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VSA2000 Perspectives in Contemporary Art

Semester 3, 2019 Online
Short Description: Perspectives Contemporary Art
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 100301 - Fine Arts
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Simon Mee


This course looks at current trends in contemporary art that have led to many artists working within shared areas of investigation such as representation, abstraction, storytelling, globalism, body, nature and technology etc. The course will discuss 10 different areas of current contemporary art and debate the similarities and differences between artists who are working within these fields and the individual responses they have to these various conceptual and visual concerns.


VSA2000 Perspectives in Contemporary Art is the investigation and evolving discussion of shared artistic concerns which have occurred within current contemporary artistic practices. The course explores the role of conceptual concerns in regards to 10 areas of discussion and the significance they play in developing current art discourse. The theories of art, culture, social politics and aesthetics from a variety of periods, social and cultural movements will be discussed through the use of imagery from 20th Century (as an historical starting foundation). Expanding on this the course will also present information on related fields within contemporary art and the ongoing conceptual and visual concerns that continue to be developed by artists from throughout the world in the 21st Century.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. explore concepts related to artists and their practices related to historical, contemporary and current shared artistic concerns
  2. research and evaluate key historical and contemporary art concepts through creative, critical and reflective thinking by investigating underlying aesthetic conventions within works of art in their varying contexts
  3. apply knowledge of the development of contemporary visual art concepts through a broad survey of historical and current contemporary thought and in doing so generate proposed links and solutions between various artists
  4. communicate in writing by clearly and logically expressing ideas pertaining to visual and conceptual perspectives as they relate to the visual arts supported by evidence of research and analysis
  5. recognise and reflect on cultural and socio-political issues that are inherent in historical and current contemporary arts trends, arts theory, and concepts and the way these are positioned individually, and internationally.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Representation: the fiction of realism 10.00
2. Abstraction and purity 10.00
3. The transference of the readymade 10.00
4. Art and popular culture 10.00
5. Post-modern story telling 10.00
6. The body, nature and technology 10.00
7. The politics of art: art and politics 10.00
8. Hybrid identity and imperfection 10.00
9. Globalism and the borderless world 10.00
10. Reinventing the viewer. 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Fig, J 2015, Inside the Artist's Studio, Princeton Architectural Press, New York.
(Also available online.)
Students are required to research and utilise various sources and materials as a way of demonstrating the outcomes of their arts practice. The list of reference materials below will assist with answering all assignments as well as developing research related to studios.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Birnbaum, D, Butler, CH & Cotter, S 2011, Defining contemporary art: 25 years in 200 pivotal artworks, Phaidon Press, New York.
Foster, H, Krauss, R, Bois, Y & Buchloh, BHD 2016, Art since 1900: modernism, antimodernism, postmodernism, 3rd edn, Thames & Hudson, London.
Kalb, PR 2013, Art since 1980: charting the contemporary, Pearson, London.
Stiles, K & Selz, P (eds) 2012, Theories and documents of contemporary art: a sourcebook of artists’ writings (, University of California Press, Berkeley.
Documents of contemporary art, Whitechapel Gallery, 2012, MIT Press, Cambridge.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 65.00
Private Study 100.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 10 09 Dec 2019
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 60 27 Jan 2020
ASSIGNMENT 3 100 30 14 Feb 2020

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.