I have now finished editing my thesis-book and am ready to send it to Bloomsbury, for publication in the beginning of 2014. This means that I will have 2 books coming out next year, which should, I hope, increase my chances of setting one foot (of both) onto the ladder of finding my career as: 1. an arts educator; 2. an artist; 3. an art critic; 4. a critical theorist; 5. a poet. Hope that one of these avenues should finally work out in my favour is challenging, given the difficult atmosphere posed by trying to get a job (any job) in academia or the art world. Cuts, redundancies, apathy and immense competition for (very few) places means that having a PhD from Cambridge is not sufficient to secure my future by any means. My current work as an MA Fine Art student is thoroughly enjoyable and it confirms my love and need to practice as an artist and to teach in an arts school. It also confirms various premises that I theorised in my doctoral thesis, and which I refine in my forthcoming book. However, the MA Fine Art may not be the key to getting a job — either at Anglia Ruskin, or Cambridge Regional College, or any sort of art school (anywhere in the world) — as I had hoped. However, I will maintain my diligence and effort to try and sell my knowledge, skills, experience and passion for art. These factors may be running dry at present, when all my plans of action dissolve and have disappointing non-consequences, but I must retain my fighting spirit and keep at it.
FYI, here is my proposal for the latest job application — for a position as lecturer in sculpture/installation at Anglia Ruskin:
My teaching experience and knowledge of current trends in art (its practice, theory, history, education policy, criticism) develops from my career as an artist, writer and arts educator. This would be suitably directed towards the lectureship in Fine Art (Sculpture/Installation) at the Cambridge School of Art. My proficiency as an artist and a teacher begins from considering and applying every artistic act as an installation. I have shown my own installations across the world, and I have developed philosophical and practical understandings about this art form, as well as sculpture, painting, film and performance, which would enhance the syllabus and praxis developed for students at CSA.
I graduated from the University of Cambridge with a PhD in art theory, with a thesis that provoked and expanded art practice as a critical form of thinking and a transformative method of research. I’m currently working on 2 books that are due to be published early next year, with Bloomsbury. I decided to study for the MA Fine Art at CSA to increase my chances of securing a lectureship such as this one. I am flourishing here and it tempts my appetite for working in this kind of environment ever more. I have enrolled to study on the PG Cert Learning and Teaching (HE), which begins in January. Both the PG Cert and this lectureship are part-time; if I won the position I would then change my MA Fine Art to being part-time, in order to have sufficient time and resources to achieve a qualification in teaching, a qualification in Fine Art, and, most importantly, the lectureship I dream of undertaking. I am incredibly diligent, focused and hardworking, and excellent at multi-tasking and time management.
I was voted in as Course Rep for all the MA Fine Art/Printmaking students. This role has shown me how Anglia Ruskin University operates. I understand the student-focused ethos and the value placed on improving student satisfaction. I would focus on making the students’ learning a highly motivating, inspirational experience. I would do this by informing and stimulating the students in relation to theoretical issues alongside the practical needs of art (particularly in sculpture and installation, my chosen specialty), encouraging and animating talent and zeal, so that students can work together to create a dynamic, innovative and progressive department. My own work at CSA has taken place largely in collaboration with the 3D workshop, with Malcolm Evans and Alistair Burgass. My paintings are definitively sculptural (bursting into 3 dimensions); their exposition is an installation (opening a 4th dimension). My work in the 3D workshop, and my knowledge of how the machines operate, would put me in a good position for this lectureship.
My own research would make a significant contribution to the academic quality of research at CSA. My doctoral studies developed into a growing movement of thought, and series of annual colloquia, called ‘Making Sense’, which I founded in 2009. This lead me to organize and lead large-scale public events at the Centre Pompidou, in Paris, the Whitney Humanities Centre, Yale University, and The Metropolitan Museum, New York. These events were provocative and interactive installations of and for sense-making procedures. The different art theories, critical studies, media and practices that came about (as a result of my direction) continue to provide innovative and interactive source material. This could contribute to the research culture at CSA, 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. The mediums of installation and sculpture are particularly apposite to engage with these timely demands. My vision for this lectureship is concerned with the fabrication and distribution of knowledge, through learning and applying practical, tacit skills, and generating a reflective commentary, all the time engaging with three or more dimensions (through sculpture and installation, dimensions are endless).
From this background I have a proven record of achievement in international, cross-disciplinary and exceptional research. My aptitude for the position at CSA 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.