Tuesday, 5 October 2010

@Phil - essay question


I'm a bit undecided about what I should focus the essay on and whether I have understood the question correctly. The way I understand it is that I should look at a single particular production/artwork and discuss the theme of metamorphosis in the chosen piece. Is the question limited to one piece of work? I was thinking of looking at the film 'The Matrix' following Keanu Reeve's character Neo who goes from being a normal guy in a boring desk job to super amazing hero of the binary world...

This is how I would lay the essay out regardless of chosen work:

  • Introduction explaining the essay, what work I am looking at and any limitations within that work i.e particular character(s)
  • definition of metamorphosis and initial appraisal of what/who shows it
  • further discussion of ideas raised in previous paragraph
  • etc
  • etc
  • Conclusion

Is good?


  1. Anatomy: Interim Online Review 05/10/2010

    Hey Ollie,

    I like the honesty of your creative development thus far – and your willingness to put a cross through an idea that’s not working. Your most recent post – of the morphed musculature opens up exciting possibilities and is much more the direction liable to generate truly innovative and unexpected results. You’re wrong about the brief – nowhere does it say that your hybrid has to be ‘visceral’ or ‘Cronenbergian’ to satisfy; what it must be, however, is born from logic and from the student’s increasing awareness of the nuts and bolts of anatomy. I want students to avoid falling into cliché and to think from inside out; first the bone structure, next the flesh, then the skin, then the feathers – and so on. For me, your approach is just getting interesting, so I encourage you to gather speed and push on with it. Remember too, that you’re asked to produce a ‘self-portrait’ above and beyond a character or creature design. You should aim for likeness or semblance – an aspect of your surviving humanity. This brief is indeed much more challenging than is first supposed. All of the Shapeshifter films have dealt – however fantastically – with humanity, and its survival post-metamorphosis. Your portrait is no different.

  2. Okay – your essay question is a no! Of course it is, Ollie – given the context of the unit, Neo’s metamorphosis from zero-to-hero is a narrative one, not truly metamorphic. This unit is about the tales we tell about humans-into-animals – WHY we tell them (keep telling them). The Matrix maybe a favourite movie, but it’s not the right case-study for this assignment. Choose again – and choose wisely. Regarding the assignment structure, the brief supplies a very clear break-down, which I’m repeating here because I am patient and kind ☺

    1) A clear introduction to your investigation, which should also mention the different published sources you have used and your reasons for choosing them. You should use no less than 5 published sources to inform your research.

    2) A clear definition of key ideas relating to your given topic, with supporting evidence in the form of, no less than, 3 quotations from 3 different published sources. Quotations must be interpreted and their importance discussed, they should also be referenced correctly using the Harvard method.

    3) The cultural context the topic came out of/was in reaction to.

    4) An illustrated ‘who’s who’ of key individuals associated with given topic, with a clear explanation of what you think their significance is and why.

    5) Historical examples of key words/images/artefacts associated with given topic and an assessment of their importance.

    6) Contemporary examples of key words/images/artefacts associated with given topic and a comparison to the historical examples.

    7) A conclusion.

  3. A general reminder that, alongside everything else you need to have ready for crit day, you also need to submit an offline archive of your creative development blog. There is a way of exporting your blog as PDF via Blogger – which would be ideal for this purpose. Incase you missed the original post, Alan gives details here:


    Now is the time to return to the brief; time and again, students fail to submit what they’ve been asked to produce – and how; usually because they haven’t looked properly at the brief, or haven’t done so since week one. Trust me on this; just take a few minutes with a highlighter pen to identify what is required, when, and how. Remember – non-submissions are dumb!

    And finally – I’m just going to say it – I hate your blog template! It gives me (and everyone else, I expect) eye-strain; it’s so busy, that it completely dominates your own work. Trust me on this – change it for something that will put your work in the centre of people’s attention; also, blogs work best when they’re image rich and there is something rather miserly about the sizing of your images; it just seems as if your work is minor and small at the moment, and it’s the wrong message. Try some others out and I’ll let you know about the eye-strain!

  4. Thanks Phil, I think the penny has just dropped... keep the brief stapled to forehead :)

    I'll resize my pics and change my blog layout... something along the lines of Simon Holland's blog which is really tidy

    A good thing I asked about the essay question, it really didn't strike me how out of context it would be with the brief!

    On with the working!