HIST07017 2019 History / Theory of Art 2 (Contextual Research)

General Details

Full Title
History / Theory of Art 2 (Contextual Research)
Transcript Title
History / Theory of Art 2 (Con
80 %
Subject Area
HIST - History / Theory of Art
YADA - Yeats Academy Art Dsgn & Arch
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Angela Mehegan, Louis McManus, Emmet O'Doherty
Programme Membership
SG_AARTT_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art SG_AARTT_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Fine Art

The main focus in this module is to facilitate specialised History/Theory research and approaches that reports and evaluates on a range of self-directed research activities including a contextual essay and the submission of a rigorously researched literature review linked to History/Theory topic areas.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Identify methodologies that are central to the research, documentation and assessment of trends and issues in contemporary visual culture


Present, catalogue and evaluate relevant  theory/ policy based frameworks and discourses and explore ways of thinking about and communicating, in an effective and independent manner, ones' own understanding of the role of these frameworks.


Organise, structure and articulate their understanding of the relevance and significance of their self-directed study in the context of contemporary themes, theories and trends


Engage in debate and discussion on themes and issues relevant to their self-directed course of study and studio practice.


Critically appraise their findings in the submission of a thematic/contextual word essay and a History/Theory research piece with Literature Review and annotated bibliography elements.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

 Lectures supported by images and case study texts, provide the context and background to areas under discussion. Theme-led seminars offer opportunities for more detailed textual analysis and group discussion. Workshops allow for focused interaction, research methodologies, oral communication and structured debate.

Module Assessment Strategies

The assessment strategy focuses on methods to gauge the student's developed understanding of the subject of History/Theory of Art  in context and evaluates how students apply visual research methodologies and discover ways in which developed information literacy skills are used  and applied in the field of History/Theory of Art:

  • Interpretative/historical research
  • Visual analyses and academic writing
  • Options and Issues for Using and Presenting Visual Research
  • Discipline-specific thematic contextual research

When an essay/written assignment is submitted the student receives feedback on a piece of related ‘formative’ work first with a chance to make revisions and improvements before handing in a ‘summative’ essay for assessment. 

Repeat Assessments

Repeat projects based on failed CA components from assignments issued during course of semester.

Indicative Syllabus

This module puts particular emphasis on critical thinking and the reporting and evaluating of relevant textual and visual source material. The syllabus addresses two core elements: self-directed research activity and rigorous, scholarly academic writing

  • Contemporary art practices and contexts
  •  Current History/Theory Writing Genres
  • Visual Art Sector (VAS): Networks, Organisations, Artist-Led Collectives. Community, School, Organisation, Institution
  • Policies & Strategies, Research & Evaluation
  • Case Studies, Artist Engagement. Curation and Commissioning


  • Advanced Visual Research Methodologies: Framing the Field of Visual Research & Analytical Frameworks and Approaches
  • Scholarly Academic/Literature Review/Report Writing
  • Frameworks to Analyse Creative Interventions
  • Evaluation Procedures/Toolkit checklists

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Thematic Contextual Essay Continuous Assessment Essay 50 % Week 7 1,2,5
2 History/Theory Essay Continuous Assessment Essay 40 % Week 12 3,4,5
3 Ongoing CA Participation Pass/Fail Assessment - % OnGoing 1,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Seminar Flat Classroom Seminar / Workshop 2 Weekly 2.00
Tutorial Flat Classroom One-to-one Research Tutorial 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2011-08-09 The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods SAGE
ISBN 9781847875563 ISBN-13 1847875564

This 42 chapter volume represents the state of the art in visual research. It provides an introduction to the field for a variety of visual researchers: scholars and graduate students in art, sociology, anthropology, communication, education, cultural studies, women's studies, ethnic studies, global studies and related social science and humanities disciplines. The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods encompasses the breadth and depth of the field, and points the way to future research possibilities. It illustrates "cutting edge" as well as long-standing and recognized practices. This text is not only "about" research, it is also an example of the way that the visual can be incorporated in data collection and the presentation of research findings. Contributors to the book are from diverse backgrounds and include both established names in the field and rising stars. Chapters describe a methodology or analytical framework, its strengths and limitations, possible fields of application and practical guidelines on how to apply the method or technique. The Sage Handbook of Visual Research Methods is organized into seven main sections: I) Framing the Field of Visual Research II) Producing Visual Data and Insight III) Participatory and Subject-Centered Approaches IV) Analytical Frameworks and Approaches V) Vizualization Technologies and Practices VI) Moving Beyond the Visual VII) Options and Issues for Using and Presenting Visual Research

Required Reading
2016-03-10 Visual Methodologies Sage Publications Limited
ISBN 1473948908 ISBN-13 9781473948907

A new edition of Gillian Rose's bestselling guide to researching the visual. With over 28,000 copies sold worldwide, it is the go-to book for students and researchers across the social sciences and humanities.

