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What do art students' experiences of a placement scheme ('making work outside of the studio') tell us about the art

school studio?

Leo Powell Masters of Research (Arts and Culture) Final Project University of Brighton

21st September 2011


1. INTRODUCTION - Background - The CFAP Placement Scheme - Research Questions and Objectives - Study Significance - Layout of Research 2. METHODOLOGY - Overview of Project - Qualitative Research Overview and Rationale - Methods for Data Gathering - Participant Selection - Methods for Data Analysis - Research Audience - Summary 3. LITERATURE REVIEW - Introduction - The Art Studio - The Post-Studio Paradigm - The Art School Studio and Learning Environment - Summary 4. DATA - Themes that emerged - Working from home - Expectations of the placement - Socializing - Difference in work from studio-based to placement-based, and the individuality of practices

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- Working with a computer or laptop - Concerns over assessment - Artistic identity - Audience - Response to the lack of a studio 5. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION - Summary of Literature Review - Summary of Data - Limitations and Scope of Research 6. BIBLIOGRAPHY

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In 1968, when I decided to quit the studio, I hadn't realized all the of the implications. Many familiar doors were immediately closed to me, although luckily others opened that I hadn't even been aware of. To not have a studio, as well as to have a studio, automatically implies the production of a certain type of work. (Buren, 2010 p.165) Institutions are becoming increasingly aware for the need for ongoing evaluation of the combined academic and economic effectiveness of their facilities. While still largely believed to be the key learning setting for art, design and architectural education, the studio is coming under increasing pressure to prove its value, especially in response to what is often perceived as unacceptably low space utilisation by those responsible for the provision and management of physical spaces. (Duggan, 2004 p.2)

Background The allocation and uses of studio spaces in art education has been a contested issue for a long time now (Duggan 2004, Jeremiah 1996). It is an issue which is made all the more prevalent in the light of a series of recent and fairly drastic budget cuts to the education system at the university level. A question which is commonly (and reasonably) asked is: how are studios justified, given their spacehungry requirements and seemingly empty nature? There seems to be no shortage of artists, bureaucrats, and researchers who have written about the matter, often seeing the question from their respective fields artists commonly viewing the studio in respect to its uses in art history (usually as a place for the production of artefacts but not necessarily as a place for teaching), while perhaps institutions are usually more interested in viewing things in terms of cost effectiveness and various educational goals. It is in this educational climate that this research paper focuses on the art school studio.

The CFAP Placement Scheme This paper studies one fine art course in particular, at the University of Brighton, in the U.K. 1

'Critical Fine Art Practice' B.A. (aka 'CFAP'). This academic year (2011), the tutors of CFAP decided to try a new piece of curriculum for the second year students (aka 'Level 5') for one semester: specifically, they helped students set up a 'placement' to work at around the university. These placements were voluntary, and each student decided where they wanted to go. Placements ranged from the maths department, to working with security guards, and the expectation was that this would mirror a more realistic approach to an art practice when not under the aegis of the University, when the students would find themselves working in the 'art world' after their degree. This idea of students working on a placement is effectively representative of something known as 'post-studio' practices: meaning, the students were not to be working in the art school studio at the time of the placements, and instead were to be spending some of their time at a site, making and displaying work away from the studio.

Research Questions and Objectives The main research question for this project is the following: What do art student's experiences of a placement scheme ('making work outside of the studio') tell us about the art school studio? The fundamental approach of this research is to look at an example of art students practices when they are not using the studio environment, and then look to see if there are any real differences in their practices, attitudes, and habits. By doing this, we can test the current literatures' understanding of the uses and value of the studio in art education. This research is a qualitative, exploratory, and inductive case study that seeks to gather data primarily through the use of one-to-one interviews with the students in question, just after they have completed the semester. The research question is intended to be broad enough to allow for inquiry into the meaning of the term 'uses' - while we will be looking at how students make work, it is important not to assume that making work is the only type of use that a studio can offer. There may indeed be other abstract 'uses', for example the way that people will use a space socially, but not consciously or with intentions for an outcome. This research can also consider the environmental changes from the studio to the placement, and how those might affect the students. For example, the studio might carry with it a certain type of cultural expectation, and the difference will be interesting to note. 2

Study Significance This research is important for a few reasons. Firstly, it takes a rare and unique angle on a well covered issue, and so has the potential to not only fill gaps in our knowledge, but to unearth otherwise unknown problems or ideas. This is because the current literature can only look at art students using studio space, as opposed to art students not using them. Secondly, it merges research into studio use with historical and art theoretical literature, allowing potential policy makers to see the studio in an art historical context, and tutors to see the concerns that learning-space researchers have. As we will see later in the Literature Review, de la Harpe and Peterson find that, among 118 research papers surveyed about art education, the studio was the most discussed topic (2008). It plays a huge role in art education, as it is currently the central core of any arts course seminars, socializing, making and displaying work all occur there.

Layout of research This research paper is laid out in the following order: Introduction, which should give the reader an understanding of the background of the project, and outline its goals and interests. Methodology, which should inform the reader about the methods used in carrying out the research, as well as giving the reader further insight into the construction of the project and its rationale. Literature Review, which aims to provide the theoretical background of the research, while uncovering new and relevant points of view that help inform the data and outcomes. Data, which collects the interview data in a coded form and analyses its meaning and relevance to the main research question, while incorporating any key themes or concepts that have cropped up in the literature review. Summary and Conclusion, Which summarises the data and literature review, while taking into account the research limitations and potential scope of the project.


Research Question What do art student's experiences of a placement scheme ('making work outside of the studio') tell us about the art school studio? Introduction This methodology aims to explain, support, rationalise, and critique the methods used in this research. It starts out with an explanation of the research setting, recounting the events that occurred and the methods that were used up until the end of the research project. It is then structured to take the reader through each method used, highlighting the reasons for their use while being critical of the limitations of the application of the method and its affect on the research. While interviews are a form of ethnography, a consideration of ethnography as a broad research approach is included before the interview rationale although the two sections are closely related. This methodology also focuses on the methods used in analysing the data, which was written up after the data was coded. The final chapter, 'Research Audience' briefly outlines the methods used when disseminating this paper, and who the research is for. Structure of the Methodology: 1. Overview of Project 2. Qualitative Research Overview and Rationale 3. Methods for Data Gathering 2.a Literature Review 2.b Case Study 2.c A discussion on the ethnographic nature of this research 2.d Interviews 4. Participant Selection 5. Methods for Data Analysis 6. Research Audience 7. Conclusion 4

1. Overview of project To recap, this project focused on a 'placement scheme', a piloted, semester-long change in curriculum for an art B.A. at the University of Brighton (specifically the 'second year' students of the course 'Critical Fine Art Practice', aka 'CFAP Level 5'). This scheme was an opportunity for the students to voluntarily work away from the studio environment and instead at placements around the University of Brighton (e.g. other course departments in the university), or in some cases at other organizations. This research is a qualitative case study using interviews and ethnographic approaches for gathering data on the use of the placement scheme. The research was also formed by a close and continual cross-reading of literature throughout the research project. These approaches were used to help us understand the studio in art education from a unique angle, and are used to build theory that explains the uses of the art school studio today.

2. Qualitative Research Overview and Rationale This research project utilized a qualitative approach to gathering data. According to Cousin (2009 p.31), qualitative research and analysis enables the researcher to: a) get at complex layers of meaning from research texts or visual data; b) interpret human behaviour and experiences beyond their surface appearances; c) provide vivid, illuminative and substantive evidence of such behaviour and experiences; d) build theory inductively from qualitative data sources. Qualitative research provides a key framework in which to understand personal experiences, as well as allowing a correlation of those experiences with related texts, as the project develops (Ibid). The inductive element as mentioned above is vital when a researcher goes into a particular situation without a pre-developed theory or particular question, as it gives an important structure to creating, applying, and restructuring theories from the situation in relation to the literature. As a research project, the initiation of the data gathering adopted a loose approach. The researcher did not seek to verify a particular conviction beforehand, but instead gathered data through 5

conversation with students (and a literature review) in order to generate theories about the situation, which would feed back into the situation, creating new ideas and so on. In this sense the research takes an inductive approach, in that it is 'exploring theory from the data rather than theory testing' for this research, if we simply test pre-existing theories of the art school studio, we run the risk of forcing the data to tell us what we are looking for (Cousin 2009 p.34).

3. Methods for Data Gathering

3.a Literature Review The literature review for this research project functions in two ways: firstly, it informs the data gathering component by providing a theoretical framework in which to formulate key interview questions. Secondly, it provides a theoretical framework in which to understand the data. So in this regard, the literature review is important for shaping the direction of the research as well as its conclusion. To say the literature only generated theory to form questions is inaccurate, however, as it neglects to mention the time in which the literature was read it was really a matter of reading back and forth from the literature to the ethnographic study of the placement scheme. Only a small portion of the literature was collated in the beginning, with most of the literature being added as key concepts arose this approach confirms the link that Cousin (2009 p. 137) makes between a casestudy and a literature review when she says that it is not about undertaking a literature review before entering the setting, rather it concerns stimulating the formulation of research questions for the beginning of the study; it also concerns securing a continual engagement with the theory through the empirical research process. It is this 'back and forth' reading between the research situation and the literature which is at the heart of the structure of this research approach.

