Detail from Cabbages in an Orchard; The formers and forms of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Graham Fagen, an exhibition at The Glasgow School of Art, July - August 2014

Material culture and critical practices of art and design >

Research Themes
Material Culture

Research Staff
Dr. Frances Robertson

Affiliated Department
Forum for Critical Inquiry (FoCI)

There are many separations between practical and academic approaches to the study of the material culture of art and design. Academic art and design historians and curators rarely have direct knowledge of or contact with the processes of designing, making, and putting into circulation art and design works. In order to address this gap in understanding, this project proposes to develop an invigorated methodology for material culture research that is rooted in the distinctive approaches to making, researching, understanding and circulating objects particular to the art school.  

The project will hold a conference in October 2015 which will investigate new directions in material culture generated by creative, critical and theoretical approaches to art and design practice. These will include material/immaterial relations in digital- and paper-based production, and the material culture of critical theory, as well as offering an exploration of more object-based preoccupations of art and design practitioners and critics, such as the cultures of collecting and display. While the phrase ‘material culture’ in connection with an art school might invoke a vast assembly of elite and collectable objects of art and design with an established and indeed conservative place within cultures of collection and display, the conference will turn a more quizzical eye on activities of hoarding and archiving as a component of critical practice. In addition to the distinctive mix of content generated by the context of a working art school, we also aim to ask whether researchers associated with art and design institutions can offer any particularly new and distinctive methods and ideas to the field of material culture studies, and what kind of negotiations and alliances that practitioners in this field of enquiry have made with other theories and disciplines.

It is anticipated that a call for papers will be announced in March 2015. Conference themes will include: Hoarding/collecting/archiving; Digital collecting; The ‘haunted’ internet; Drawing, marking, and the production of knowledge; Writing/unwriting art and design; and the afterlife of dead technologies.

Frances Robertson on RADAR

Assembler / défaire / recréer

Assembler / défaire / recréer Robertson, Frances (2016...

05/04/17 10:09

Power in the landscape: Regenerating the Scottish Highlands after WWII

Power in the landscape: Regenerating the Scottish Highlan...

05/04/17 9:17

Introduction: Multisensory materialities in the art school

Introduction: Multisensory materialities in the art schoo...

05/04/17 9:04

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