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MRes Art: Moving Image
A unique Research Masters degree devoted to the study of Artists' Moving Image.
Applications are now open for 2016-2017. See the ‘How to Apply’ tab on this page for more details.
Over the past two decades, artists' moving image has proved itself a dynamic and thriving area of art practice to be encountered in the gallery, museum, cinema auditorium, and a host of other unexpected venues, but what about the rich and fascinating histories, theories and aesthetics that have led artists to turn to film and video? And what insights can a study of artists' moving image offer us for understanding the diverse practices that now fill art spaces internationally as well as in the UK?
A unique association between LUX and Central Saint Martins has created a research-led Masters degree to address these questions. The course is focused on nurturing a discursive culture around moving image art which offers a number of unique features for students interested in studying and working in the field of artists' moving image.
This course is part of the Art Programme.
Awards and scholarships available
Reasons to Apply
- MRes Art: Moving Image offers the opportunity of acquiring unique insight and depth into the subject of artists' moving image culture, through lectures, seminars and screenings with acknowledged scholars, artists and specialists in the field. Please see the staff profiles at the bottom of the page for information about our eminent contributors.
- Central Saint Martins was one of the first educational establishments to recognise the importance of the moving image as an art medium and continues to lead scholarship through its academic activities and related archives, such as the Moving Image Forum and the unique resource of the British Artists Film and Video Study Collection.
- You’ll benefit from our strong link with LUX, a key UK agency (based in London) for the support and promotion of artists' moving image practice, where you’ll have unique access to the professional working context of LUX as well as its large network of collaborating national and international institutions, artists and key arts professionals working with the moving image.
- You’ll have excellent access to the UK's only significant collection of artists' film and video works and the largest such collection in Europe, held by LUX, and use of the British Artists Film and Video Study Collection held at CSM.
- You’ll be well placed to pursue a range of careers in artists' moving image culture. You may opt for academic scholarship through doctoral research or choose to continue in professions within curating and film programming, distribution, publishing and journalism. For some graduates the course will enrich their own practice as artists working with moving image.
- MRes Art: Moving Image enables you to pursue your studies whilst also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities. You are expected to commit 30 hours per week to your studies; your taught input will normally be scheduled over a maximum of two to three days per week during term time.
King’s Cross, London. Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 7023
|Study Mode||Full time|
|Course Length||Full time: 2 years (over 60 weeks)|
Tuition fees for 2016/17: £4,125 per year. Please note that fees for second year of study will be subject to inflationary increase.
£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.
You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.
Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.
Tuition fees for 2016/17: £9,720 per year.
£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.
You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.
Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.
|Start Date||September 2016|
|Autumn Term Dates||Monday 26 September 2016 – Friday 9 December 2016|
|Spring Term Dates||Monday 9 January 2017 – Friday 17 March 2017|
|Summer Term Dates||Tuesday 18 April 2017 – Friday 23 June 2017|
Please send all completed applications and enquiries to Lucy Reynolds: email@example.com
Content and structure
MRes Art allows you to address a specialist area of fine art research and to explore the relationships between your chosen specialism and the broader fine art community in the context of our Fine Art Programme.
Synergies in our Fine Art Programme - incorporating MA Fine Art, MA Art and Science, MA Photography, MRes Art: Exhibition Studies, MRes Art: Moving Image, and MRes Art: Theory and Philosophy - create a dynamic context for exploring practices and issues within contemporary culture.
In its extended full-time mode MRes Art gives you the flexibility to access London's richly varied opportunities for work and study while maximising your personal and professional development.
MRes Art prepares you to work particularly in the academic and research contexts of professional environments, to undertake PhD study, or pursue independent research. The course benefits from links with relevant professional and academic organisations in London and internationally and from the varied expertise of its research staff.
The three pathways provide a focus for your study while also enabling you to explore shared ground and questions of disciplinary territories and boundaries.