3.b Case Study Following Stake (1995), this research project adopts a form of case study that could be classified as an instrumental case study, in which our concern is to relate the data from the interviews with the situation the students are in (using studios/not using studios), while keeping in mind how it affects related scenarios more broadly (other art education studios). This differs from a collective case study, in which it would be appropriate to consider several instances of similar cases, in order to compare and contrast so that we may gather data. This research adopts Stakes' perspective that 'the real business of a case study is particularization, not generalization' (1995 p.8). Stake further clarifies that our task is to know a particular case well, not just to know how it differs from other cases but what is happening within the case, and what the case does. To take this point further, the case study for this research directly influenced the criteria used to pick which students participated in the interviews. This is outlined further from another angle in 'Participant Selection' below, but it is important to mention here because it pertains to the value of the case study as a form. For this research the case study focused on the difference in students perspectives from 'using studios' to 'not using studios', as opposed to looking at a wider sample of students from different studios on different courses. Specifically, this was done to understand the students shift in their perspectives on the on studio and how it related to their art practices. One of the key problems with this approach is that it runs the risk of being too parochial with the data that is gathered, but as Cousin (2009 p.134) points out, case studies have the potential to test pre-existing 'grand generalizations' (for example, in this instance, whether or not the studios are important for a sense of community). Overall, the case study as a theoretical framework for this research project is valuable but not the whole picture, and in many ways blends with ethnographic orientated approaches to engaging with the students of CFAP.

3.c A discussion on the ethnographic nature of this research This research paper utilizes interviews as its main data gathering method but before we discuss the precise nature of the interviews, it is worth considering the ethnographic framework in which those interviews were considered and then implemented. This section will briefly describe the events that lead up to the interviews during the research project, as it considers them part of an ethnographic framework. It will then discuss issues and events that elucidate the reasons for the approach in data gathering, as well as discussing the effects of the power-balance between the students and researcher on the data.

Pre-interview events The researchers' involvement with the students began right at the beginning of the research project, two months into the CFAP year, in which the researcher was introduced to CFAP Level 5 as someone who is interested in researching the placement scheme. This was organized by informally discussing with the tutor of CFAP Level 5 the nature of the placement, and whether or not it would be suitable to interview the students, and/or centre a research project around the placement scheme. The feedback from the tutor was positive, and so the research project continued to be developed. The researcher reconfirmed twice with the students and tutor the idea of the research project (and the potential for interviewing the students about their experiences), once halfway through the year and again before the interviews were decided. During the time of the placement scheme, the researcher was invited to (and present at) several CFAP class discussions, seminars, and 'crits' (which are seminars that discuss the students work) by the teacher, and on some occasions by the students. It was noted in passing during the first informal meeting that this research was perhaps a variation of the students' placements I.e. The researcher was on a kind of placement with CFAP, researching the placement scheme. Incidentally, this viewpoint was mirrored when it was discovered that two separate students were working at placements that included artists' studios (interviewing the artists!) and an art school. The effect of this was that the students were far more likely to see the researcher on an equal footing, with the research functioning as a continuation of a reflexive dialogue on the placement scheme. 8

Ethnographic Overview There are some obvious good points in favour of ethnographic research in education, particularly that it focuses on learning from people, as if they were teaching the researcher about their experiences, rather than the researcher just studying them (Cousin 2009 p.109). Cousin also notes that an ethnographic approach is useful when the researcher is mediating between two separate communities in this case there are several communities that the research indirectly mediates, including estates management, students, and art tutors. Where it seems a good move, efforts can be made to establish some form of commonality between the interviewer and the interviewee. (Ibid p.75) In this research project, the researcher sought to enter into a complex dialogue with the students as an equal, as opposed to being an outsider with unknown authority looking to prospect for information. Dealing with the power balance was tricky but in many ways a key consideration regarding the efficacy of the methodology. The interviewer needs to do his/her best to minimize the power present in the interview by, for instance, disclosing their relevant experiences and by facilitating an exploratory thrust rather than an information prospecting one (Ibid p.76) As Cousin says: It is ultimately about trust: if the person who you interview doesn't trust you, they are likely to be quite distanced, and accordingly give you untrustworthy responses. (Ibid) From the wrong angle, 'getting to know' a group of people for with the intention of purely mining data can seem insidious. The researcher was careful not to take such a cynical approach, and didn't view things as a matter of 'data mining'. Cousin (2009, p. 21) makes an important point when she says that power cannot be designed out of research it needs to be reflexively built in, with efforts to keep the imbalance to a minimum.

3.d Interviews Overview The interviews were done on a one-to-one basis, with each CFAP Level 5 student that showed an interest in being interviewed (see Participant Selection below). The interviews were suggested at two separate times in the year to the whole class, which was finally followed up with individual emails confirming the students' interest, which also inquired as to the best time and place for each student to do the interviews. A suggested place was the University of Brighton caf garden - the conditions of which were ideal in summer, quiet and in shelter away from noise pollution. It is also an easily accessible and well known place. Before the interviews were conducted, the students were given an information sheet that reconfirmed the purpose and goal of the interviews/research project the researcher had gone over the research project twice before in person via a group presentation with Q&A, the purpose being that it would allow the students to understand the research more clearly in advance. Finally, the students were given consent forms to sign, just before the interviews took place (the consent form and research project was subject to an ethics committee overview). The interviews were recorded on digital audio recorder, and no notes were taken during the interview process (reason discussed below). Each interview lasted on average 25 minutes.

Interview Rationale Semi-structured, one-to-one interviews with the students was decided to be the best way to learn about the students experiences of the placement scheme, as: Semi-structured interviews allow researchers to develop in-depth accounts of experiences and perceptions with individuals. By collecting and transcribing interview talk, the researcher can produce rich empirical data about the lives and perspectives of individuals (Cousin 2009 p.71) Particularly when dealing with a group of people who have extremely different approaches towards their work, semi-structured interviews really cater for complex qualitative experiences (Cousin 10

2009 p.72). However, interviewing people about complex experiences, (particularly art students whose curriculum often favours free flowing, tangential dialogue during 'crits' (Elkins 2001 p.123) doesn't mean that the interview structure itself should be overly complex, and it was important to maintain some structure, if only to work around or with (Cousin 2009 p.71). This separates the method from completely unstructured interviews, but as Cousin (Ibid) points out, semi-structured and unstructured are very similar in any scenario a good interviewer will always have a structure of some kind. So, the goal of the interviews was two fold: firstly, to collect factual data (e.g. what type of placement the students went to), and secondly to explore the students responses to questions which aimed at understanding the experiences and approaches to that data. The two were intertwined, and so it seemed more appropriate than, for example, questionnaires or unstructured interviews. There is another important element to such an approach: the research was itself evolving as the questions were being written and as they were being spoken - so an active response to such questions allowed a more flexible approach that could accommodate for new concepts emerging as the actual interviews went on. The themes explored in the questioning ranged from the technical uses of space to the students opinions on the nature of the placement scheme, and how it related to their individual practices. For example: Interviewer: What was your practice like in the last year and up until the placement scheme? Interviewer: What were your expectations before starting the placement scheme?

Other thoughts on the interview process The potential difference in each students approach towards the interview questions is of key importance, as it affects the way in which questions are structured and the data is understood. Each student might view a phrase or term differently (for example, 'the studio'), but this difference can add new interpretations and ideas to the conversation and the research. The spoken word is often ambiguous (Cousin 2009 p.73), and we can see that this is both a problem and a positive aspect of 11

semi-structured interviews. One always runs the risk of either not managing to communicate a point or worse to simply miscommunicate, potentially causing damage but again new interpretations can be very valuable. Building rapport and embellishing responses are also important. Several times the researcher recounted a tangential anecdote, only to find that the end of the anecdote would engender a response from the interviewee that related to the research. This was done to put the interviewee at ease when they seemed anxious (or like they were being fixated on), in order to give them breathing space to think about their responses and ideas. It also served to give back to the conversation without steering it too directly or giving away the researchers bias in a direct sense: the tangential story seemed to be a powerful tool here, whereas to add to the conversation by giving a direct opinion might have cut the interview short. This allowed the interviewees to respond with stories of their own, which often seemed to steer the conversation back to the topic at hand. This is supported by Holstein and Gubriums' (1997 p.125), 'active interviewing', which finds the 'interviewer offering interpretations, connections, ideas, and possible conceptual hooks to support an explicit, dialogic meaning-making direction for the interview.' The idea then is to think with the interviewee, translating their language and perspective, and reframing it for further communication in the very same dialogue to suggest 'horizons of meaning'. (Cousin 2009 p.74). This supports Cousin's (Ibid p.73) conviction that meaning is not merely elicited by apt questioning nor simply transported through respondent replies; it is actively and communicatively assembled in the interview encounter. The researcher opened up with what Cousin (2009 p.85) refers to as a 'tour' question, asking the students more broadly about their work and practices up until the point in the placements. In some cases, this offered a good way into the conversation, and in others this ended up with the interviewee overlapping responses to future questions. This was as problematic as it was useful it often forced a rephrasing of questions (going over the same question from different angles), and the responses were quite focused as opposed to being purely tangential, which at the very least showed the extent to which the placements resonated with people. Cousin takes the concept of a 'fuzzy generalization' from Bassey (1998) and applies it to research practice, when she makes an important point about the use of language when analysing a case study: 12

Bassey suggests that we should tone down any talk of probability by using 'may' rather than 'will': e.g. our case studies show that if students do not undertake fieldwork, they may have difficulties in learning to think like geographers (Cousin 2009 p.135). This is helpful to keep in mind when reading the data from the student interviews for this project, as the wording was careful not to stamp certainties when common themes were recognised (e.g. Most students seemed to sense an effect on their perception of the identity of their art practices).

