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Blog: Art School

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I spent most of last week at the INDUCTION WEEK for my PhD and it was, to say the least, a mixed bag. Some of it was GRATE, thought provoking, informative and really helpful at focusing my BRANE on what lay ahead. Some of it, however, wasn't. I spent one particular afternoon listening to two pillocks tell my why Climate Change is A Bad Thing (who knew?) and how they were AMAZING because they were fighting it by subverting the white cube gallery. To prove it one of them showed a series of photographs of uneasy looking female students who they were "collaborating" with on direct action schemes. After decades of Statisticians and Medics I'd forgotten that there were University people like that!

HOWEVER all of it - RUM bits included - made me realise that I am now an ART STUDENT! For the past few months I've been thinking of this course mostly in terms of ADMIN I had to do - paying the fees, filling in forms, turning up for events and so forth - but over the course of this week it was impressed upon me that I am at ART COLLEGE! Maybe it was all the people saying "there's no right or wrong answers" or all the Actual Marxists around (PRO TIP: Marxists don't like it if you suggest that Marx was a science fiction writer. They don't like it at all) or the FASHION STUDENTS standing in doorways, but at one point I suddenly thought "Hang on, this is Central St Martins like in The Pulp Song! And I'm doing a Phd here! ZOINKS!"

It also made me realise that - GIRD YOURSELF - I am a TRANSMEDIA ARTIST! The proposed title of my thesis is "The Bronze Age Of Marvel Comics As A Model For Multiple Author Shared World Transmedia Projects" (I KNOW!!!!) and I'd originally thought of EXPRESSING this through PRACTICE (see above re: I Am An Art Student) by writing a 12 issue mini-series of comics like the original 'Secret Wars'. HOWEVER, the more I've thought about this the more I've realised it would be a LIVING NIGHTMARE, if for no other reason that it would take An Actual Artist at least a YEAR to draw such a thing. How on earth would I be able to afford that?

A possible solution arose when we had to give five minute presentations of our WORK. After I'd done mine someone asked if I'd thought of doing TRANSMEDIA (i.e. telling one story through lots of different formats) COLLABORATIONS as the Practice Element which really got me thinking. "I'd need to do WORK in lots of different formats" I thought, then realised that I ALREADY DO! "I'd need lots of people to collaborate with," I added, then realised that already do THAT too! br>
This was AMAZING NEWS to my Waking Mind because I'd been really worried about how I was going to fit everything in around the PhD, and was trying to face up to the fact that I'd have to GIVE UP some stuff, but suddenly it seemed that maybe I wouldn't. Instead of abandoning gigs, fringe shows, videos, plays and recording sessions (TRANSMEDIA!) with The Vlads, Steve, Lost City Writers or Mr J Dredge (COLLABORATIONS) I could surely FOLD it all into the Phd itself! IMAGINE!

Obviously I have to talk to my SUPERVISORS about all this... and probably actually The Vlads and Steve and everyone, but still, that could work, couldn't it? Then I too will be able to impress TEENAGE GURLS with my activism, for LO! I will be a DOCTOR OF ROCK!

posted 7/10/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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