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MA Culture, Criticism and Curation Final Projects: Unknown Quantities

Space and Place, launch. Image: Glenn Michael Harper
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Published date
18 December 2018

For their final projects, our graduating MA Culture, Criticism and Curation students present a publication and a series of exhibitions and events. Working in partnership with international and national organisations, artists, designers and writers, these projects consider activism and representability, identity and the self, gender and work, community and experience.

Unknown Quantities is an annual publication created by students from Central Saint Martins MA Culture, Criticism and Curation and MA Graphic Communication Design. Initiated in 2013, each issue of Unknown Quantities considers a new subject – exploring it though the fields of culture and design. Issue Six presents a collection of written and visual work which examine notions of space and place and how they affect our experience of the world, inspired by geographer Yi-Fu Tuan’s statement:

“Place is security, space is freedom: we are attached to the one and long for the other.”

Through the lens of their respective practices, the contributors address contemporary political economies of space and express critical ideas about perception, affect, culture and identity. Here they share a glimpse of the brand new publication.

Unknown Quantities Issue Six: Space and Place

Unknown Quantities Issue Six: Space and Place

This map forms the cover of the publication. It considers the geography of our contributors, detailing their names while giving readers a navigation system. We used symbols and coordinates as a way to facilitate a horizontal reading and navigation through the space of the publication.

DONG, (Ab)normal
This feature submitted by (Ab)normal, a collective of four architects, presents the idea of fiction as space. Using 3D digitally-rendered photorealistic images, it details the “life” of a simulated character and his search for humanity within a world of code. Through an evolving digital space, the collective describe sensory experience in an environment influenced by the intangible properties of algorithm and coding. We were very interested in publishing this piece as it allowed for a break in the format of Unknown Quantities: the way the text and images are laid out on the page recalls a digital interface and its colours give an other-worldly quality. (Ab)normal’s strong digital presence also fed into our interest in locating contemporary artists in the world. 

Landscape, Monument and Place, Vida Rucli

Guest contributor Vida Rucli’s piece focuses on monuments dedicated to the People’s Liberation War which took place during WWII in socialist Yugoslavia. It questions the meanings of such memorials and their relationship to the landscape around them. These monuments were part of bigger complexes – mostly positioned in the actual location of the event they commemorate. For Unknown Quantities, we were particularly interested in the relationship between the body and movement in such places and the conditions of architecture, sculpture, and nature. We have tried to consider that the sculptures carry as much symbolic and historical meaning as the site itself.

Unknown Quantities launched on Wednesday 5 December and is available to purchase at Burley Fisher Books. Unknown Quantities Issue Six was curated and designed by Simer Dhingra, Julia Gros, Hannah Kelly, Romina Krosnyak, Marion Magrangeas, Jacqueline O’Connell, Santiago Rodriguez Gomez, Laura Smith, and Lucija Šutej.

Find out more about the MA Culture, Criticism and Curation Final Projects series.