Archive for the ‘London College of Communication’ category

BA (Hons) Media Communications student wins Dare digital agency writing competition

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Elin Schonfelder, BA (Hons) Media Communications.

Elin Schonfelder, a first-year BA (Hons) Media Communications student, has just won a writing competition run by Dare digital agency and has been offered a two-week work experience with the company.

Dare is a digital agency that specialises in creating digitally connected customer experiences. By exploring the potential of the internet and creativity, Dare help to transform businesses by providing a superlative experience suited to today’s demanding customers.

The competition was part of a wider initiative by Dare to explore trends in social media usage among current BA (Hons) Media Communications students at LCC. The agency wanted to gather fresh insight around what social media platforms students are using, what they use them for and why, and the different functions that each platform offers to suit individual lifestyles.

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Elin Schonfelder, BA (Hons) Media Communications.

Students were asked to write a 1,000-1,200 word piece discussing the role and importance of social media in their everyday life.

Articles were written in a blog-like style drawing upon the student’s personal experiences and experiences from their interactions with their peers. Discussions spanned several platforms, and explored ideas of relevance, usability and the future of media communications.

Elin explains, “I was delighted to win the competition. As a BA (Hons) Media Communications student I am really interested in developing social technologies, so having the chance to write for Dare’s blog was really exciting. Social media has had a huge impact on the behaviours of my generation, and I was excited to explore this in a little more depth in my piece of writing.

“I’m really excited to start my placement at Dare because, as a first year student, getting some experience of working in industry will give me a sense of where my studies could lead me.”

All submissions were read by the Dare team and Elin’s entry won! Her winning article will shortly be published on Dare’s blog and Elin will start her two-week work placement with Dare in the summer.

Read more about BA (Hons) Media Communications

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LCC students uncover Secrets and Lies at Dalston’s Doomed Gallery

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Students and guests attend the Private View at Doomed Gallery. Image by exhibiting student Lilian von Keller.

Third-year students on LCC’s BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies course recently gained invaluable industry experience by organising an off-site exhibition of their work at London’s Doomed Gallery.

‘Secrets and Lies’ explored the idea of individuality from both a creative and theoretical perspective, with the work on show often highly personal and covering subjects as diverse as religion, sexuality and architecture.

Students worked in teams to arrange different aspects of the exhibition, learning about the challenges of events organisation in the process.

Doomed Gallery in Dalston supports both emerging and established artists, with an emphasis on photography. The exhibition space has hosted work by over 300 photographers since opening its doors in 2011.

For the LCC show, Latisha Berker-Boyd exhibited a collection of naked selfies, some found via Facebook, entitled ‘The Theory of Nude’, inspired by the digital era and current trends in self-expression.

Gizem Kaya’s work explored cliches created by the media about Muslim women, with Gizem juxtaposing portraits of her subject, in which she gazes back at those who have placed her under scrutiny, with the woman’s framed wedding vows.

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Students prepare work for their show. Image by exhibiting student Lilian von Keller.

Heidi Agyapong’s ‘Strangers’ featured 28 Londoners photographed using Polaroids, together with a single word the subjects chose to describe their character. Heidi wanted to challenge London’s anonymity by creating a sense of closeness with people we would not otherwise get to know.

‘Vertical Landscapes’ by Lilian von Keller was a surrealist work highlighting the unexplored spaces created by urban architecture, and imagined a vertical walk up the side of a skyscraper.

Video piece ‘Secrets of our Journey’ by Maria-Louisa Harrison used the metaphor of a train journey to address the journey of life and death, with Maria-Louisa’s voiceover playing over continuous footage of train tracks.

Isabel Fernando’s ‘Space’ examined the use of space within the home and its relationship to particular family members, looking at private, domestic areas to ask how space can represent and define personal identity.

You can learn more about ‘Secrets and Lies’ in this feature for Next Up, an online news and culture magazine created by LCC BA (Hons) Journalism students James Childs and Diana Tleuliyeva.

Read more about BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies

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LCC students uncover Secrets and Lies at Dalston’s Doomed Gallery

exhibition PV

Students and guests attend the Private View at Doomed Gallery. Image by exhibiting student Lilian von Keller.

Third-year students on LCC’s BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies course recently gained invaluable industry experience by organising an off-site exhibition of their work at London’s Doomed Gallery.

‘Secrets and Lies’ explored the idea of individuality from both a creative and theoretical perspective, with the work on show often highly personal and covering subjects as diverse as religion, sexuality and architecture.

