05E: Excursion to Out of Hand: Materialising the Digital exhibition

Out of Hand: Materialising the Digital at MAAS

Out of Hand: Materialising the Digital at MAAS

In week 5, we will visit the Out of Hand: Materialising the Digital exhibition at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (previously known as Powerhouse Museum) in Sydney.

We will meet at the front of the museum at 10.30. The concession entrance fees is $8 (please remember to bring your student card). You can find details of the museum (including how to get there) here: https://maas.museum/powerhouse-museum/

The focus of this trip is to examine the application of media, materials, and technologies in current media arts and design practice first hand. This visit feeds directly into the assessment 2 of this subject. Please be prepared for conducting research on the objects for your second assessment. It is envisaged that we will spend 1.5 hr with the exhibition and discussion.

While you are at the museum, you are strongly encouraged to visit other areas and exhibitions. There are many displays that utilise a variety of media technologies and materials to engaging audiences and viewers.

Below is what you will need to consider for your assessment 2:

  • Gather research materials

In the second assignment, Media Artworks analysis, you are asked to:

  • choose one work that you feel strongly about
  • research the artist, his/her intention in creating the work, the central ideas he/ she is conveying in the work
  • critically analyse the work in terms of its craft
  • describe the physical presentation of the work in details
  • assess how well the artist achieves his/ her ideas or intention through the work’s material manifestation.
  • speculate on the reasons the artist may have made certain decisions (for example, the exhibition space, technical details in the install, the choice of materials used and so on).

The intention of this analysis to ‘reverse-engineer’ an artwork, to understand how ideas are transformed into physical, material works through production, installation, and exhibition.

This is the time to apply and practice what you have learnt in the first 4 weeks of the session (defining fields, research processes, identifying motivation, and finding out how the work was realised). After the excursion/ exercise, we will be moving our focus to material research.

So the focus of your enquiry at the exclusion will be on the works: How do we talk about work? How do we talk about work materially?

Step 1: Describe

  • Describe your encounter/ experience of the work?
  • How does the work appear physically?
  • What are the elements that make up the work?
  • What materials is it made out of?
  • How is it presented?

Step 2: Analyse

  • How do these elements that make up the work (both material and immaterial) elate to each other in its presentation?
  • How is the ‘coming together’ of different elements/ materials achieved?
  • What kind of material experimentation the work may have undergone?
  • If there are narratives or ideas embedded in/ embodied within the work, how is this achieved through the elements and  materials?
  • What kind of dialogues does the work have with its audience?

Step 3: Critique

  • Does the work consciously make reference to past works or practices? How does it do this?
  • What traditions or practices may the work be pointing to (even if this is a breaking away from a tradition)? How is the work speaking with these other existing works and practices?
  • How successful is the work in creating and conducting dialogues with past practices?
  • How does the audience participate in this dialogue?

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