MRes Art: Moving Image is the first course of its kind. Founded on a strong link with LUX, a key UK agency (based in London) for the support and promotion of artists' moving image practice, the pathway provides an opportunity to focus on theoretical and historical study of artists' moving image. Despite artists' moving image being one of the most visible and fastest growing contexts for visual arts practice, there is no existing centre of scholarship in this area and, at this time, practice runs far ahead of discourse. While huge amounts of work are being made and shown, the specific language to describe and respond to it critically remains underdeveloped.
MRes Art: Moving Image develops in-depth knowledge and exploration of artists' moving image as an evolving and discursive field of study. The postgraduate course presents an integrated series of screenings, seminars and set readings of key works, which together address a range of theoretical positions and historical contexts.
MRes Art: Moving Image supports and is shaped by:
- Development of scholarship and research in the subject
- Student access to the professional working context of LUX as well as its large network of collaborating national and international institutions, artists and key arts professionals working with the moving image
- Student access to the UK's only significant collection of artists' film and video works and the largest such collection in Europe, held by LUX, and use of the British Artists Film and Video Study Collection held at CSM
- Student projects that draw on LUX's experience of delivering public programming (exhibitions, screenings, commissions).
About the course
- MRes Art: Moving Image lasts 60 weeks structured as two consecutive periods of 30 weeks each (i.e. two academic years) in its 'extended full-time mode.'
- MRes Art: Moving Image is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises four units. Unit 1 (40 credits) and Unit 2 (20 credits) run concurrently and last 15 weeks. Unit 3 (40 credits) follows after the completion of Units 1 and 2 and runs for a further 15 weeks up to the end of year one. Unit 4 (80 credits) runs for 45 weeks, concurrently with Unit 3 to the end of year one, and then continuing to the end of year two.
- All four units must be passed in order to achieve the MRes but the classification of the award of MRes is derived from the marks for units 3 and 4 only.
- In year one we expect you to commit an average of 40 hours per week. In year two your study is predominantly self-managed but we expect you to commit an average of 20 hours per week. Across the two years, therefore, you're expected to commit an average of 30 hours per week.
The last decade has seen an unprecedented engagement with the moving image by artists who have found fresh modes of expression in its many forms and developing technologies - from digital to celluloid, from multiple projections in the gallery to new explorations of cinematic language. Following a century of marginalisation within the visual arts, the moving image is now widely established as a significant art form. But this rich emergent culture and practice is yet to be reflected in the current research and scholarship surrounding artists' moving image, which has not kept pace with the scope and reach of activity in the field.
MRes Art: Moving Image is the first course focused on an exploration of the important questions posed by contemporary moving image practices. Recognising the shortfall between current theory and practice, the MRes course offers students from a diversity of prior experience (including art, criticism and curation), an ambitious, discursive, critical framework from which to consider and engage with the implications of contemporary artists' moving image.
MRes Art: Moving Image is characterised by a unique link between CSM and LUX, both having long involvement in artists' moving image culture. Central Saint Martins was one of the first educational establishments to recognise the importance of the moving image as an art medium. Through its dedicated 4D pathway in the BA and the work of the MA it has made specific provision for students choosing to work with film and video, nurturing and supporting successive generations of artists, many of whom have since made significant contributions to the area. It continues to lead scholarship through its academic activities and related archives, such as the Moving Image Forum and the unique resource of the British Artists Film and Video Study Collection.
LUX is a national public arts agency that explores ideas around artists' moving image and supports practice through a range of activities including distribution of works, exhibition, education, publishing and research. It builds on a lineage of predecessor organisations (The London Filmmakers Co-operative, London Video Arts, and The LUX Centre), which date back to the 1960s. LUX is the only organisation of its kind in the UK. It represents the country's only significant collection of artists' film and video and is the largest distributor of such work in Europe, working with major international institutions including museums, galleries, festivals and educational establishments, as well as directly with the public and artists.
