COLLEGE—Final Presentation

The Spring term has just ended and we now have a month to finish our essays, after which my day-to-day involvement in the Diploma will be over and all that remains will be to get the results.

Last week we gave our final group presentation to our colleagues and tutors. We were asked to “build a presentation around a topic” rather than an artwork or exhibition and we chose to concentrate on the subject of “performativity” with reference to speech-act theory and the work of J L Austin, as well as it’s applications in gender theory of Judith Butler, Luce Irigaray and Rebecca Schneider. Along the way we brought in Foucault, Debord and Jorge Luis Borges as indicators of the transference (or failure thereof) of meaning through language.

Our piece took the form of three re-presentations of a series of statements recorded during the Core course and Lab sessions over the previous few weeks. These were initially decontextualised and re-contextualised into a short conversation between the members of our group, using the fragments to discuss (as best we could with the available material) the nature of performativity and illustrate it with some examples, and supply responses to the issues raised.

For the second part we replayed the original sound excerpts, reverting to the original source material, as it were, and following the same ‘script’ as used in the first part, thus partially recreating the original context for them while making clear their problematic nature in their new situations.

Finally, the audience was invited to take the floor and create a further version of the piece, sometimes reading their own lines or lines spoken by others.

The mark we get for this will count as 50% of the total mark for our Core course, and the Core course is one third of the overall mark for the Diploma.

I now have to complete a 4,000 word essay for the Core course, two 4,000 word essays for the Philosophy and… course and one 8,000 word essay for the Framing Art course. Lots of work to do.

The marks are back already for the presentation. Our group got 85 out of 100! That amounts to an A+. Superb! Well done us.