Required Reading
2013-05-29 Representation SAGE Publications Limited
ISBN 1849205639 ISBN-13 9781849205634

Since 1997 Representation has been the key go-to textbook for students learning the tools to question and critically analyze institutional and media texts and images. This long-awaited Second Edition: update and refreshes the approach to theories of representation by signalling key developments in the field addresses the emergence of new technologies and formats of representation, from the internet and the digital revolution to reality TV includes an entirely new chapter on celebrity culture and personalisation, to debates about representation and democracy, and involve illustrations of an intertextual nature, cutting across various technologies and formats in which 'the real' or the authentic makes an appearance offers new exercises, new readings, new images and examples for a new generation of students This book will once again prove an indispensible resource for students and teachers in cultural and media studies.

Required Reading
2013-06-04 Anywhere or Not at All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art Verso
ISBN 9781781680940 ISBN-13 1781680949

A new reading of the philosophy of contemporary art by the author of The Politics of Time Contemporary art is the object of inflated and widely divergent claims. What kind of discourse can help us give it a critical sense? Anywhere or Not At All is a major philosophical intervention in art theory that challenges the terms of established positions through a new approach at once philosophical, historical, social and art-critical. Setting out the claim that contemporary art is postconceptual art, the book elaborates a series of conceptual constructions and interpretations of works by Navjot Altaf, the Atlas Group, Amar Kanwar, Sol LeWitt, Gordon Matta-Clark, Gerhard Richter and Robert Smithson, among others. It concludes with new accounts of the institutional and existential complexities of art space and art time. Anywhere or Not At All maps out the conceptual coordinates for an art that is both critical and contemporary in the era of global capitalism.

Required Reading
2017-12-27 The Verso
ISBN 1786634201 ISBN-13 9781786634207

Tracking the postconceptual dimensions of contemporary art If, as Walter Benjamin claimed, "it is the function of artistic form ... to make historical content into a philosophical truth," then it is the function of criticism to recover and to complete that truth. Never has this been more necessary or more difficult than with respect to contemporary art. Contemporary art is a point of condensation of a vast array of social and historical forces, economic and political forms and technologies of image production. Contemporary art expresses this condition, Osborne maintains, through its distinctively postconceptual form. These essays--extending the scope and arguments of Osborne's Anywhere or Not at All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art--move from philosophical consideration of the changing temporal conditions of capitalist modernity, via problems of formalism, the politics of art and the changing shape of art institutions, to interpretation and analysis of particular works by Akram Zataari, Xavier Le Roy and Ilya Kabakov, and the postconceptual situation of a crisis-ridden New Music.

Recommended Reading
2016-10-21 Practicable Mit Press
ISBN 0262034751 ISBN-13 9780262034753

How are we to understand works of art that are realized with the physical involvement of the viewer? A relationship between a work of art and its audience that is rooted in an experience that is both aesthetic and physical? Today, these works often use digital technologies, but artists have created participatory works since the 1950s. In this book, critics, writers, and artists offer diverse perspectives on this kind of "practicable" art that bridges contemplation and use, discussing and documenting a wide variety of works from the last several decades. The contributors consider both works that are technologically mediated and those that are not, as long as they are characterized by a process of reciprocal exchange. The book offers a historical frame for practicable works, discussing, among other things, the emergence and influence of cybernetics. It examines art movements and tendencies that incorporate participatory strategies; draws on the perspectives of the humanities and sciences; and investigate performance and exhibition. Finally, it presents case studies of key works by artists including and offers interviews with such leading artists and theoreticians as Claire Bishop, Thomas Hirschhorn, Matt Adams of Blast Theory, Seiko Mikami and Bruno Latour. Numerous illustrations of artists and their works accompany the text. ContributorsMatt Adams (Blast Theory), Jean-Christophe Bailly, Samuel Bianchini, Claire Bishop, Jean-Louis Boissier, Nicolas Bourriaud, Christophe Charles, Valrie Chtelet, Jean-Pierre Cometti, Sarah Cook, Jordan Crandall, Dominique Cunin, Nathalie Delbard, Anna Dezeuze, Diedrich Diederichsen, Christophe Domino, Larisa Dryansky, Glria Ferreira, Jean-Paul Fourmentraux, Gilles Froger, Masaki Fujihata, Jean Gagnon, Katrin Gattinger, Jochen Gerz, Piero Gilardi, Vronique Goudinoux, Usman Haque, Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen (HeHe), Jeppe Hein, Thomas Hirschhorn, Marion Hohlfeldt, Pierre-Damien Huyghe, Judith Ickowicz, Eric Kluitenberg, Janet Kraynak, Bruno Latour, Christophe Leclercq, Frdrik Lesage, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Peter Lunenfeld, Lawrence Malstaf, Julie Martin, Seiko Mikami, Dominique Moulon, Hiroko Myokam, Ernesto Neto, Mayumi Okura, Eddie Panier, Franoise Parfait, Simon Penny, Daniel Pinkas, Chantal Pontbriand, Emanuele Quinz, Margit Rosen, Alberto Snchez Balmisa, Frederik Schikowski, Arnd Schneider, Madeline Schwartzman, Luke Skrebowski, Vanessa Theodoropoulou, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Andrea Urlberger, Erik Verhagen, Franz Erhard Walther, Peter Weibel, Renate Wiehager, Catherine Wood, Giovanna Zapperi, Anne Zeitz, David Zerbib Edited by Samuel Bianchini and Erik Verhagen with the collaboration of Nathalie Delbard and Larisa Dryansky.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Duncombe, Stephen, Cultural Resistence Reader, Verso, 2002

