image embody values of some sort or other?  Can these values be interpreted by anyone? Do the materials suggest values?  This is where you will probably need to refer to other sources of information other than direct observation.  Search for information on your artefact/object/image using library resources and the internet.  What do others say about the selected work? Do you agree?
  1. Interpretation
    This step asks you to provide reasoned thoughts about your choice of artefact/object/image.  It is subjective in nature?  How do you feel about the artefact/object/image?  What do you think the artist/designer/filmmaker might have felt about the work and the choices that were made?  Do you like the aretfact/object/image or not?  Why is this so?

Assignment 2: Essay

Through the lecture programme for this module, you are starting to become aware of the significant critical, theoretical and artistic shifts that have occurred in media, art and design history and how artefacts of a particular time period are to some extent bounded by and generated from their social and cultural circumstances.

This assignment requires you to make a comparative analysis of two artworks. The definition of ‘artwork’ can mean a film, game, illustration, poster, advertisement, painting, sculpture, installation, material object etc. that you identify as being ‘new’, innovative or challenging to the ‘norm’ in some way.  This could be because they challenged preconceptions through their form or subject matter, or through how or where they were displayed; because the materials, technologies or techniques used to create them were new or experimental, or because of the role they played in influencing other artists / designers / filmmakers and artefacts created during that time, or because of the critical and/or public reaction to the work at the time.

Analyse your chosen artworks, recording what you can find out about each artwork itself.  You should then carry out in depth research into the social, cultural and artistic contexts of the time the artworks were produced so that you can build a picture of the socio-cultural circumstances occurring through and being reflected by the visual arts during the time each work was made.

Use the following questions to help you plan your essay:

  1. How would you categorise/describe each artwork?
  1. How is each artwork intended to be read? Who are they for?
  1. In what contexts – social, historical, cultural – are the artists making the works?
  1. What other artworks were being made at the time?  Do the works represent an instance of a ‘movement’?  If so, what were the characteristics of that movement?  If not, were your selected artworks a reaction against a particular movement or style?
  1. What political and philosophical points of view were emerging at the time the artworks were made?
  1. Did the artworks respond to or reflect these in any way?

Module Aims:

Module Aims:

  • To introduce students to the historical and cultural nature of their subject area.
  • To introduce students to fundamental study and research skills.
  • To encourage contextual thinking and an analytical approach through a focus on significant issues and artefacts.
  • To enable students to analyse and evaluate visual and textual media.
  • To gain confidence in communicating ideas with clarity.