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Unit of study_

CAEL2093: Sculpture: Installation and Space

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

This unit will explore installation as a spatial practice within the expanded terrain of sculpture. You will examine installation as a hybrid form that negotiates and incorporates the boundaries of traditional art practices like painting, sculpture and video. The unit of study provides an overview of contemporary installation art practice and explores methods for producing work in a variety of media to activate and utilise space. Students explore innovative applications of conventional materials, found objects and time-based media such as video, sound and custom technologies in the development of their work. This unit engages with dedicated installations spaces and the adapting of environments and locations. The unit combines studio work, short presentations by the lecturer, student presentations and group discussion/critiques. In consultation with the lecturer, you will develop a studio work proposal and create a finished work.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CAEL2093
Academic unit Sydney College of the Arts
Credit points 6
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Robyn Backen,
Tutor(s) Mitchel Cumming Cumming,
Richard Kean,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation exercise archive and project proposal
exercise archive and project proposal
30% Week 06
Due date: 09 Sep 2022 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Presentation final artwork
final artwork
70% Week 12
Due date: 28 Oct 2022 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Assessment summary

Assessment 1 (20%): Exercise Archive and project Proposal

This presentation will be in class and will consist of 5 components:

1-4: documentation from exercises from weeks 2 & 3, plus two more images of transient installation interventions based on class discussion, consultation and knowledge attained from previous exercises. These are also to be informed by set readings and others in your independent research. 

The fifth component is a proposal for the approach and methodology for the final work(s)

These are to be presented using Powerpoint, or as a suite of easily accessible and navigable images. The presentation must be ready for the beginning of class on week 6.

Assessment 2 (80%): Final studio project

This will involve three discrete components: one of which must be video. These components are to occupy three separate spaces and comprise a suggestive narrative or propositional composite (to be explained further in class). Given that site and object have a reciprocal semantic relation, on a formal level and on many other levels besides, such as historical and associative, the three installation interventions are expected to comprise a coherent whole when seen one after the other.

In formulating your response you may wish to think of the history of the site(s), what connotative qualities a site may have (the general “vibe”: what it might, with assistance, conjure up), or you may wish to denature the site as some form of conceptual violation. Note no vandalism will be allowed.

You will present this work in week 12. Presenting if a key componrnt to the assessment. If you fail to do so due to documented illness or misadventure, you will be expected to submit a video version. As with the previous assignment, you will have time to act on feedback given in this time in the lead-up to the final submission in week 14. Note that feedback for this assessment is verbal (week 12) and written  (week 14).

Assessment criteria


Assessment Criteria

This unit uses standards-based assessment for award of assessment marks. Your assessments will be evaluated solely on the basis of your individual performance

Conceptual sophistication

Willingness to work with a variety of materials and approaches

Ability to relate work to others in an historical context

Capacity for artistic research (written and visual) and translation of this knowledge into independent and original outcomes

A consistent and diligent attitude to studio practice

The ability to take feedback in an open, patient and reflective way

Interest and capacity to experiment and to work outside of comfort zones

Demonstrated interest and ability to build on critical reflection on established outcomes

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The same penalties apply according to Faculty policy. Late submission must be accompanied with relevant documentation.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to Unit Online class (3 hr) LO1
Week 02 Exercise 1: Spatial Interventions Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 03 Exercise 2: Imagined and Hypothetical Space Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 04 Exercise 3: site, object, archive Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 05 Preparation for Presentations Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Presentations Online class (3 hr) LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 07 Studio Project Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 08 Studio Project Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 09 Studio Project Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 10 Studio Project Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 11 Studio Project Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 12 Presentation of Work Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

Additional requirements from Sydney College of the Arts

  • Students must attend a minimum of 90% of timetabled activities for this unit of study, unless granted exemption by the Unit Coordinator.
  • All assignments are compulsory and must be attempted. 
  • You must attend scheduled assessments to be eligible to pass. Non-attendance at assessment on any grounds insufficient to claim special consideration will result in the forfeiture of marks associated with the assessment. 

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Adam Geczy and Benjamin Genocchio, 'Introduction', in Geczy and Genocchio eds., What is Installation? A Collection of Essays on Australian Installation Art, Sydney: Power Publications, 2001

Brian O'Doherty, 'Context as Content', Chapter 3 of Inside the White Cube, Santa Monica and San Fencisco (1976), 1986

Robert Smithson, 'A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects', in Harrison and Wood eds., Art in Theory 1900-1990

Other Reading

Li Aihong ed., Contemporary Installation Art, Hong Kong: Artpower International Publishing, 2015

Claire Bishop, Installation Art: A Critical History, London: Tate, 2005

Peterson, Anne, Installation Art: Between Image and Stage, Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen, 2015

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Interpret and reflect on the nature of sculpture, space and installation practice in relation to historical antecedents
  • LO2. Experiment with objects and materials in relation to site and space
  • LO3. Distinguish between different approaches and/or solutions relative to sculpture, site and space
  • LO4. Verbally critique, evaluate and analyse studio outcomes of our own and those of your peers
  • LO5. Formulate imaginative and informed artistic outcomes in relation to site and space
  • LO6. Relate studio outcomes in relation to the field of knowledge, self and broader socio-political contexts

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered'.


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