Plan N + 1 (which is bound to fail)

I’m applying for a job at Goldsmiths — lecturer in Fine Art Critical Studies. I have no chance of getting anywhere near being shortlisted (and I’m going to do an MFA at ARU anyway). But this is my dream job. I need as much help as I can get. Here’s my proposal — please do comment and tell me how I might improve it…

My teaching experience and knowledge of current trends in art (its theory, history, education policy, criticism) develops from my career as an artist, writer and arts educator. I graduated from the University of Cambridge with a PhD in aesthetic philosophy, with a thesis that provoked and expanded art practice as a critical form of thinking and a transformative method of research. I am currently editing my thesis, under the rubric of Making Sense: Art Practice and Transformative Therapeutics, which is being reviewed for publication with Bloomsbury.

My research continues and develops from my doctoral studies into a growing movement of thought, and series of annual colloquia, called ‘Making Sense’, which I founded in 2009. This would make a significant contribution to the research culture of the art department at Goldsmiths: I draw together a creative community of thinkers and artists who communicate and collaborate in new dimensions and media to produce a language and knowledge that is sensuous, invigorating, accessible and politically active. This year’s colloquium will be held at The Metropolitan Museum in New York, with curator and critic Robert Storr. Next year we go to New Delhi, India, where our ethos is socio-political, ‘Making Sense of Crisis: Art as Schizoanalysis’, and we respond in particular to the current crises (such as gang rape and violence) across India.

Organising and leading these events (at the Centre Pompidou, in Paris, the Whitney Humanities Centre, Yale University, and The Met. for example) has given me experience with and influence on the role of art institutions in the public domain. The different art theories, critical studies, media and practices that result from these events would provide innovative and interactive source material to contribute to the research culture at Goldmsiths, particularly in light of its implications for the REF 2014, with such socially engaged artwork. In this regard I am interested in how art can express, react to and transform social disturbances, collective traumas and group ‘norms’ associated with systematic violence. This extends a consequent distribution of innovative knowledge beyond the wider community who assemble to participate in this series of events, with online and literary publishings and through social media.

From this background I have a proven record of achievement in international, cross-disciplinary and exceptional research. My aptitude for the position at Goldsmiths is also demonstrated by my teaching experiences in Paris and Cambridge, where I have developed my own syllabus, taught and examined research, masters and undergraduate work. I assessed students’ work, using both traditional methods of examination (such as marking essays, listening and oral comprehension tests) and also performative or creative expressions and interpretations of the different ideas and theories we covered in my classes.

My vision for the lectureship at Goldmsiths juxtaposes a practical methodology of ‘thinking through doing’, or research through practice, with the history and theory of modern and contemporary art, to bring forward a focus and stimulus that provides an invigorating and original research enterprise. My experiences and knowledge would stimulate the students, within (and exceeding) the assigned lectures on the Critical Studies syllabus, such as Postcolonial Identities and Representation; Art and the Everyday; The Right To The City; Utopias in Contemporary Art; Post-Criticalities; Acts of Appropriation; The Film Effect – Moving Image Art in Context. I would relish the chance to teach these subjects. I would also be able to inform and inspire the students in relation to theoretical issues alongside the practical needs of art, encouraging and animating talent and zeal, so that students can work together to create a dynamic, innovative and progressive department.

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