While laying the foundations for an in-depth knowledge of the subject, MRes Art: Moving Image promotes understanding of artists' moving image as an evolving and discursive field of study that touches on many areas of scholarship, from visual arts to experimental music. Rather than following established historical trajectories, MRes Art: Moving Image presents an integrated series of screenings, seminars and set textual readings of key works addressing a range of theoretical positions and historical contexts. Gallery visits and lectures augment the seminar programme.
MRes Art: Moving Image gives you the chance to engage with the academic and professional expertise of CSM and LUX, leading to an in-depth understanding of the current questions and contexts surrounding artists' moving image. The MRes course proposes new approaches to the history and theory of moving image culture, and promotes a professional emphasis through its unique association with LUX. It helps you create vital links to moving image organisations outside the academy, enabling you to develop the professional and academic skills needed for your chosen field of moving image scholarship.
MRes Art: Moving Image aims to lead UK scholarship in the international arena of artists' moving image through its academic activities (conferences, symposia and publications), facilitating research by its staff and serving as a platform for you to develop your interest and research towards potential MPhil and PhD study. A strong curatorial component locates you in the professional field of artists' moving image culture via lectures from visiting curators and artists, gallery talks and visits, and potential individual placements with museums, galleries and other relevant organisations in London and beyond.
MRes Art: Moving Image creates a firm foundation of knowledge from which you can frame and develop your chosen area of study and contribute to debate. The first year offers teaching in research skills while engaging you in the specialist subject of your pathway. At the same time you'll prepare for a personally directed programme of study - your research project. In the second year you'll pursue and realise your project. Your progress is supported through tutorials and critical discussions, and monitored through written assignments and presentations. Your realised project is the principal assessed work leading to the MRes qualification.
Unit 1 - Framing Artists' Moving Image
Unit 1 runs concurrently with Unit 2 and introduces you to the key theoretical, contextual and critical frameworks needed for an in-depth understanding of artists' moving image.
The unit offers seminar and lecture programmes to build knowledge of the key thinkers and debates that have emerged throughout the history of artists' moving image, from early explorations of cinematic perception such as Walter Benjamin's notion of the 'optical unconscious' to the influence of Marxist thought on the idea of a counter-cinema. At the same time these theories and theorists are located within the contemporary perspective of moving image practice - via, for example, the impact of counter-cinema on the current 'documentary turn' in contemporary artists' film.
The seminar programmes are supported by a series of film screenings hosted by LUX, which provide opportunities to debate and challenge questions raised. Gallery visits and lectures from visiting experts support the seminars and screenings.
Unit 2 - Thinking as Practice (Research Methodologies 1)
This unit, common to all courses within our Postgraduate Art Programme, helps you engage with the postgraduate and research community at CSM.
Unit 2 introduces the fundamental research skills that enable you to make informed decisions about appropriate methods to use in your chosen area of study and your professional future. The unit examines specific research skills and different kinds of research. Skills and knowledge areas covered include interviewing, literature search and review, archival skills, software for use in research and e-resources, feasibility studies, data analysis, referencing, citation and bibliographic conventions, and ethics. Seminars and workshops emphasise participation and the building of core research skills through practical exercises and small group projects.
Lectures ask how arts research and discourse is developed, shared and understood. The focus is on methods of learning, thinking, evaluation and interpretation as both practice based and theoretical forms of enquiry. The diversity of research activity at CSM provides a broad range of models and examples, with particular attention given to the place of practice in research projects.
Unit 2 is assessed by workshop assignments.
Unit 3 - Critical Practices (Research Methodologies 2)
Building on the introduction to research provided by Unit 2, Unit 3 - which is common to all three MRes Art pathways - increases your focus on in-depth understanding of research methods and how they're applied within the arts and humanities.
The unit aims to demonstrate the dynamic ways in which conceptual and theoretical frameworks can be developed through the application of research methodologies.
You're expected to relate your learning in this unit to preparation for your research project in the parallel part of Unit 4. Tutorial and workshop support helps you do this.
