UVC Assignment 4 – Visualising the ‘Other’

Please click here for a PDF of Assignment 4; no updates following feedback, prepared as a document for July 2017 assessment on 24 March 2017.

PLEASE NOTE: There are no images in the online version due to copyright concerns. Images, including an Appendix showing the full collection discussed in the essay is available in the offline submission, and to OCA students/tutors who request a copy via email.

Click here for feedback, original submission and research.


Assignment 4: Visualising the Other

I am posting a PDF version of Assignment 4 for online viewing here. Due to copyright concerns I have not included images in this version but fellow OCA students can access the full document by emailing me. I will submit A4 and A5 as hard copies to the assessors.

  1. Assignment 4 Visualising the Other  – a4-minus-images
  2. Feedback  – sjfassignment4creativeartstodaytutorreport

I am delighted with the positive feedback I have received (available just above). The following covers my response to specific remarks. MB in black and me in orange type.

  • you move to a more ambivalent position which nonetheless has a critical perspective. That ambivalence is arguably the result of a closer scrutiny of the varied claims about Mege’s work – close enough at any rate for doubt to appear. I have always been sceptical; I think being forced to think carefully about things has meant I am even more so now, and less likely to believe everything I read. I am perhaps also learning to communicate my desire to look at subjects from various positions more clearly, not only to others but also to myself. I have certainly learnt over the last couple of years to slow down even more before trusting anything I read, especially online. Yes, however, I do feel, I am investigating things more carefully.
  • It doesn’t take much reflection to recognise two senses of ‘seeing’, that, as long as they are treated as one, will lead us into logical and consequently ideological confusion. When we say we see things a certain way ‘seeing’ stands for thinking about, conceiving or understanding. But when we say an artist sees things a certain way we mean ‘depicts’ things that way. I really enjoy the way my children question phrases and words. I know as I have got older I make assumptions about meaning based on the way people seem to be using words, and I don’t pull meaning apart enough, even though there is this residue of confusion which existed from when I may first have heard such a phrase or word used.  How artists ‘see’ is a case in point. So reading this sentence has helped to remind me to always listen to the deeply buried questions I may have over what is meant by anything.
  • The time of the author as the source of meaning is over. But a closer look at the difference between author and God makes all the difference. To say there is no God is surely to say there never was one (notwithstanding Nietzsche’s way of putting it). This relates to a constant question in my mind about what people believed in the middle ages for instance, and what many still might believe now. It served those in power to insist there was a God who had appointed them to their postitions. There are still people who wholeheartedly believe in a man with a beard in the sky, and reject science though and one wonders why. But Slavoj Zizek says in an online video that he thinks even the Pope seems to suggest that God exists only in the imagination. although he continues with the charade as a form of respect to his culture. I am not sure. And I am also sceptical of Zizek following his recent statements regarding the US election. A committed atheist, I can see, however, that religious practise cultivated behaviour which in many instances is healthy and is proven to be good for mental well-being, such as recognising and having a sense of gratitude, fostering communities, meditation, singing, story telling. Evolutionary processes favoured these traits in our genetic makeup. And to lose touch with those behaviours is arguably causing problems for us – although looking at how society has operated in the past, it’s certainly not cut and dried. Moving away from God and definitive  meaning, questioning moral absolutes, seeing any sign as nebulous and truth as a construct brings lots of problems with it. But what does it mean to say this of an author – that there never was an author, or that there was an author but there is no longer, or does it mean let’s be shut of authors…I suspect we have an evolving relationship with authors. People are less likely to assume they should be on pedestals. However, the mistrust of experts, or in other words, highly-educated, or experienced hard working  people who have devoted their lives to learning about a subject, that some politicians have exploited is not helpful either. I see this in younger people who are educated too, who have very little time for older ‘experts’, even when they wear the mantle of expert themselves. The problem certainly also comes about because so many are excluded from becoming one of those highly educated few. Or at the very least have so many obstacles to overcome in order to be one of them that a sense of envy and rage borne out of exclusion overtakes everything else. However, I do feel I am oversimplifying. It’s deeply complex. We have authors. We need authors. We need, however, not to be in their thrall. If everyone and anyone is able to become Authoritarian we do seem to end up with quite a few clowns in charge, who may well shake things up but also end up being the cause of an awful lot of destruction in the process. Where did I read that people are afraid of their own freedom? I shall have to look through my Twitter feed to find it. We seem to want and need Authors, Gods, (paternal) all seeing protectors who make us feel safe and tell us what to do.
  • I look forward to looking at the suggestions I have been given going forward. And I am very thankful for such positive comments. 


Zizek on Virtual Reality discussing Imaginary


Article about rituals/behaviours that promote well being