Universidad De La Laguna, facultad de Bellas Artes is where I am attending.
Yesterday was the welcome day for Erasmus students held in the chemistry building of the science department, maybe because they have a bigger lecture hall. I think there are around 150 ( I clearly counted wrong, apparently it is 104) students in total from 14 countries and, of course, on a wide range of courses.
We were there for a total of around 3 hours and their presentation was very thorough, some in English and some in Spanish so there will be parts that not everyone was able to understand but with the power points there was plenty to look at. They presented information about the libraries, how to get your ID card and where to use it, IT, computer rooms, sports department, ( lots of martial arts going on and Judo is a big deal on the island) lots about student societies and Erasmus activities and a talk by the group AEGEE which is an international group with localised branches with all sorts of organised days out, nights out and other activities, so we all joined up and tomorrow is a big walk in Anaga.
Seriously, these guys are on top of it in terms of media, social media and getting their word out.. already they did the web page and edited and uploaded the video and photos of the day… have a look here Welcome Day video, photos and text
After all the initial presentations and info giving talks we all went outside for the annual family photo, don’t think I made it in to be honest as I am quite vertically challenged and there was a tall guy in front of me.. oh well…
So now here’s the group photo from the day… I put a small and very subtle marker on it so you can see ME! ( in this I am very small and only part of a face)
The only think I think missing from this day would have been the really important part about classes, where to go for your first class, what time and who to report to.. we still have no idea and no way to find out, I sent a few emails so let’s see what happens! Having reps from the courses and branching off into those groups to chat about these details could have been really helpful, we figured it out anyway, sort of!
It is clear that ULL take their Erasmus programme very seriously and are proud of it, it is evidenced by the organisation in the presentations, the enthusiasm, real enthusiasm of all involved. Audio recordings of the event will be on here soon, quick bit of editing required so bear with! Tomorrow morning we have to go and register with the uni at the International office
They laid out a buffet for mingling afterwards as well which was nice as people got to meet others and from the speech earlier what I heard was that Italians and Germans are the most populous here and at the other end of this our little gang of three are the only Brits here at all, I wonder why.
Recordings of some of the talks:
The group AURI talks about their organisation
Hear from the Head of international Relations
Hear from the head of the sports department
Talk by the head of the language department
So basically yeah, it was really nice to have the opportunity to hear from many different parts of the uni and departments, it gave us a good idea of who they are and how the feel about the program. It is something I think we could do at MMU so people feel clued in when they arrive, I have some ideas for this already!
Then we took a walk down to the main campus to try and see if we could find the art school building…Edificio de Bellas Artes turns out it is the big wavy grey one that looks, from the road at least, old and abandoned..( click for bigger) not sure what I think of it yet, it’s big, concrete, somewhat cold feeling but on the other hand I do like a bit of brutalism in my architecture, who doesn’t. Perhaps not for an art school though… we shall see!
Mobile Update: supposed day 1 (Feb 10th)… well, apparently we were supposed to start last week but have had zero communication regarding where to go, when to go there, who to report to, anything about a schedule etc… as it stands I’m standing outside a big… here look
Empty cold concrete building and i have seen about three people. Four…So far I do not like, no people, no life.. I’m loving Tenerife but sorry to say I’m not feeling too confident about this… Where IS everyone? Where’s the art student mass mingling, staging protests at everything, doing stuff… what is going on? Where’s the colour, where’s the art? MMU is quite clean and “branded” in its own way but there is work all over the place, life in the halls, pavements, everywhere.. so on first impressions it is very different. Hmm… maybe it is all hiding… in there… we wandered around a bit to see what we could find but nothing really, all doors were firmly closed and there was no sign of life.. am I looking in the wrong place?
Feb 12th 2016
We finally had a chance to meet with the Erasmus co-ordinator today and to choose what courses we wanted to do… I was really surprised to find that we had more options that I originally thought, I am going to do this: Which is quite exciting because we have nothing like it in MMU and it gives me the chance to work in an area that I have been wanting to delve further into for some time so, it means early mornings but I hope I can manage that!
We had a bit of a tour round the workshops and studios as well and there are some good facilities, no where near what MMU has of course but pretty much everything you would need, I am not sure if there is a print studio but from friends I have heard there’s a wonderful art library and photography studio as well.
Update Feb 18th
Well… the first couple of days were quite a shock, in short we attended the lecture for the Restoration and Conservation course ( after going to the room on the schedule and it being wrong so we entered late even though we were early cause we had no idea where we were going) we had booked in for the course and it turns out the tutor had no idea we were coming and there was a bit of drama about the whole thing and she was very clearly displeased at our presence… did not know were coming, was quite shouty and rude and it was an entirely unpleasant experience, to put it bluntly. We left for the day after that and regrouped… It seems there was some misunderstanding on who would be marking us ( ULL or MMU) and so yeah, it has not been too pleasant. I guess the nature of the work I do and came here to do does not fit in with the structure here but I was not aware of this at all before hand.. in fact quite the opposite, I was under the impression I would be able to do the sort of documentary out and about style of work that I have been so.. it was a bit of a struggle but eventually we came to an arrangement, I think it might be good in a way, for the future as it shows there might be need for a bit of flexibility between the two universities and how to transition people to the different structures… plus arriving somewhere in the 2nd semester can be awkward. There really needs to be a better communication channel here and some further dialogue between MMU and ULL before anyone else come here, in my opinion.
The second day we went to the workshop with the people form that class for the morning and they were looking at wood and the properties of the different things, really quite interesting stuff actually we just can’t help but feel like wonky 5th wheels… very uncomfortable as again, no one knew we were coming.
Oh well, it’s hopefully all smooth sailing from here and I am starting to get stuck in to some projects now and have a few things in the pipeline, we shall see what plays out.
I had a good chat with my supervising tutor today and explained all my work ( god knows if I would want to be on the other side of that… It could seem like a lot of splintered things) and various projects and how they all tie into and come together under the umbrella of the Lost & Found Museum ( El Museo de Perdido Y Encontrar) and she seemed to really like the ideas and was very supportive of the fact that mine is not studio based work as such and she likes that I am trying to use new types of spaces, create an unconventional thing and so… yeah, this is great for me so I am now thinking about how to get all this together into something I can exhibit… combining the physical and the digital elements, as I would like to use the big wasteland next door to the art school .. so at the moment I am trying to think of how to do it.. one kind of installation and event or just create pieces and “install” them as I go, document and record this and then collate it all… leaving little gps/qr clues for people to find the work..
I went and scoped out the wasteland today and it’s really great, a building ruin is there and it looks like the council fly tip all the tree trimmings and greenery, neat square bundles of palm fronds and other civic green trimming. There are many great spots in there and I can easily see how to create and display pieces based on what is there.. for example large cable reels embedded into the ground are great as plinths.. some things can hang from trees… I would like to then really look at making the pieces relevant to where they will go. I would like to paint gold some of the terracotta impressions and arrange them.. separately arrange the items they were made from and just do this as late on as possible so I have time to collect more stuff. As far as the found note book goes I came up with an idea today while I was walking down to uni… there are all these billboards with peeling posters and the old posters just get left on the ground, some of them have lovely rust and so I am going to collect up a bunch of this and use it for the book pages… I may make a sketchbook from them as well, it’s lovely stuff! Watch this space basically.. you will see such wonders. Well… I say wonders.. old bits of poster with old bits of notes stuck to them but, wonders nonetheless. here are a few pics of the wasteland presented in video format so I can embed it due to not having any upload space left! such a great space with so much artistic potential!
So that is a very brief update, lots of work to be getting on with… stay tuned for more exciting adventures.
found object face: