November 21, 2016

8.30 am: Into the dark, dank day. The on-coming pedestrians looked grim and determined, as though readied for the onslaught of a hard winter. 9.00 am: The beginning of a day of one-to-one tutorials related to the presentation project for the Art/Sound module:


The aim of this meetings ensure that students are on the right track (so to speak), doing what is doable by the deadline, and producing a submission of sufficient academic rigour. In the intervals, I put together an expenses claim and started considering my response to a call for sound art submissions, of 2-minutes length, related to the voice:


An idea came to me, intact, when I was tossing and turning in bed last night. The source material will be all the podcasts that I’d recorded of the (late) British Landscape art history module lectures. Each academic year’s recordings will be laid end to end, as a continuous sound stream. This’ll produce a track of about 14-hours duration. The track will then be compressed to the length of two minutes. The full set of years will be treated in the same way, and layered, from the most recent to the earliest recording, on top of one another, by a process of superimposition. In so doing, the process of creative development will be analogous to the processes of compression and stratification in geological development. The outcome could be awful. But you have to try.

Nice socks! In my day, odd socks were a sign of radical dissent from social norms:


12.30 pm: After 9-years service my office MacBook died. RIP. We’d shared some lovely times together. 2.00 pm: An afternoon of the same. On the whole, the group’s progress is for this juncture in the presentation’s development. But in every case, there’s everything to play for.

6.30 pm: Practise session 1. 7.30 pm: For the next two evenings, I’ll be updating my research profile. No fun. Necessary stocktaking and discloser, though.

Principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • A module ought to stretch your intellect, challenge your assumptions, broaden your horizons, and present and opportunity for you to apply and improve a range of relevant skills. If that’s not been your experience, then something has gone woefully wrong.
  • Student: ‘This is hard!’ Tutor: ‘That’s right!’
  • Address a question to which you really want to discover an answer. Don’t treat the essay project as either module or mark fodder. It can be a window onto an adventure.
  • Content before style. Always.
  • If it sounds daft, then it probably is.
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