For 4 days in early February MA Art and Science set up house in an a 1960s space ship to collectively explore the curation and design of the up coming degree show (25-29 May 2016). Key questions centred around how to build a coherent show that celebrates the diversity of individual approach while also revealing the shared creative and intellectual threads that are emerging within the group. Stephanie Wong records the events that took place between 8 – 11 February in the Futuro House.
Last week the second years of MA Art and Science spent four days in Futuro House, a retro space ship located on the terrace of the CSM King’s Cross building. Having just finished the intense experience of dissertation writing this was the first opportunity for everyone to come together and plan for the degree show. On the agenda was curation, design, research and the sharing of ideas.
Like the previous two years the degree show will be taking place in the Crossing at King’s Cross. This is the entrance to the main Central Saint Martins building and is technically a public walkway. With a height of four floors and an imposing breadth this huge space poses unique opportunities, as well as serious challenges, one of the biggest being we are not allowed to hang anything from the walls and the ceilings. What does this mean? In order to display any work we have to build a structure to do so.
Fortunately for us, due to the eclectic nature of the course there are two students with architectural backgrounds, both of whom had been working hard to come up with a design for a structure that would display our work. Facilitated by course leader Nathan Cohen and artist Susan Aldworth the first day was spent discussing the design and sharing concepts for each of our work and how this would best be displayed.
The second day kicked off with a lego building workshop run by Graham Barton. This is not normal lego but architectural lego and the completely white building blocks are used conceptually, constructing whilst holding questions in mind. Tailor made for us these were: What is my practice? What do I aspire to present as part of the degree show? What are my aspirations for the curation of the degree show? The appeal of lego seems to transcend age with the hands on building being quite meditative. Lead tutor Heather Barnett led us through the day which allowed each individual to really question what we want and think much more freely and thoughtfully about our work.
The final day involved another visit from Susan Aldworth and tutor Adrian Holme. This was spent discussing how to incorporate research and process into the curation of the show. What became apparent in the conversations was that the cross-disciplinary collaborations that make this course unusual need to be presented. Furthermore, art and science as a notion requires more than exhibiting finished pieces, in which the methodologies have equal if not crucial importance to the final meaning.
Being locked in a spaceship for a week turned out to be an incredibly fruitful experience. Some of the developments included: final design for the structure, a film that will be made documenting the degree show process, symposium plans, ‘brain dump’ for the title and fundraising ideas. The most exciting outcome was the enthusiasm and motivation of the group as a whole.
So watch this space…
(no pun intended)