4. Participant Selection The choice of who to interview and the amount of students interviewed is important to mention. The criteria for student selection was: 1. The student must be in the 2nd year (Level 5) of CFAP 2. The student must have at least a minimal involvement with the placement scheme 3. The student must be interested in talking to the researcher about their experiences The first point is essentially a matter of describing the year group that were involved directly with the placement scheme although is it not to say that it was purely a neutral decision, as the other two year groups were considered in the criteria but left out. The other two year groups had experiences of the studios at CFAP, but not of the placement scheme this research gathered data on the difference between the placement scheme and the studio in the students practice, not between students practices generally in studios. The second point is contentious and difficult to measure, as 'minimal involvement' can include the students not actually going on any placements but it is very difficult to talk to students who have had no involvement (those who opted out of going on placements). The researcher asked to talk to students who opted out of the placement scheme, but they were not forthcoming. The key to take away from this is that the research focuses on an active dialogue to understand concepts, and it is not just a matter of gathering feedback on how the placements were or were not engaged with, even if that data is also useful. The third point, which required only students who were interested in talking, leaves out a 13

potentially important selection of opinions from the disinterested ('why were they disinterested?' being the key question). This is a logistical, ethical, and theoretical concern. It is very difficult to get people to want to talk for 30 minutes when they are not interested, and it is not ethical to force them. The researcher wanted students who were willing to engage in a more active conversation, being able to talk about their practices and reason for their opinions on the placement scheme. It should be noted, however that this approach allows for not just those who are talkative or have a strong opinion it can also include quite shy students without strong views who are perhaps intrigued by the notion of talking to a researcher about the placement scheme. A final point to mention here is that the hosts of the placements were not interviewed this would have been useful but not vital (they can only tell us about the way the students engaged with the placement scheme, and what their thoughts were about the placement scheme, not about the art school studio), and logistically it was too difficult to implement for this research.

5. Data analysis Following Boeije's (2010 p.96) guidelines, this research project uses a process of open coding. The basic structure for this is as follows:


This type of approach is particularly useful when analysing the data from a small case study. Simply put, coding is the process of separating the data into meaningful parts. It is worth quoting Jorgensen's summary in full: The analysis of qualitative data is dialectical: data are disassembled into elements and components: these materials are examined for patterns and relationships, sometimes in connection to ideas derived from literature, existing theories, or hunches that have emerged during fieldwork or perhaps simply common-sense suspicions. With an idea in hand, the data are reassembled, providing an interpretation or explanation of a question or particular problem; this is synthesised, then evaluated and critically examined; it may be accepted or rejected entirely or with modifications; and, not uncommonly, this process then is repeated to test further the emergent theoretical conception, expand its generality, or otherwise examine its usefulness (Jorgensen, 1989 p.111) With this in mind, the coding looked for common words and common themes. As the interviews were an adaptive process, the questions sometimes naturally shifted towards following a line of inquiry. As such, certain common themes in the data may have been exacerbated the idea in this case is that those themes were important but latent, and by inquiring further we could determine their importance. In other cases, themes emerged entirely by surprise at the end, and so weren't adapted towards. In general, the data was divided into themes and key words, with 'themes' relating to more abstract concepts that arose from within the data, but that weren't always explicit. Generally, the approach was simply to collect all common words and subjects and then determine their importance at the end of the interviews. As Boeije (2010 p. 98) puts it: In open coding, doing (actually assigning a code) and thinking (coming up with good questions and codes) converge. While there are many types of coding and analysing data, coding has its roots primarily in 'Grounded Theory'. Instead of attempting a version of coding that follows very closely to the grounded theory approach, this paper is much looser, following a process of open coding as outlined by Boejie (Ibid). This process is as follows: 1. Read the whole document. 2. Re-read the text line by line and determine the beginning and end of a fragment. 15

3. Determine why this fragment is a meaningful whole (text belongs together and deals with mainly one subject). 4. Judge whether the fragment is relevant to the research. 5. Make up an appropriate name for the fragment i.e. a code. 6. Assign this code to the text fragment. 7. Read the entire document and code all relevant fragments. 8. Compare the different fragment, because it is likely that multiple fragments in a text address the same topic and they should therefore receive the same code. For example, several students mentioned the term 'home' even though a question wasn't asked about home; this was a surprise that was quite noticeable as the interviews went on. Subsequently, while the original questions were still asked in the same way, a follow up question about the home was permitted, in the event of it not being mentioned. The benefits of this approach are flexibility and openness to new elements: it is also inductive, in keeping with the general approach of this research process. There were, however, some issues with this approach. Firstly, the very openness leads to problems of themes overlapping, which can confuse the importance of certain concepts over others. Practically, this is noticeable in the 'data section' as certain concepts are introduced in some quotes that have more importance in another theme. As always, it is a matter of balance, and to separate each theme or code-word to a fine degree would make complex analysis difficult, in that the themes were naturally related. To merge the themes more than they are is also problematic, as it makes it difficult to distinguish the importance of concepts, and the analysis would degenerate into a general discussion. Another issue with this research is the fact that the analysis was undertaken by a single person, which, as Boeije (2010 p.106) says: It is recommended that researchers work in a group instead of on their own. Having others to confer with contributes to a well-developed system, thereby ensuring that certain fragments are systematically awarded the correct code. This is known as inter-rate reliability. This does not mean, however, that the research wasn't drafted and checked, but simply that to work with someone else actively as you code word-by-word is advisable as it helps limit bias or blind spots. In this research, the solo element will have to be taken into account when reading the data to some degree. 16

6. Who is this research for? This research is intended to be informative for, and of interest to, the following: Estates management and administration in higher education Academic researchers in the arts with an interest in art studio culture Art tutors in higher education It was decided that research into the use of art school studios was best formulated as a research paper, as it would communicate with the above groups most directly. The research is pitched to be read alongside current literature on art school studios and academic space design.

7. Summary This is a complex qualitative case study that uses ethnographic approaches which have aided the framework for the interviews, which are in turn used to gather data and construct theory. It takes into account the literature as a key part of this process, placing greater importance on an inductive approach, while recognizing that the approach to the literature itself allowed room for the specific method of cross-reading related fields. The in-depth interviewing process, coupled with the crossreading provides future studio researchers who look at the studio from a variety of angles a common point of understanding. The interview was considered the best method not only for understanding the students experiences, but for the value of generating new hypothesis between the students and the researcher.


Literature Review

Research Question

What do art students' experiences of a placement scheme ('making work outside of the studio') tell us about the uses of the studio in art education?


This literature takes an overview of three closely interrelated fields of study, in order to help us understand a fourth, also interrelated but lesser-researched field. Specifically, these fields can be defined as: 1: The art studio the technical uses of the art studio, its relationship to art practices, and its history. 2: The post-studio paradigm which here amounts to an overview of post-studio art practices and ideas. 3: The art school studio the technical uses of the art school studio, its relationship to students and practices, the social/economic effects on the art school studio, and its history. The fourth field, which can be thought of as the post-studio art school studio (referring to the art school studio in light of the post-studio paradigm), is related to the data from the CFAP placement scheme case study. This literature review should provide information on the other fields, in order to help us understand the placement scheme - in this sense the placement scheme is being considered as an example of a post-studio art school studio curriculum. There is a certain difficulty when discussing the studio, however, in that these fields all heavily overlap to pull them apart is as problematic as lumping them together, so it is partly this review's job to suitably thread a narrative that manages to distinguish the fields while knitting the common threads together. Looking at the studio and post-studio is important as it informs our understanding 18

of the art school studio, which is itself important to help us understand the art school studio in a post-studio art context in this case it helps us analyse the results of the CFAP placement scheme. Included below is a diagram that should help the reader associate themselves with the fields in question, to keep in mind as they read.



1. The Art Studio

Literature overview Literature on the art studio seems to either describe the physical design of different studio spaces (Jacob and Grabner 2010, Madoff 2009), or the function of such spaces (Buren 1979, Duggan 2004, Jacob and Grabner 2010, O'Doherty 2007), with some literature focusing on the ideological effect and historical background of the spaces that artists work in (Crimp 1993, Doherty 2009, O'Doherty 2007). The studio is commonly considered in relation to the history and theory of labour and economics (Molesworth 2003), in relation to theories of display (Crimp 1993, O'Doherty 2007, Buren 1979), or in relation to the studios pedagogic lineage (Duggan 2004, Jeremiah 1996, Madoff 2009). The art studio is frequently spoken about as a place of production, display, work, community, a place for networking, dialogue, learning/teaching, thinking, planning, and usually a place with a lot of mess. (Buckley and Conomos 2009, Buren 1979, Elkins 2001, Jacob and Grabner 2010, O'Doherty 2007).

A short history of the studio Before we consider the idea of the studio today, it is useful to chart the historical, cultural, and economic progression of the studio. One of the earliest conceptions of the artist's studio is the 'atelier model', originating in the Renaissance period. The atelier model is best characterised by a master-pupil teaching relationship, in which a small team of artisans were lead in instruction by a master, producing works such as paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Elkins (2009) notes that, in the shift from the atelier model during Renaissance times to the Modernist archetype at the turn of the 20th century, many of the traditional skills and practices that were found in the atelier model were lost. As the art market and artistic culture changed, the atelier model faded away from art practices and was replaced by the 'artist alone in a studio' (it is important to note however that this was not the case with Architecture). When we think of the studio, we might think of the work of Brancusi, Mondrian, Picasso, Pollock, or the image of the lone artist in a small room and here we are effectively talking about Modernist art. Crimp (1993 p.98) reminds us however that 21

art as we think about it only came into being in the Nineteenth century, with the birth of the museum and the discipline of art history, for these share the same time span as Modernism. For us, then, arts natural end is in the museum, or, at the very least, in the imaginary museum, that idealist space that is art with a capital A. We can see here that with the turn to Modernism came a concern not just for the studio as a place of production, but as a place linked to a newly forming art market, with new models for the display of art. O'Doherty (2007) notes the addition of the portable 'frame' to paintings as a device that served the art market of early Modernism, allowing the paintings to be displayed on salon walls, and eventually in the newly constructed public museums and galleries. In this instance, the studio started to become a place in which collectors would come to survey possible sale opportunities. Buren (2010 p.162) saw the studio as a Modernist archetype, and today we tend to think of this as the 'conventional (proper) studio' (Grabner 2010 p.5) . Buren's account of the studio is famous, and it serves as a snapshot of the function of the studio from the perspective of an artist in the 1970's. He describes the art studio as a place where 'the work' originates, as a private place, and a stationary place where portable objects are produced. He later said of his seminal 1971 essay 'The Function of the Studio' that his perspective was still more or less accurate today (Buren 2010). The main changes being that the artist's perceptions of a studio are now much vaguer, despite the studio still being the main place of work for most artists (Ibid p.163). He clarifies that his key point is that the function of an art studio is for an artist to make work that is destined to be installed somewhere else an ideal space, possibly a museum. He also makes the point that the studio engenders processes that work in favour of a certain type of market, concluding that the subsequent work produced from the studio tries to function as a nomadic object with an endearing exchange value. Grabner outlines a classic conception of the studio when she says: The auratic tradition of the Modernist studio designated it as a place set aside for the production of autonomous work the site, often, of disengaged artistic labour, where, in isolation, discrete aspects of artistic competence were explored and refined. (Jacob and Grabner 2010 p.1) She also notes, however, that


