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Meet Heiner Alzate: UAL women’s volleyball coach

November 21, 2016 in Multimedia, UAL Sport

Elephant Sport’s Oliver Norgrove, Shan Gambling and Daniel Racheter visit a UAL women’s volleyball training session to speak to the team’s new coach, Heiner Alzate.

Originally from Colombia, Alzate played professionally for 10 years before turning to refereeing and coaching. He hopes to instil in his young players the tricks of the trade that he learned as a player in South America.

Norgrove asks him about the transition from playing with men to coaching women, comparisons between volleyball in Colombia and the UK, the challenges that the sport of volleyball faces, and how UAL’s season is progressing.

The video can be watched in full below. You can also find out more about the UAL women’s volleyball team here.

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Idea Generation Processes – How do you convert ideas into finished work?

November 9, 2016 in courses, Student Stories

What exactly is the creative process and how do we convert ideas into a finished piece of work? We chat to artist Madeleine Staubli about her experience on the Idea Generation Processes short course and how it taught her new ways of unlocking her creative ideas, plus experiment with new ones.

What is your name and where do you come?  

Madeleine Staubli and I’m Swiss.  I currently live in the countryside near Lucerne

What is your occupation?

Artist

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?  

Fun, intensive, great experience 

What did you enjoy most about your course Idea Generation Processes?  

It was a great opportunity to experiment with different materials and a great opportunity to get closer to my own artistic language. I learned how to use my brain in new ways and it still works even a whole year after the course. It was worth every pound. Ideal for beginners as for professionals.  I actually took Ilga’s Total Drawing course also and loved the efficient way of going through different chapters. The teaching speed created a “workflow” which made my hands become drawing hands.

What was your first impression of Central Saint Martins?

It gave me the real London feeling which I hoped to find.

What did you think of your tutor Ilga Leimanis?

I appreciated Ilga’s teaching method.  Even with 16 in a group, she was efficient and clear and she was able to teach a mixed level class effectively, it didn’t matter if they were beginners or advanced learners or professionals.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

I already had ideas about creating 3D objects but it seemed so difficult to realise them.  After the course it all became so easy and it felt as if all the doors in my brain were pushed open.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

If you really feel like experimenting and trying some other ways of thinking creatively then go for it.

What is the best thing about studying in London?

I love London and if I am there for a week I can keep my mind free of everything else. Being there enables me to occupy myself only with the things I want to.

The next Idea Generation Processes Short Course is in January with further dates throughout 2017. Check the Central Saint Martins Short Course website for further details.

VIDEO ART: AN INTRODUCTION TO MOVING IMAGE PRACTICE

November 3, 2016 in courses, Meet our tutors

Central Saint Martins Short Courses is very pleased to announce a new and exciting weekend course, that will examine Video art: an introduction to moving image practice, this coming December.  Taught by Dr. Azadeh Fatehrad, an artist and curator currently based at the Photography Programme of the Royal College of Art, we chat to Azadeh about Video Art in 2016 and what students can expect from her new course.

Video Art encompasses installations, films, digital media and projections and has been around in these various forms since the 1960s. But where is Video Art in 2016 and what relevance does it have today?

Video art is, in fact, one of the most significant art practices in the contemporary world. I agree that the start of the practice was in the 1960s, when it was primarily single channel video, or was used to reflect on an artist’s process by capturing their studio practice – e.g. Bruce Nauman. However, the medium of moving image has now expanded in diversity, in terms of content, duration and display. By using different editing techniques, filming equipment and displaying facilities, artists have reached one of the most significant levels of image making possible today.

At the same time, with the shrinking physical world that we live in, many contemporary artists find video art more convenient, as it can easily be stored on a hard drive.

VideoArt1

When did you first present yourself as a Video Artist?

It was in 2011 that I installed my first multi-channel video installation in the Chelsea Triangle Space. It was the result of an experimental process in which I shifted from working with physical art (Painting, Sclupture) to time based media.

What inspired you to practice Video art?

Video art presented a new language for me at the time and I was curious to learn more about it. I was fascinated by the combination of sound, image and narrative, and impressed by the length of a video art piece-  the fact that it could form a linear sequence of fragments of an event.

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Currently you are a lecturer based at the Royal College of Art, London and also a visiting lecturer at the Moving Image Department of Brighton University.  How did you make that transition from artist to lecturer?

I found video art more communicative and a more effective artistic tool, but I was not sure yet which particular style would be more suitable for me.

Where should I start and how could I express my ideas in a narrative form? That was when I embarked on extensive research on different video art practices such as documentaries, essay films, poetic diary films, photo-based videos, footage re-visitation, and performance-based videos, among others. I was anxious to find out more about techniques, concepts and the history in parallel. It was a fruitful journey and I realised it could be an important part of art education. For this reason, I prioritised teaching and sharing my findings with groups of art students in Britain such as at the Royal College of Art, as well as abroad at the likes of Konstfack Stockholm.

