Exhibition Concepts Homepage

Subject: EXC - Exhibition Concepts - 2013

Course: Diploma of Visual Art (21885VIC_13)

College of Arts, Victoria University

Teacher Name: Lisa Cianci | email: lisa.cianci@vu.edu.au
Course Coordinator & Education Manager: Alan Morgans | email: alan.morgans@vu.edu.au
College of Arts Office: City Flinders - Tel: 9919 1517

Class Website - http://lisacianci.vucreativeindustries.com/2013/EXC

Class 01 - Introduction to the Subject and Units of Competency

This subject will focus on aspects of creative and professional practice related to exhibition concepts that will assist you now, and beyond the course. As this is the last semester for all of you, we will also be focusing on activities that will assist you with the end of year exhibition, or in fact, preparing for any exhibition or professional presentation of your artwork.

As this semester is a "teach out" of the old Diploma Course (while a new one has been introduced for first years), this subject is (in the spirit of remix) a slightly different approach to previous deliveries of these Units of Competency. I have tried to organise the subject to work for those of you who need to complete the two Units of Competency clustered in this Subject, and for those who have already completed Unit CUVCOR04A Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse (formerly Art History 3) but still need to complete Unit CULMS008B Conceive, develop & realise exhibition designs(formerly Context & Culture 3) or vice versa. If you have not done the Unit VPAU014 Manage creative and professional self which was Context & Culture 4, that Unit has been subsumed into the subject now part of the Art Business subject.

Confused? I can speak to students individually if you're not sure what you should be doing.

The assessment tasks have been designed to meet the requirements for competency in both Units. Those of you who have not completed CUVCOR04A will have to undertake the assessment tasks for that Unit - tasks 1,2 & 3, those who have not completed CULMS008B will have to complete task 4, which may be split into 2 projects - we will discuss this in class.


Units of Competency

Each unit is broken down into elements and performance criteria.  The element is the topic for the unit and the performance criteria is content being delivered and assessed. The assessment of individual performance criteria is embedded in a number of holistic assessment instruments.

CUVCOR04A Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse

Element/Learning outcome

Performance Criteria

1. Research concept ideas

1.1. Identify and source references which may inform concept development

1.2. Critically analyse sources and references in the context of current work

1.3. Collect, collate and analyse references to inform concept development

2. Generate concept

2.1. Develop a range of different, innovative and creative approaches for the concept based on the nature of own artistic practice

2.2. Reflect on and integrate ideas generated from research

2.3. Consider possible constraints for the concept, based on nature and purpose of work

2.4. Continuously reflect on and appraise ideas for the concept

2.5. Synthesise and refine concept based on research, reflection and relevant constraints

3. Conduct critical discourse

3.1. Identify relevant individuals to participate in critical discourse about work concepts

3.2. Identify potential ways in which discourse may be undertaken, and select the most appropriate

3.3. Provide key information on work concepts and concept development including influences, evaluation of options and problem-solving strategies

3.4. Use effective communication techniques to generate discussion, debate and critical analysis of the concept

4. Adjust and refine concept

4.1. Undertake own analysis of concept and challenge ideas and approaches taken

4.2. Seek input and comments from others about the concept

4.3. Re-evaluate and refine options for the concept based on own analysis and critical discourse with others

CULMS008B Conceive, develop & realise exhibition designs

Element/Learning outcome

Performance Criteria

1. Interpret the brief

1.1 Analyse the brief to determine overall exhibition concepts

1.2 Participate in preliminary concept meetings with appropriate personnel to discuss exhibition requirements

1.3 Identify all relevant factors which may determine and affect the design

1.4 Discuss and agree upon the role of the designer in the overall exhibition development

2. Conduct and evaluate research

2.1 Assess the material to be exhibited in relation to the development of the design

2.2 Identify and source references which may inform the design process

2.3 Critically analyse sources and references in the context of the current design project

2.4 Consider the impacts and potential of new and emerging technologies to inform the design

2.5 Collect, collate and adapt materials to develop initial design concepts

3. Generate and assess ideas

3.1 Generate a range of ideas for the design which respond sympathetically to the brief and provide creative solutions to technical issues