the Modernist Studio was not always a solitary lair shut off from the world. It also functioned as a place of instruction, a hub for social exchange and collective work (Ibid). This is worth keeping in mind, as the shift from a studio-based set of art practices to a 'post-studio' paradigm isn't just as simple as a progression from a lone artist to a social artist. Many things that are associated with post-studio practices were present in studio practices, and vice versa. We will come back to this point in the next chapter. Regarding the studio in contemporary practices, it's important not to assume that the studio is some sort of pure space for art that happens to find itself skewed by an art market: the studio and the gallery are intimately linked. As Fraser (2004 p.411) points out: The institutionalization of art in museums or its commodification in galleries cannot be conceived of as the co-optation or misappropriation of studio art, whose portable form predestines it to a life of circulation and exchange, market and museuological incorporation. Jones (2010) finds that the studio started to be transformed by mechanistic production in the 1970's, with artists issuing designs to be carried out by other artists or trade craftsmen. This appeared to have two affects: it affected the uses of the studio, and in turn affected practices, in a cyclical manner. The studio started to allow other authors into its enclosure, as was the case with Andy Warhol's 'Factory', and the potential for collaborative art practices emerges strongly - first as hierarchical domination, and then as a genuine state that questions authorship (Jones 2010 p.296). This seems surprisingly similar to the atelier studio, but it is important to state the crucial difference: the mechanization of production de-skilled the authorial artist-master (of course, this is not to say that a new, different type of authority couldnt emerge that of the artist celebrity and artist group-branding).

The Function of the Studio Today We have broached the idea that the studio may be subject to change as a response to the artistic culture and art market of different time periods, and that the studio is a place for the production of portable artefacts. We also can see that the Modernist archetypal studio is the dominant conception of what an art studio might be. However, this doesnt really say much about the uses of the studio in 23

professional art practices today. This section introduces themes that we will return to later in regards to the art school studio, while also seguing into the post-studio setting. Buren's argument that the studio has a much vaguer identity today is echoed by Storr (2010, p. 49) when he recounts an almost exhaustive list of what it means to say 'I am going to work in the studio'. That list includes the living room, a bedroom, the basement, the attic, an attached or free standing garage, a coach house in the back of a grand old house, a store-front downstairs... Storr accounts for a common thought when he says that The bottom line is that artists work where they can and how they can.(Ibid). Much of the literature refers to a 'Romantic attachment' that artists may have to the Modernist Archetype (Jones 2010, Renfro 2009), and that this is an ideological, identity forming conception for many artists today. Buren also talks about the studio, not just as a place, but as an ossifying custom of art (2010 p.287), which would also seem to refer to the studios capacity to help constitute the custom of an artist. However, as Jones (2010 p.296) points out, 'the romance of the studio had been predicated on the exclusion of the other, and by extension, the critique of that romance might suggest the potential for their inclusion and the possible origin of a practical political result'. How else might the studio function today? According to Renfro (2010), the studio might be seen as an office, in which it is a space for planning, reading, meeting, and telecommunication to get jobs done. In this scenario, the artist may even outsource the technical production of the work to various types of tradesmen (graphic designers, printers, foundries, etc) which itself is an evolution of the factory type model of production. Relyea (2009) notes the shift in the political perception of studio, finding that while much of what Buren spoke about is still true (the studio as a part of a complex set of art institutions, for example), people rarely speak any more about the ideological implications of the studio. The dominant focus, she claims, is on the studio as part of (or facilitating a) network. Along with the rise of networks comes a new ideology, one that advertises agency, practice, and 24

everyday life (Relyea 2009 p.345) Relyea questions Buren's assertion that the studio remains as an ivory tower in todays world, a private place of production. For Relyea, the studio is an integrated social element of the artist's life, not so much a physical place for an artist to work in isolation, but more of a visible node in an extended art network, where she or he is always plugged in and online, always accessible to and by an ever more integrated and ever more dispersed art world (Ibid p.349) The next chapter focuses more on the studio in a post-studio art climate, and the significance of post-studio practices and ideas.

2. The Post-Studio Paradigm In this chapter we will look at what 'post-studio' means, and consider the state of the studio in poststudio practices. We will then focus a little more on the issues and concepts that surround the poststudio paradigm. 'Post-studio practices', as a phrase, can be confusing because it would appear to describe either a negation of the studio ('no-studio', perhaps), or possibly a specific type of art practice - neither of which is particularly true. It is more of an umbrella term that can be used to describe a large variety of art practices that move beyond the modernist studio archetype, each in their own way for their own reasons. For example, practices which are considered as Land art, Relational Art, Institutional Critique, and Performance Art may be considered as post-studio types of practice. The term 'poststudio' may refer to practices that incorporate the studio or similar spaces, or perhaps practices that require similar functions of studio based art (a space for reflection or construction for example). If we look at the concept of site-specific work, for example, it is possible to see one aspect of a post-studio practice. Crimp (1993) sees site specificity as something that was introduced with minimalist art practices the 1960's, as minimal sculpture redefined its position in regards to the viewer, creating a dialogue about its own history and forcing a similar reflective position on its audience. Subsequently, 25

The coordinates of perception were established as existing not only between the spectator and the work, but among spectator, artwork, and the place inhabited by both. (Crimp 1993 p.145) Generally speaking, site specificity is located to and only to a specific site in the world. This differs from something like 'land art' in that, while land art had the same classification, it specifically focused on reconfiguring the material earth, and it is bound to a physical location, as opposed to a contextual frame. As Crimp (1993 p.154) says of a site specific work, if its site were to chance, so would the interrelationship of object, context and viewer. Such a reorientation of the perceptual experience of art made the viewer, in effect, the subject of the work, whereas under the reign of modernist idealism this privileged position devolved ultimately to the artist, the sole generator of the artworks formal relationships. There are three things to draw out from this firstly, that context is a key component in creating and understanding site specific works (as opposed to it being a matter purely of a physical site), secondly that this re-orientation of sculpture focused on the viewer as the subject of the work, and thirdly that this can be contrasted with the previous modernist approaches towards art, which was concentrated on the idea of the artist as the sole creator of formal meaning-making structures. Renfro (2009) sums up a type of post-studio practice, and post-studio space rather well when he states that: Equally prophetic in considering the space of the studio are artists who forgo the making of products altogether and whose art is embedded in constructed situations or performative acts that take their meaning through their insertion into the real world. (Renfro 2009 p.165) His next remark is also worth quoting in full: These 'post-studio' practices suggest that work space can often be nothing more than an office where the conception of the piece and the logistics of its fabrication can be realized over the phone and the internet (Ibid) Essentially, in a post-studio paradigm, immaterial work and labour become more central to art practices, and the studio is subsequently rendered as a workspace or tool that is flexible and accommodating of such work. Molesworth (2003 p.39) makes the connection between economic 26

forces and the change in artistic practices, finding that with the shift in the types of labour that artists could engage in (moving away from only being 'creators of portable objects'), they responded partly by adopting 'participatory strategies, directly involving the audience in the art'. She goes on to summarize: It follows that in the absence of traditional artistic skills and concrete objects, the artists studio, the space of artistic production, became a highly charged arena. Bruce Nauman laconically presented the problem as follows: If you see yourself as an artist and you function in a studio... you sit in a chair or pace around. And then the question goes back to what is art? And art is what an artist does, just sitting around in a studio. (Ibid) This last comment highlights the problem in the transition for artists to newer types of art practices, and how the studio played a key role in that transition. It also points to the possibility that the artists work is influenced by the studio and as Nauman says, if the artist identifies with the studio and finds it difficult to move beyond that, it can lead to a self-reflexive stalemate. So far, we might say that the development of post-studio practices focused more on where work takes place, than what it is made of, and we might say that the audience begins to take a more central role in the understanding and creation of meaning in works (and later, with relational aesthetics, the works themselves). With Krauss' (1979) realization of the expanding fields in art, there was also a more heterogeneous array of different types of art practices that emerged, and each practice began to have different requirements for workspaces. It is worth looking here specifically at the Artists Placement Group (APG), as they represent a well formed and early example of the artist in a post-studio, site specific, socially aware state. It is also worth reviewing because they were a formative part of CFAP's own placement scheme. In the 1960's, the APG were a group of artists run by John Latham and Barbara Steveni, whose goal it was to place artists in various institutions and companies around England, for example Esso Petroleum or British Rail, in order to make art and see the effects of such a cross over (Eleey 2007). Their central tenet was 'context is half the work', and as Eleey notes:

With this is mind APG sought to re-frame the traditional patronage relationship, aiming to integrate artists into a participatory role in business matters and decision-making at their host organizations


Part of the difficulty with reviewing the APG is that this was a rather ad-hoc goal, whose motives and potential outcomes were unknown. Despite this, the co-ordination between artists and corporations was a water shed moment, with un-sureness and naivete on both sides, and occasional hostility (Eleey 2007). As Bishop (2010) puts it: Arguably, the APG anticipated New Labours tendency to quantify arts social contributions via statistical analysis (audience demographics, marketing, visitor figures, etc.). It could even be argued that APG pre-empted the use of artists by management consultancies and that it was a harbinger of the growth of the art-business symbiosis (i.e., the creative industries) so essential to the current spirit of capitalism. So perhaps APG did presage social changeif not the kind it had in mind. And, So although the placements sometimes resulted in the production of film or sculpture, this was somewhat beside the point for Latham and Steveni. Dialogue was more important... These points are worth keeping in mind, as the CFAP placement scheme was largely influenced by the APG, and it could be the case that there are great similarities between the two. Overall, the issues of context, audience, and heterogeneity of practices are important developments to the culture and uses of the studio, and will be kept in mind when considering the art school studio and learning environment.

