March 17, 2021

WFH: DAY 56/LENT 25. 7.30 am: ‘If you go down to the woods today …’. I was there in body, but my mind was elsewhere. (‘Be present, John!’, the voice scolded.) No one else was there. But I didn’t feel alone. Behind and underneath the surface complexity, thousand of creatures hid and went about their lives. One can believe without seeing. What lies beyond the gossamer of this gross materiality that, too often, is framed as constituting all that there is?

9.00 am: I began my morning of Art/Sound one-to-one tutorials. (This was the second such session.) These are focussed upon developing the PowerPoint dissertation and case study projects for submission in May. Some students just needed twenty minutes in order to sit down, focus on the task, and objectify what’s going on in their heads with another person. Afterwards, they were ready to go on with the projects. The busyness, anxieties, and the many-headed Hydra of our responsibilities challenge the ability to deal with any one thing in depth and exclusively.

In and around gaps between tutorials, I prepared for the days ahead. In tomorrow’s Exhibition 1 & 2 tutorials with my painters, I want to address the feedback and grading that they’d received for either Painting 5 or Painting 6, in semester 1. This would be the basis for a discussion about how they might be able to improve on their performance over Easter, and in the Summer term thereafter. In particular, we’ll look at the four main areas comprising the assessment: Creativity, Rationale, Presentation, and Studentship:

Creativity

Rationale

Presentation

Studentship

1.15 pm: Having completed the morning’s teaching, I landed in the Teams room for the lunchtime staff meeting — lunch prepared and eaten off-screen. (I won’t surrender my grub for anything.) ‘”Hyflex” teaching’. That was a new one on me. Meaning = where the delivery of teaching is online and face-to-face simultaneously. The return of students after the Easter vacation is fraught with problems. But what a wonderful team of staff: we think, empathise, and plan in concord. We’re instinctively and mutually supportive.

2.00 pm: The first of the afternoon’s PhD fine art tutorials. ‘Oh, the excitement!’ It was tantalising. I’d a reason for visiting the School and an opportunity to see physical artworks in a gallery space. Wonderful! One of my PhD fine art students was installing their doctoral exhibition. And it was good to see them in glorious 3D, HD resolution too, even if they were masked and 6 feet away. There’re some experiences in life that I’ll never again take for granted.

5.00 pm: An interval.

A little synthetic cubism (online-tutorial detail)

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