8.30 am: I put together papers for the external examiner and headed to the School to meet him for an pre-examination discussion. On such occasions, it’s useful to walk the examiner through the back story of each candidate’s studentship prior to their viva voce:
Principle: If you want to communicate an idea immediately and clearly, then don’t use either acronyms or short-forms for concepts. 10.20 am: Professor Meyrick, Dr Webster, and I had a consultation on campus to look at portfolio development for BA and MA level provision. But without investment and additional resources, our ambitions and vision will come to naught. Idealism is easy; strategy and implementation … now there’s a challenge. As a School, we operate like a circus troop: streamlined, efficient, flexible, and committed, one to another. 11.45 am: Back at the mothership, I mopped-up some postgraduate admin, caught up on emails, and prepared for an MA Fine Art application interview. (This will be the last one for the year’s intake, I suspect.)
1.30 pm: A lunchtime External Examiner’s Board for the MA Fine Art:
These gatherings (and this was Professor Ferry’s last as External Examiner for Fine Art) are fruitful beyond any outcome that they’re intended to achieve. It’s one of the few occasions in the year when we have the opportunity to talk above the level of ‘HE bunkum’. (What an indictment of the system.) I long for the return of independent art schools.
2.45 pm: Back at homebase, I finalised MA feedback admin, caught up on emails (which are increasing in number as I progress towards Freshers’ Week), and steered my attention to the studio, once again. To begin, there was a headphone monitoring problem to solve and a rack-mounted power conditioner to install. 4.15 pm:
Evening: 6.30 pm: Practise Session 1. 9.30 pm: After the final shift of the day, I sat down with the family to watch a fiftieth anniversary documentary on the notorious ‘Tate bricks’ (Carl Andre’s, Equivalent VIII (1966)), which was purchased by the Tate Gallery in 1972. In 1968, Stanley Kubrick used a monochrome minimal sculpture (the proportions of which were 1:4:9; the squares of the integers 1, 2, and 3) to represent the agency of an alien race in his 2001: A Spacey Odyssey (1968). Around the same time, the guardian of the Village in the ground-breaking TV series The Prisoner (1967–8) was a white sphere – the ‘Rover’. Between these three enigmas a discussion may be had. That’s, in part, what makes art history and visual culture fascinating: