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UCL events news and reviews


What on earth is time-based media?

By ucyow3c, on 17 January 2014

pencil-iconWritten by Jordan Rowe, Editorial Worker for UCL Media Relations

What is ‘time-based media’? A clock radio? A calendar? How about the tickers that 24-hour news channels plant at the bottom of the screen?

Tessa Power, Channel, 2010

Tessa Power, Channel, 2010

Funnily enough it’s none of those things, at least not in UCL Art Museum’s interpretation.  Its latest exhibition examines how video, sound and multimedia are used to create a dialogue between the viewer and the work of art.

The time-based media, in this case, explains exhibition curator Dr Martine Rouleau and UCL Art Museum curator Dr Andrea Fredericksen, are works of art that could change meaningfully with respect to time. That could be a video, experimental film or audio – anything that depends on technology.

This has caused the UCL Art Museum to head into the archives  – which hold almost 10,000 different objects given to UCL for various reasons over the centuries  – and display multimedia winners of the William Coldstream Prize.

This is an annual purchase prize that enables the museum to acquire work by Slade School of Fine Art students, recognising a student’s particular excellence in any medium.


Drawing over the colour line

By news editor, on 22 October 2012

Florence Mills by Alexander Stuart-Hill, 1927.

Written by Henry Green, intern with UCL Communications

For the uneducated, and I would very much plonk myself in that sprawling mass, awareness of the story of black and Asian people in the UK is patchy at best: jumping from slavery to post war immigration without too much in between.

As such, it was a real treat to attend this lecture, in which Dr Caroline Bressey (UCL Geography) ably used photographs, artwork and letters to illuminate the role that Black and Asian people played in the changing social, cultural and political scenes emerging in interwar London.

Her research has made full use of UCL’s gargantuan collection of paintings, collages and sketches, and some of these works featured on beautifully printed postcards distributed outside the lecture theatre. These were a welcome change from the usual bundle of black and white lecture notes and set the tone for a fascinating and visually stimulating hour.


Love, lust and courtship in the style of Rousseau

By news editor, on 24 February 2012

"“The First Kiss of Love” from La Nouvelle Héloïse"

Discover the sentimental side of Rousseau (and yourself!) at UCL Art Museum.

Come Valentine’s Day, we wish to highlight Rousseau’s epistolary novels, most notably his sentimental work La Nouvelle Héloïse which became a predecessor to modern Romantic novels, and was a bestseller back in its days. As for Rousseau himself, he never married, but did manage to father a significant number of children.

His writings however, have been interpreted even in the realm of love as a guide to finding happiness. The long running dating show for farmers, “Boer zoekt vrouw”, is based on Rousseau’s philosophies on “the natural state” in which he praises the simple life as the source of joy and satisfaction. In this Dutch television programme, the love-hungry farmers all work side by side in nature, away from the morally corrupt city of selfishness and greed while trying to win each other’s hearts. Can this be the key to eternal bliss?

More on the UCL Museums & Collections blog

England looking outwards

By Lara J Carim, on 18 October 2011

Conservative politicians struggling not to mention Europe at this month’s party conference might take some solace from the fact that the country’s ambivalent relationship with the continent dates back at least half a millennium.

England’s “two-way pull” towards isolationism on the one hand and exploration on the other can be traced to the mid-15th century, according to Professor Helen Hackett, who gave a whistlestop introduction to the period through the media of contemporary art and books during a lunch-hour pop-up talk at UCL Art Museum on 11 October.

The talk, which showcased highlights from the exhibition ‘Word and Image: Early Modern Treasures at UCL’, was entitled ‘England Looking Outwards’, and some stunning artefacts had been brought into the light of day from UCL Art Collections and UCL Library Special Collections to exemplify the itchy feet of our Early Modern forebears (The term ‘Early Modern’ refers to the period 1450–1800, and forms the focus of the new UCL Centre for Early Modern Exchanges, of which Professor Hackett is Co-Director).

Click on the player below to watch a short audio slideshow about highlights from the ‘Word and Image’ exhibition: