14 May 2010

The crit

So we had our crits yesterday. It was just the PGDip(stick)s presenting, but the Masters students came along to make up numbers and contribute their considered opinions. They didn't contribute much. All but two of them sat their expressionless and silent for the entire duration. A poor showing.

I ended up going last. I had two of the three staff members present suggest that I do some video. The one who didn't had already suggested the same a few weeks ago, so that's a clean sweep of the bonuses.

One staff member suggested last week that I was in danger of becoming formulaic, and repeated this almost word for word yesterday. Yes, like anything, there is such a danger, and if I'm still doing the same kind of drawings in five years' time someone please shoot me. However, I haven't been doing them for that long, and I think they've still got some legs in them yet.

At the start of each crit, we gave a short intro, which included saying what kind of feedback we'd like and how we'd like the discussion to go. All I said was that I didn't want to hear the phrase 'the space between', which one staff member had used in every single crit so far – as in 'You should examine the space between X and Y.'

And they said I'm in danger of becoming formulaic!

The main thing to come out of it for me is that they need to get some new lines. Oh, and I am considering doing a video.


Matt Whitwell said...

The more enthusiastic fourth years have worked out self-organised crits. No staff are allowed and of all the time I've spent at art school these sessions have been the most constructive, interactive and by far the most interesting I've ever had.

Nothing like the presence of a tutor to kill a good discussion.

Dipstick no.3 said...

Good on you and your enthusiastic bunch Matt, pay 5k get initiative.

I'm sure getting your good dicussions killed by a tutor is the least of your worries, they are far to busy working on their slide-shows and reading this blog.

David Cauchi said...

While commendable, there are two main problems I see with relying exclusively on self-organised crits.

The first is that there is a real danger of them turning into self-congratulatory echo chambers.

The second is that you do not have the depth of knowledge necessary to properly critique each other's work.

Self-organised crits are a good idea, and we've done them as well (though, unfortunately, circumstances prevented me from attending ours), but they are not a substitute for the tutors doing their job properly.

Matt Whitwell said...

I wouldn't say I rely exclusively on self-initiated crits, I have attended every compulsory crit this year after all. But it's good to get each other talking alone rather than the staff crits where it is usually 3 hours of them talking and the rest, specifically the 2nd and 3rd years, just keeping their traps shut. I recently had I run in with a staff member where they completely misinterpreted what I said and wouldn't let it go, even after i said we were both talking about different things several times. At least the students don't assume they're right. So far the echo chamber hasn't shown itself yet, lets hope it doesn't.

visitors since 29 March 2004.