Documents in Contemporary Art Series: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/series/whitechapel-documents-contemporary-art

Heartney, Eleanor,  Art & Today, Phaidon, 2009

Jones, Caroline A, Sensorium: Embodied Experience, Technology and Contemporary Art, MIT Press, 2006

Johnson, Stephen, The Everyday: Documents in Contemporary Art, Whitechapel MIT Press, 2004

Annotated Bibliography.” The Writing Center. 2003. University of Wisconsin, Madison. 5 March 2004 <http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/AnnotatedBibliography.html>.

Punch, Keith, F, Developing Effective Research Proposals, Sage, 2006

Journal Resources

Aesthetica combines editorials with critical debate on contemporary visual culture.

Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context and Enquiry: In depth analysis of contemporary art related to society, politics and philosophy.

Artforum / Artforum International Contemporary art magazine containing essays and reviews by noted critics and artists.

Art Bulletin and Art Journal  Peer reviewed articles on the visual arts. Published by the College Art Association (CAA).

E-fluxA publishing/curatorial platform and archive for contemporary art, culture and theory internationally.

Parkett International contemporary art explored by writers and critics.

URL Resources

Documents in Contemporary Art: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/series/whitechapel-documents-contemporary-art

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) https://doaj.org/

IMMA The What Is_? Programme What is https://imma.ie/what-is-art/overview/  An introduction to some of the key concepts and themes in modern and contemporary art for all audiences.

Visual Thinking Strategies http://www.vtshome.org/

Read Write Think; an initiative of the International Reading Association  http://www.readwritethink.org/

Project Zero: Artful Thinking   http://www.pzartfulthinking.org/index.php

Association of Art Editors Style Guide https://www.artedit.org/style-guide.php

Journal for Artistic Research https://www.jar-online.net/



DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) https://doaj.org/



Art 21: https://art21.org/

ARTSTOR: https://www.artstor.org/

Other Resources

Documenta, Kasel www.documenta.de  ev+a, Limerick www.eva.ie  Frieze Art Fair, London www.friezeartfair.com Liverpool Biennial www.biennial.com/  Manifesta, European Biennale of Contemporary Art www.manifesta.org Skulptur Projekte Münster www.skulptur-projekte.de  Venice Biennale www.labiennale.org 

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead www.balticmill.com Centres Georges Pompidou, Paris www.cnac-gp.fr Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao www.guggenheim-bilbao.es ICA Institute of Contemporary Arts, London www.ica.org.uk Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin www.kw-berlin.de Maxxi, Rome www.maxxi.parc.beniculturali.it/english/museo.htm Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York www.metmuseum.org  MOMA Museum of Modern Art, New York www.moma.org  Reina Sofia, Madrid www.museoreinasofia.es  Saatchi Gallery, London www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk Serpentine Gallery, London www.serpentinegallery.org Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York www.guggenheim.org Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam www.stedelijk.nl Tate Modern, London www.tate.org.uk Whitechapel Gallery, London www.whitechapel.org

External visits tp galleries, museums, art spaces and artist-led organisations linked to Professional Practice & Work in Context modules.

Additional Information