Bright Light Issue 2: Thinking the Substrate

Friday 27 March sees the launch of issue 2 of CCW Graduate School’s journal Bright Light. The Bright Light series focuses on the latest debates in the arts and design and provides a way of seeing how practitioners are taking fresh perspectives on key questions facing designers, fine artists, lens-based media practitioners, curators, archivists and critical theorists. The Bright Light series is edited by Dr David Dibosa, CCW Senior Research Fellow and Course Leader of the MA in Curating and Collections at Chelsea, and each issue is guest edited by a member of CCW staff. In each publication themes such as the environment and technology, as well as socially-engaged practices and identity are looked at through the lens of current arts and design practice.

The first issue, Implicit Geographies, launched in summer 2014 and focused on a range of collections; private or public, professional or amateur and looked at the relations between places that objects suggest.

The second issue, Thinking the Substrate, edited by Dr Daniel Sturgis, is dedicated to the idea of the substrate. The publication stemmed from a series of three symposia hosted by CCW Graduate School and held in the Green Room at Chelsea College of Arts. Over the spring term in 2014, Professor Stephen Farthing, Professor Chris Wainwright and Dr Daniel Sturgis invited artists, academics and students from across the University, together with outside guests, to think about what a substrate could be and if the substrate might be an interesting way to speak cross-disciplinarily about practice.

Thinking the Substrate presents some of the discoveries from these symposia. Sturgis, together with Dibosa, asked participants from each of the sessions to either develop their papers or re-present them in a written form; not everyone who contributed to the sessions or discussions were included, which in some sense is a pity, but space was limited and there was also a desire to show divergent approaches. The one thing that everyone who attended the symposia discovered, as the reader does, is what a slippery fish the idea of substrate is. How can it mean very different things to different people – but remarkably within that breadth the substrate somehow still retains a base that links its various interpretations? It is this base that is so intriguing.

Thinking the Substrate features articles by Simon Morley (Dankook University), Neil Cummings (CCW), Adrian Glew (Tate Britain), Richard Layzell (WCA), Daniel Sturgis (CCW), Pia Gottschaller (Courtauld Institute of Art) and Jo Melvin (CCW).

The launch will take place from 5 – 7pm on Friday 27th March at Camberwell Space gallery, Camberwell College of Arts.

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