This is my self evaluation of Part one against the course assessment criteria.
Demonstration of subject based knowledge and understanding
Broad and comparative understanding of subject content, knowledge of the appropriate historical, intellectual, cultural or institutional contexts.
I have come into this subject with little historic knowledge of the famous art critics and writers. I had never heard of Greenberg, Searle or Danto before these studies, and I had never really read much about the concepts of what makes art, and intellectual theories of art.
I am starting to build my basic understanding of visual culture, helped mainly by my reading of Sturken and Cartwright’s book Practices of Looking – An Introduction to Visual Culture (2nd ed.). This has helped me begin to understand the length and breadth of the subject, and put some context into some of the exercises I have completed in this Part one.
I am not yet able to easily call upon a breadth of learned knowledge to demonstrate my understanding, but I expect this will improve if I keep up the high level of reading required in this course.
Demonstration of research skills
Information retrieval and organisation, use of IT to assist research, ability to evaluate IT sources, the ability to design and carry out a research project, locate and evaluate evidence from a wide range of primary and secondary sources (visual, oral, aural or textual).
Information technology has been vital to researching the exercises, especially e-books available on Scribd. including academic specialist books and papers. The facilities in Scribd. allow me to bookmark important sections, and to search for words and phrases, and make notes – this is an invaluable tool.
In each exercise, I try to summarise my learnings made since the previous exercise. This helps me understand how I am learning, and also acts as a aide-memoire when I need to look back for a forgotten book or online reference.
As there are also many new words and concepts, I have also started a Glossary page on this blog so I can collect them together for my easy reference.
Demonstration of critical and evaluation skills
Engagement with concepts, values and debates, evidence of analysis, reflection, critical thinking, synthesis, interpretation in relation to relevant issues and enquiries.
I have learned many important concepts in this Part one, but sometimes it takes a lot of time to deconstruct what a writer is saying, especially when they are writing from a ‘deep’ academic standpoint. The language is sometimes incomprehensible, but with patience and the use of a dictionary, and reading further around a subject, things become clearer. My reading of parts of Searle’s The Construction of Social Reality took a lot of time, and a lot of ‘deconstruction’, but was worth it in the end.
In my exercises, I show some of my contextual research as notes so I remember how I came to understand some theories.
In Assignment one, Part A, which asked me to reflect on the meaning of Tansey’s painting while referring to Ruskin’s comments on the ‘innocence of the eye’, I felt that the answer appeared too simple. My challenge was to write approximately 1000 words out of the concept that the test is to see if the observing cow really sees patches of colour to form an image. I feel my final paper concentrated too much on a theory that Tansey was commenting on how the artworld observes us as visitors to museums, rather than some sort of discussion more in tune with Ruskin’s theories.
In Assignment one, Part B, which asked me to consider if perspective was an invention or discovery, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of information available, and different ways of considering perspective. This really stretched my ability to present a paper that was in any way cohesive. An interesting subject, but a real mind twister!
The ability to communicate ideas and knowledge in written and spoken form, including presentation skills.
I hope my written form of communication is clear – I try and be concise and to present my thoughts in a coherent way to build a theory or argument. I also try to use a formal, but conversational, style of writing.
I also hope this blog is simple, effective, and easy to navigate.