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Engaging audiences with 'Basic Design': a social media proposal

Engaging audiences with 'Basic Design': a social media proposal



Abstract: How can digital media be used to stimulate public engagement with archival material held by galleries, museums and other cultural institutions? This is the question posed by Hidden ...

Abstract: How can digital media be used to stimulate public engagement with archival material held by galleries, museums and other cultural institutions? This is the question posed by Hidden Collections, an AHRC funded collaborative research project running from October last year to July 2013. As a member of the Image Group, one of five interdisciplinary research teams involved in Hidden Collections, I worked with our project partner Tate to develop a social media strategy for a new temporary exhibition called ‘Basic Design’, which is on display at Tate Britain until 25 September. Developed by Tate Research the exhibition explores an influential period in British art school education during the late 1950s - early 60s. It draws on collections and archive material held by Tate and the National Art Education Archive. This presentation introduces our brief for the Basic Design project and outlines our project plan and activity to date. I conclude the presentation by reflecting on my own learning from the project, drawing out areas of investigation relevant to my PhD research into the Newcastle-Gateshead ‘public art collection’.



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  • Image: Rebecca Farley, Basic Design display, courtesy Tate Britain.Texts, photographs, exhibition catalogues
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Engaging audiences with 'Basic Design': a social media proposal Engaging audiences with 'Basic Design': a social media proposal Presentation Transcript

  • Engaging audiences with‘Basic Design’: a social media projectfor Tate ResearchRebecca FarleyICCHS Postgraduate Research Conference29 May 2013
  • Hidden Collections
  • Hidden CollectionsWorkshops, Birmingham and
  • The Hidden Collections ‘Image’ Group• Rachel Anchor, Univ. of Leicester, School of English -PhD on the Crimean War in the public imagination• Rebecca Farley• Lorna Hards, Birmingham City University - PhD onPublic Art Strategies in Birmingham• Ian Marshman, Univ. of Leicester, Archaeology andAncient History - PhD on the use of signet rings inRoman Britain• Rebecca Norris, Univ. of Cambridge, History of Art -PhD on art patronage in the Venetian Terraferma (14C-16C).
  • Tate Research• Art history, conservation, museum studies• Cultural theory and cultural policy• Art education• Research Centres• Research Projects• Tate Papers – online research journal• Fellowships, placements, research posts
  • Hidden Collections ResidentialNottingham, April 2013
  • Art School Educated / Basic Design
  • Basic Design
  • Image Team visit to ‘Basic Design’display, Tate Britain, April 2013
  • Hidden Collections / Basic DesignProject aims• To develop public debate and discussion around the‘Basic Design’ exhibition.• To test new social media tools not currently used by theTate Research Team.• To unearth new content and histories that refreshes thediscussion around ‘Basic Design’ as an arts educationapproach.
  • ‘Basic Design’ - themes and ideasArtist-educators –mapping links andinfluenceBasicDesignalumni –oralhistoriesRichardHamilton - sixdegrees ofseparationWomen artists- under-representationVisualexercises –digitalgamesBasicDesignSummerSchool
  • Summer School, Scarborough, 1956
  • ‘Basic Design Summer School 2013’• A virtual summer school: June – July 2013• Based on 3 visual exercises inspired by Basic Design• An invitation to take part – incentive of Tate Membership(?)• Exercises framed as simple instructions or prompts• Managed, promoted and presented through online andsocial media activity• Range of complementary platforms• Target audiences
  • Exercise One: Point1. Take a plain, whitesheet of paper and adie2. Draw a line acrossthe centre of the paper3. Throw the die andtry to hit the line4. Mark the point atwhich the die lands5. Repeat actions 3and 4 (a number oftimes)6. Consider therelationship betweenthe dots on your paper.‘Random Points’. Artist: Gillian Hargreaves.Probably based on an exercise set by RichardHamilton. Source: National Arts EducationArchive/VADS.
  • Exercise Two: Shape‘Take a square andpersonalise it’(reported verbal instructionby Victor Pasmore)‘Exercise-Shape’. Unknown Artist.Probably based on an exercise set byVictor Pasmore. Source: National ArtsEducation Archive/VADS
  • Exercise Three: ColourExperiment with acolour’s range and createa dynamic, energeticmass, by repeating andoverlapping a simpleshape (such as a letter ornumber) in different tonalvariations of the colour.Based on an instruction fromMaurice de Sausmarez (1964)book ‘Basic design: the dynamicsof visual form’, included in theTate Britain display.
  • Hidden Collections / Basic DesignTarget audiences• Current art students• Basic Design alumni• Tate Collective• General Tate• Tate Research networks
  • Hidden Collections / Basic DesignPlatforms• Tate website (Blogs) – research context• Tumblr – image submissions, virtual exhibition• Twitter – project promotion, image submissions• Email – targeted invitations (alumni), image submissions
  • Tate Britain: Basic Design: join the tumblr Summer SchoolTate Britain Basic DesignOn display until September 1st 2013Basic Design is a display at Tate Britain which explores a new and radical approach to trainingin art schools introduced in the 1950s, and the role it played in revolutionizing art educationacross Britain. As approaches to art education are reconsidered today, it is time to ask howsignificant it was and what we can learn from it.Formal exercises, focused on line, shape and colour, were a key part of the training, intended todevelop underlying artistic skill. Three exercises, set over the next six weeks will give you theopportunity to develop your skill and give your opinion on how art should be taught.Join in, use your imagination and win Tate membership for a year!Complete the exercises, tweet them using #basicdesign or upload them to tumblr, and we willreward the most original and interesting responses with Tate membership!For more information and instructions for exercise one go to:http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/blogs/visit-archivesor http://basicdesign13.tumblr.com/Tumblr Summer School2013• Proposal now with Tate• Possible delivery June -July• Hidden Collections /AHRC project report
  • The Hidden Collections experience• Tate Research• Social media platforms• Virtual teamwork• ‘Art School Educated’• Partnership working
  • References• ‘Basic Design’ – Tate Britain display and catalogue(2013)• de Sausmarez (1964, Studio Vista: London), BasicDesign: the dynamics of visual form• National Arts Education Archive/VADS• Tate Collection• ‘Tate Digital Strategy 2013-15 Digital as a Dimension ofEverything’
  • Images courtesy of Tate Collection:• Slide 11: Victor Pasmore, Points of Contact No. 2, 1964• Slide 13: Richard Hamilton, Five Tyres abandoned, 1964© The estate of Richard Hamilton.• Slide 14: Wendy Pasmore, Oval Motif in Grey andOchre, 1961• Slide 20: Session of group criticism, ScarboroughSummer School, Yorkshire, c.1956 © Estate of TomHudson• Slide 30: Alan Davie, Celtic Dreamboat (1965)• Other images: views of Basic Design display, TateBritain, 2013 © Rebecca Farley
  • Thank you.Rebecca FarleyICCHSr.farley@newcastle.ac.ukhttp://rebeccafarley.wordpress.com