Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ category

Tutorial with Andy – 190510

May 20, 2010

Camberwell College of Arts

MA Visual Arts Course (Digital Arts)

19th May 2010


Issues discussed/Subject:

Firstly we watched my symposium video as I hadn’t had the chance to participate in the actual symposium. I didn’t think it was that great but I did address all the necessary points we were set and managed to just about fit those into the 5 min time frame. I had used iMovie to make it (which I’ve never used before) and wasn’t sure if it was good enough but Andy was really pleased with it.

We briefly mentioned the upcoming essay which I believe is due on 21 June. The criteria for this is similar to what was covered in the above presentations so I didn’t really have any questions about this. It needs to be between 2000 – 3000 words, and knowing myself I’ll probably need to cut-down rather than fill in more.

Discussed dimensions of my final piece and space in the show. It doesn’t seem to be an issue as my work will be wall mounted and I will most likely have a plinth a few feet in front from which the user can interact.

Notes taken:

Didn’t actually take many notes this time but did a quick sketch (which doesn’t even look like anything more than a few crisscrossing lines) so that I don’t forget the idea we came up with for the plinth. We decided that having some mini pieces of the sculpture on a glass top (a surface I had considered in the past and so this made even more sense when mentioned) over the plinth in which the projector and camera sit would be a good way to get people to interact. I was also thinking I could have one of my hand-cut mirror cards under this layer so that people can’t see the equipment but the camera has holes to view through? Needs testing but has loads of potential.

This was probably the shortest tutorial I’ve had but it was a very positive one where I was given some very useful feedback and suggestions towards my final piece. Sometimes just discussing ideas out loud makes a whole lot of difference.

Tutorial with Andy – 20/01/10

January 31, 2010

This is a bit overdue…

Camberwell College of Arts

MA Visual Arts Course (Digital Arts)

2oth January 2010


Issues discussed/Subject:

Looked through Unit2 Learning Outcomes and discussed what these actually entail in terms of what is expected from myself during the last few months of the course.

Notes taken:

– Realise project proposal and prepare towards final exhibition

this includes the implementation of different developments along the way. Evidence can be produced through the blog.

– Present a resolved body of creative practice that has evidenced the systematic enhancement of your knowledge

this will be the degree show and it will also be most relevant to evidence progress whereby some things may not have worked and in realising this you change that aspect to discover something that does work. Will need to evidence how these changes have been encountered and applied.

– Analyse and reflect coherently upon your own practice and others through your presentation at a symposium  forming a synthesis of your practice-based research.

Look at how your work and yourself as an artist are viewed objectively and from the perspective of someone looking from outside in to the context you are in. Once again this will be evidenced through the blog. you should also illustrate how and where your practice overlaps that of other artists and their practices.

– Summarise your overall progress and formulate a constructive plan for continuing personal and of professional development.

Summarise where you started and where you were as a practitioner at the beginning of the course and compare this with where you are now/at the end of it – where did you get to? Evaluate. Positives and negatives.


I think there were more but I need to find my handbook and go through these when I get a chance as we were running late as it was.

Tutorial – 23/09/09

September 28, 2009

Camberwell College of Arts

MA Visual Arts Course (Digital Arts)

23rd September 2009


Issues discussed/Subject:

– Still wondering about the suitability of the title of my essay

– Andy had a quick look at my renewed abstract and was pleased with the questions raised in this, especially that of whether common perceptions of Islamic Art being bound by the religion are true.

We also discussed how it could be slightly restructured to allow for the conclusion to suggest what I will prove by the end of the paper.

– Discussed practical issues related with exhibiting my art work later in the year. Electronic aspects such as lighting solutions and the kind of sensors I could use in a safe way to meet my needs.

– Discussed the importance of light in different cultures – spiritual relevance in its use

Actual notes taken in tutorial:

In regards to abstract: move last questions up a bit – possibly add on to the first about assumptions and remove very last question.

Is the the didgital era bringing in more to the Islamic art scene? Add to the first question about assumptions: ‘as the digital era is maturing, is this really the case?’

Conclude with ‘this paper will set out to prove/illustrate the relationship between Islamic Art and theological thinking…’?

In the last paragraph expand on what may be concluded from studying the subject and in trying to find the answers – although it is not always the case that an answer is found, or that it was found to be what you thought it would.

Eletronics and hardware – use of sensors that will be usable in the kind of installation that I would like to construct: PIR motion sensor lights. Need to look into which products are available, pricing, set-up and safety/compatibility. Can they be plugged straight into a regular socket?