Students worked in teams to arrange different aspects of the exhibition, learning about the challenges of events organisation in the process.

Doomed Gallery in Dalston supports both emerging and established artists, with an emphasis on photography. The exhibition space has hosted work by over 300 photographers since opening its doors in 2011.

For the LCC show, Latisha Berker-Boyd exhibited a collection of naked selfies, some found via Facebook, entitled ‘The Theory of Nude’, inspired by the digital era and current trends in self-expression.

Gizem Kaya’s work explored cliches created by the media about Muslim women, with Gizem juxtaposing portraits of her subject, in which she gazes back at those who have placed her under scrutiny, with the woman’s framed wedding vows.

set up

Students prepare work for their show. Image by exhibiting student Lilian von Keller.

Heidi Agyapong’s ‘Strangers’ featured 28 Londoners photographed using Polaroids, together with a single word the subjects chose to describe their character. Heidi wanted to challenge London’s anonymity by creating a sense of closeness with people we would not otherwise get to know.

‘Vertical Landscapes’ by Lilian von Keller was a surrealist work highlighting the unexplored spaces created by urban architecture, and imagined a vertical walk up the side of a skyscraper.

Video piece ‘Secrets of our Journey’ by Maria-Louisa Harrison used the metaphor of a train journey to address the journey of life and death, with Maria-Louisa’s voiceover playing over continuous footage of train tracks.

Isabel Fernando’s ‘Space’ examined the use of space within the home and its relationship to particular family members, looking at private, domestic areas to ask how space can represent and define personal identity.

You can learn more about ‘Secrets and Lies’ in this feature for Next Up, an online news and culture magazine created by LCC BA (Hons) Journalism students James Childs and Diana Tleuliyeva.

Read more about BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies

The post LCC students uncover Secrets and Lies at Dalston’s Doomed Gallery appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

LCC alumna creates global platform for Congolese fashion

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Congo Fashion Week 2014. Image © Etoile Photo

Marie-France Idikayi, a graduate of LCC’s BA (Hons) Live Events and Television course, has established a global showcase for African fashion in the Democratic Republic of Congo by founding Congo Fashion Week.

The week’s first events took place in Brazzaville and Kinshasa and were inspired by Marie-France’s desire to create a stronger fashion industry in the area by bringing together style and showbusiness.

The LCC alumna is keen to promote upcoming and established Congolese and African designers to the fast-growing international market. Congo Fashion Week features fashion shows, exhibitions and talks, giving buyers, members of the public and the media the opportunity to discover the latest trends in the industry.

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Congo Fashion Week 2014. Image © Etoile Photo

Marie-France hopes that her project will ultimately boost national tourism and contribute to the country’s economic empowerment and growth, building strong brands within the Congolese community both in Congo and the wider diaspora.

Congo Fashion Week attracted attention from Vogue Italia in December 2014 – see the feature here.

As part of her LCC degree, Marie-France also launched a fashion and lifestyle magazine called Molato, meaning fashion, outfit, garment or clothes in Lingala, one of the national languages of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The magazine’s aim is to promote African fashion and people making a difference in it. Marie-France explains: “Our societies are culturally rich but at times we fail to give them the attention required to share our pride with other nations.”

Marie-France is currently busy preparing this year’s events and building Molato’s audience after receiving business advice from the Congolese government.

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Congo Fashion Week 2014. Image © Etoile Photo

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Congo Fashion Week 2014. Image © Etoile Photo

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Congo Fashion Week 2014. Image © Etoile Photo

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Congo Fashion Week 2014. Image © Etoile Photo

Read the latest edition of Molato

Read more about BA (Hons) Live Events and Television

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New Course Discourse // MA Advertising

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MA Advertising Course Leader Dr Cui Su.

In our latest New Course Discourse feature, we meet Course Leader Dr Cui Su to find out more about MA Advertising, an exciting new postgraduate option which started in 2014.

Can you give us a basic outline of the course?

MA Advertising mainly deals with how technology has changed – or how it impacts – advertising practice, how people react to advertising, and how people interact with it.

The main focus of the course is very much on digital, interactive, global advertising, so there’s a strong technological slant to it. This is partly to distinguish from BA (Hons) Advertising, which deals with more of the foundational principles of advertising, art direction and copywriting.

Here we’re asking bigger questions about technology. It’s a mixed course, so it’s half practice, half theory. ‘Contemporary advertising practice meets cutting edge theory’.

We engage with all kinds of media theory about social networks, big data – and also with debates that are in the public realm right now. So things to do with privacy, surveillance, all these big issues that will affect consumers.

On the practical side we do work on briefs – we’re currently working on the D&AD New Blood briefs – doing practical advertising work with interdisciplinary practitioners.

We have an art director pop in from a creative agency, for example, and we have a design researcher who’s done interaction design. The MA responds to the industry.

I think the industry’s working out what to do with new technology, how to react to it – and you can see this in the new job roles that are coming up. It’s not just art director, copywriter, account planner – you’ve got technologists, data strategists, digital roles.

It’s really about getting to grips with the changes and impact of technology on advertising practice. I think it’s exciting.

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MA Advertising project by Valentin Guiod and Mimi Choi promoting 3D printing company Tinkerine. Image © Valentin Guiod

Can you explain more about what the step up from undergraduate to postgraduate study in advertising involves?

Students would definitely experience a change in terms of more high-level thinking, applying theory to practice and having practice inform theory. There will be that iterative cycle, and there will be more independent research.

The PG course is more research-intensive and we hope to eventually have PhD students as well, so that’s the reason for having this theoretical and research slant. In terms of practice, I guess the difference is we deal with bigger questions that transcend just responding to a client brief.

We’re not really like, for example, the Miami Ad School or Hyper Island – we do a combination of both theory and practice, and place them on an equal footing. Portfolios are important but they’re not the only thing.

The idea is to get our graduates one rung up above all the other candidates – just to have experimented a little bit more.

What is the particular advantage of studying advertising at LCC?

I think there’s a huge advantage to studying advertising in an art/design-led school, because it’s not seen as a subsidiary component.

Typically in this country you see advertising courses in a business school, as part of their marketing department, and you maybe study a module called advertising as part of your wider degree in marketing, marketing communications, or business.

Here it’s front and centre. We take it very seriously and we take a very creative approach, so although we do take into account a lot of marketing principles, we’re asking slightly different questions that are more focused on media, impact, the relationship with creativity – things like that.

I think LCC’s also a good place to do that because it’s in London – the beating heart of the advertising industry. It’s a nice combination – aware of the bottom line and also interested in innovation and creativity.

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MA Advertising project by Valentin Guiod, George Mylonas, Marco Liu and Mimi Choi promoting healthy non-alcoholic drink Suso. Image © Valentin Guiod

How did your current students arrive on the course, and what will you be looking for in future applicants?

The age ranges between 22 and 40. Currently we have a student who’s already got his own company and has been a graphic designer for many years, and he’s looking to skill up.

We have a student from Malaysia who’s been in the industry for years and just wants to gain skills in a more formal setting, and we also have people who’ve come straight from BAs in art direction, design or marketing. But we also have a medic!

It’s quite eclectic, and I think we want to keep it that way, because it ties in with the whole interdisciplinary approach. I think it’s worked really well, in that the students are able to bring their experiences and interact with each other.

Ideally I would like my applicants to have had some work experience, although that’s not a requirement – only because they could bring their professional experience into the classroom, which would be very useful.

I think this course would suit anything from a BA Literature to a BA Computer Science graduate; somebody who wants to get into advertising and hasn’t been able to, and wants to know about some of the bigger issues; or someone who wants a career change.

Where might the MA course lead for its graduates?

After the MA preferably they would stand out from the marketing graduates. In terms of job destinations, I would think they could become digital strategists, planners, creative directors, copywriters.

The technology side of the course content is not so much to turn them into coders, but if you’re an art director and you’re talking about a campaign that involves an app, you’re able to talk to a developer on an equal footing.

The knowledge and skills you gain from the course allows you to interact confidently with coders and app designers. You’re able to understand the literacy of the technology and its potential applications and, possibly, restrictions.

So I’d say they would run the full gamut of jobs – community manager to art director to setting up their own business.

Visit the MA Advertising course page

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New Course Discourse // BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures & MA Design Management and Cultures

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As our New Course Discourse series continues, we speak to Dr Nicky Ryan, Programme Director of Spatial Communication and Contextual & Theoretical Studies about the new undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Design Management and Cultures, for which she is the acting Course Leader.

So Nicky, the BA (Hons) Design Cultures has now been re-validated. Why has this been done and what does it change?

Well the course has been re-validated to become BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures, which is a slight shift, but this means that the course has now got a more appropriate name that reflects its values better.

The BA (Hons) Design Cultures was a combination of design cultures, histories and theories, business and management, plus practice – so there were three core elements. That is all still there within the reimagined course, but there’s a slightly stronger business emphasis. Whilst it’s still that same combination of things, we’ve reconfigured the units in different ways. So now, for example, practice is incorporated into projects, whereas in the past we had a separate design practice strand.

Why have you developed a new MA for this subject and what is its focus?

In MA Design Management and Cultures there’s much more of a focus on leadership. We imagine that people who are already working in industry in some capacity will apply to the MA wanting to fine tune their leadership, organisational and management skills. Crucially though, these skills will be developed from a critical perspective and using practice as well, so that really has added value.

I hate to use an industry term, but the MA is a ‘T’ shaped model. Whilst we encourage applicants to have specific interests and areas of in-depth knowledge, the key to the course is being able to work across disciplines. We want people who can work with others to coordinate activity and manage projects, but also be able to question things.

The critical engagement with culture is also key to the course, because everything in this field is up for questioning. Students will interrogate what Design Management is because often management is technical thing, it’s about rational planning and organisation, but we’re trying to get our students to look at it in a different way.

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Design Cultures student Lena Neilsen explores dark fictive futures at LCC Green Week.

What is it about Design Management and Cultures at LCC that is unique?

The thing about these courses at LCC that is different from similar courses elsewhere, is the unique combination of design management and cultures. We explore Design Management from a critical perspective as well as a typically instrumental business perspective. Plus, we’re in an art and design institution, so we’re actually in the studio and working on projects and really learning by doing.

We’re also looking at the contextualisation, social, historical, cultural and political context of everything that we’re doing, and getting to really interrogate and question that.

What kind of projects will students be working on?

Well in the BA at the moment we’re working with a local museum which was sadly burnt down. We are doing a co-design project, the brief for which we actually co-wrote with the students, so it’s a very participatory project. We’re working with the staff at the museum, and together we’re aiming to raise awareness of The Cuming Museum. It’s part of the wider context of regeneration that is going on in Elephant and Castle as the moment, and we’re thinking about this little museum and what its relevance is. We’re trying to really understand the purpose of the museum and also assess which local audiences it serves.

The students are actually doing an exhibition and a series of events. We’ve been on visits but also brought in guest speakers, curators, artists, exhibition designers to inspire them. These people might not be directly related to local museums, but they tangentially inspire them as to what they might do with an archive.

It’s a real project, and it’s a project that matters to the community. It’s a lot of responsibility, and it’s full on. They have to go through a series of iterations constantly about what they’re going to do, how to they solve problems, how do they work with other establishments, and even working across courses.

There are so many hurdles to cross to even make it all happen, and they’re still having to communicate outwards and think about events – what can they do themselves, what do they need to outsource. It’s a real project.

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BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures students mid discussion.

In terms of students that you’re looking to take on for the BA (Hons), what qualities would you look for?

Some people come from foundation, some people come straight from school. We have a real range of students on this course. There are some who have studied English or History, but we’re also happy if they’re interested in sciences. I don’t think it matters as long as they’re really interested in design.

I’m not expecting anyone to come in and say “I want to be a design manager”, because that’s highly unlikely, but a passion for design and a sense that somehow you want to be located in an industry in which you’re making things happen is a really key quality. Also an interest in the way that design is changing and a desire to make some impact on that. A sense of working with others is also really important because whatever you do will be collaborative.

How about the MA?

Well again we’re looking for students from a very broad field. The sister course at LCC would be the MDes Service Design Innovation course, but we’d also love to have international applicants, or people applying from the professional world. Again it’s a variety of things that we consider, but also as part of the MA application a project will have to be proposed.

Prospective students would show us a portfolio of work which could be from private interests, from previous educational work they’ve done or from a career they’ve been in. At this stage we’re looking for a sense of where students want to go with their work and their research. Where is their passion?

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BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures students exploring south London researching for a community design project.

Where can Design Management and Cultures lead you?

It is quite broad, because the way the course is structured gives a very introductory look at the creative and cultural industries in year one. Some students come in with an idea of what they want to do, very definitely, but others haven’t a clue. We introduce the students to the design industries in its broader sense, and then gradually as you go into year two we try and encourage students to focus more.

They can customise their projects to a certain extent around the industries they might want to go into. So say for example that you wanted to work in fashion, they kind of assignments that we set are broad enough to tweak and put a certain emphasis on fashion. So you can chose your own path, obviously with support from your tutors, until you get to your final project.

