X Close

Events

Home

UCL events news and reviews

Menu

Radically changing food habits with new undergraduate course

GuestBlogger10 June 2017

­Written by Francis Lecomber, student on UCL BASc2096

csfoodHow can we change our relationship to food? That’s been the central question for the new UCL Arts and Sciences BASc course “Citizen Science for Radical Change: Co-design, Art and Community” (BASC2096), which ran for the first-time last term. At a pop-up exhibition this week, selected students from the course showcased final projects exploring the factors that affect our decisions over what to eat.

The course brought together multiple disciplines to explore food, based on an open source interdisciplinary method developed by our lecturer Kat Austen for her project Vital. Incorporating elements of chemistry, citizen science, community co-design and philosophy, the course encouraged students to think both analytically and creatively in their approach to learning, whilst embracing the overarching theme of food as a unifier of different peoples. The learning process itself is studied throughout the course, as we were encouraged to investigate the many different forms of knowledge and the hierarchical structure in which they exist – a structure that often places quantified data far above sensory perception in terms of value. This overarching theme continuously shaped and changed our approach to knowledge acquisition.

Throughout the course, we worked with students from Newham’s NewVIc Sixth Form College, where we ran workshops and scientific experiments. At the end of the term, we co-designed exhibits and performances with the NewVIc pupils, which helped inform our personal designs for our final projects.

In these final projects, the diverse threads of the course are woven into a major design piece. These designs were exhibited here, at the UCL Art Museum, on Monday 5th June as a part of the university’s theme of Transformative Technologies. In their diversity, they capture the multiple meanings food has to us, and the effect of engaging with it in an interdisciplinary way.

(more…)

Find the mind’s construction in the face: an exhibition of life and death masks

Sophie EPleterski11 June 2014

noel

I have to admit that this was my first visit to the UCL Art Museum. After walking past it twice, I finally stumbled across the entrance to this carnivalesque little treasure trove and almost immediately part of me wished I hadn’t.

Surrounded by rows of the plaster life and death masks of poets and murderers, professors and highwaymen, child prodigies and medics, it wasn’t very clear where in this bizarre spectacle you might want to begin.

Thankfully, it was at this point that Dr Carole Reeves (UCL Science & Technology Studies) swooped in to put what felt like a macabre examination of someone’s final moments into its historical context.

The masks were collected in mid 19th-century Dresden by amateur phrenologist Robert Nole to illustrate ‘good’ and ‘bad’ types of people.

Donated to UCL as part of the Galton Collection in 1911, they exemplify the trend in 19th century aristocratic circles for pseudo-scientific hobbies. Nole’s particular predilection was phrenology: the study of head morphology and the belief that it is intrinsically linked to a person’s character.

(more…)

What on earth is time-based media?

GuestBlogger17 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.

(more…)

Getting Plastered with the UCL Institute of Making

GeorgeWigmore1 February 2013

Plaster is a wonderful material. It can be cast, carved and moulded, and this flexibility has resulted in it being used for thousands of years, from the ancient Egyptians to the archetypal sculptures that we associate with the Renaissance.

But plaster also has a fair bit of history at UCL. The university’s Museums & Collections contain countless extraordinary examples including early studies of children’s limbs from the Great Ormond Street Hospital collection and items from Galton’s experiments into eugenics.

To celebrate this wonderful material, a new exhibition about plaster and the casting process, highlighting the sculpture models of the neoclassical artist John Flaxman, started this month at the UCL Art Museum.

The exhibition is accompanied by a pop-up display in the South Cloisters, so I headed down to have a go at casting, mixing, carving and moulding plaster with artist and Curator of Materials, Zoe Laughlin from the UCL Institute of Making. (more…)