Consider the sculptural aspects – what will they look like? 3d shapes – of what kind?

How will the light source affect the patterns cast from or projected by the sculpture? There will be some distortion but this will be a play on space and physical perception. The viewers interaction with the space will also have an affect on this.

|-> how does this effect the concept of geometry and related themes?

The distortion can be said to be related to human sense of order being disturbed – the patterns becoming irregular after actually being constructed and displayed on a flat surface as being very much regular and ordered. Move closer to the light source – does the pattern change? in what way? does this relate to a person moving closer to something in a spiritual sense?

Light means a lot to people in different ways but has a very significant role in most cultures and religions and so seems apt to use this in this installation to encourage people to explore the patterns as well as it’s symbolism.

Tutorial – notes and ideas stemmed

June 8, 2009

Date of tutorial: 03/06/09

Tutor: Jonathan Kearney

It’s been a while since my last tutorial so it’s interesting to see my blog posts being looked at from the perspective of someone who visits after a while and basically catches up with what I’ve been doing.

Jonathan asked about my recent activities and I gave him an overall summary similar to the update in my previous post. He then asked me about various subjects such as Arabic calligraphy and whether this can be used in m project. Something you may be aware I have considered a while back. He suggested I experiment even if it doesn’t go to plan. At least that way I can learn from the experience and progress through it knowing I gave it a shot. I guess by giving all your ideas a chance to formulate and be tried out means there’s less chance of regret later.

Jonathan also reminded me to check out his write-up on the uni wiki about reflective blog writing and showed me some of the bullet points that would be good for me to use in assessing my older posts. The intention would be for me to question myself about how/what I was thinking at the time of writing the post and compare that to how/what I’m thinking/feeling now. Have I changed my views on certain subjects? Do I feel the same about them?

We also discussed the requirements for the essay which although not due till September is still something I need to start focussing on. It’s a 5,000 word essay about contextualising my project. I think I had difficulty in understanding what exactly this meant when I first started this course. And people use the word ‘contextualising’ aaaall the time at uni (no exaggeration). I think it’s one of those words that means a lot and does a good job in getting a point across but is sometimes used to fill gaps in explaining an artist’s thoughts on their own work and where it fits. So it’s handy and vague enough to be used all over the place.

My understanding (now that I’ve also discussed it with Johnathan) is that it’s about looking at what’s going on in the world or the circle of work around you and seeing where you or your work belongs. This could be from any perspective really and can sometimes be very subjective but where (like in this essay) you have to address it for formal writing you need to be quite objective. You also need to acknowledge that there might not be an allocated slot waiting for you to park yourself and your work in. Or there might be one but it’s over crowded. Or what if you have to make your own patch of grass in the field? Whatever you do you have to back it up. And so I need to think of a relevant subject to discuss.

I could do something that looks at contemporary middle eastern art – especially as I did the lengthy posts about the Unveiled exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. But I think I’ve drained myself on that subject. There really are so many possibilities and subjects I could cover so I’m going to give myself a few days to really think about it.

Our mini deadline is for June 22nd by which time we must provide our tutors with a title, abstract and bibliography. I better get my skates on.

So overall we had a good discussion about project ideas that I can experiment with and subjects I could consider for my writing. Below I have typed out the actual notes I took during the tutorial:

Maybe write a reflective summary on each point discussed previously in for example the Saatchi post.

Or for example after completing one task think about it at a deeper level – How did I feel about this? Did it fulfill it’s goal? Was I frustrated? If yes then why? If not then why not? Does it mean enough to me?

Refer to content on wiki about reflective blog writing

Possibilities of using Arabic calligraphy in my work – why not experiment?

Digital surface has no limit in terms of scale so could zoom in on detailed work

Using existing ideas of fragmented parts making a whole, how about words within words within words so that as you keep zooming they appear just as the first word did to start with. Would this then be only calligraphic text or normal arabic writing? Both are very different – maybe they could be combined?

Is there software that can produce an outline and then fill the shape of the word with other words provided? Maybe it could be created?

The word Allah (swt) repeated within itself has strong metaphorical message.

If it doesn’t work then so be it. You’ll learn something from the experience anyway. Then the reflective questions come into play and you go through the process of fully understanding how that experimentation made a difference to the project as a whole.

It could be interesting to look back at the Saatchi post now and ask myself about what I wrote and why I wrote with focus on certain aspects.