Unit 4 - Independent Research Project (IRP)
Unit 4 has two parts. Part One is undertaken in parallel with Unit 3 in year one. Part Two is devoted to independent study and the development and completion of your research project in year two.
Part One focuses on developing your research project proposal. It involves directed reading or viewing, the formulation of specific research questions and methods, and the production of a literature review (annotated bibliography) that forms part of your draft research project proposal. Your proposal's development is supported through increasingly student-directed seminars and group (as well as personal) tutorials, plus written guidance on the required contents of the proposal document. You'll explore issues of purpose, validity and feasibility in methodological and resource terms, negotiating external links, exchanges and access arrangements as required.
At the end of year one (weeks 28-30) draft project proposals, including the literature review, are presented for interim assessment through consultation with your tutor and group seminar feedback, and you receive written feedback confirming your plans and/or advising revisions.
All projects, including a commitment to the forms of your submission and appropriate ongoing supervision/tutorial arrangements, are agreed at the outset of year two.
A symposium shared across the MRes pathways presents and discusses all project proposals. A second group event involving invited professionals occurs early in the spring term of year two (prior to the PhD applications point). This event provides a discussion forum challenging you to recognise and debate key questions arising from your research project work to date.
Throughout the second year you lead interim presentations about your research, in person at seminar groups and individual tutorials and online, discussing progress, challenges and findings, and issues of form, audience and dissemination. A third event hosted at LUX at the end of year two presents and disseminates the project outcomes.
At the end of Unit 4 you're assessed through presentation of your realised research project in the agreed forms, the project proposal document, and a report describing and evaluating changes and progress. Your marks for Units 3 and 4 determine the classification of your MRes award.
Our Postgraduate Art Programme offers valuable opportunities to build transferable professional knowledge and skills. The exchange of perspectives with others through shared units, reading groups and debates helps establish stimulating and productive networks.
The focus on proposing and developing a major independent programme of study is supported by a shared professional practice lecture series featuring guest speakers plus opportunities to attend symposia and critique work in progress across subject areas. The Postgraduate Art Programme has wide-ranging links with professional organisations, collections and galleries, and includes opportunities for interaction and networking according to your personal career direction.
MRes Art: Moving Image is unique in its relationship with LUX, the national public arts agency that explores ideas around artists' moving image and supports practice through a range of activities including distribution of works, exhibitions, education publishing and research. The pathway is supported by professional expertise from LUX and benefits from its extensive connections.
MRes Art: Moving Image anticipates both academic and professional outcomes for its students, enabling graduates to pursue a range of careers in artists' moving image culture. Some may opt for academic scholarship through doctoral research. Others may choose or continue in professions within curating and film programming, distribution, publishing and journalism. Possible career contexts include festivals, biennales, galleries, museums and archives. And for some graduates MRes Art: Moving Image will enable further enrichment of their own practice as artists working with moving image.
For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit the Student Jobs And Careers section.
Selection to MRes Art: Moving Image is determined by the quality of your application (including a written indicative independent project proposal and supporting material). You'll also need to meet the minimum entry requirements as indicated below, but please note that these qualifications alone won't be sufficient to secure entry to the course.
Minimum entry requirements
We consider applicants who have already achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours degree. You can demonstrate this educational level by:
- Having an Honours degree or an equivalent academic qualification
- Having a professional qualification recognised as equivalent to an Honours degree
- Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be shown to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required
- A combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning that, taken together, can be shown to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required
English language requirement
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you send us an English language test score together with your application to prove your level of proficiency. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please clearly indicate this on your application form. When you have received your test score, please send it to us immediately. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the Language Centre website.
Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the External English Tests page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.
What we look for
We're seeking imaginative, resourceful individuals who are committed to exploring moving image.
