Speaking at Bedfordshire Entreprenuers

Posted on by Ben Hodson

I was asked to be one of the main speakers at the launch of Bedfordshire Entrepreneurs at the University of Bedfordshire.  I talked about my art practice and how that has lead into setting up business' and social enterprises.  The feedback was good and I at least was able to pu together a visually stimulating presentation.

Contextual and analytical thinking

Posted on by Ben Hodson

I had an opportunity to sit in on a lecture for the February start students by Colin Davies and found this illustration for the importance and relationshop between contextual and analytical thinking very helpful.

Notes - The Creative Process

Posted on by Ben Hodson

Notes MA Thursday 13th October 2011


The creative process

Encourage playfulness, risk-taking and experimentation.

Allow for uncertainty and ambiguity.

Emphasize collaboration and partnership.

Encourage student independence and intrinsic motivation.

Value the individual.

Encourage debate and active engagement.

Acknowledge individual approaches to learning.

Encourage intrinsic motivation.

Promote convergent and divergent thinking skills & value divergence and diversity.

Make the creative process explicit.

Provide opportunities for learner choice and autonomy.


Creativity is important to effective communication; discipline analysis, essential to creative thinking, provides a systematic framework for investigation; the processes of idea-generation require raw material (facts and knowledge) to provide the basis of associations; and the creative process in art and design has received insufficient critical analysis.



Personal creativity is:

...a process of becoming sensitive to or aware of problems, deficiencies, and gaps in knowledge for which there is no learned solution; bringing together existing information from the memory storage or external; defining the difficulty or identifying the missing elements; searching for solutions, making guesses, producing alternatives to solve the problem; testing and re-testing these alternatives; and perfecting them and finally communicating the results.


TORRANCE, E. & ROCKENSTEIN, Z . (1988) Styles of Thinking and Creativity, in R.

Schmeck (ed.) Learning Strategies and Learning Styles. New York: Plenum Press



Creative aims:


nurture capabilities of personal and team creativity;

promote understanding of the nature and role of creativity within a students individual social and economic contexts;

overcome barriers to the creative process;

develop frameworks within which to evaluate creative, entrepreneurial opportunities;

enhance communication and presentation skills; and improve team building and working abilities.


to avoid writers/designers block:

keep writing/working


Presentations - build confidense


Graft Architects 


Dont divorce yourselves from your feelings





Investigation of materials.


Sketchbooks, notebooks, blogs


Debate, collaboration, individual study, 


Keep reinventing yourself,

promote divergent and convergent 


Ben Wilson 

Painting chewing gum



Lecture on the poetry of space by John Stephens

Posted on by Ben Hodson

Here are some notes from a lecture by John Stephens titled the poetry of space. I particularly noted the main artists and works which stood out to me.

Artists working with & in spaces 

Henri Lefebvres' the production of space

Gaston Bachelard


Piera della Francesca 



Matisse the red studio


Clay ketter

Gordan matta-clark

Jim Lambie

Nina Saunders

John pawson

Interior designer

Rachel White read 


Antoy Gormley

John gossage

The pond

Steven shaw

Alex soth

Joel sternberg

Lecture by Gavin Stewart: Art & The internet

Posted on by Ben Hodson

Here are some of the key words, phrases and artists which jumped out to me from a lecture by Gavin Stewart PHD.

Harold innis

The medium is the message

Marshall McLuhan 

Mediate messages

The global village

Kranzberg first law of technology

Code is law

Lawrence lessig

Karl Marx 



Vannevar Bush



Concepts: All information should be free

You can create art and beauty on a computer 

Max bense

Prehistoric digital poetry 

Nam june paik

Magnet tv

Robert Rauschenberg 

Ted Nelson

George Landow

George Ryman

Nicole Syenger

Information arts

Nancy Paterson - Stock market skirt

Talan memmott

Kate Pullinger & Babel

Jeff shaw

Daniel sandin

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Mary Flannagan


I have researched into some of these artists and was paticularly taken with the work of Nancy Paterson and her Stock Market skirt.  The visual pun and effective use of information and technology created a interesting and fun peice of work.  Basically the height of the skirt gets raised or lowered depending on the current rates of certain stock in the world stock exchanges.  She is quoted to have said that todays culture relies on three things: capitalism, technology and narcissism

Although this work is interesting to me, the thing I most took away from the talk was this link between art and technology.  As Gavin explained: a paint brush was new technology at some point, computers and cameras are just newer forms of technology.  I think for me I am nost aware of this because I work with increasingly intelligent camera systems and computers.  This relationship for me is sometimes un easy as I find myself feeling removed from my medium.  I started as a painter and even fell in love with the photographic image in the darkroom.  Modern technology and equipment has forced me to get further removed from the physical contact with the materials and cause me to have a very clinical relationship.

Technology plays an important role in my practice, but as machines, autofocus', digital manipulation and systens get better I start to question who is really creating the image.  Is it the artist or photographer or is it the machine?  Previously I would have answered the question with of course it is the photographer, however, there are now moments where I feel less sure.



Lecture "Viles bodies" by John Stephens

Posted on by Ben Hodson

Here are some notes form the Vile Bodies lecture by John Stephens.  I have particularly noted artists and key moments which jumped out to me from the lecture.


R Betterton 'Body Horror?'

The abject



Yves Klen 

Keith Vaughan

David Hockney

Alan jones

Carolee schmeeram

Judy Chicago 

Gilbert & George

Dennis Oppenheim

Francesca Woodman

Cindy Sherman

Rebecca Horn


Marina Abramovic