5 established guest artist/ tutors, each in possession of experience as artists, writers and educators; 87 MA art students with an opportunity to take sound learned advise working toward a goal to becoming pro artists/ useful, or even greatish, sounds like an excellent recipe for creative development yes?

Having taking a booking with Matt Franks (my only elected booking incidentally), we approached ideas of postmodernist practices (phew) several artists including Theaster Gates, Michael Ritchie and Simone Leigh, progressive movers in their field.

Many thanks to an opening I snared time with Rosalie Schweiker, who laid down roots of power systems being an concealed network and the most overt (e.g. politicians) being architectural pillars, visibly expressive POI. Remembering colour identifies position opaque/ transparent, significant for the Rothschild’s and Saud’s of the world toward the more brash and jarring for heads of state billionaires.

Today’s words was complex and networks, together reflects my interior form to express macro dynamics. Noting the complex spectrum of interests and driving force behind my practice.

I spoke of creating environments/ installations which engineered/ restricted movement as per the latest construct and previous few with Marsha Bradshaw, who encouraged thinking on creating experiences and environments that reflected my ideology surrounding my practice of discarding stereotypical paradigms of identity. 



The word of the moment was “political”…. Is it? Am i really Marvels next hero Black Panthers cousin Black Sphinx? Hard-edged personality, shrouded in civil rights activism by night, supported by a safe government job as the local park, as opposed to a cuddly embracing social-political engineer, yogi barfly by night. Basically less Sinead O’Connor and more U2. Over the past few seasons at UAL i’m higher learning that Art (capital A) is so not a thing we do, not anymore. F[expletive] Art! We create experience that just pertain to be under the broad spectrum of art before further analysis and compartmentalization. So perhaps a change of course title to MAFE or at least MAFa



A further talk with fellow student/ potential colleague at UAL PhD funding talk went so far sideways Google Maps couldn’t help me. A conversation too early perhaps? Feeling overwhelmed? Or just clueless? Possibly, alas, this brings many an earlier cry from peers for UAL not having enough Lecturers in studio cupboards, bins and drawers on standby for confused, concerned or just lonely, however a lack of confident, qualitative non prejudicial, non tutor-led (push-push-nudge), open peer-to-peer talks starting with “hi, how’s art?” for example, only inhibits establish a confident elevated pitch; an essential requirement for selling ones elite identity to art pro’s and the general populous interested in such society productive activities.

Thus i’m stuck deer in headlights of my next move, looking at a new acquisition of parts to make something with just a few weeks remaining, contemplating to get my gluteus maximus into gear and build an experience that allows you, the viewer to feel encumbered, an experience that I and many face as we scale the elitist but cosy ivory tower.


ian barrington