With the MA you would probably already have an area which you’re interested in, but we would support and help you with that and you would be exposed to other areas in the design industry.

The range of careers this course prepares you for is diverse! You could be in house, or working for large organisations, you could be working within an organisation as a consultant – we introduce you to the different modes of work that are available.

Read more about BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures

Read more about MA Design Management and Cultures

 

 

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BA (Hons) Magazine Publishing graduate nominated in PPA New Talent Awards

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BA (Hons) Magazine Publishing graduate Ben Lifton

LCC alumnus Ben Lifton, who graduated from BA (Hons) Magazine Publishing last year, has secured a nomination in the prestigious PPA New Talent Awards 2015, which celebrate the next generation in magazine and business media.

Ben is currently a publishing assistant at London-based content marketing agency The River Group, where he works on lifestyle magazines healthy and Healthy For Men, sold in Holland & Barrett and GNC shops around the UK.

Healthy magazine was also launched onto newsstands in December 2014 and is now available in supermarkets, Marks & Spencers, WHSmith and 5,000 independent newsagents. Ben manages healthy’s subscriptions and helps the brand gain market share, researching future opportunities.

He has recently arranged partnerships with innovative companies to help drive the magazine brands in new directions, increasing sales and providing a better user experience for the customer.

Regarding his nomination, Ben said: “With the publishing industry constantly changing, it is an exciting time to be working with magazines. It is great to have been nominated, and for my work with River to have been recognised.”

Ben’s nomination is in the Best Graduate/Intern category. Speaking about Ben and a shortlisted colleague, beauty writer Daisie Smith, CEO of The River Group Nicola Murphy said:

“We are immensely proud that two of our brightest stars have been nominated for what are highly competitive awards. They both display boundless enthusiasm to learn and are a pleasure to work with, and we are now looking forward to the awards ceremony in March.”

The ceremony will take place on Tuesday 10 March 2015 at The Brewery, London.

The best of luck to Ben from LCC!

Read more about BA (Hons) Magazine Publishing

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LCC Associate Lecturer for BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design at Tate Britain

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Iris talks to visitors at Tate Britain

Iris Garrelfs, a PhD student and Associate Lecturer on LCC’s BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design course, recently held a week-long project at Tate Britain in which she used visitors’ personal objects and stories to create a sound installation.

Part of a Radio City residency at the gallery, ‘Listening Room’ encouraged adults and children to bring along objects and stories around the theme of hearing and listening from 2-6 February 2015.

Iris recorded the stories from Monday to Wednesday, edited the audio recordings on Thursday and created a sound installation for four channels and objects for everyone’s listening pleasure on the Friday.

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Some of the objects contributed by the public

The conversations between Iris and gallery visitors often expanded into very personal areas, focusing on childhood experiences or caring for relatives, while others were responses to exploring the sonic environment of the Tate.

Iris explains: “I was struck by the generosity of everyone, as people contributed so freely even very personal experiences.

“What came out of it for me was a kind of democratisation that happened through the stories – artists next to children, local residents next to Italian tourists. But there was also a blurring between museum visitors and myself: as I had invited people into the Listening Room, I also became a listener.”

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Exploring the objects used in ‘Listening Room’

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Listening to the installation at Tate Britain

A stereo version of the recording used in the installation was broadcast on Resonance FM and is archived here.

Read more about ‘Listening Room’ on Iris’s website

Read more about BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design

 

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Staging Disorder // Beate Geissler, Geissler/Sann

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From ‘Personal Kill’, Geissler/Sann, photographed by Lewis Bush.

LCC’s current showcase exhibition Staging Disorder runs until Thursday 12 March 2015, and features work by high-profile photographers and sound artists responding to ideas of modern conflict and the ‘real’.

We asked Beate Geissler of exhibiting duo Geissler/Sann to tell us more about the pair’s project ‘Personal Kill’.

Tell us a bit about the work you’re showing as part of Staging Disorder.

‘Personal Kill’ depicts interiors of so-called MOUT sites – training installations for Military Operations on Urban Terrain, used to teach close-range combat. The work references a book entitled ‘On Killing’ by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.

He writes, “In Vietnam the term ‘personal kill’ was used to distinguish the act of killing a specific individual with a direct-fire weapon and being absolutely sure of having done it oneself. The vast majority of personal kills and the resultant trauma occur at this range.”

The resulting trauma of a ‘personal kill’ is more severe than, for example, witnessing comrades or even family getting killed, since it is within the self that we find the source of the horror and not in the other. Something nobody can train an individual for.

