module specification

SM5055 - Installation and Site (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Installation and Site
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Independent project (creative work hosted as part of the group curated event)
Group Coursework 30%   Group-curated event (assessed as the process of contribution to the event)
Coursework 30%   Project portfolio (1500 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module will explore creative strategies in the application of the concepts of performativity and performance-as-research, beyond a strictly theatrical context. In doing so, it will promote multi-disciplinary crossovers, in particular between performance, visual and multimedia arts. A particular focus will be dedicated to the conceptual investigation of site and the creative adaptation and transformation of this.

The function and aesthetics of performance and site will be explored in their broadest significance, making use of concepts such as rituality, liminality, hybridity and contamination and relevant theoretical references in this respect. Studying the work of contemporary and historical practices in installation, site-specific and site-responsive art, students will develop new work to be presented and contextualised as part of a self-curated event. Such an event may be organised in collaboration with professional structures, both inside the University (e.g. The Facility: Centre for Creative Practice at London Met) and outside (galleries, art centres and collaborating practitioners). In this sense, the module will represent an opportunity to gain professional skills both in the artistic and academic development of new work, as well as in the documentation and dissemination of this.

Module aims

• To critically engage with the concept of performativity and performance-as-research, in light of a range of pertinent theoretical perspectives;
• To apply such concepts both to live work and to installation art and recorded media;
• To identify key practices in the field of site-responsive art and installation, both contemporary and historical, and refer to these as stimuli for the creation of new work;
• To promote innovative crossovers between artistic disciplines, in particular performance, visual and digital media;
• To understand the principles of arts curatorship and foster professional skills in the documentation, contextualisation and dissemination of new work.


Through practical workshops, lectures and seminars, students will investigate ideas of performativity as explored by established practitioners in site-responsive and installation art and investigate these directly through creative tasks and experiences.

In the first part of the module, each weekly theme (e.g. ritual, liminality, contamination, hybridity, inter-disciplinarity, abjection) will be explored in light of work by artists such as Stelarc, Bill Viola, Punchdrunk Theatre, Rebecca Horn, Marina Abramovic, Laurie Anderson, Bruce Nauman etc. Inspired by such artists, students will engage in creative tasks, orientated to the creation of new material exploring the theme in question.

In the second part of the module, students will investigate different strategies for the documentation and dissemination of site-responsive and installation art. Through off-site sessions, they will closely examine relevant venues and organisations, such as Tate Modern and private contemporary art galleries, and investigate their curatorial practice and ethos.

As a result of the above experiences, towards the end of the module students will begin to produce a new site-responsive or installation work and document and disseminate this as part of group-curated event.

Learning and teaching

The following learning and teaching strategies are going to be employed in the course of this module:
• Practical workshops;
• Multimedia lectures;
• Student-led seminars;
• Online activities through blended learning approaches;
• Visits to relevant points of interest;
• Interviews of professionals in the industry;
• An independent practical project (assessed);
• A group-curated event, hosting the above project (assessed);
• In relation to the above, live presentations and a documentation portfolio (assessed).

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will have gained:
• The ability to critically evaluate and communicate the broader significance of the concept of performativity, with reference to a variety of perspectives (art theories, anthropology, semiotics, post-structuralism, post-modernism);
• Furthered knowledge of key practices in the field of site-responsive and installation art, both contemporary and historical, and the ability to describe and comment upon functional, aesthetic, ethical and philosophical questions upon which these are based;
• Practical skills in the creation of original artistic work, exercising initiative and decision-making, drawing on relevant methodologies of creative practice as research;
• Professional skills in the documentation, contextualisation and dissemination and in the general curatorship of original work, communication to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Assessment strategy

Assessment modes on this module are aimed at providing opportunities to test academic, artistic and professional skills, in line with the learning outcomes. Please note that the practical assessment modes listed below are part of the same event, assessed both in its individual components (independent tasks) and the process of curating these as a group.

Independent Task: this is a piece of creative work, applying the techniques and methods explored throughout the module. Students will work on an independently conceived and produced piece, in the form of a site-responsive installation or performance, utilising non-theatrical spaces. This may include the creation of objects, photography, video and other digital media. Students will be assessed on the artistic skills utilised and on their initiative and decision-making in applying these.

Group-curated event: this will host the independent projects created by the class group and will be an opportunity to assess students’ ability to efficiently evaluate, contextualise, document and disseminate. Students will be marked on the process of contributing to the curation of the event, its creative vision, organisation and dissemination.

Project portfolio: this written assignment supports, documents and contextualises the students’ independent projects. It should contain a critical reflection on the process of creation and an evaluation of the context of the work, with reference to the theories and practitioners explored in class. Additional material may include photography, videography, design and creative writing. This assignment may be submitted as a web-based document.


Kaye, N. 2000. Site-specific art. London: Routledge.
Kwon, M 1997. One place after another: notes on site specificity, October. (Vol.80), pp.85-110. [online]. Available from Jstor. [Accessed 19 June 2012]

McAuley, G. 2000. Space in performance. University of Michigan Press.
Oddey, A. and White, C. 2006. The potentials of spaces. Bristol: Intellect Books.
Oddey, A. 2007. Re-framing the theatrical. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Schechner, R. 1968. Six axioms of environmental theatre, The Drama Review. (Vol. 12 No3), pp. 41-64. [online]. Available from Jstor. [Accessed 31 December 2011]