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Writing Art: Transmission

Writing Art is a module on the MA and MART courses at Sheffield Hallam University.It takes up a number of strands of what may constitute art writing, including:

  • Art Criticism. An introduction to contemporary debates in critical practice. What is critical art writing? Art History V politics, aesthetics, and ethics, considered in terms over and above the formal; processes, definitions, characters. What is art historical writing?
  • Art Text. The text as a work of art, independent of extraneous images or objects, and as image/object itself. What is an artist’s book?
  • Art Writing. Rethinking writing about art in terms of subjective experience, real or imagined encounter, and the relation between text, reader/viewer, and work of art. What is writing art?

The Transmission lecture series is part of the course material. Students develop a blog as a place of publication for weekly texts, written in response to the lecture. The first is subjective, reactive and responsive. taking in not only the words and images presented by the guest speaker but also what is happening in the lecture theatre, the noise and shuffling, the clothes of speaker and audience, the scritch-scratch of note-taking, irritation, excitement, boredom, half-formed thoughts and reverie. The second text is written subsequently, one of evaluation and judgement, analysis and critique -- an objective text which is supposed to address the performance and intention of works of art and the guest speaker (rather than a personal opinion on their success and efficacity). The latter are particularly difficult to write. Both sets of texts may be read on the blog:

Then a third text is produced, a combination of those above, but this year there saw a move from text to voice.

2010/11 Third Voices

Namra KHAN
Rachel SMITH
Madeleine WALTON


2009/10 Third Texts


Alison J.CARR
Lesley GUY






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