3. The Art School Studio and Learning Environment This chapter will look at the history of the art school studio and how the art studio is generally used in higher education. The art school studio is one of the most discussed elements of art education. According to de la Harpe and Peterson (2008), after surveying 118 journal papers they found it to be the most researched subject among art academics. They found that research focused on studio reforms, often questioning the studio as a potentially outdated site for art education, with common assumptions that its associated practices and pedagogies lacked rigour. As de la Harpe and Peterson (2008 p.7) 28

note, 'discussion about the studio is also dominated by the financial viability of the studio mode'. This is a common concern that is also echoed in Duggan's (2004 p.4) trigger paper on the art school studio. She finds that The problem is seen to be the resource-hungry nature of both studio teaching methods (namely oneto-one tutorials and group reviews of 'crits') and the quantity of space required. (Ibid) Other issues include the discussion of the art school in relation to the contemporary art market and gallery contexts (Pujol 2010, Jonker), and the architectural design of art schools and art school studios (Renfro 2010, Madoff 2009, Jeremiah). It is with this last point that we begin here to look at the design of art school studios. Afterwards, we will look at their functions and uses in a bit more detail, seeing how they relate to post-studio theories and practices.

Art school Spaces When considering the progression of the design of British art schools from the 19th to the 20th century, Jeremiah (1996) finds that 'art school buildings have a symbolic as well as practical significance', and that the design of art schools and their studios is of an ideological importance as well as of educational interest. He underpins the importance of the adaptability and flexibility of the spaces, suggesting that in educational terms a consideration of the space that art students work in bears much importance to the efficacy with which they manage to navigate the dichotomy of theory and practice. This emerges when art education started to shift from being purely a matter of vocational learning of crafts, and when it started to consider its role in broader commercial and educational terms. Jeremiah (1996) finds that during the industrial revolution and just afterwards this meant a focus on training designers, architects, and craftsmen. We could perhaps draw out from the comment 'art school culture requires buildings that allow for individual responsibility and expression in the management and organisation of working spaces' that it shares a similar sentiment to the APG's 'context is half the work', as it highlights the importance of students understanding and controlling their spatial/working context in the field of art (Jeremiah 1996).


Renfro (2010, p.165) comments that the art school for the 21st century should be a reflection of current art practices, including acknowledgement of the art market, its physical image being formed by the dynamic between the two. However, considering the points that Jeremiah made, could it not be said that this was always the case? Perhaps the issues at stake are where either the institutions try to guide art practices too much without understanding them, or when art schools inherit older physical spaces and curricular frameworks. Renfro outlines some choice design elements for a new art school, focusing on the school as a place for networking, and the school as a site that questions 'permanence'. By adopting permanent impermanence as a building strategy, the school can make its architectural image based on action rather than stasis, ideas rather than form (Refnro 2010 p.175). This appears to be highlighting the importance of a space that engenders an active questioning of space. Moran (2009 p.34) considers that any specificity in a design [of an art school] that means to give form to a particular teaching philosophy is bound over time to fail, rendering a choke hold on change in place of being its enabler. The difficulty for art schools, perhaps, is that the architecture remains, even as new artistic and teaching paradigms emerge possibly causing conflict. He highlights that the challenge of designing art school environments has less to do with any existing need for iconic structures than with instituting flexibly configured structures or platforms in which creative production will take place. (Ibid) Moran (2009 p.37) speculates that the emergence of the cubicle-based, individualised production focused spaces in art school studios occurred in lieu of common art studios for training in technique, which in turn atomized the public realm in the institutional space of the art school. We can see how this might be the case in light of the pre-Modernist to Modernist art market.


Madoff's summation on art school spaces is worth quoting in full: The art schools space as a place of production has been altered throughout the twentieth century, and now the twenty first, by its own inexorable waves of fascination that have incrementally encompassed more attributes: crafts, technologies, attitudes toward the handmade, the conceptual, and the outsourced; and the explorations of art and artists relations to the social spheres ideological, political, and economic movements (Madoff, 2009 p.281). Due to the fact that we are talking about the issues in the physical/architectural art school learning environment, it would seem helpful to consider that environment more broadly. Boys (2011) finds that The aim of building design is still almost invariably seen as attempting to make a best match or fit with the activities that it contains. This appears such obvious common sense that it is hardly ever questioned. As we look at, and participate in, built space, we often note how it does not work; that is, where it fails to perform appropriately in support of the things that we are doing or want to do. But as soon as we begin to unpick the many, partial, complex and often contested processes through which buildings and spaces achieved, adapted, removed or replaced, we begin to see that designed space is much more ambiguous. It is not a fit between activities and material, spatial and/or aesthetic arrangements; nor is it a direct, transparently obvious correlation between function and form. It is much more about problematic compromises, collisions and the unexpected. The ideas of both event-based design and non-congruence between design intention and its interpretation/experience, try to capture some of this ambiguity and to admit to the impossibility of architectural design even attempting a perfect fit with activities (Boys, 2011 p. 35). The idea that a space can obviously be designed to meet the needs of the activities within is contested here, and is somewhat contrasted with 'problematic compromises, collisions and the unexpected'. Boys challenges the idea that we should be looking for how spaces don't work, and instead view them as always complex and changing. She introduces the idea of 'event-based' design, which is something that Duggan mentions when she theorizes that art students are begging to centre their lives and learning around teaching events, and 'dropping in' to the studio (Duggan 2004 p.7). This is also echoed by Renfro above when he spoke about an architecture that was based on action rather than form. A question of flexibility comes up in Boys' work, which is a key word that is often found in relation to the art studio: when we consider the potential array of practices, flexibility of 31

space it required. But as Boys reminds us: If flexibility is actually about enabling different modes of teaching and learning, then surely this is an issue of changing educational methods rather than spaces? In fact, what is required is a better understanding of the range of existing and potential teaching and learning modes in any particular situation, as well as the particular spatial and architectural conditions which can support them. (Boys, 2011 p. 19) Indeed, it could be said that the CFAP placement scheme is not so much a change of space as it is a change of curriculum. It just happens to alter the space that work is carried out in.

The art school studios uses and issues Common problems with the studio in art education see the studio as obsolete, costly, over idealized/romanticised, underused, in disrepair, short of space, and badly understood by other disciplines (Boys 2009, Duggan 2004, Jeremiah 1996, Renfro 2010). Common praises for the studio in art education see is as a great place for community, access to resources, very flexible, important to personal and artistic formations of identity, relevant to contemporary practices, and of historical importance in understanding art practices (Boys 2009, Duggan 2004, Jeremiah 1996, Renfro 2010). Renfro sums up situation pretty well, recognising that 'the romantic notion of the artist working in rural isolation is still a dominant feature in art school facilities' (with older pedagogic forms valuing isolation), but that at the same time is it common place for artists to use a variety of media and approaches, including collaborating with people from various different fields. (Renfro, 2010 p.164). In the field of art school studios, Duggan notes the basics of the studios most common uses: a place where work is generated, reviewed, displayed and stored (Duggan 2004). She surveyed studio use between different universities, asking tutors and students about the nature of how they used them. Her summation of the current studio situation is worth quoting in full: As institutions become increasingly aware of the need for ongoing evaluation of the academic and 32

economic effectiveness of their facilities, the studio is coming under considerable pressure to prove its value as a key resource. The problem is seen to be the resource-hungry nature of both studio teaching methods (namely one-to-one tutorial and group reviews or crits) and the quantity of space required (Duggan 2004 p.11) She goes on to find that greater student mobility, accompanied by more complex juggling of both student and institutional priorities, more concentrated teaching days, poor quality studio provision and greater student reliance on technology, has resulted in the pattern of studio use shifting from live-in to drop-in, and the nature of the studio identity being increasingly forged by events rather than space. Other key notions she highlights include concerns for territoriality, in which new students feel the need to have a physical space in order to get their bearings and a sense of belonging and identity (with upper year students focusing on greater mobility with their identity being achieved through continuous connectivity and regular events); students working from home more, with technology linking them into a community; importance for solitude, collaboration, and multiple working spaces for student education (Duggan 2004 p.6-7). The strange thing about Duggan's review of the use of the studio is that it doesn't reference historic or artistic reasons for studio use: it focuses very much on how students use studios, and how they feel about them, being concerned with learning without linking such learning to art theory discourses. For example, issues of identity and site-lessness might not just be a matter of students finding themselves at ease and working from home, but is instead itself a part of the art discourse. As Kwon points out, the current trend for nomadic, international, site-less art practices are supported by globalist capitalist tendencies, and may be uncritically submitted to in exchange for a change in ones identity (and ones practice). However, she is quick to point out: yet it is not a matter of choosing sides between models of nomadism and sedentriness, between space and place, between digital interfaces and the handshake, between the right and wrong places. Rather, we need to be able to think the range of these seeming contradictions and our contradictory desires for them together, at once. (Kwon, 2002 p.8) To Kwon, deciding to remain in one place, as a political stance against nomadism, only serves to entrench the current (potentially problematic) nomadic stance. Her summation is that to experiment 33

reflexively and critically with being in other places, artistically speaking, is to challenge the transition to a new space, the new space itself, and the previous space. (Kwon 1997 P.9)

Summary In the first chapter, we reviewed how the art studio progressed from a workshop to an isolated space for modernist art production, and how this conception prevails today, and continues to play a role in shaping artistic identities despite the fact that such a studio today operates in a different art market. In the second chapter, we looked at issues of site specificity and artistic critiques of the places of production. This was elicited in order to help us understand how such issues may affect a post-studio type of art curriculum when related to the CFAP placement scheme. In the final chapter we focused on the key issues surrounding the art school studio today, while looking at the role that architecture played in the development of such spaces (and subsequently how they might contribute to the development and logic of an art curriculum). With this in mind, we can begin to position the CFAP placement scheme in this matrix, and hopefully begin to understand the development of the students practices as a part of these histories. In the next section of this research, will we begin to analyse the data in relation to the key topics and themes that have cropped up in this literature, being able to ask questions of the studio in a post-studio art curriculum.



