Course Title: Extend cultural research expertise

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: VART6377C

Course Title: Extend cultural research expertise

School: 340T Art

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6149 - Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts

Course Contact: Deborah Williams

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4215

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Anthony Riccardi

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will develop skills and knowledge skills and knowledge required to extend and refine individual cultural research capability, both in the context of own practice and as part of the broader cultural context.

Independent professional practice in the creative industries involves the ability to research and engage with current cultural debate and with cultural history and theory.
At this level, you will engage in a self-directed independent research process.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUARES602 Extend cultural research expertise


1. Establish own practice in wider context

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Consider relationship of own practice to broader contemporary cultural context 1.2 Explore relationship of practice to particular aspects of cultural history and theory 1.3 Consider how own work relates to or differs from work of other professionals 1.4 Analyse progress of individual practice, and influences that have shaped this development


2. Extend research capability

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Investigate ways to extend individual research that support professional practice and self-development 2.2 Develop areas of research to support current or planned developments in practice and broader areas of interest 2.3 Conduct comprehensive analysis of critical writing as part of ongoing research practice


3. Refine and articulate own positions and ideas

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Apply critical analysis and expanding research activity to growth of personal ideas 3.2 Participate in current cultural debate with peers and within wider community 3.3 Request and use critical feedback from others 3.4 Develop substantiated ideas on cultural topics 3.5 Develop and present information in formats that meet industry and academic standards and conventions

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate your competency in the above elements.

Details of Learning Activities

In this course, the student learns through:


  teacher directed group activities/projects

  online research

  group discussions

  independent research

Teaching Schedule


Class content

Task / Assessment due dates


Week 1


Introductory talk


Research essay brief is handed out and requirements are explained

Bibliography handed out


Week 2


Post modernism 1

Historical context to postmodernism and the other topics of this module; overview of Post structuralism and postmodernism; Introduction to post structuralist and post structuralist thinkers.



Week 3


Post modernism 2.

Saussure The main elements of Saussure’s Structural Linguistics

Research essay questions developed.



Week 4


Post Modernism 3

Levi-Strauss: The application of the Structuralist approach to Anthropology

Barthes: Structuralism in relation to the study of culture. Lyotard: Legitimation. Grand vs. Little Narrative.



Week 5


Post Modernism 4

Baudrillard: Hyperreal. Simulacra. Orders of Simulation

Derrida: Deconstruction. Text. Binary Oppositions. Centralized term/Marginal term. De-centering. ”Free play of Binary Opposites”. “Under Erasure”. Slippage. Difference/Difference



Week 6


Post Modernism 5

Foucault: His study of history. Discourse. Archaeology. Episteme. Examples of Foucault’s approach, in relation to the history of madness, imprisonment and medicine

Artists and movements:

Postmodern architecture-Finlay, graves, Bofill, Site, Blom, Gehry,

Artists and movements

Trans Avant-Garde: Chia, Clemente

Neo Expressionism: Penck,Baselitz, Immendorf, Kiefer.

Neo Classicism: Mariani, Andrejevic, Komar and Melamid



Week 7

Post Modernism 6

Other figuration.

Schnabel, Salle, Fischl, Tansey, Bartlett , Rothenberg, Richter, Muniz, Wall

The Other

Wojnarowicz, Coplans,


Polke, Prince, Baldessari, Bidlo, Brown, Foss, Roberts

Graffiti, kitsch, “low art”

Basquiat, Haring, Koons, Pattern and Decoration: Schapiro, Taaffe


Booth,Henson, Zahalka, Tillers,

Short Films

Viola, Campus



Week 8


Post Modernism 7

Sculpture/site specific/enviroment

Cragg, Fritsch, Hirst, Kusama, Wodiczko, Gearing

Graffiti, kitsch, “low art”

Basquiat, Haring, Koons, Pattern and Decoration: Schapiro, Taaffe


Booth,Henson, Zahalka, Tillers

Short Films

Marclay, Philipsz



Week 9


Feminism and gender 1

A discussion of the term “feminism” and the different types of feminisms; a short history of feminism from the French Revolution to the present day, outlining not only significant historical developments but also the changing ideas and activities of First, Second and Third wave feminism;

Definition and explanation of the term “gender” and related issues; essentialism vs. non-essentialism; psychological background to feminist theory, especially post-feminist theory; an account of the ideas of Freud in regards to infant sexuality and the formation gender; Freud’s influence on feminism and feminist critique of Freud



Week 10


Feminism and gender 2

Psychological background to feminist thought continued; the ideas of Jacques Lacan regarding gender development; Lacan’s

influence on feminism and feminist critique of Lacan

Three feminist thinkers- their ideas discussed: Luce Irigaray, Helene Cixous, Julia Kristeva



Week 11


Feminism and gender 3

An examination of women artists and how they implemented feminist ideas into their work.