Student selection criteria
Your application, indicative independent project proposal and supporting material will be assessed for:
- Evidence of skills and experience appropriate to the proposed field of enquiry
- Effective communication of the intentions, purposes and issues in the proposal
- The level of contextual awareness and expression of perspective in the project proposal
- The potential for realisation of the stated objectives within the timeframe of the course and envisaged resources
- Awareness of the range and nature of challenges implied
Applicants may be selected for interview following submission of the application form, indicative independent project proposal and supporting work. The interview is used to evaluate the extent to which a candidate demonstrates:
- The capacity for independent research
- Appropriate background knowledge and critical abilities
- Awareness of the cultural and social context within which their interests and work are situated
- Appropriate communication skills
- A readiness to participate collaboratively in debate and presentation
How to apply
You can apply for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.
Required information for all postgraduate course applications
You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:
- Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
- Current and/or previous education and qualification details
- Employment history
- Referee details (this course requires two, one of which should be an academic or professional reference).
Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.
Extra information required for applications to this course
Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation email that includes links to where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:
Initial project proposal
To apply for this MRes we require that you write an initial project proposal. This proposal should demonstrate your critical understanding and thinking. The course sets no boundaries to the fields of possible interest, and it is understood that proposals will evolve and change during the course (you will probably need to write between 800 and 1,000 words).
Summary of proposed project
Briefly describe what you are interested in undertaking and developing; describe the overall aims, objectives and rationale of the project.
Methods and resources
Briefly explain your proposed approach and the methods for structuring your project and ideas.
Highlight any problems you may encounter and how you hope to solve them.
Sources and references
Indicate key texts and sources. What resources will be involved? For example, access to archives, collections, specialist networks etc.
Any final points
Please briefly indicate any particular questions or further points in relation to your proposal.
You’ll be required to submit digital examples of previous written work and/or documentary material relevant to your research interests.
Please note, you can submit text and as many website links as you need to, but the portfolio form does not allow you to upload files.
Start your application now
We advise you to submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.
We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.
Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry.
What happens next?
We read and consider all application forms and personal references. Please note we give particular attention to your initial project proposal and references.
Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application form, preliminary selection is based on your project proposal and documentation of work and supporting information. You may then be invited to attend an interview. For candidates applying for external funding, interviews will be scheduled prior to funding body deadlines.
Can't attend the interview
If you're a home/EU or international applicant unable to attend for interview, the MRes Art: Moving Image pathway leader would hope to discuss your application by telephone.
In the case of applicants unable to attend for interview and unable to discuss their application by telephone, a decision regarding the offer of a place on the course will be made on the basis of a review of the application materials. We keep notes about decisions made following the initial application review and the interview process.
Selection is by two members of staff (normally the pathway leader and one other), and offers of places are made on the basis of our selection criteria. Applicants are informed of the decision via either the School Office or the International Office.
Applicants are informed of the decision via either the Student Administration or the International Office.
Open days are a great opportunity to meet staff and students and to find out at first hand about courses, teaching and student life. Visit the open day section for dates to book your session. Bookings can only be made online, not by phone or email.
Distribution as Preservation
At its origin in the 1960s and 70s, “video art” was intrinsically linked to television – both technologically, and conceptually. Rebecca Cleman, Director of Distribution EAI, presented a selection of rarely-to-never screened titles form the EAI catalog to discuss EAI’s preservation and distribution programs.
The Ambivalence of Influence: Brakhage, Warhol and after
In the 1960s the writer Parker Tyler examined together the films of Stan Brakhage and those made by Andy Warhol – contrasting the way in which they framed shots, edited footage, and thought about the camera itself – concluding that they represented opposite ends of the filmmaking spectrum at that time. The talk looked at some of the ways in which filmmakers (from the 1960s to today) who have referenced the work of Warhol and Brakhage in their work have expressed a profound ambivalence towards it – refusing either critique or homage.
