Interview with Professor David Bate

ART.ZIP: The University of Westminster has a long history in delivering high standards in photography education, what kind of support can your students expect during the one year course – in terms of photography facilities, research, tutoring and so on?

DB: Students have access to tutors, technical workshops, studios, analogue darkrooms, electronic darkrooms, printing facilities and exhibition spaces. We are proud of the history of innovation in photography education that the university has, as you say, long been associated with. Most of the tutors teaching on the course are involved in their own practice, whether this is photography or writing (or in my case both). Research is important to the university; many of our graduates go on to do further research on photography, whether as PhD students, in art gallery work and curating, etc.

ART.ZIP: 威斯敏斯特大學一直以來都以高質量攝影教育聞名於世,那麽就攝影和研究設施、輔導等方面來說,學生們能在這一年的學習中獲得哪些幫助?

DB: 學生在得到老師的輔導的同時還可以利用學校所提供的工作室、影棚、傳統暗房、數碼工作室、印刷設施和展覽空間。我們一直以威斯敏斯特大學在攝影教育史上創新而感到自豪。大多數的教師在教學過程中都同時進行著自己的項目,或攝影或攝影寫作(對我來說,這兩種都有)。學術研究對於一個大學來說尤為重要;我們的許多學生畢業后繼續做對攝影進一步的研究,無論是作為博士研究生、還是在美術館工作或從事策展等。

ART.ZIP: What are the teaching methods and approaches specially designed for this programme?

DB: The course uses different learning and teaching strategies, from formal lectures to seminars, individual and group tutorials, workshops, symposia and exhibition work. We are also increasingly using interactive tools on the Internet. Understanding how to use information and evaluate it as knowledge for research on the Internet is a key modern issue.

ART.ZIP: Can you tell us something about the major project? How it will be presented as a final body of work? And what are the grading criteria for a masters level student?

DB: The Major Project is the culmination of the masters degree, with an exhibition in a public gallery. The students share a gallery space, like a group art show, but each has their own separate area for their photographic work. Each person exhibits their body of photographic work in whatever form is appropriate (wall display, screen, book, etc.). The students usually organise additional events around the exhibition too, and the whole event works to show what work the students have been doing, which has been developed by them throughout the course.

ART.ZIP: What do you expect your students to learn and gain from this programme when they graduate from the course? Can you give some suggestions for students who want to learn Photography in UK as a whole?

DB: Students from the MA Photographic Studies go on to a number of careers: as artists and photographers, as well as related career paths in photo editing, media experts and industry specialists, curators, researchers, writers, critics and teachers. British education system thrives on a system where students are in dialogue with tutors, rather than simply being told what to do. The old academy system where masters inducted students into their way of thinking can still be found, but a more modern approach is much more common, which asks students to think what they are doing, to talk about what they are doing and why, and what they are trying to achieve. This approach has helped to create an autonomous environment, where students engage in conversation and debate about ideas and practices, ideas and interests.

ART.ZIP: 這門課程有哪些特別的授課方式?

DB: 我們的課程采用不同的教學策略,從正式的講座、研討會;到個人和小組討論、工作坊;再到專題討論會和展覽。我們也越來越多地開始使用互聯網上的互動工具。在我們看來,學會如何在互聯網上使用信息並將它看作是研究技能則是現代化的一個關鍵問題。

ART.ZIP: 您能同我們分享一下畢業創作的大致內容嗎? 學生們將如何呈現他們的畢業作品? 對於碩士畢業生的評價標準又是什麽?

DB: 畢業創作是學生取得碩士學位的最關鍵部分,通常最後會以畫廊的展覽作為展現方式。和群展的概念一樣,學生們共用一個畫廊空間並在獨立的空間內展示自己的攝影作品。每個人展示的攝影作品可以以任何合理的形式出現,比如說傳統的墻上展覽,電腦屏幕放映或是攝影冊等。學生們通常還會圍繞著展覽組織額外的活動,但是這些活動都向觀眾呈現他們在整個課程學習過程中的實踐。

ART.ZIP: 你期待學生在完成這門課程時能從其中學到哪些?請您給那些想來英國讀攝影的學生一些建議?

DB: 從攝影學碩士畢業的學生投身到不同的攝影行業裡去:有些成為藝術家和攝影師;有些成為圖像編輯、媒體專家和行業專家;另外一些人則選擇去做策展人、攝影學者、作家、評論家和教師。



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