Artists: Edelston, Chicago, Guerilla Girls, Kelly, Sherman, Lacy, Holzer, Kruger, Mendieta,

Australian: Bins, Fabye, Jill Posters, Wilson, Watson, Allen

Short Film

Joan Jonas



Week 12


Art and politics 1

The ideas of Karl Marx; Dialectical Materialism; his economic, political and social theories; his critique of Capitalism; Ideology; Gramsci; Marx and art; various Marxists’ attitude towards Modernism; Modernism and Socialist Realism in Russia; Post Marxism and revolutionary politics post 1968: the relation between Post Marxism and Post structuralism



Week 13


Art and politics 2

The function of art in a Marxist context; an examination of the works and ideas of Hans Haake; an examination of the works of other artists: Miereles, Burgin, Avalos, Hock, Sisco, Hernandez ,etc

Australian: Larter, Dolk et al, Dun, Gittoes





Week 14


Post colonialism

The idea of Post colonialism as a discipline; its aims and practices in relation to art; an examination of some postcolonial thinkers- Fanon, Said, Bhabha, Spivak

The application of postcolonial ideas in relation to art by examining modern African art as practiced in Africa and as practiced in America by artists of African descent

Artists in Africa-Odutokun, Samba, Ledy, Tokodagba, Muefangejo

African-American Artists -Bearden, B Saar, A. Saar, Piper

Australian: Tjakamarra, Onus, Gough, Bennet




Week 15


The creative process 1

A general coverage of the creative process, its stages, problems, strategies and solutions and ideas taken from various visual and non-visual artists including Picasso, Georgia O’Keefe, Kandinsky, Nolde, DeChirico, Dali, Giacometti, Matisse, Celmins, Pollock,

Research essay handed in


Week 16

The creative process 2

creative practices continued; Paula Rego, Antony Gormley, Anthony Caro, Doris Salcedo, Alix Lambert






Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

An extensive bibliography is given to the students.

library and online resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is on going throughout the semester. Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through completion of a body of work that demonstrates concept development, understanding of materials and adhering to the guidelines of working in a studio.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment for the first semester of this course is in the form of a research essay with a topic of the student’s own choosing but with extensive consultation with the lecturer. The research essay is designed to inform and benefit his/her practice from a practical, historical, conceptual, or theoretical viewpoint. In addition, the student is also required to situate her/his research into contemporary contexts, including postmodern, feminist/gender studies, political or postcolonial discourse

To demonstrate competency in this course, the student will need to complete the research essay to a satisfactory standard and will receive feedback on all assessment.


Assessment Matrix

Assessment matrix  


Unit title

Create works of art for public spaces

RMIT Unit code


National code


Assessment task

Elements/ PCs

*Foundation Skills


*Performance Evidence


*Knowledge Evidence



1. Research Essay




1.1 - 4

2.1 - 3

3.1 - 5


- Interprets and evaluates theoretical and contemporary material from selected information sources for use in own practice.



- Develops complex, logically structured information incorporating synthesis of research outcomes and informed cultural criticism, using structure, format and language to suit a specific purpose and audience.


Oral Communications


- Participates in exchanges of complex ideas and solutions with others and uses questioning techniques and careful listening to elicit their feedback and confirm understanding.


- presents complex detailed information using language, tone and pace appropriate to the audience and purpose.


Navigate the world of work

- self-directs independent research to support professional practice and self-development


- meets obligations to comply with industry and academic standards when presenting information


Interact with others

- Identifies and uses appropriate communication methods and practices to initiate and participate in discussion and debate with others, readily accepting constructive criticism when presenting information.


- demonstrates sophisticated control over oral and written formats to present comprehensive cultural information


Get the work done

- independently sets up and implements tasks required to define own research expertise


- Uses systematic, analytical process to determine research strategies that support own professional practice and personal interest.

Evidence of the ability to:

* critically analyse the features of own practice and make connections with the broader cultural context


* investigate ways to extend own research capabilities and develop professional research capability in cultural history and theory


* develop and present information following industry and academic standards and conventions


* use effective interpersonal skills to articulate and debate complex ideas and seek feedback from others


To complete the unit requirements safely and effectively, the individual must:


* explain the aspects of the broader contemporary cultural context that relate to own practice


* list and describe possible ways to extend individual research


* explain how critical analysis  can inform own positions and ideas


* explain how to develop “substantiated  ideas” on cultural topics


* outline academic conventions and industry standards for the presentation of information and ideas


Other Information

Other information



You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work.  This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.



RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.


Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)

All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.

Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1 (unresolved);



Reasonable adjustment

In assessing whether a particular adjustment is reasonable consideration should be given to:

·         the student’s disability and his/her views

·         the effect of the adjustment on the student, including effect on his/her ability to achieve learning outcomes, participate in courses or programs and achieve independence

·         the effect of the proposed adjustment on anyone else affected, including the education provider, staff and other students

·         the costs and benefits of making the adjustment.

As a result, what constitutes "reasonable" varies on a case-by-case basis and the balance is sometimes difficult to strike.  However, it is clear that education providers are not required to lower academic standards or disregard the needs staff or other students. In more complex cases discussion with the disability service will be useful. It may be useful to examine previous judgements in relation to the DDA.

Language Literacy & Numeracy

An RTO needs to fit LLN into the delivery of its training and assessment as it has an important role in:

·         redressing any deficiencies in its students’ key LLN skills,building the generic skills of teamwork, communication and problem solving that are highly valued by employers.

Employability skills

In addition to developing skills and knowledge for a particular job, this program also aims to help you to develop broad work skills, known as Employability Skills. There are eight employability skills.

Employability Skills which feature in the Diploma of Visual Art include:

• Communication

• Teamwork

• Problem solving

• Initiative and enterprise

• Planning and organising

• Self-management

• Learning

• Technology

Employability skills are embedded in the units of competency in your program. When you demonstrate that you are competent in your particular job skills and knowledge you are also demonstrating that you have developed relevant employability skills. Further information about the employability skills you will develop in this program is available at: chapter/EmpSkillsMandText

Course Overview: Access Course Overview