Introduction This section shows the results of coding the interview data. It observes and annotates the most common themes that occur within the interviews, presenting the students opinions on how they used the studios before and during the placements, which issues and ideas concerned them, and how the placement scheme affected their perceptions of a studio-based practice. It starts by outlining the most common themes in a list of key phrases, and then it proceeds to go through each phrase, analysing the data and referring it to the literature review. Quotes from the interviews are indented. In order to help us make sense of the questions, it is probably useful to review the key focus of the interviews: 1. To inquire into the use of the studio by students generally, and specifically in regards to the CFAP studio both before and during the placement. 2. To understand the students attitudes towards the placement, and how it affected their use of the studios/work and perceptions of the studios/work (if at all). 3. To help us answer: What do art students' experiences of a placement scheme ('making work outside of the studio') tell us about the uses of the studio in art education? Themes that emerged 1. Working from home. 2. Expectations of the placement. 3. The social element of the studio and the placement scheme. 4. Difference in work from studio-based to placement-based, and the individuality of practices. 5. Working with a computer or laptop. 6. Concerns over assessment. 7. Artistic identity. 8. Audience. 9. Response to the lack of a studio. 35

1. Working from home The first interview question asked the students what their practices were like prior to the placement scheme, and how they subsequently used the studios during the placement. By far the most common theme that cropped up was how the students often preferred to use their homes as a studio (before and during the placements), specifically as a place to make work in. The students work tended to be described as either photographic or small and sculptural, with research and writing being the other main type of work. Student: Yeah, well, the past year, I've not really used it at all. I had a suitcase, in the studio... where I sort of kept stuff. So, yeah I'd have like, stuff for the darkroom, because I've used the darkroom a few times. But, I literally would have this suitcase, with some stuff in it, um..and I just kind of been using my room at home...Which isn't ideal, because I've been sorting stuff, and that.. Interviewer: If you could work anywhere in the world right now, where would you want to work? Student: I think, probably at home actually...yeah Another student found that the scale of work was affected by their choice to work from home. They also mentioned another key theme, which was the studio as a place of community, which we will come to later: Interviewer: What is your relationship to using the studio? Student: On my foundation I used it all the time, but this year I haven't so much. I don't know if that's because.. I feel like bigger work (scale wise) belongs in the studio. I can make dolls in my room at home. I see a benefit for the studio as a place of community, to talk to people while your doing stuff, but I do that at home at the moment anyway. A part-time student had a slightly different perspective on working from home. When asked how the placement scheme had affected the students work, the student stated that working away from the studio had no real impact, adding:


Student: I never really make work in the studio, I'm only really part-time so everything I need is at home. So if I wanted to make work in the studio, I'd have to lug quite a lot of stuff in, and it is just not worth it really. I don't think you can beat working from home...I tried... I rented a studio for part of a year, and one of the reasons I gave it up, partly money, but the other reason was when I got there, I was on the computer too much doing research and I thought, well I can do this at home. But it felt more like an office than a studio. Interviewer: Do you think you were doing more work in your studio or more work in your home? Even though you were doing the same thing? Student: I was doing none at home, that was the only difference. When I went home I didn't do anything, I don't think I even thought as much... where as now its all sort of blurred. It was an experiment for me, that didn't really come off. What's interesting here is that, despite the student working from home, the experience wasn't wholly positive no work was done at home. The student was part-time, so there is a chance that the studio at CFAP never had a strong social element to it (reinforced by the comment 'Well, it is hard for me because I was never really part of it.' - the social group at the studio). Most students seemed to enjoy the home comforts (the issue of feeling 'comfortable' is addressed below in part 5) and used the home to think in and make artefacts in. Interviewer: How would you normally make work? Do you use a studio, do you work from home? Student: Because this year we were given limited studio space, it felt like we were not given a space, so I worked at home primarily. Say I needed to use the studios for say sculpture, I would, but primarily its at home - my dad has a work shop, so I tend to make there. It would seem to be a matter of practicality (comfort, space), but when asked to work in a variety of transient settings (on a placement, in a caf, etc) all the students adapted accordingly (working from laptops, increased socializing). This last quote is interesting as it points to the fact that each students practice is very mutable to begin with; this is something we will come back to through another theme. Overall the issue of the home was a surprise for the research, as it presented a third space for making, which influenced how the students used the studios and the placement scheme. Effectively, 37

they didn't seem to require the studio as a place for producing small to medium sized artefacts. 2. Expectations of the placement Many students seemed to see their placement as an opportunity to acquire knowledge, contacts, or experiences. For example: Interviewer: Has this been a positive experience for you? Student: Effectively, yeah, and I know Ive got contacts and things, and should I need to do more research the people can help me. Later, when a student was asked about what they wanted to do on their placement (at a maths department): Student: I think I wanted to learn about what they were learning about, rather than actually do something at the place And when another student was asked about how they explained to their host why they were on a placement: Student: When I first went into the meeting obviously they were like who is this young girl and what is she doing? umm, so I sort of, I was introduced as an artist, and then I took about 5-10 minutes to explain exactly why I was there, umm, and that I was more there to observe, and that if any work came out of it that would be great, and if it didn't soso, but that it was more the experience of what happened. It's worth going through these ideas individually, but they are mentioned together because they seem to represent a specific attitude towards the idea of a placement that the student would be receiving something as opposed to just making work. Viewing the placement as a place to acquire knowledge, for example, could be viewed cynically as it would appear to position the student as someone who simply takes from another community, echoing the 'colonial approach' that was a concern of the tutor.


Tutor: The word residency has colonial roots the first residency that I participated in was in 1999, and I remember researching the word residency and one of its meanings was 'the home of an ambassador in a foreign country'. So I hope I've been sensitive to that, and I think in my own experience, as an artist doing residencies, it has made me go perhaps too far the other way, and Ive always been too concerned with being very aware of and sensitive to the context I find myself in, rather than wishing to impose my own world view upon this other setting which is not my own I am a guest. This is different from the idea of students learning with communities, as in this case the students tended to phrase their approach as a personal acquisition of knowledge that seemed unobtainable elsewhere. However, that's not to say that the striving for knowledge doesn't contain elements of wanting to understand a community. Importantly, another factor to consider here is that many of the placements were based within university departments so perhaps the learning ethic is carried over as an assumption. Expanding on this, its worth considering whether such assumptions would be continued after the students have left university. The Artists Placement Group (Eleey 2007) strived for their artists to have a positive effect on businesses and corporations, but could it be that a learner-centered studio environment doesn't facilitate such an approach as effectively? The literature suggests that the romantic ideal of the lonely artist, while long since disputed, is still a common image in students minds (Jones 2010 p.296). To see the placement as a place to acquire contacts and network for further work was also a common idea, and this is something that comes up in the literature with Relyea (2009 p.345), in which the placement in this sense might be synonymous with a residency arrangement, for artists to create networks and accrue contacts to aid the construction of future work. Seeing the placement as a chance to gain experience (or to 'have' experiences) was a very common theme for the students, and it seemed particularly prominent in students who had a lesser formed idea as to what they wanted to get from the placements. In understanding the students attitude towards the placement, it may help us theorize what they value or prioritize when thinking about work, which in turn could help us know what their needs might be, whether that would be a studio or something else. In this case, we could ask a few questions: does the studio environment help provide contacts, aid in learning from different fields, and provide new experiences? Or more crucially, if students weren't expecting to make work on the placements, then surely they wouldn't have needed the studio, or a working space of any kind. 39

3. The social element of the studio and the placement scheme. The studio was often referred to in its social capacity, with students having mixed opinions about its absence on their social lives. All seemed to be in agreement about the studio functioning most as a place for face-to-face socializing, but that they didn't notice its absence in this regard as much as the literature suggests would be the case (Relyea 2009). Losing the social element of the studio in some cases increased the socializing, and some students deferred to using phones or the internet in order to maintain contact: Student: So we kind of made more of an effort to see each other, because we realised if we didn't we wouldn't see each other...So we've been brought closer together through that. And we had a Facebook thread, where we'd be like 'where are we today?..oh room 101, of G50' or something like that. Student: Ok, erm at first I had a preconception that it was going to completely fall apart. I thought that none of us are going to be in the same area working together, none of us are going to be able to talk about a thing, none of us are going to be like 'hey I'll meet you there, because that's where we always are', and I was pretty damn terrified about that idea. But, in actual fact, we've grown a lot closer.. and I don't know if that's because we've done two collaborative shows together...but we've actually just grown together...which is really strange. Student: Well, obviously it was more important to get each others mobile phone numbers, so we could always text each other, so then that was another means of communication..rather than it all being organised by the tutor. I think that we grew in independence slightly, because we tried to take control of what we were doing, rather than being told what to do. Some students had a mixed response to the impact on their socializing some seeing no affect at all, and others finding that after an initial spike of increased socializing it slowly dissolved. Interviewer: You mean that you maintained socializing with your friends as much as before? Student: Yeah, like people on my course and stuff, I don't that's changed. I think due to lack of studio space, in the first term, made us do more stuff, like we went to pub every week, and ended up doing an exhibition, which was definitely a reaction to the lack of studio 40

space. But I don't think the placement scheme has changed what we do that much. Duggan (2004 p.11) suggests that the studio is an important social space for 1st year students to help aid bonding . This was a view point held by a few of the students: Student: It's important to kind of bond with people you've never really met before, and 1st year's all about that... and so the studio would be a place where we'd all come together.. Duggan also suggests that while face to face interaction is well recognised and valued, the importance of ubiquitous computing for socializing is often undervalued (Duggan 2004 p.11). During the placements the students were still meeting for classes, in which they discussed various things with the tutor and each other. The focus of the placements, it seemed, was that the students would be losing a place to make work, not a place to have seminars. Although it is worth noting here that a studio as a place to make work can also be a place for casual socializing, and that is what the data refers to. It also seemed to be the case that each student had a different approach towards the social element, depending on their practice and personality. Overall the lack of studio seemed to increase the students social awareness. One interesting point was the social aspect of the placement scheme itself, which was mixed: certain hosts and people on the placements were very welcoming and social, and others not so much, with some students even coming across as mildly hostile: Student: The host was extremely helpful, and enthusiastic and....very positive to talk to. I said what I was doing and she...well all of the staff were very positive and enthusiastic about what they do there, which is really good. Student: It was quite hard to talk to anyone because they were like why are you here?. I was in the queue for the caf after a lecture and I heard someone in front of me saying why is there an art student in our lecture, what the fuck? The literature suggests that the studio functions extremely well as a social hub, a place in which an artistic community is centred around. The students appeared ambivalent to the social changes that occurred from the placement scheme, and this could be due to the fact that the placement scheme replaced one social situation for another, as well as the fact that seminars continued throughout the scheme. This is coupled with the fact that the students continued to see each other socially, in other locations. 41