Essay abstract (roughly 200-300 words), title and bibliography are due 22nd June!!

Contextualising – understanding where you stand. Could be saying ‘this is one angle and this is another’

It is important to be objective and know what’s going on around you even if you don’t like it.

Non-stop yapping

January 25, 2009

I had my second tutorial on Wednesday (21st Jan). It was with the Online students’ tutor, Jonathan, who I have met only once before.

I usually find it had to give an overview of my project whilst conveying every aspect of my research and ideas for the outcome, and all the influences that come into play, and my background, and why I chose the subject in the first place. But Jonathan seemed to ask all the right questions and even though I felt like I was chattering on the whole time I also realised that he actually understood what I was saying and what I meant! It was great because it allowed me to answer some of my own questions that I had kinda left at the back of my mind to linger I guess.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to remember everything from the 45 mins tutorial so I wrote it out in my note book a few mins later – I treat that notebook as more of a journal because I can jot down ideas and thoughts as they come to me on public transport. There is also the knowledge that no one will see the silly things I write in there either – and believe me I come up with some crazy ideas sometimes which I know I could never do in a million yrs!

Anyway, here is the content of that entry word for word (minus the silly bits) and I warn you now it jumps about a bit and can be totally random at times:

“covered many things – was useful to discuss an overview of the project.
The questions asked by J enabled me to see the project from a high level view.

Interestingly J raised the question of Infinity after seeing on my blog that I head read up and seen documentaries by Marcus du Sautoy.

J asked how I would use the idea of Infinity in my work and if it had a place in Islamic Art. The answer was yes it does in a symbolic form – the idea of an ever-existent God can be said to be represented through the everlasting forms and shapes that can be created from geometric and symmetrical patterns. How I would use the concept of Infinity – well I’m not sure. It becomes quite philosophical and would certainly not be a clear and easy idea to convey to an audience. I guess I have not looked into it as much as I could and this is what J suggests I do – add some depth to the background of the subject area. Add that extra bit of meaning behind the work. I agree and will definitely look into it soon.

J also suggested I set myself short term goals and a timetable so that I have targets to work towards. He said my current level of work is fine but the use of the timetables could prove to be handy especially when things don’t work to plan and you can look back at how to organise and allocate time to certain things. I had actually thought about doing this before but wasn’t sure how to break down my time. Being part-time is like being in this other dimension sometimes (can’t imagine what it’s like for the online students!). I mentioned that with my attendance being only once a week and not having many deadlines meant that my project goals weren’t really concrete.

J says that doing a fort-nightly structure could work better for me and then even if things change I can change the week ahead’s targets because I can use the one day of attendance as a marker for seeing what progress is made before the next week commences.

I will be going away on holiday (God willing) in a few weeks for a few days in mid Feb (Muscat and Dubai 🙂 ) I want to have something significant done by then in terms of practical work.

J liked my project idea and the way in which I wrote my posts. The positive feedback is good motivation to keep going. The interest he showed in my prototype idea was another motivation to start practical work sooner rather than later. He mentioned active research and how useful this can be for artists.

We discussed the issue of time – using the two years of my course to my advantage by learning from failures and successes.

I ended up explaining the historical, religious and artistic relevance of my research and approach to this project. It felt a bit unusual going into this much detail about things which I usually am careful to address. I find that the average (non-religious?) person doesn’t understand why someone would be driven to certain extents by their religious beliefs. I have experienced this on many occasions and even with peers I feel I have to explain what my religious motivations are so that they have a better understanding of it – but it’s just not something they are familiar with. Ok it’s hard to explain what I mean.

It was refreshing that J was very open to what I was expressing and asked me questions that gave me the impression that he was very interested in hearing more and gaining a better understanding of where I was coming from. it also made it easier for me to discuss ideas and the things that influenced these ideas and then the way they would be implemented.

I will be creating a page on which will sit my mini timetables. They will be broken down by months and should ideally be updated every two weeks. It would be cool to have a dynamic calendar of some sort – similar to the one used on the MA Digital Arts wiki site. Should look in the current list of widgets and plug-ins available on WordPress to see if they have anything that will fit the bill.
Equipment needed for prototype:

– soldering iron?
– white super bright 5mm LEDs (100pcs) aprox. £7.50
– equipment wire at least 2m of each black and red
– two boards (mark grids out in pencil and allocate spaces beforehand)”

I hope the above conveys how useful that tutorial turned out to be. I hope I am able to fulfil my short term goals as a means to fulfilling the long term ones.