Original Copies: The Limited Edition in Film and Video
Influenced by the practices of late-nineteenth century printmaking, the idea of selling artists’ films as limited editions arises in the early 1930s but remains unrealized at that time. Throughout most of the twentieth century, attempts to edition film and video consistently failed to achieve market viability. This changes in the 1990s, when a number of factors align to make such a model of distribution not only possible, but more and more preferred. The talk unfolded this history, proposing an account of the reasons behind the increasing adoption of the limited edition over the past twenty years, and will explore what implications this development has for the production, distribution, and acquisition of film and video today.
From Reform to Resource: Contemporary Art Practice and the Television Industry
For many decades, the relationship between art and the television industry was framed in terms of opposition, but in recent years television has tended to function as a resource for artists, rather than as an object of reform or reinvention. In particular, the late 2000s have witnessed a number of cross-institutional collaborations between artists, art institutions and broadcasters in Ireland, Mexico and Sweden. Informed by these collaborations, the lecture explores convergences and tensions between art and television production cultures.
Featured Project: Five Projectors in a Room
On 26 March 2015, we held a doctoral symposium entitled ‘Writing Histories of the Moving Image’. In response to the event, second-year MRes Art: Moving Image students Alexandra Anikina, Carly Whitefield and Sandra Wroe curated an installation.
‘Five Projectors in a Room (To Say Nothing of Moving Image Histories)’ presented five artists’ approaches to lost, destroyed or contaminated archive records. The film and video works projected in this installation explored which elements of history can and cannot be reconstructed.
John Latham’s Erth (1971) showed accelerating glimpses of Earth. Hito Steyerl’s Journal No. 1 – An Artist’s Impression (2007) reimagined a newsreel lost in the 1992 Bosnian war. Jane and Louise Wilson’s The Toxic Camera (2012) told the story of radiation-laden footage from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Europa Collage was a tape-slide reconstruction of work by Polish avant-garde filmmakers Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, made by London Film-maker’s Co-operative in the 1980s. Also taking inspiration from the Themersons, Bruce Checefsky’s Pharmacy (2001) re-performed their innovative ‘moving photogram’ experiment.
What initially attracted me to the course was its very specific focus and blending of disciplinary boundaries between the histories of art and film. The course offered great professional development experiences and opportunities: preparing and organising a symposium for the inaugural LUX/ICA Biennial of Moving Images in 2012; and collaboratively developing the curatorial framework for Inner/Outer [Space] a public screening and performance programme and online exhibition.
The flexibility of the second year self-directed Independent Research Project allowed me to focus my research around a series of interview-based case studies exploring publishing of artists' film and video. The extended engagement with the independent project opened up a rich vein of research that I am still investigating through conference papers and articles as well as in practice in my job sourcing artists' books and DVDs for the BFI Shop.
A long standing interest in and a later practice in moving image, led me to progress from a background in electronic music composition and sound arts. I was excited to learn about this kind of moving image that so interested and inspired me, and also to explore my critical writing and research interests, with a desire to inform my own video art projects, and also a route into academia.
I am now continuing my video art, audiovisual experimentation, and also embracing documentary-influenced filmmaking. The course split between Lux and CSM was fertile ground for some very different learning contexts and something very unique also. The depths between written theory and moving image spectacle converged over the course of the program, equipping us with research techniques and importantly knowledge of an under represented field of the arts.
The two years of MRes studies were very stimulating both intellectually and artistically.
I would encourage anyone with an interest in artist moving image to pursue the MRes course. We got a strong knowledge of the field’s history and theory from the first experiments with filmmaking to today’s practices and a deep understanding of the complex issues surrounding moving image practices, in terms of politics, ethics, distribution and diffusion. As a growing field in the arts, this course is a great opportunity to learn and to research thoroughly a personal field of interest. Alongside the theoretical engagement, the course also emphasises curating development, notably with LUX, which gave us all a great professional experience.
Since the end of the MRes, I have curated moving image programmes at the ICA as part of the ICA Forum and I have started a Moving Image Festival in Paris. In parallel I work on my own filmmaking practice.
The MRes course has pushed forward my understanding of curating and my own artistic practice. It’s a great course!
Enquire about this course
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