Coursework

Here you can download all the coursework I submitted on the Museum Cultures MA at Birkbeck (including a module at the University of East London). It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, which means that you can do pretty much anything you like with it, including use it commercially, but you must credit me, Danny Birchall as the author.

I’d be interested in any use anyone makes of this work, as well as in discussing or writing further about any of the content of the work. Please get in touch if you’d like to do that.

Creative Commons License

How does the Wellcome Library’s archive of AIDS posters help or hinder the understanding of the multiplicity of discourses through which AIDS posters have been seen and discussed?

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This essay uses the Wellcome Library’s archive of AIDS Posters as evidence with which to examine the claims of Roger Cooter and Claudia Stein about the ways in which a visual discourse around the AIDS epidemic was constructed and understood, as well as the work of other theorists including Sander Gilman and Douglas Crimp. It finds that the archive offers evidence with which to disrupt some of these theoretical frameworks, in particular ideas about the homogeneity of an advertising-led visual culture, and the Western encoding of ideas about sickness.

Course: Medicine and Visual Culture (Birkbeck)
Length: 5,000 words
This work received a distinction grade

“Computer games present a precise, reversed reflection of the preoccupations and even the techniques of capitalist power.” Julian Stallabrass. How have artists used the medium of video games to critique these preoccupations and techniques?

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This essay uses Julian Stallabrass’ rather Adornoist critique of video games as mass culture as a (slightly disingenuous) starting point for teasing out some of the dynamics involved in high art’s use of video games, and the rejection of gameplay in favour of aesthetics. Works discussed include Ruth Gibson and Bruno Martelli’s SwanQuake, Molleindustria’s Every Day The Same Dream, Phil Solomon’s In Memoriam trilogy and Carlo Zanni’s Average Shoveler.

Course: Museums and Galleries in the Digital Age (Birkbeck)
Length: 5,000 words
This work received a distinction grade

Badge Archive

Visit website
Download accompanying essay [PDF]

This website and associated resources uses my own personal collection of (mostly political) badges as a means of telling complimentary and contradictory stories about political movements I was involved in in the 1980s and 1990s. It is in part a critique of ideas about ‘hidden histories’ and the personal meanings attached to cultural heritage objects.

A short essay accompanied the project, as an explanation and reflection on its meaning.

Course: Heritage and Visual Cultures (UEL)
This work received a distinction grade

The Hackney Flickr pool: an amateur archive

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This short essay considers the Hackney Flickr pool as an informal civic archive produced through the practice of amateur photography.

Course: Heritage and Visual Cultures (UEL)
Length: 1,500 words
This work received a distinction grade

“The Museum of Modern Art is a laboratory: in its experiments the public is invited to participate.” (Alfred H. Barr, ‘Art in Our Time’) To what degree does new media in the museum environment facilitate Barr’s vision? Discuss with reference to any museum exhibition with a significant new media aspect.

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This essay uses Barr’s idea of the museum as a laboratory to examine the uneasy relationship between the museum and new media art through the lens of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s ‘Decode: Digital Design Sensations’ exhibition.

Course: Museum Cultures Core Course (Birkbeck)
Length: 3,500 words
This work received a distinction grade

Analytical exhibition review: The Museum of Everything, ‘Exhibition #3’

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This short first essay for the core course looks at the Museum of Everything’s second major exhibition in October 2010, and attempts to situate it in relation to both the tradition of ‘outsider art’ and the contemporary artworld of the Frieze Art Fair.

Course: Museum Cultures Core Course (Birkbeck)
Length: 2,000 words
This work received a merit grade

One Response to “Coursework”

  1. SoundEagle March 16, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Hi Mr Danny Birchall,

    Since you deal with musuem cultures and computer/video games, you might be interested in reading SoundEagle’s recent post at http://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/facing-the-noise-music-playgrounds-for-biophobic-citizens/.

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