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What can students expect from your new course Video Art: An Introduction to Moving Image Practice at Central Saint Martins Short Courses?

I have created an abridged version of my video art teachings exclusively for the Central Saint Martins short courses. The sessions would start by looking at the diverse styles of video art practice, referring to examples by artists and practitioners such as Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Chris Marker and Chantal Akerman among others. I believe discussion should be one of the most important parts of the sessions where the group could bring together different perspectives by trying to understand and analyse various video art pieces. We would evaluate the primary elements of each work such as concept, technique and production by referencing existing styles.

Have there been any exhibitions of Video Art in London this year that have particularly impressed you?

The Inoperative Community at Raven Row.

The Inoperative Community Installation Ericka Beckman, You the Better (1983) Photography by Marcus J. Leith

The Inoperative Community Installation
Ericka Beckman, You the Better (1983)
Photography by Marcus J. Leith

The first Video Art: An Introduction to Moving Image Practice weekend course will take place on 18th and 19th March 2017. You can book online via the Short Course website.

Six Reasons why FIFA keeps outselling PES

November 1, 2016 in Opinion

FIFA is like the popular kid at school. It barely tries to impress, treats most people like crap but remains loved by everyone.

Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) is like one of those perfectly nice but awkward kids that resorts to giving away free sweets just for a moment of attention while always somehow remaining unnoticed.

According to analyst Daniel Ahmad’s Twitter feed, FIFA 17 has sold 40 times more copies than PES 17, having shifted more than 1.1 million units while PES couldn’t even reach 50k. It’s a pattern that been repeated in recent year. Here’s a few reasons why this might be:

Licences: While FIFA has the rights to all the official club and player names, PES has to improvise. Classic examples include: London FC (Chelsea), Hampshire Red (Southampton) and my personal favourite, Man Blue (Man City). Bonus example: back in the day Cafu’s name was Facu.

Peer pressure: If I went out and bought PES I’d have no-one to play it with because everyone else has FIFA. The EA Sports game has become the norm and it feels like this snowball is just getting bigger and bigger.

The name: I don’t have to go out and do a survey to know that about 99% of British fans call the beautiful game football, not soccer. This is a pretty serious deal. I have seen armies of keyboard warriors threaten anyone who disagrees. I think Konami would be taken more seriously if they called it Pro Evolution Football but I guess PEF doesn’t quite have the same ring as PES.

Game play: The fast pace and easy scoring always made PES feel like an arcade game while FIFA’s painstaking attention to detail, steady gameplay and genuine feeling of accomplishment after scoring  gives it more of a simulator vibe.

Barcelona: The main selling point for PES 17 is its licence for Barcelona. As great as this is, it’s a well-known fact that if you’re playing with a friend or online and you pick Barcelona you will be labelled as someone with no skill whatsoever. I know this because I quite often play as Barcelona.

Soundtracks: Both games have always had decent soundtracks but FIFA always seems to have the edge by including more songs. This is especially helpful when you’re spending hours and hours playing career mode. Listening to the same 11 songs on PES while playing a 40+ matches season can become more than tedious.

From a personal standpoint I prefer FIFA simply because it’s something that I’m more accustomed to. The last Pro Evolution Soccer instalment I owned was 14.

As mentioned in my second point, FIFA is a game that’s played by all my friends and their minds are made up as much as mine. Even if I’d want to give the new PES a try I don’t really fancy spending £55 on a game I’m sceptical about, and there’s no-one I could borrow it from. There’s always demos but I feel they never give a big enough picture and feel of the game.

Can it ever change?

I have seen a lot of people on social media who don’t think FIFA 17 is that great. The main criticisms were that player statistics don’t work properly (Messi outjumping Ibrahimović for a header or Mertesacker keeping pace with Sterling?) and set-piece play becoming unnecessarily complicated.

Even the new ‘Journey’ mode has been criticised for being only one season long.

In addition, Pro Evolution Soccer 17 has received very positive reviews overall and its overall score was lower than FIFA only by a tiny margin.

Maybe this year could be the turning point in the football gaming industry where the unnoticed kid at school finally gets their lucky break….

Flash Fiction!

October 25, 2016 in courses, Student Stories

It is that time of year again, when all eyes are on the Man Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist, and this year it is said to be the best and most confident in years.  Literary prizes such as the Man Booker are certainly inspiring, and here at Central Saint Martins Short Courses, a new creative writing course, Flash Fiction (Weekend), will teach you the craft of writing short stories in under 1000 words.

Taught by Creative Writing for Beginners tutor, Joanna Pocock, this 2-day course will invite students to read, write, and workshop stories in progress, with students finishing the course with a well-structured, complete piece of writing.

Past students of Joanna’s creative writing short courses have gone on to find successes in journalism, song-writing and even a short-listing for a literature award.

Season Butler, is one such success story, who after studying under Joanna, went on to enrol on an MA in Creative Writing and was shortlisted for the Leeds Literary Prize in 2014.

