You will receive an introduction to fine art with a focus on computational art. You will develop your artistic practice through a variety of projects, workshops, seminars, and tutorials. Year one will involve:
- Structured activities to increase your awareness of digital possibilities within fine art
- Coding classes and technical training at the Creative Computing Institute (CCI)
- Looking at key computational media ideas and terms within contemporary art and culture
- Seminars to develop an understanding of a decolonised visual culture
- Working with popular tools for computational art such as P5.js, Google Colab, Blender and Unreal
- An introduction to key terms that underpin ideas and contexts relevant to computational media within contemporary art and culture
- Be taught strategies to help build confidence in different approaches to making work such as conducting academic research and working in the studio
Unit 1 - Introduction to fine art and computational arts
Unit 1 will introduce you to self-directed learning in fine art: computational art practice. This unit invites you to playfully explore human computation - rethinking artistic skills and techniques through instructions and procedures. You will also begin to attend classes at CCI that introduce you to coding, providing you with a foundation in creative computing.
Unit 2 - Creative coding and practice
Unit 2 introduces you to a wide variety of software and computational art practices such as generative art, CGI, and machine learning. You will be encouraged to openly explore and combine these techniques towards creating original works for a work-in-progress show at our dedicated computational art project space.
Alongside this, you will develop skills in writing, towards an essay in response to an art event. You will also begin to attend classes at CCI that introduce you to coding, providing you with a foundation in creative computing.
Unit 3 - Computational ideas into practice
In this unit you will explore different approaches to working in and creating spaces from 3D graphics and game engines to installations and gallery spaces. First you will collaborate in groups to produce collective work within a virtual environment. Individually, you will produce your own works for an off-campus year 1 fine art show at a gallery.
Unit 4 - Activating practice
This unit will introduce you to working outside the college’s studio environment and to thinking about its wider context as a site for viewing and making art.
Themed lectures will discuss the dynamic contexts in which art is made and shown, sharing examples of how proposals around the world are realised for specific locations and exhibitions. Through the lens of computational arts, you will also be introduced to practices such as augmented reality and critical engineering.
This will be an opportunity to imagine your work in public space towards a realised project or speculative proposal. Lectures, seminars and group tutorials will support your critical analysis of computational and site-based practices. There will also be a piece of reflective writing developed in response to the degree show outcome of a BA Fine Art work on display.
The second year is about working in context. You will learn how to identify your own strengths and work with others in a variety of situations considering different audiences. You will be introduced to the artistic potential and critical debates around advanced software technologies such as machine learning through activities such as workshops and seminars within fine art and CCI.
By the end of this year, you will be able to situate your practice formally and critically in terms of context, audience, material and technical choices.
Unit 5 - Working for a context
Unit 5 is about re-establishing your practice whilst also progressing your research methodologies. It will build on your knowledge of computational arts. By creating new artworks that address your developing interests in materials and contextual themes, you will prepare for an assessed group critique of your work. This unit will be taught through a series of workshops and tasks that will involve collective ways of working.
Unit 6 - Collaborative and collective practices
This is a collaborative unit which invites you to extend your practice by working collaboratively across the colleges and external contexts. This unit aims to introduce you to different ways in which collaborative practice can focus and enhance your own creative strengths through working towards shared a goal.
Unit 7 - Machine learning
You will begin to work more critically and establish a deeper relationship with the chosen subject.
You will be introduced to the artistic potential and ethical debates surrounding advanced software technologies supported by the CCI. Subjects such as politics, sustainability, the environment, identity, economics and ethics will be expanded upon within studio seminars in relation to the field of computation.
Contextual seminars will help you build knowledge and deepen a contextual awareness towards writing an essay within a chosen contextual field that relates back to a practice-led enquiry. You will critically contextualise an artist’s work through written essay or presentation, based on relevant texts, theories or ideas.
At the end of Unit 7 you will participate in a group exhibition with peers in response to emergent critical contexts in which software technology may be explored.
Unit 8 - Audiences
Unit 8 will support you to articulate and clearly define your research and practice goals. This will help inform your development in year 3. The focus of this unit will shift towards the presentation and interaction with computational work and its potential audiences. You will continue to participate in workshops as well as accessing resources at CCI.
By the end of this unit, you will be able to situate your practice formally and critically in terms of context, audience and material/technical choices, ready for the more independent practice of the third year.
Your final year is focused on articulation and presentation of your practice within a fast moving and ever-changing context.
- You will choose to undertake research either individually or collectively
- Your work plan will be co-curated with tutors
- You will establish a work pattern for the year at the BA Fine Art: Computational Arts studio with the possibility of further support at CCI
- You will demonstrate an understanding of inclusive, sustainable and ethical ways of working.
Unit 9 - Practice and articulation
The unit will support the creative realisation of artwork and further development of practice. You will locate this work critically and contextually with a piece of sustained, articulate research that can be produced either in written form, or in a presentation, or through a live project/work placement. This will be an extension of your previous research.
- Develop and produce work for a public audience
- Articulate a piece of research that can be produced either through a Dissertation, Presentation or Live Project
- Art practice seminars and tutorials to support research
- Dedicated sessions will be offered to support artistic life after art school and how to apply for funding, jobs or postgraduate study
Unit 10 - Practice and presentation
You will continue to refine the methods and techniques of your developing art practice with the aim of producing a new body of work for a multi-platform, public display of degree show outcomes. You will realise your ideas through an understanding of methods of display, audience engagement and the ethics of representation, and be able to position yourself critically, practically and professionally.
- Present a multi-platform public-facing display of work
- Workshops, seminars, tutorials and lectures on approaches to curation, audiences, methods of display, materials and the ethics of representation
- Produce written work or a digital portfolio that presents your practice and ideas
- You will be encouraged to proactively network to engage with communities within and outside of the art school to build sustainable and ethical working relationships
Optional Diploma between year 2 and 3
Between year 2 and 3 you can opt to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies or the UAL Diploma in Creative Computing. Whilst these Diplomas are an optional aspect of the course, they are designed as an integrated and assessed part of your journey through the course.