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UAL Research Online

'Malleable Material'

Mendelson, Zoë (2014) 'Malleable Material'. In: The Art School: The Future for ‘Theory’?, 25 January 2014, Institute for Contemporary Arts, London.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Mendelson, Zoë
Description:

Paper/meta-presentation at 'The Art School: The Future for ‘Theory’?' Conference organised by Dr Marquand Smith at the Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA), London on 24 January 2014.

The paper presented was written through the voice of an imagined critical theorist. In defence of material practices and in consideration of theory as a malleable material to be workshopped and handled, my future-tripping of theory sees it, like wood or paper, as a possible medium to engage and manipulate.

From the press release for the event:
What is the future of ‘theory’ in the Art and Design School? Variously considered as Historical and Critical Studies, Critical and Contextual Studies, art and design history, visual and material culture studies, ‘theory’ has always had an ambivalent standing, and has been embraced enthusiastically and treated with suspicion in equal measure. Recent changes are exacerbating this ambivalence: new critical tendencies, practice-led research, new forms of pedagogy, new sites for disseminating (e-flux, TED talks, Art History in the Pub, etc), and new sites of praxis, as well as the collapse in public funding, the merging of institutions, the redeployment of staff and resource, and the rationalising of provision.

This symposium asked: What purpose does ‘theory’ serve? What should be delivered, and how should it be delivered? Should ‘theory’ take place in the classroom or the studio? Has ‘theory’ become redundant, and if so why? Has a certain kind of philosophising replaced it? What are the consequences of these demarcative shifts for an artist, designer, or architect’s capacity to contextualise and ‘speak on behalf of’ their practice to colleagues, critics, curators, gallerists, and industry professionals? And what do such shifts mean for theorists themselves?

Ultimately, does ‘theory’ even have a future in art and design education, and if it does, what form should it take?

Official Website: https://www.ica.org.uk/whats-on/art-school-future-theory
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Critical Theory, Art Education
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Date: 25 January 2014
Event Location: Institute for Contemporary Arts, London
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2015 10:08
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2015 10:08
Item ID: 8091
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/8091

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