Workshop 11: Testing

 Christian Boltanski, Shadows from the Lesson of Darkness, 1987 Installation, Sculpture, 12 oxidized copper figures, candles

Christian Boltanski, Shadows from the Lesson of Darkness, 1987 | Installation, Sculpture, 12 oxidized copper figures, candles

It was exciting to see the working prototypes, and to hear the myriad of different approaches to the project’s brief in week 10’s presentation. It was encouraging to see how most technical challenges were confronted (and embraced!).

In this and the following 2 weeks, we will be focusing on the completion of your projects for final assessment in exam week 1 (week 15). Workshop times will be devoted to project development and extensive testing. We will also plan for the final presentation of the works. Please bring your projects and components to work on in class. Any suggestions on technical exercises, demo, and support in this period are welcome (please give your suggestions to your tutor).

You may also want to spend time to review artworks and theories that contextualise your project to develop your artist statements.

Dan Graham, Two-way Mirror/ Hedge Projects, 2004

Dan Graham, Two-way Mirror/ Hedge Projects, 2004

Below are some questions that respond to the prototype presentation which require more thoughts:

Audience motivation:

  • What attracts the audience attention?
  • Is it appealing to look at?
  • Does its mechanism or texture compels the audience to operate or touch it?
  • Is it puzzling that entice the audience to work out something?
  • What motivates the audience to view/ interact/ participate/ engage with your work?
  • Is it a game with a goal or task?
  • Is it fun to play with (and what does this mean)?
  • Is it a pleasurable, rewarding, exciting experience?
  • If your work presents a one-to-one (only one player can engage with it), consider the experience of the on-lookers—are they involved or engaged in watching another audience member interact with their work?

Narratives and contexts:

  • Does your work have a ‘back story’?
  • Does it refer to a period in time like the 1950s or the 19th Century?
  • Does it refer to an experience like going to a fair, or to the cricket?
  • Will your work benefit from setting of a narrative or context rather than an abstract ‘blackbox’ or ‘whitebox’ (gallery) setting?
  • Consider how you can deliver the narratives and context in the installation and presentation of the work. Would a wall paper, posters, furnishing  help give your work a context?
  • Would spot lighting the work help create the appropriate atmosphere for the work?
  • Would situating your object within a set help audience create meanings?


  • How will your final work look: appealing, disturbing, frightening?
  • How would it feel?
  • How big is it in relation to the audience: life-size, miniaturised, out-of-proportionally large?
  • What is it made out of?
  • Does the materials have connotations to a place or a time?
  • Are you referring to the 18th century Enlightenment period or perhaps your own childhood?
  • Are you conjuring up a specific space like the 16th century table setting or a House of Horror at the fairground?
  • Are you using cotton to make your work to suggest a ‘naturalness’?
  • Are you using velvet to suggest riches and wealth?

Installation and final presentation:

  • Would a bright white space work best for your project?
  • Does your work need a darkened space for the work to operate?
  • How will it sit in space: suspended in the middle of the room or on a plinth against the wall?
  • How will it be lit?
  • Can you use lighting to draw the audience attention to an aspect of the work?

Download the Project Planning Pro forma to complete and return to your tutor.
Download Plans of available spaces (Gallery space is G18. Blackboxes are G14 and G15, Foyer space is G99) for reference.

Jeffrey Shaw, The Legible City, 1988 - 91

Jeffrey Shaw, The Legible City, 1988 – 91

Final project presentation: some details
Due date: Tuesday 7 November 2016

Installation period: Tuesday 1 November to Monday 30 October to Monday 6 November from 9.00am to 4.00pm excluding Saturday and Sunday.
*** Work will NOT be permitted to be set up after 4.00pm on Monday 6 November ***

Space allocation: Gallery Space (G.08), Black Box 1 (G14) and Black Box 2 (G15), Foyer Space (G99). Other spaces such as G.04, and G.05 will be available if needed.

Equipment need: It is your responsibility to to arrange any loan of equipment with Glenn well in advance. Please discuss with your tutor if you have difficulties sourcing the necessary equipment.

Assessment: The works will be assessed on Tuesday 7 November. All students are encouraged to come in and look at the works presented by the class.

Un-install: You can start to uninstall your work starting at 3.30pm on Tuesday 7 November. Glenn will be available on the day until 5.00pm. Please return all borrowed equipment and return the spaces to their original conditions (as instructed by Glenn).

Assessment criteria:

Exhibition of artwork/ installation/ performance
Artist statement (200 words) presented with the artwork

Assessment Criteria:
Research engagement and application of relevant materials and discussions through the session
What is the range of materials used in the development of the project? What is the quality of the critical analyses of relevant media arts works and their contexts? How well is this research applied in the development of the work?

Articulation of concept and project development in response to the set theme and relevant ideas
How well is the central concept explored articulated in the final work in terms of its use of materials and technologies? How is its response to the set theme and related ideas realised in the final work?

Evidence of exploration of experimentation of media and materials in the final work
What kind of understanding of media and materials is evident in the final work? How has audience experience been explored in the work? How does put conceptual development, knowledge and skills into practice?

Functionality of the final work and effectiveness in how presentation addresses participatory audience experience
What is the quality of audience experience? How is this aspect incorporated into the final work and its presentation? What is the quality of the presentation?

Submission Method:
Exhibition of artwork accompanied by written statement

Susan Hiller, From the Freud Museum, 1991-6

Susan Hiller, From the Freud Museum, 1991-6


  1. Go through your prototype presentation with your tutor for any feedback and comments.
  2. Answer the feedback questions on audience motivation, narratives and contexts, aesthetics, and installation (for your development).
  3. Plan how you will complete the project.
  4. Submit information on space and equipment need.
  5. Use the time to do some work!
Tacita Dean, A Bag of Air, 1995

Tacita Dean, A Bag of Air, 1995

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