Categories
2003 Abstracts Stage 3

Identity, Capitalism and the Art Gallery

The transition from the beginning of the twentieth century to the latter stages marked a change in thinking that can be reflected through the change in function of the art gallery. Taking the period that is known as High Modernity (roughly from 1900 to 1968) and exploring its defining artist, Picasso, and the philosopher that was instrumental in shaping the thought, Hegel, it can be seen that the Musée Picasso in Paris shows all of these characteristics. A full exploration of the themes of identity and capitalism will be used as the ‘signs’ that mean a historical account can be formed. Around 1968 many changes in thinking and society occurred which provoked a paradigm shift. The Pompidou Centre in Paris showed evidence of these changes in its retrospective of Roland Barthes. The philosopher Foucault gave a differing historical account than Hegel’s which looks to the networks of thought and how they interact, this also reflects the exhibition in that it is no longer a straightforward chronology but is instead an understanding of the overall, the particular and how they interact.

Categories
2003 Abstracts Stage 3

Our Fairytale World of ‘Beauty’…

Beauty: There has been a pre-occupation with our society as far back as we can remember, yet we still cannot define it, due to its changing character. The fairy tale promises that we are raised on promise security, a prince Charming and that we will live ‘happily ever after’ if we attain beauty. In this project I will be investigating and forming my own concepts on the following: ~ The role of beauty in our Western selected traditional fairy tales and how they reflect our societies attitude towards it and their role in creating these conceptions. ~What constitutes a ‘beautiful’ woman in our society and how this has altered over time, is it just a fashion? ~The phenomenon of the beauty pageant and what it means to be ‘beautiful in our society. ~The desperation associated with achieving this ‘beauty’ and what happens when it goes ‘wrong.’ I will highlight these objectives using the concepts of Plotinus and the Enneads, where he looks at beauty, the soul and what constitutes beauty. I will also use some of the concepts of Kant aesthetics on ‘natural’ beauty, the purpose of beauty and the judgements of taste.

Categories
2003 Abstracts Stage 2

Reconstituted, Vacuum-Packed and Ready for Consumption: The Rise and Rise of the Cultural Supermarket

Abstraction: Imagine a supermarket with aisle upon aisle of purchasable goods appealing to each and every appetite, whim, or fancy. Purchasable for a limited time only, that is, until their ‘sell by date’ runs out, then the shelves are restocked and it is on to the freshest goods and the newest fads. In my project I will investigate whether this is an accurate and justifiable account of contemporary art, and if so, why? Section 1. Modernism, The Search for Ambrosia Enter the intellectual avant-garde, the revolutionaries, pioneers, map readers and guardians of high taste, searching for that which is guaranteed to satisfy. Transgressing old, outdated traditions and paving the way for a new and better future, waiting for the rest of society to follow suit. The Bitter Taste, The Crisis of Modernity: The failure of the artist as the modern hero but his/her brilliant success at becoming an icon. Political incompatibility, the dawning limits of the experimentation and exploration, and the absorption and assimilation of elitist avant-garde artwork by the mindless masses. There were no successful conversions; the artwork was absorbed while the ideologies behind them were not. Section 2. What is a Hot Dog?: Postmodernism, (…is elephant dung the secret ingredient?): Prepare yourself for a scandal. Virtual realities, simulation, canned culture, a schizophrenic way of life abundant in choice. The power in art is no longer found within its creations but the prices they command. Certain lengths are carried out by the artist in order to stand out in this overcrowded artistic stage and thus extend his/her shelf life. No battles, no obligations, no crusade, no spiritual journey, no brotherhood, no notion of linear progression. The task now is keeping fresh and well within your ‘sell by date’. ‘Back of the Net’ Objectives: 1. ‘Subsidence’: The Politics of Post, I shall investigate the ‘gradual shift’ that happened in the attitudes towards art in western civilisation during ‘modernism’ and ‘postmodernism’ in the twentieth century. 2. ‘Mirror Image?’: Reflections of Society, does in any way reflect society and if so, does it follow that because contemporary art is superficial that so too is society? Explore the connotations this might have. 3. GM Free: Commodification Verses Purity, was art always destined to become a commodity? Or was there any real possibility that it could be anything else? 4. When is ‘Shit’ really ‘Shit’?, investigate how defecation has become the marketable medium? The power of shock and the spectacle in a postmodern society. The necessity of extending the artists’ shelf life. Sources: The sources for this project are very extensive and include information obtained from the National Records Office in Kew, newspapers, galleries (specifically, Tate Modern, London, and the Baltic, Gateshead), a numerous amount of books (both from my personal collection and borrowed from libraries) and the World Wide Web. The Philosophical Anchor: In this essay I wish to break through the elusiveness of art and relate it with the human experience. The story of art can go some way in revealing or demonstrating the present human condition. I wish to jump over the partitioning rope, disregard the ‘Do Not Touch’, take the picture from the wall, turn the canvas around and read the ingredients on the back…

