Paul Gough: Keynote Speech


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Presentation delivered at ARLIS UK & Ireland Conference, Bristol 2013

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Paul Gough: Keynote Speech

  1. 1. ARLIS Conference 2013 Have the Border Guards lost interest? Professor Paul Gough UWE
  2. 2. What are the big issues facing you? Behaviours • Material is used differently than mainstream • Art students use space differently; more like a studio • Arts students browse; they trust in serendipity • They prefer the tactile, often over the digital…
  3. 3. What are the big issues facing you? • Less specialist art libraries and librarians • Subject area is not well covered by electronic resources • Issues about the value of and promotion of special collections • Funding being withdrawn from smaller arts organisations, and many museum librarians under scrutiny
  4. 4. The growth of information over 300 years Academic articles published per year 1726 344 1750 699 1800 3,066 1850 13,439 1900 58,916 1950 258,284 2000 1,132,291 2009 1,477,383 Source: Arif Jinha, Article 50 million: An estimate of the number of scholarly articles in existence, Ottawa 2010
  5. 5. 6 Presenting the Evidence Practice: research traditions & infrastructures - Research through practice: work conceived in a research context - Practice-as-research work conceived in other contexts and presented in a research framework John Adams, 2012
  6. 6. How we appear… Well evidenced Not well evidenced Andrew Patrizio, ECA / University of Edinburgh
  8. 8. Art, Design: a confident sector? • Mature research environment • User-centred. Strong on KT and KE • Volume of PGR completions • Embedded use of practice as research • Institutional support tied to strong recruitment, impact factors, GDP.
  9. 9. Sub panel advice (contd) ‘Can it be accessed, seen, visited, heard, or reviewed either in itself or through a comprehensive record of the event, activity, installation etc? Can it be ‘re-visited’ by those in the field who may want to find out more about what was done, why it was done, using which methods and approaches, and the eventual outcome. How do other people know about it? Can future generations of researchers access the new knowledge, interrogate and employ it?’ (Prof Paul Gough, Sub-Panel Chair, Art & Design)
  10. 10. RAE08 Art & Design Sector report ‘The sub-panel welcomed the general improvement in the presentation of research outputs. In most cases, the work was well presented and… the portfolios of further evidence had been thoughtfully and intelligently compiled. In a number of cases, departments had augmented their outputs with a comprehensive web presence… being made openly available on-line. In some submissions, more attention could have been given to providing fuller evidence of the research process so as to give sub-panel members the most comprehensive picture of how the output related to the field of enquiry, the questions that were being addressed and the overall articulation of the research context.’[emphasis added]
  11. 11. Moocs- a sustainable business model? • Envy – would rather be inside seeing what’s going on • Brand – want to be associated with an elite group • Marketing – Providing a taster / showcase and generate recruits • Learning – we can spin what we learn back into the organisation • Ethical/Charitable– desire to generate a public good… John Rushforth, UWE
  12. 12. Estelle Morris, MLA, 2011 Museums and libraries only make real sense when they connect with people; when they become part of the life of the nation and its citizens. The arts and cultural sectors are united by their embodiment of civil and civilised society. Culture is at the heart of enabling people to be active and dynamic citizens; of raising aspirations; of encouraging engagement and strengthening ties within and between communities.
  13. 13. ACE advice, 2012 • 1 place the library as the hub of the community… • 2 make the most of digital technology and creative media… • 3 ensure that libraries are resilient and sustainable… • 4 deliver the right skills for those who work in libraries…
  14. 14. The Secret Lives of Books Guerilla Dance Project and Tom Mitchell of University of the West of England
  15. 15. ‘…these pages fall like ash’ Artists collective Circumstance and Tom Abba of University of the West of England will work with leading authors Nick Harkaway and Neil Gaiman
  16. 16. “Despite the growth of ebooks, the comments one mostly hears are appeals to a book's physicality…. Books are amenable to interaction -analysis, yet those interactions are so complex, so embedded in our minds and in our culture, that it seems impossible to separate them from the thing itself. Books are encoded experiences, they are repositories of the experiences we have with them, and they are ultimately souvenirs of themselves. The publishing industry has long profited from this unique assemblage of product and meaning. As a result, it has been slow to respond, philosophically and organisationally, to the challenge of new media. … The radical ephemerality of the MP3 file suits music in the same way that it destabilises the book, which has always existed to provide the corresponding physical weight to literature's intellectual heft.” James Bridle Wired magazine
  17. 17. Bristol: Great Reading Adventure 2010
  18. 18. Stanley in the Wards, signed ‘me’
  19. 19. “ Banksy Hits New York’s Most Famous Museums.”
  20. 20. “Museum shows are like Center Parcs: you can do it once to get it out of your system, but you don't want to live there.”
  21. 21. “Expert insists stencil of sweatshop worker with Jubilee bunting is a genuine Banksy.” hild-labour-image-wall-poundland- fuels-banksy-hype
  22. 22. “A highbrow specialising in Bansky believes it is a Bristol-born artist’s work.” worker-image-on-shop/
  23. 23. Summary • 1 Border Guards, open access and permeability of disciplines • 2 Distinctiveness, unique character or special pleading? • 3 Art Libraries as places of trust, integrity, and ‘creative innovation’ • 4 AHRC, REACT and hybrid creativity • 5 Stanley, Banksy and iconic communication
  24. 24. A last word “The people of Bristol have always been very good to me – I decided the best way to show my appreciation was by putting a bunch of old toilets and some live chicken nuggets in their museum. I could have taken the show to a lot of places, but they do a very nice cup of tea in the museum.”
  25. 25. Thank you!
  26. 26. Assessing impact in UK The emphasis is on assessing rather than measuring impact with the key assessment criteria being: Reach (how widely the impact was felt) Significance (how transformative it was)  Expert review of impact case studies  Impact Template/Statement
  27. 27. 63 Presenting the Evidence Practice: research traditions & infrastructures - Research through practice: work conceived in a research context - Practice-as-research work conceived in other contexts and presented in a research framework
  28. 28. UWE employability rises • UWE at an institutional level. The key figures are: • National unemployment: 8.8% UWE 5.3% • Professional and managerial employment (i.e graduate jobs): national figure 63.7% UWE 66.4%