We spoke to Season about literary success and how a short course in creative writing led her into a career as a professional writer.

Books!

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?      

Energising, illuminating, challenging

What did you enjoy most about your course?         

The group taking the course with me was great, and I made awesome friends there. We were all in the same boat, trying to carve out a writing practice while juggling the demands of work and family and all the messiness of life. Writing can be a solitary activity; with the support of Joanna and the rest of the group, I didn’t feel that I was going it alone.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

This course was a springboard into my career as a professional writer. Even having studied English and Creative Writing as an undergraduate, the course at CSM was hugely valuable, helping to refresh and refocus my writing practice. For me, going on to read an MA in Creative Writing was a natural next step, and I don’t think I could have done it without the confidence and renewed skills I gained in Joanna’s class.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

Go for it.  Joanna is a great teacher who creates a warm atmosphere among the participants, makes the often daunting task of writing something feel rewarding and (dare I say) fun.

Flash Fiction in a Weekend short course will take place on 26 and 27 November 2016. For further information please visit our website.

 

UAL’s Teaching and Learning Strategy

October 25, 2016 in Creativity, Digital Literacy, eLearning, Enterprise

UAL’s Teaching and Learning Strategy – in one page.

‘What is Journalism?’ – Journalism and Society Seminar 13.10.16

October 17, 2016 in Journalism & Society

What is Journalism? 

The question that has been asked repeatedly throughout my first week. This is probably because its a hard question to answer. “What is Journalism?” 
It is a way to gather Information and assess stories, creating and presenting educational news and to entertain the public. But then some would argue that it is also used to fabricate information or even disseminate false stories. This question creates more questions. “Where do you draw the line with Journalism?” Read the rest of this entry →

The Essential Guide to Business for Artists and Designers

October 14, 2016 in courses, Meet our tutors

Congratulations to CSM Short Course tutor Alison Branagan on the publication of the Second Edition of her book The Essential Guide to Business for Artists and Designers Alison’s popular online course, Self-Promotion for Creatives, is essential for anyone who desires to make a living from art, design, photography, image-making, or other creative activities. There are still a few places remaining on the next session of this course which starts this coming Tuesday 18th October!

Read Alison’s Guest Blog post on the Routes to Business Success here

Course Teams – how to propose additional plugins for Moodle / Workflow / myblog.arts

October 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

If you are the member of a UAL course team and would like to propose a new plugin for Moodle, workflow or myblog.arts – please make your case here – http://bitly.com/ual-plugins-proposal

Ceramics Short Course alumni Maria Gasparian wins MullenLowe Nova Award

September 29, 2016 in courses, Student Stories

It’s been an interesting journey for Architect Maria Gasparian, who following an inspirational Short Course in Ceramics at Central Saint Martins, subsequently enrolled on an MA in Ceramic Design and graduated with distinction this summer.   Following this she won a MullenLowe Nova Award and Unilever Sustainability Award for her Colour Ceramic City, which aims to offer an engaging and sensory experience within pubic urban spaces.

Photo by Vic Phillips

Maria Gasparian, Colour Ceramic City Photo by Vic Phillips

Currently on display at Brain Waves, a Central Saint Martins Lethaby Gallery exhibition, the self-supporting sculptural ceramic pieces and dynamic volumes, formed by extruded clay coils have an abstract plane with two faces that celebrates the plasticity of clay and brilliance of the glazes. The pieces are scalable and can adapt to local contexts offering endless opportunities for site-specific interventions creating vibrant spaces within a city.

Maria Gasparian, Ceramic City, materials: clay, earthenware glaze Photo by Vic Phillips

Maria Gasparian, Colour Ceramic City, Materials: clay, earthenware glaze Photo by Vic Phillips

We asked Maria about her journey from ceramics short course student to award winning MA Ceramics graduate and how her Ceramics Short Course changed the path of her career.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?   

Eye-opener, Informative, Intensive

What did you enjoy most about your course?  

The teaching, hands on experience and experimentation.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

The short course on Architectural Ceramics was a start of a new path in my career. I had been practicing as an architect at the time and also attending part-time pottery classes. Joining the short course gave me an idea about how to combine the two practices. Subsequently I enrolled on MA in Ceramic Design at CSM and graduated with distinction this summer.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

With work, study or family commitments it is often difficult to subscribe to a full time course particularly if it is in a new discipline for someone. Short courses are a very good way to try new ideas or test something that one had on their mind for a long time.

The next Ceramics for Beginners short course starts on 22 October 2016.  For further information please visit our website.  Taught by Simeon Featherstone, the course will teach you how to construct forms using hand-building techniques, create colourful and decorative surface patterns and also experiment with slip-casting.

Also in December we have exciting new course, Ceramic Screen-Printing and Ceramic Transfers, which will teach you how to design and produce your own screen-printed transfers.  Our full course offer of Ceramic Short Courses can be found on the Central Saint Martins Short Courses website.

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