Categories
2003 Abstracts Stage 2

An Analysis of the Roots of Modern and Postmodern Architecture in Newcastle

KEY CONCEPTS/ WORDS Enlightenment, Modernity, Rationalizing, Technology, Efficiency, Town Planning, Functionalist. Post modernity, Inspiration, Progression, Shift in systems, Design, Fragmentation, Pastiche, Eclecticism, Existentialism. OBJECTIVES 1. To study the different styles and progressions of architecture in Newcastle. 2. To look at the political and economic forces that have affected the changing of the cities landscape. 3. To analyse social forces that have initiated the architectural changes. 4. To examine prominent architects and philosophers that have altered the direction of modern and postmodern thinking. SOURCES Books borrowed from Newcastle Upon Tyne University Library. Photos taken in the center of Newcastle, visual media gathered from books, internet sites, magazines, leaflets and newspaper articles. FIELD OF EXPLORATION I am going to look at how the fabric of Newcastle’s architecture has evolved over the past one hundred years. By using photographic data gathered in Newcastle I will be able to draw upon examples which can be analyzed with reference to famous architects of the era. The modern and postmodern architecture of Newcastle lends itself to philosophical and sociological interpretation. CHANGE My project will be looking at the progressions that have forced the architectural changes upon Newcastle. I am hoping to illustrate the shift from modern architecture to postmodern architecture and the philosophical themes that have brought them about. THE GAP BETWEEN HUMANS AND THINGS My aim here is to highlight how man has become disenchanted with the Enlightenment project and scientific progress. Disunity of knowledge in the postmodern era has led to a more confusing, pastiche and fragmented way of interpreting society. This incredulity has in some ways widened the gap between humans and things.

Categories
2003 Abstracts Stage 2

Technology and Music

Objectives: – · To explore the impact of sound recording on the way we interact with music. In the past, people experienced music solely through live interaction: performances, concerts etc. Now music is widely available in recorded form, also through the mass media outlets of radio, television, the Internet. Does this devalue music, simply making it more disposable, or does it transform the potential role of music in a society where traditionally defined boundaries are shifting and collapsing in upon themselves? · To look at the effect of new methods of creating music, such as synthesis and sampling, both on the audience and on the creators of music. Through sampling, music is being made both by recycling and re-contextualising music that has come before, and by reclaiming sources previously dismissed as ‘noise’ to be placed in a musical context. Through sound synthesis, on the one hand acoustic instruments are being mimicked electronically with increasing authenticity. On the other, electronically generated sounds which radically diverge from our traditional sound palette seem increasingly commonplace in a world that is similarly transfigured. · To investigate the way these new techniques reflect the changes in our human/social condition- our relationship with technology, the mechanisation of society. To what extent do changes in musical creation and consumption come about as a result of these social changes, and to what extent do they actually inform the changes. Concepts: – · Mechanisation of society. Simulation and the hyperreal. The shifting role of art in a mass media culture. Territory: – · Western music and culture from the early 20th Century to the present. Sources: – · Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation. Roland Barthes, Image-Music-Text. Peter Manning, Electronic and Computer Music. Numerous recorded musical sources ranging from early forays into musical experimentation with sound recording, through to contemporary examples.

Categories
2003 Abstracts Stage 2

The Life of Space

Aims & Objectives: · To examine the relationship between Public Space and Public Life. · To identify the major changes that have occurred from the 18th century to today in the design and use of public space in the West; and the subsequent effect that this has had on public life. Structure: The first section will be examining the changing philosophies, ideas, and perspectives on public space/place, and public life. In the second section I will be looking at the changing development of space and place in western culture. Section three will be investigating the recent trend in ‘reclaiming’ urban space for public use. Section four will be assessing the reasons why public space and its design are so important to public life. Territory: The physical territory for my project will be Newcastle-upon-Tyne, focusing on particular areas: such as Eldon Square, Quayside, and Bigg Market. To back up and contrast what I find in Newcastle, I will also use specific examples from elsewhere. Sources: Some of my main sources will be Richard Sennett, Jan Gehl & Lars Gemzoe, David Harvey, Bernard Rudofsky. Information collated from Newcastle University library and Newcastle Central library will also be used along with research from various Internet sites.

Categories
2003 Abstracts Stage 3

Redeeming Mozart: a philosophical exploration of “Amadeus”

The investigation is based on Peter Shaffer’s screenplay Amadeus, an elaborate story of the relationship between the legendary musician Wolfgang Mozart and his contemporary counterpart Antonio Salieri. Critics have interpreted the film in various ways, however its philosophical content had been left untouched. The project’s first concern is the identification of two philosophical trends within the characters of the play – Mozart being aligned to the baroque and Salieri portraying notions of traditional philosophy. The interaction of the characters in the plot in this context raises new philosophical issues such as creativity, genius, autonomy and the concept of God and also displays the philosophical influence over mans interaction with his surroundings. This discussion takes place alongside Walter Benjamin’s similar interpretation of Trauerspiel, The Origin of German Tragic Drama. The project’s second concern lies not in the content of the film but in its creation and subsequent afterlife. Shaffer constructed the play on fragments of truth regarding the real Mozart, which he then exaggerated and developed into a fictional story. This process of destruction and reconstruction is investigated in relation to Walter Benjamin’s theory of the mortification of art in which art is constantly reinterpreted to produce new meaning. Benjamin argues that through the creation of new meaning the original object is redeemed. It is the final concern of the project to investigate this theory and explore to what extent Mozart has been redeemed by Amadeus. The result is a project that not only investigates the baroque concepts of afterlife, mortification and redemption but also illustrates these notions in its method of exploration.