I’m making some progress on my MA application form. I found out last week that I had missed the deadline for submitting the form for it to be ready for the associated funding application. I’d misunderstood the instructions on the College’s website as applying just to the their internal funding scheme, not to the AHRC’s process as well.
The AHRC would probably have been my major source of funding next year. Looking at their information it seems they can grant an individual around £14,000 a year, which is designed to cover all living expenses. However, I have been warned that they will not consider anyone who doesn’t get a 1st in their previous degree.
Now, I don’t want to sound overly ambitious, but of course I aim to get this 1st.
But having missed the deadline, of course, all this is moot. So I’ve done a bit of rethinking and although I’ll still apply, I’ll have to find a part-time job in order to be able to pay my way.
Getting back to the application, the biggest stumbling-block has been the personal statement. At present it looks like this:
MA Application Statement
Why I wish to study at Goldsmiths.
Looked at simplistically, the MA in Contemporary Art Theory is the natural follow-up to Goldsmith’s PGDip in Contemporary Art History which I will complete this year. That said, during the PGDip I have developed proven skills in this area, through the areas in which I have worked and subjects I have been drawn to.
The PGDip built on an existing area of interest for me. Prior to taking this course I had completed a BA in Fine Art at Middlesex University, not in itself a particularly theoretical environment, but by the end of which I was producing artworks which were concerned with the nature of art in general and the relationship between the artwork and the institutions in which it existed or was placed. For instance, for my degree show I invited another artist (Peter Fend) to exhibit in my place and used the opportunity to probe the limits of the academic structures in place at the college.
At the time, I had only a very cursory knowledge of the theory backing up such artistic manoeuvres, although I was greatly attracted to theory as a concept in itself, borrowing quotations and particularly loaded author’s names as exemplars for a potential depth of knowledge which I did not yet have.
Choosing to take the PGDip was designed to give me that knowledge. A knowledge that would give the necessary backup to my ideas and works.
What do I want to do with the MA?
Over the past few years I have begun writing on a combination of theoretical and quotidian subjects as part of my daily activities and aim to expand on that writing during the MA by improving the quality and also the visibility of it. The MA will provide the opportunities to perform research and write extensively, in a critical setting where I will be pushed to make more of these writings.
The MA will also give me the environment in which to fully concentrate on particular subjects that I have become interested in while on the PGDip. I have become somewhat enamoured of Deleuze (a phase I believe a lot of people go through) and have spent many a happy(?) session trying to get to grips with his work. I am also interested in looking at the political in relation to philosophy, and vice versa, as a means to investigate theory as a practical source of social effectiveness. This MA will allow me to really get to grips with these subjects in a much more detailed and personally relevant fashion.
Personal reasons for doing MA
I believe I have the talent and ability to think and write both critically and philosophically. I enjoy pushing my thought processes into new areas and to turn those thoughts around in strange ways. In general, I am curious to know what it means to think about things, then what that means in the context of art, and then what that means in a wider context.
Finally, I know from my previous experience that Goldsmiths gives me access to many useful extra-curricular events and facilities and this MA will provide a high quality teaching environment and milieu in which to consolidate my own work.