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Study information

Installation Art

Module titleInstallation Art
Module codeAHV3012
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Professor David Jones (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module introduces you to the histories and practices of installation art, with particular focus on large-scale contemporary installation works, whether in public venues such as Tate Modern or outdoor public spaces. You will be offered the opportunity to explore a range of installation objects, with early examples drawn from Minimalism to very recent and contemporary examples, including found, architectural and ‘sculptural’ objects. You will engage critically with histories of installation art, scrutinising different accounts of its origins and familiarising yourself with key debates surrounding work from the 1960s to the present and assessing their enduring influence. We consider a range of installation practices, from intermediality and institutional critique to archivalism and the quantified self.  

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to introduce you to the history of installation art and to a range of practices seen in its making. Throughout the course we discuss installation art in relation to venues and spectators and critically assess the importance of the movement of the viewer through space. Through a combination of in-class discussion, readings, presentations, visits and lectures, as well as first-hand engagement with digital materials and museum holdings, you will develop an understanding of this important and rapidly evolving field. Viewings and associated readings will foster your ability to engage in sophisticated analysis and to think critically about the role of embodiment in installation art. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Interpret recent developments in installation art in relation to theory drawn from relevant texts
  • 2. Critically evaluate the dominant concepts, methods and debates informing recent developments in conceptions of embodiment

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Demonstrate an ability to interrelate texts, artworks and theoretical discourses specific to a range of disciplines with issues in the wider context of installation
  • 4. Demonstrate an ability to independently research, present, and critically evaluate relevant visual artefacts in relation to the wider social, cultural, political and intellectual environments in which they have been produced and circulated

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Through essay writing and the practical presentation, demonstrate a basic capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose
  • 6. Through research for the presentation, demonstrate basic proficiency in research and bibliographical skills, information retrieval, analysis and sharing
  • 7. Through seminar work and group presentations, demonstrate communication skills, and an ability to work creatively and imaginatively both individually and in groups

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • From Theatricality to Intermediality
  • Institutional critique & its legacies
  • Reading week
  • Embodiment, Immersiveness and Play
  • Archivalism and Cultural Memory

The module will consist of a series of lectures and seminars, including first-hand engagement with works of art, theoretical texts and museum holdings.

There may also be a field trip to a relevant site/exhibition to be chosen each year according to existing cultural offers, or guidance for self-directed field study . *** Students may incur travel costs associated with the visit ***

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching6Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching11Seminars - these will be led by the tutor or by a group of students. You will need to prepare for each seminar and work individually and in groups to present on given topics on a week to week basis
Scheduled learning and teaching1Seminars - these will be led by the tutor or by a group of students. You will need to prepare for each seminar and work individually and in groups to present on given topics on a week to week basis
Scheduled learning and teaching 4Field trip
Guided independent study128Study group and seminar preparation and meetings. Reading, research and assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Critical analysis500 words1-5Feedback sheet
Group presentation15-20 minutes, depending on size of groups1-7Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay803,000 words1-5Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Field diary201,000 words1-6Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-5Referral/Deferral period
Field diaryField diary1-6Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:                    

  • Claire Bishop, Installation Art (Tate, 2005)
  • Julie H. Reiss, From Margin to Centre : the spaces of installation art (MIT, 2001)
  • Erika Suderburg, ed. Space, Site, Intervention : situating installation art (University of Minnesota Press, 2000)
  • Nicolas de Oliveira, Nicola Oxley and Michael Petry, Installation Art (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994)
  • --Installation Art in the New Millennium : the empire of the senses (Thames & Hudson, 2003)
  • Mark Rosenthal. Understanding Installation Art : from Duchamp to Holzer (Prestel, 2003)
  • Nick Kaye, Site-Specific Art: Performance, Place and Documentation (Routledge, 2013)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Installation Art; Interactive Museum; Digital Humanities; Art History; Visual Culture; Participatory Museum; Digital Curation; Institutional critique; Minimalism; Embodiment; Experiential; Immersiveness; Cultural memory

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date