Issues in Contemporary Art - 2016

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP2 , SP3
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP3 , SP4
  • Assessment: Essay 1 (40%) , Essay 2 (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit provides you with an introduction to the major theoretical issues of contemporary art with a strong emphasis given to contemporary practice. Theories of seeing and of cultural production are examined and illustrated through examples of contemporary art practices.

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At the completion of this unit students will:

  1. analyse the most prevalent issues that have faced contemporary art in the late 20th/early 21st century and in terms of their historical social, political and cultural contexts
  2. research and analyse the critical and theoretical underpinnings of various international, contemporary art movements and how they have influenced each other
  3. present research results using appropriate technology
  4. work independently and in groups draw on personal experience to analyse the relationships between contemporary art and popular cultural practices and between the artist and the community.
  • Essay 1 (40%)
  • Essay 2 (40%)
  • Test — Online (20%)

You must have a high level of proficiency in the English language and competent essay writing skills.

  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Art theory and context
2Practices of seeing
3Art, politics and ideology
4Commodity, culture and desire
5Identity and the body
6The persistence of abstraction
7Conceptual art
8Landscape art and the environment
9Modernism and postmodernism
10Art science and technology

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Online materials

  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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