3.2 Discuss ideas and collaborate with relevant personnel to ensure contribution of ideas to the initial concept

3.3 Continuously reflect on and appraise ideas for implications on cost and time, technical feasibility, and suitability to meet the brief

4. Develop and document the

4.1 Hold ongoing discussions with relevant personnel so that additional or changed requirements and new ideas are considered and incorporated during the development of the design

4.2 Ensure that agreement is reached with relevant personnel in relation to consistent artistic interpretation

4.3 Evaluate initial concepts and select the most appropriate approach, giving consideration to budget, research findings and ongoing reflection/discussion

4.4 Develop the exhibition designs from the initial concepts ensuring:

4.4.1 consistency with the exhibition concept
4.4.2 collection needs are taken into account
4.4.3 research findings are incorporated
4.4.4 ideas are technically feasible and demonstrate awareness of parameters and resource constraints
4.4.5 ideas demonstrate effective use of materials
4.4.6 integration of universal access principles

4.5 Organise or undertake testing and experimentation with selected exhibition design

4.6 Develop accurate records of the design, including all relevant information

5. Communicate design ideas and make amendments

5.1 Present draft exhibition plans and specifications to relevant colleagues in an appropriate format

5.2 Participate in the initial and ongoing evaluation of the presented designs

5.3 Negotiate and agree to modifications to the design and undertake any necessary amendments

5.4 Agree to the final designs and produce accurate and comprehensive documentation to support implementation

5.5 Present final designs, plans and specifications to all relevant personnel and confirm that all production requirements have been met

6. Liaise with others to
implement exhibition construction

6.1 Liaise with relevant personnel to ensure that all exhibition production, occupational and public health and safety legislative requirements are met, quality standards are adhered to and work is undertaken within item, budget and technical constraints

6.2 Participate in ongoing production meetings and evaluation of the exhibition design

6.3 Ensure that any design modifications are agreed, noted and acted upon

6.4 Inform relevant personnel of design changes

6.5 Update any required documentation and record and file according to organisational requirements



Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task

Weighting (%)

1. Blog 25%

2. Managing & Documenting Creative Content


3. Virtual Exhibition - Group Project


4. Exhibition Development and Realisation



Make sure you read the Subject / Unit Guide linked here for further detail on Units of Competency and Assessment.


Class Activities

1. Getting to know you

Each class member will speak briefly about their own creative practice and also their experience with digital media and web technologies so I can get an impression of the level of technical ability across the entire class. You are not expected to have any previous knowledge of the systems and applications we will be using in class, but some of you may have skills in these areas.


2. Creating a Wordpress Blog

Using a blog as a method of reflective practice, self promotion, networking, exhibition and presentation of creative content and keeping place for documentation of artworks.

Even artists that use no digital media in their creative practice will eventually need to deal with web technologies in communicating with others, building networks, applying for funding and exhibition opportunities and managing or documenting their work (especially if it is of an ephemeral nature).

A blog can be used in a number of ways as stated in the Assessment Task 1 document. Wordpress, as the most ubiquitous of the free, open source blog applications, has many advantages for artists - especially as it is relatively user friendly to set up - you don't need to have any web design skills as most elements are enabled or installed by selecting a range of options in the setup "dashboard" area.

You don't necessarily have to use the blog posts as a journal style website if you don't want to (although you will need to do this as part of the assessment task). You may use the site to create static pages and image galleries, portfolios, and a range of other functionalities available from customising with widgets.

Today we will begin by getting everyone to create a Wordpress.org blog. If you already have a wordpress blog, it's an opportunity to help one of your classmates with the setup process, or to spend some time on adding customisations and tweaking your widgets.

