Overall, I found constellation an interesting and enlightening experience. I got to learn about some things which particularly interest me in the media and elsewhere apart from my practise, and also about some things I have never considered delving into before. In first term, I studied Archeologies of the Unseen. While I found many of the concepts in the lectures difficult to wrap my mind around, it opened my brain to a whole galaxy of detailed theories about human beings and the process of creation which I had never considered before. I found it interesting to analyse processes which I had before thought to be nature and taken for granted before understanding potential causes and reasons for doing them. It allowed me to appreciate the human body more, as I learnt about the complexity of the human body and mind, and all of the things that go into the things that our body does on a daily basis that we just assume as normal. I enjoyed the short activities in some lectures, as the were followed by purpose and explanation. I found this to be interesting in linking the activity to the rest of the lecture and comparing my instinctive work created under pressure to the work of other classmates. This was also my first experience working with and meeting students from other courses. It was interesting to listen to them join in discussions in class and hear them apply the theories to their own practises, as I do to mine. It was also an experience to grasp how different people from different courses think, and their perception of these theories and the world around them and how this differed to mine. It was difficult to apply every theory to my own practise as some just seemed to completely not relate in anyway, and therefore I think it may have been beneficial to highlight which theories were most applicable to each practise, or perhaps have a lecture on relating theories to each course in the room.
My second term constellation was Pertaining to the Visual. I remembered this study group from the constellation fair and was glad that I got placed into this group. This study group allowed me to learn more about topics which already interested me, and discuss them in an intelligent and educational way. I was particularly interested in lectures which included discussions of feminism and the place of women in the media and society through the decades. I also enjoyed seeing artwork and design creations through the years, and having a visual documentation on screen in lectures of how this has changed over time. I enjoyed the more risqué lecture topics, discussing how sex sells in the media, the sexualisation and objectification of women, men and children and corruption and clever marketing techniques. To me it appeared that this course was most easily related to fine art and media based courses. Though the lectures included artists and designers, I found it difficult to relate it to graphic communication and my views on design, as many of the lectures showed photographers and designers whose work had been banned, or whose work stirred negative opinions in the class. While I loved looking through this work and I enjoyed these lectures, when it came to choosing an essay to write I found it difficult to consider one on one of the topics I had studied in second term.
Looking back over the past year of level 4 constellation, I believe it was an enjoyable and interesting section of the year which allowed us to explore elements of our practise that were individual to us and that we may not have been learning about in our course lectures/learning time. I feel that more time spent on actual essay writing was needed, as many students have not written an essay of this kind in years, if not ever. I studied english literature until this year and so felt at an advantage of understanding how to create an argument and write an essay, with good grammar and writing skills, however I struggled with referencing as I had never done it before. Since referencing was such a massive part of the essay and such an important part to avoid being in trouble, I feel more time should’ve been spent on teaching and practising referencing. I was given resources to teach myself and I did this to the best of my abilities, however it was a difficult and tense time trying to get friends to check my referencing to make sure I hadn’t done it wrong, though they themselves seemed unsure. Overall, I enjoyed constellation and felt lucky with the study groups that I was placed in, as I thoroughly enjoyed them and felt that I benefit from partaking in them in other areas of my course.