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‘Personal Kill’ by Geissler/Sann in Staging Disorder at LCC. Photographed by Lewis Bush.

What drew you to tackle the subject of staged conflict?

We were very interested in the simulating qualities of those training sites, their relation to reality and virtuality. The gamification and zombiefication that takes place, which is extending, bending and creating reality, was the focus of our research. It is a feeling like walking in a movie.

When we entered those tunnel systems, it felt like descending into the collective unconscious of western society. These are sites where soldiers are trained to pull the trigger on their opposite.

Friedrich Hegel describes the transition from natural being to social and cultural subject as a violent and traumatic one. He coined the term ‘night of the world’, which he defined as an irreducible dimension of the finitude of subjectivity.

It is the abyss of negativity, the night of the eye, glimpsed in the uncanny gaze of the Other. This is a form of imagination which is the radical negativity of arbitrary freedom.

What are you currently working on outside the College?

We just published a new book ‘Volatile Smile’, which investigates the impact of technology on systems of global commerce. We were interested in the mutual impact of real and cybernetic architecture, with Chicago as its archetype.

What made Chicago a centre of speculative culture — a culture which so rapidly emerged as the ‘non-place’ where cybernetic logic bears its strangest and perhaps most powerful fruits?

What do you think is the effect of holding an exhibition like this at LCC?

Maybe students get inspired, start to raise more questions and become aware that this culture of fear which was created in the last decades is something we need to change.

What advice would you give to current LCC students?

Don’t do shiny art for glossy people.

Beate Geissler is Associate Professor and Area Coordinator Photography, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Visit the Geissler/Sann website

Read more about Staging Disorder

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Staging Disorder // Beate Geissler, Geissler/Sann

Geissler Sann by Lewis Bush

From ‘Personal Kill’, Geissler/Sann, photographed by Lewis Bush.

LCC’s current showcase exhibition Staging Disorder runs until Thursday 12 March 2015, and features work by high-profile photographers and sound artists responding to ideas of modern conflict and the ‘real’.

We asked Beate Geissler of exhibiting duo Geissler/Sann to tell us more about the pair’s project ‘Personal Kill’.

Tell us a bit about the work you’re showing as part of Staging Disorder.

‘Personal Kill’ depicts interiors of so-called MOUT sites – training installations for Military Operations on Urban Terrain, used to teach close-range combat. The work references a book entitled ‘On Killing’ by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.

He writes, “In Vietnam the term ‘personal kill’ was used to distinguish the act of killing a specific individual with a direct-fire weapon and being absolutely sure of having done it oneself. The vast majority of personal kills and the resultant trauma occur at this range.”

The resulting trauma of a ‘personal kill’ is more severe than, for example, witnessing comrades or even family getting killed, since it is within the self that we find the source of the horror and not in the other. Something nobody can train an individual for.

Geissler Sann on right by Lewis Bush

‘Personal Kill’ by Geissler/Sann in Staging Disorder at LCC. Photographed by Lewis Bush.

What drew you to tackle the subject of staged conflict?

We were very interested in the simulating qualities of those training sites, their relation to reality and virtuality. The gamification and zombiefication that takes place, which is extending, bending and creating reality, was the focus of our research. It is a feeling like walking in a movie.

When we entered those tunnel systems, it felt like descending into the collective unconscious of western society. These are sites where soldiers are trained to pull the trigger on their opposite.

Friedrich Hegel describes the transition from natural being to social and cultural subject as a violent and traumatic one. He coined the term ‘night of the world’, which he defined as an irreducible dimension of the finitude of subjectivity.

It is the abyss of negativity, the night of the eye, glimpsed in the uncanny gaze of the Other. This is a form of imagination which is the radical negativity of arbitrary freedom.

What are you currently working on outside the College?

We just published a new book ‘Volatile Smile’, which investigates the impact of technology on systems of global commerce. We were interested in the mutual impact of real and cybernetic architecture, with Chicago as its archetype.

What made Chicago a centre of speculative culture — a culture which so rapidly emerged as the ‘non-place’ where cybernetic logic bears its strangest and perhaps most powerful fruits?

What do you think is the effect of holding an exhibition like this at LCC?

Maybe students get inspired, start to raise more questions and become aware that this culture of fear which was created in the last decades is something we need to change.

What advice would you give to current LCC students?

Don’t do shiny art for glossy people.

Beate Geissler is Associate Professor and Area Coordinator Photography, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Visit the Geissler/Sann website

Read more about Staging Disorder

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