We may only get as far as creating a blog and choosing an initial theme - don't worry if your theme isn't really perfect for you. We will be looking at artist's requirements and what functionality we want from a theme. You can always change your theme without losing any blog posts that you may already have. Although, if you choose a radically different theme layout, you may need to consider how your media content will work in a different theme.

We will begin by going to the Wordpress User Guide at:


This is a very user friendly guide to get you started, with step-by-step instructions and pictures to help you. My role will be to get you started as a group, then to individually help you with the specifics that you want to set up on your particular blog.

If you want to work in pairs to help each other and take turns in setting up a blog, you can do this, and it will help you to remember how to do it if you are going through the steps twice.

Today you should try and get through:

1. Get Started - http://learn.wordpress.com/get-started/
(Register with WordPress.com); and

2. Get Acquainted - http://learn.wordpress.com/get-acquainted/
(Explore the Dashboard)


3. Videos and guest speakers throught the semester

Throughout the semester we will watch a variety of experimental art videos, documentaries and have a few guest speakers (TBA). You will be given at least a week's notification of when guest speakers are coming to class.

I will be selecting a diverse range of videos to show you in class, but I will also be relying on you to select videos that we can all watch in class time.

As a starting point, there is a website called "UBUWeb" : http://www.ubu.com/ that hosts a myriad of art videos and audio files from famous authors reading their own books to experimental video pieces.

I would like everyone to select a video no longer than about 15 minutes and each week we will watch two or three of your own selections. I will ask you to respond to these videos on your blog - you can post a link to the UBUWeb URL and your impressions of this work and any other relevant content.

Your selection doesn't have to be a video from UBUweb - you might find something on Youtube or elsewhere, but it must be art-related, and please watch it yourself first to make sure it is suitable to show in class - we can't show anything too risque that may offend students or may breach university policies. I would prefer that it is something easliy accessible on the web so that students can also watch these videos outside of class time if anyone misses a class or if we run out of time in class to watch them all. The only video I will show that you won't find online is Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present - I have that video and will bring it to class 3 so I hope you can all make it to that class.

I will draw up a schedule of which students will present a video at which classes. I need to know beforehand what your selection will be so I can watch the video myself and write some questions for you to consider.

Here is a list of videos I am proposing to show you over the first 8 classes this semester, although I may change this selection a little:

  1. Laurie Anderson - Oh Superman, Walking and Falling (1982)
    Toshio Matsumoto - Mona Lisa (and others) (c. 1973)
    Superflex - Burning Car (2008)

  2. Kirby Ferguson - Everything is a Remix (2010)

  3. Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present (2012)

  4. Carl Michael Von Hausswolff - Hashima (2010)
    Sharon Lockhart - Lunch Break (2009)

  5. Salvador Dali - A Soft Self Portrait (1967)

  6. Tracy Emin - Collected Shorts (1995 - 1998)

  7. A selection from Fluxfilm Anthology (1962 - 1970)

  8. Hans Richter - Ghosts before Breakfast (1927) & Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947)


So don't choose these if you see them on UBUWeb or Youtube! I will allow you to select the viewing content for the following 9 classes - so aproximately 2/3 students' selections per class.

Questions to consider for today's videos (please respond in your blog):

Can you think of any other performance artists that crossed over into popular culture as Laurie Anderson did in the 1980s?

What do you think of the differences in technique/content/context between these videos made in the 1970s, 80s and 2000s?

What are the issues relating to exhibition of video art? Consider logistics in the gallery / intellectual property online / preservation of format.



Homework / Readings

Your homework will be to read:

Wordpress - 3. Get Focused - http://learn.wordpress.com/get-focused/

Think about how you are going to use your blog. The exercises on that web page are fairly general, so think about them in terms of an artist's practice and how the blog might possibly be used to your advantage. How many ways could it be used? What's useful to you personally?



Some interesting websites and blogs by artists and designers







Some interesting image gallery sites (not blogs, but interesting ways of presenting visual content using web technologies)