Case Study: Goldsmiths

The equally renowned MFA Fine Art course, is recently celebrating its first Turner winner, Laure Prouvost. A common reference point to this course is the two-episode long BBC documentary, “Goldsmiths: But is it Art?” The documentary follows the experience of a few students on the MFA course, from their daily practice to their degree show. However, as many students on the course claimed, the documentary doesn’t resonate with their own experience, and its somewhat misleading, mystification of the MFA studies didn’t do the course any justice. Along with the seminars and tutorials offered, the MFA course has a lecture series which is rigorously organised and invites critical thinkers and practitioners of today to share their knowledge. Recent lectures include the artist and theorist Hito Steyerl, Tate curator Sook-Kyung Lee, and the philosopher Peter Osborne.

As many art graduates mentioned in the documentary, at Goldsmiths their ‘mind’ was trained to become an artist. This critical pedagogy is similarly practiced in the Design department at Goldsmiths. The Design department offers a general BA Design course rather than breaking it down into Product Design, Graphic Design or Industrial Design. The philosophy of the course follows the current design industry trend to expands the territory of each discipline with multi-directional collaboration. This conceptual-led educational model focuses on questioning the nature of design itself, as well as its place within society, it asks the students to use design as a means to address issues and phenomenons which occur in daily life. The MA Design course at Goldsmiths further extends this interdisciplinary approach with more specific research directions, including environment and technological interactions.

金史密斯的研究生純藝專業(MFA Fine Art)也同樣知名,這個專業今年也迎來了其第一位獲得特納獎的畢業校友勞拉·普羅佛斯特(Laure Prouvost)。每當提及這個專業,許多人便想到幾年前BBC出品的兩集紀錄片 《金史密斯,這是藝術嗎?(Goldsmiths: But is it Art?)》,這部紀錄片以幾位研究生在讀藝術家的經歷為主要內容,記錄他們的日常創作以及畢業展覽。但是,這樣的一部紀錄片卻遭到不少在讀或畢業的學生詬病。有些學生說道紀錄片裡所反映的經歷跟他們的實在大相徑庭,而紀錄片本身將金史密斯此專業神秘化的語氣,也並未能如實地反映這個課程。這個專業除去常規的講座和研討會外,也會請到當今頗具影響力的藝術家,思想家和作家來校講課,最近的邀請名單就包括了電影人和作家黑特·史德耶爾(Hito Steyerl),泰特現代美術館亞太藝術研究中心的策展人李淑京,以及哲學家彼得·奧斯本(Peter Osborne)。


But Goldsmiths, University of London, is not simply an art college. It may be famous for being the art hub of South East London, but this Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences University is also internationally renowned for Sociology, Media Studies, Music, and perhaps unexpectedly, its Computer Sciences course. One may not be able to find the science laboratories or be overwhelmed by the big lecture rooms at its campus, but the students are certainly proud of the ‘creative atmosphere’ at Goldsmiths. There are not many who are interested in scientific research or financial studies which might suggest that the diversity of students at Goldsmiths cannot be generally compared to other universities in the UK. There’s also local edge, which has for years been helping spread the word that South East is the ‘new East’. The South East London area which surrounds Goldsmiths has become an up-and-coming district in London. With its comparably affordable rent, as well as being the home to a few art schools, the area attracts a young demographic. The New Cross area where Goldsmiths is situated has become edgier over the years with new local initiatives and projects helping. The adjacent neighbourhoods of Deptford and Peckham are famous for their art communities and increasing a number of galleries and art spaces have opened. Not exclusively catering to the creative crowds, green areas, such as Greenwich and Dulwich, offer the possibility to escape to nature for those of who live in the South East.

說到這裡,倫敦大學金史密斯學院,並不僅僅是一所藝術學院。儘管它以作為倫敦東南區的藝術坐標而出名,但這所藝術、人文和社科大學在國際上同樣也以其社會學、媒體傳播學、音樂系、以及更鮮為人知的計算機科學系而持有盛名。或許學校裡並沒有許多大型講堂或實驗室,但學生們卻也在金史密斯獨特的創意氛圍中自得其樂。在這裡可能不常見到對純粹的金融或是科學感興趣的學生,某種程度上,也意味著金史密斯不及一些綜合型大學來得更加多元化。但金史密斯所處的東南倫敦卻有著獨特的文化,近幾年來,東南倫敦一直在和為常人所知的藝術文化聖地東倫敦搶風頭。金史密斯周圍的地區確實是倫敦文化領域發展最快的地段之一,這也是得益於其相對便宜的房租和幾所有名藝術學院,吸引了不少的年輕人。隨著一些獨立藝術機構和組織的進駐,金史密斯所在的新街口(New Cross Gate)地區正變得愈發潮流。而其附近的德特福德(Deptford)和派克姆區(Peckham)早已因其逐漸壯大的藝術家群體和畫廊而成為了倫敦藝術的新晉地段。不僅僅是在藝術文化上豐富,東南倫敦的格林尼治(Greenwich)小鎮和德威士區(Dulwich)也給想要靠近自然的人們提供了去處。


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