4. Difference in work from studio-based to placement-based, and the individuality of practices.

Being away from the studio seemed to engender less 'object-based' work and more 'research-based' work. Student: I was constantly working on that, and researching on the internet, and, it was all sort of immaterial media type work. Student: I was doing research about community history... The reason for this seems to relate to practical concerns, for example not enough time spent at a placement, not enough space or resources. We can see in the literature that the Artists Placement Group engaged in a variety of work that didn't always end up with the creation of tangible, material objects for display. This change might also relate to personal reasons, for example a shift in 'comfort zones'. The latter point is an observation based on Duggan's (2004 p.9) suggestion that students tend to have a requirement for being comfortable in a 'territory' that they are familiar with, and that this helps them work. Boys (2009 p.46) states that if space is very recognisable, for example a lecture theatre, then it is likely that students will fall into assumptions about their 'place' as a passive rather than active learner, and may in fact prefer such a location, since it represents what they already know. It could be, then, that the shift in comfort zones would lead to a more tentative approach towards making work. Interviewer: Do you think the change in your working environment or the change in your space that you inhabit has affected the type or kind of work that you make in any way? Student: Um I think it does make a difference to the way you are...I think you need to sort of, feel comfortable. Student: Well....outside of the home. I like making things on my own...and I don't like


people seeing work, before it's finished. I guess that's why I like a kind of private place to make stuff.. and it would be taken out of that to be displayed. Or it could be as a response to the relevance of such work at placements when work wasn't being graded, and when there was no fixed space to display in (or time to make work), students often became passive observers. Student: I would say I was there to observe and if they inspired me or if I took... like if they said anything and it hit a particular chord with what I was working with, then I would create work out of that, but I wasn't there just to 'make work', I wanted just to listen, and see what they had to say. However, while the placement scheme may engender more immaterial work, it is interesting that by and large the students type of work (before and during the placement) also affected the use of the studio. Depending on the students practice, the studio was either used or not used, or used in certain ways. This is an important thing to keep in mind: that in art education each student might be engaged in wildly differing types of work. While there are no direct quotes that support this, we can see above in the section on 'working from home' how different the students works were in the beginning, and the students often spoke about how particular and distinct their situation was: Student: Well, not necessarily everyone is going to gain from the placement scheme...umm.. I think, it should be encouraged though. I don't know, it depends on the person... Interviewer: do you have an ideal studio environment? Student: Oh gosh! Hmm.. I dont think there is, I think it completely changes depending on what I want to make. Home suits that because most of the time it has the resources, but I guess the ideal would be a space that could change to meet your needs. There's not just one space that's perfect. I guess one big white space where you can put walls up is OK, but it's not perfect. This is also something that is indicated by the sheer variety of student practices and lifestyles, but it can also be observed through the change between the students' work before the placement and during the placement. Before the placement, the students of CFAP were engaged in a diverse array 43

of practices, from photography, to writing, to film making, to sculpture, to socially embedded performance. Each student seemed to use the studio differently, or have a different opinion on the importance of the studio. This heterogeneity of practices could be seen in the literature when we considered the shift from the modernist to the post-modernist practices, and the variety of meanings for the term studio was also discussed by Storr (2010). This variety in students practices may be one of the most important ideas to arise from the data, as it makes it very complicated to understand studio use without understanding the conditions for such heterogeneity. We can imagine that such differences would make it very difficult to design spaces for.

5. Working with a computer or laptop A few of the students spoke of the role that computers and laptops played in their work. Student: Well I've done some work, as much as I dont like computers, I did a piece of work on the computer for hours, and wherever I had a computer the rest didnt matter in a caf, at home, whatever. Student: In the first year I'd often be in the media suite, because I didn't have 'Final Cut Pro', so.. I'd say it was quite important for that because it had the facilities there for me to actually edit my films. Interviewer: Let's say in the 1st year, you'd had 'Final Cut Pro' on your laptop.. (yeah)..Would you have spent time in the studio? Student: I probably would have spent time in the studio, because I think it's important to kind of bond with people you've never really met before, and 1st year's all about that. We discussed the idea of the studio as a place for bonding earlier, but its useful to look at it in relation to the computer if people don't have a studio to casually or formally socialize in, they will use computers, and if they do have that they will still use computers to socialize and make work, while valuing and using the studio. Conomos (2009 p.114) puts forward the idea that 'computers 44

are best thought of not as tools but as immersive environments', which seems to be a popular polarization in art education the computer as a tool for making versus the computer as a part of a social matrix. As we saw above in regards to socializing, however, the students used computers for communication and production, both factors helping to inform and create the work equally. The students responses to the role of computers are consistent with Duggan's (2004 p.11) views, particularly when she talks to one art teacher who claims 'the real value of education lies in the discourse generated via interaction, and computer support this'. Ultimately in this case, depending on the work and social space provided, the computer was either useful or not.

6. Concerns over assessment. The interviews initially asked no questions about the nature of assessment, as it would appear not to relate to the use of the studio, but when the students were asked about their more general concerns with the placement, the subject of assessment was the most frequent topic. The placement scheme was not formally assessed, and this seemed to change how the students reacted to their time management on the placement. Certain students felt relieved, and saw problems with assessing a placement scheme exercise, while others were annoyed at the lack of assessment and thought it would help encourage other students to get more thoroughly involved. Interviewer: Do you think the placement scheme is something that should be done for subsequent Level 5 students? Student: I dont know, I was thinking about it and... it depends on how it is going to be assessed. Because, if youve got that pressure of its going to be assessed therefore you need to do loads of work, I don't know if its going to be as beneficial, because people are going to panic. I know I would! (laughs). It depends on how its included, quite a lot. Interview: What is an ideal assessment scenario for you? Would it not be assessed? Or in a particular way? Student: Yeah it would be particular. It would be about you, and how you valued it, and whether or not it was valuable to you, not about whether you make something concrete or 45


Interviewer: I understand this wasn't assessed... Student: It wasn't at all but I think, people were told about it (in terms of other people or other tutors at the placements), and I think had they had a bit more time to give, or if the students were more up for it because it wasn't assessed, people just threw it aside, I don't think they necessarily thought oh this is important, I'll give it a go, and prove that I've gone kind of thing. Interviewer: would you assess it? Student: I don't know that you can, because for me I haven't yet done a piece of work out of it how do you assess that? Do you assess how many times I've visited, do you talk to the hosts and see how they've treated me or how I've been with them? I don't see how you can assess this is any way. Regarding assessment, the literature on studios often finds that, near exam time, the use of the studio peaks (Duggan 2004 p.8), as the pressure is placed on students to produce work for marking. This can cause confusion for people, as it would seem that the studios are not used well in between such times. What is interesting to us here is that future CFAP placement schemes will be folded into a 'professional development' unit, that is going to be marked according to criteria that help people determine how professionally developed their practices are. If this is the case, what does that say about the perception of the studio within a professional development criteria? That studio practice doesn't help students develop as much professionally, and that the studio environment is unprofessional? This could relate to the literature reviews understanding of contemporary art practices, which increasingly veer towards a more socialized, globalized tendency and as the artist Matthew Higgs points out, art schools are connected to the commercial (professional?) art world (Madoff 2009 p.309). What this suggests is that, in the context of such practices the studio could be both less valorized in the eyes of the students, and subsequently less used.


7. Artistic identity. According to the literature, the studio plays a key role in the development of artistic identity (Buren 2010 p.287, Duggan 2004 p.9). This is because the studio is both a place that helps shape an artists practice, and a place in which the artist subsequently makes things (artworks) that inform where that practice takes place. The art school studio also plays a role in the development of the students' sense of identity and belonging, with Duggan (2004 p.11) finding that with 'increased mobility, identity is achieved through continuous connectivity and regular events' - combining this comment with the outcome of the students social lives on the placement, we could confirm this: the second year students, placed between the lower and upper years, seem to have mixed responses to how the studio affects their practices, and subsequent sense of identities. Artistic identity and personal identity have the potential to coincide when we consider the nature of more authorial styles of art practices, in which a persons identity as an artist can be folded into an understanding and evaluation of the work. In this case, the loss of the studio would alter the students sense of artistic identity, by providing alternative contexts in which to work. As one student said: Student: One of the things that was really valuable was going to someone and saying I'm and artist, and this is what I do. Rather than having to say I'm an art student and that I play around or whatever. You know, it felt more serious, and the lady was extremely interested in what I had to say, and I felt I really had to up the level of what I was saying really. Another student was very positive: Student: And then it just became a massive exploration of what the studio is, what an artist can be without a studio, how a studio functions/what it means, what it is...that sort of thing. It has definitely made me more aware of what it is to be an artist and what people do after graduation, as well... and actually you cant just sit in a studio all day and be inspired by your desk, y'know it does involve going outside. On the other hand, one student had a very different outlook: Interviewer: Do you think the placement scheme has changed how you think about your 47

identity as an artist? Student: Not really. I think you have to go out there and talk to people anyway well, my issues definitely tackled a lot of the social issues I guess? So I've always talked to people. Overall, the students seemed to find that the placements allowed them to question the sense of who they were and what they were doing. Again, this also depended on what their practice was like beforehand the more social the practice to begin with, the less a placement seemed to impact on how they perceived themselves. The placement scheme seems to provide a contemporary alternative environment from the art studio in which the development of artistic identity can take place.

