FA2CM-Critical Collaborative Methods

Module Provider: Art
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Ms Christine Ellison

Email: c.ellison@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module aims to provide students with a practical and critical understanding of the roles of presentation, collaboration and curating in contemporary art. It introduces key debates around the operations of the art institution – the museum, the gallery, the archive and the art school. The module encourages and facilitates the development of appropriate methods of research in order to understand and create critical art practice that engages with the institutional context in which this art is produced. The module promotes the development of group work, and presentation skills in an environment of formal and informal discussion between students. The work is developed by students collaboratively and challenges students to re-think artistic authorship.


To enable students to consider the relationship between the artist and the institution and how one moves from the private space of the production in the studio to public and collaborative spaces of exhibition.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Demonstrate an understanding of key debates in cultural theory around collaboration, curating, institutional critique and authorship.

Demonstrate an ability to apply such theories to the both practice based and written work.

Assessable outcomes

The following outcomes delineate what you should be able to demonstrate at the end of module examination in the Autumn Term. Your assessment is a means for you and members of staff to assess progress and to ensure that your work is developing in such a way as to achieve the learning outcomes. At assessment, tutors will be looking for evidence of:

-           Working effectively in groups in order to identify a central question or subject to present and then to plan and to produce a curatorial project

-           Articulating the main issues of their chosen topic of research effectively in oral and written presentation

-           Locating and assembling the relevant information from appropriate resources.

Additional outcomes:
The practical work encourages interpersonal skills and the development of the student's participation in group situations, dealing with curation, publicity and promotion, including the ability to take initiative and to accept real-life risks and benefits, and students will also develop their research skills in the relevant use of art works, books, catalogues, magazine articles, reviews and their IT skills by use of web resources and databases.

Outline content:

The module is structured as a series of lectures, group seminars, practicals and tutorials. Student groups will prepare content in consultation with the convenor. The content and delivery of the topic will be presented in the form of an argument or set of questions in order to promote discussion. The topic will be orally presented in a seminar group practically delivered in a curated situation (exhibition), but the student will also be asked to write up an individual account of the ensuing group discussion, identifying key points raised and their responses to them. This will include an element of reflective self-assessment.

Global context:
The module introduces themes, methods and approaches prevalent within the international field of contemporary art. Through the course of the module students are made aware of the global context of biennials, fairs and international curatorial programmes. In addition, the scheduled Study Visits introduce students to international exhibitions, museums and collections.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching will be delivered primarily through lectures and seminar discussions, as well as close readings of theoretical texts, exhibition visits and student presentations. A workshop on construction and presentation skills will also be given to support students’ exhibition Learning methods include independent research, preparation of reading materials, seminar presentations and group discussions, as well as essay writing.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 8
Seminars 8
Tutorials 2
Practicals classes and workshops 2
External visits 2
Guided independent study 178
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Project output other than dissertation 30
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:

Coursework: - Collaborative presentation of group work, staged in appropriate form of exhibition, curated event, intervention or publicly sited project. A reflective written account in 2000 words analysing the main points of the project and discussion, responding critically to the questions raised and referencing historical and theoretical precedents Cancellations: Where possible those with extenuating circumstances will have their seminars rescheduled. In every other case students will have to submit a 2000 word seminar paper accompanied by extended project documentation.

Formative assessment methods:
The module is punctuated with a number of presentation points that allow for both oral and written feedback/ feedforward. The seminars and group tutorials provide an important channel for feedback on the development and progress of the project

Penalties for late submission:


The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    Not Applicable

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% must be achieved in the assessed coursework

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August/ September. Students will submit an additional project by specified date during the re-examination period.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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