8. Audience. The APG found it hard to use the gallery environment affectively, due to the gallery's ethos of display, and its very particular art-world audience. As Bishop notes, the APG's exhibition at the Hayward gallery was one of the worst attended in history they seemed to be more interested in documenting their work, and trying to engender a discussion. This is interesting when we take into account a comment made by one student: Student: At the moment the audience is CFAP, which I... dont think.... is enough. But I deal with issues that are social that everyone can relate to in some way, they are dependent on the public participating in.. but I dont think my studio reflects my public in any way. It's worth mentioning, because one of the uses of the studio in art education is as a place where the student displays their work to an audience - and usually that audience is comprised of fellow students and tutors. Pujol cuts to the heart of the matter when he says that The issue of audience is not raised enough while looking at student work in art schools. Therefore, by omission, it is usually assumed that the work is being made for the gallery context, and the assumption becomes self fulfilling (Pujol 2010 p.10 ). For at least one student, the studio as a place to find an audience was realized as insufficient when they were given the real and immediate non-art audience of the placement scheme. If we consider 48

this in relation to the variety of contemporary art practices and their audiences, perhaps it renders the studio either overly specific in its type of audience or simply not representative enough of contemporary practices.

9. Response to lack of a studio. There was a general concern over a lack of space, and in accordance with the literature this is quite common (Duggan 2004 p.11). The students seemed to fear losing the space, from both a practical standpoint and a more personal standpoint specifically, it seemed to affect their perception of what an artist is: Student: when we were told we wouldn't have a studio base, I was immediately a bit like, 'oh shit', this is quite panicky.. to sort of, go to an art school, and think that you haven't got the tools to make an artwork.. I thought was mental. And I just thought, 'why am I here?'.. 'what is my practice going to be this year?' Student: Yeah, well I would have wanted like a constant space. If I'd had a constant space...but I don't...yeah..I wouldn't really want to just come in, and kind of find a little corner for that day and do some work there ...because then you have to tidy up afterwards, and then...I dunno, move around.. and it's just not very like..flowing. )...but no, if I'd had like a desk, or a space... Student: And it need to be emphasised more importantly that you could gain so much from this, and it is going to be really important. Because the way it was advertised to us was... you don't have a studio, so we're sending you outside of the studio somewhere else... and it seemed like an option that was second best. The students seemed to react quite negatively to the lack of space, but considering their admissions on the subject of working from home, continuing socializing, and types of work, it didn't seem to impact negatively on their practices. The important thing to keep in mind is that in some cases it changed their practices.


Summary and Conclusion

This research paper started with the aim of helping us understand the studio in art school, by way of looking at an example of a post-studio curriculum today. It sought to ask the students within that curriculum questions about the nature of their experiences, in order to ascertain the differences between an art students' studio-based practice and post-studio-based practice. As this research is a qualitative exploration of a case study, it focused on a live example and aimed to be flexible with its questioning and approach throughout the process. This approach had the benefit of being able to build upon and aid a discussion around the nature of studios in higher education, but it could not be said to propose a viewpoint that is either conclusive of a situation or representative of all post-studio curricula. Its purpose, rather, is to add to the discussion surrounding art school studios in a new way. After conducting a portion of the interviews, and after having carried out a review of related literature, it was apparent that most discussions of the studio centred around a concern over 'learning goals' and the 'organization of space', as opposed to centring around a concern for the historical and theoretical nature of the studio in art education. This research grew in the direction of responding to that, by reviewing the historical and theoretical developments of the studio, while trying to consider that in relation to the students experiences away from the studio.

Summary of literature In the literature review, we saw that the culture and uses of the studio have a complex historical underpinning. Part of this history creates a 'romantic' vision of a certain type of artistic identity, which is not representative of the wide variety of practices in today's art world. With the advent of socially oriented practices, artists started using and understanding the studio in new ways. The concept of the 'post-studio' was not a negation of the studio, but an attempt to understand the meaning and impact of artists practices in a new economic working environment. Up until that point, art was something portable that was made in a workshop or room, in order to be placed elsewhere, either in a frame or on a plinth. With post-studio practices, art becomes more about the site that the work is experienced in, and artists started to become more interested in the meaning of networking and socializing. This is quite a simplistic view of art history, but it serves to show us that the background for a studio in art school has shifted quite drastically in a short space of time, and that in today's art-world the modernist archetype is no longer that appropriate to have in mind 50

when we think about the studio. Meanwhile, art schools are necessarily behind in the kinds of spaces they design for teaching each new art school or art department that was created in the last 150 years has had deal with changes in the art culture, and what that art culture needs, not too long after it was built. However, the literature also suggests that such constant change isn't necessarily a problem: in many ways the post-studio paradigm seems to support a shifting, nomadic attitude to places and experiences. As Boys reminds us, flexibility of space in schools is also an issue of curriculum. And as Kwon reminds us, the trick is to be reflexive of where and how we work: if anything, curricular and spatial flexibility in art school can be a helpful part of learning about art. In this sense, the literature shows us that to be reflexive about ones context of production and display in art is to learn about art itself. It is a position that reflects the progression from a studio to a poststudio state in an increasingly globalized world, and so it's probably worth keeping in mind when thinking about the place of studios in higher arts education.

Summary of data Taking this into account, what did the data tell us? Did it help us understand the uses of the studio in art education today? Primarily, the data overall suggests that the students found the placement scheme to help them either reconsider their practices, or it helped support a direction they already wanted to go in. The data confirmed most of what was said in the literature: practices today are heterogeneous; the studio can be many things to many people; art students value the studio due to its social element and their romantic attachment to it, but that attachment lessens as they go through the years, with the placement scheme in this case playing a role in altering the romantic attachment; the studio can be formative of an artists identity as much as an artists work can form their concept of the studio. One crucial insight from the data is that the students don't seem to use the studio to make things in anyway it provides a context for their work, it provides a social hub, and it provides a place for tutors to teach and work with the students but it doesn't seem to be used that often to make physical work. Some students do, others would if certain (often impossible) criteria were met, but in general the studio as a place to work was an assumption, one that the placement scheme helped throw into light. Instead, the placement scheme impacts on the other uses of the studio: socializing, artistic identity, and the students audiences for their work.


Key insights from the data include: Students tend to use their homes as a place to construct physical work, regardless of whether or not they are on a placement scheme. The issue of displaying work seemed to have more impact on how they worked than the idea of the place it was made in. This might suggest that most students operate in a 'post-studio' way. The studio sits as a social hub for an art student community, but that to be deprived of its casual element is neither a positive or negative aspect; it simply changes how the students socialize. It still seems to be important for 1st years. The long term affects of this are not known. The students seemed to crave the potential networks that working away from the studio provided. The student practices were varied and each type or style of practice seemed to have different responses to the placement scheme and studio. The placement seemed to engender more immaterial work or research based work. The computer and laptop helped facilitate work and socializing, in a way that was consistent with the literatures' findings. How work is assessed in the studio has the possibility to affect the work ethic and type of work produced, and that this influence is not discussed enough. The placement scheme made students re-consider how they thought of themselves as artists. This is due to the fact that the studio can be an ingrained part of artistic culture and identity, especially when it is romanticized. The placement scheme changed the audience for the students work. This perhaps makes us realize how specific the audience is for the studio in art school. Given the findings above, it may be the case that people take the studio for granted, and assume only one type of studio, and only certain uses.

Limitations and Scope of Research These findings have limitations, however, and it is important to keep in mind the way that the research was carried out. Firstly, the methodology was geared towards being an open ended 52

exploration, with the interviews being semi-structured. The research did not seek to confirm a previous theory, simply to enquire into a situation, recognising that it was an opportunity not to be missed. As such, it is more of a first step into a topic, trying to pick out interesting and important concepts from the synthesis between what the students did or said, and what the literature tells us. The research also tends to value the quality of what the students say, not necessarily always how many students say something this is partly because only eight students were interviewed. This has the advantage of being able to (almost) create a dialogue between the students and the literature, but it is problematic, as it runs the risk of being biased for example, if a student mentions an idea or belief, the literature might just be confirming a stereotype, which may or may not be true. The findings can hopefully add to a discussion, but due to the small scale of the research and the specificity of the placement scheme scenario, its real value lies in the way that the research findings can 'raise consciousness' about certain topics that seemed central to the students practices. Particularly, the placement scheme seemed to have the biggest impact on the social setting of the students, requiring a certain type of networking work ethic from them. The students seemed to like the idea of what the placements offered, but they begrudged losing the studio but perhaps that was a matter of the drastic shift in how it affected their identities as student artists. With this in mind, it is worth ending on a thought by Renfro: As current art practices morph and the physical needs of artists become ever more unpredictable, perhaps the most valuable construct a school can provide is invisible: a network. There is no reason for a new art school to physically accommodate the technological demands of all the artistic practices that it hopes to nurture. In addition to providing internet access, it should foster networks of expertise and connections to facilities within the community and beyond that will provide artists and faculty members with access to the most up-to-date technologies, processes, and collaborators. Simultaneously, engagement with a network of local and international artists, collectors, museums, philanthropists and intellectuals can do as much to stimulate a career as a school can. (Renfro 2010 p.173)



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