Course Description.pdfCourse Description.pdf

Credits: 5

Schedule: 27.02.2019 - 03.04.2019

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

Please note that the specific 2019 iteration of this course with Lucy Davis is different from the generic course description.

The course I will be teaching in 2019 is below:


This is an art history, lecture and film-screening based course. However, the elective does not claim to provide an exhaustive overview of Southeast Asian contemporary art and film.Rather, what I will be doing in the six full days that I will spend with you in February-April, is to provide a series of selective and personal offerings, stories and interpretations from the perspective of someone who has been an active practitioner, art writer, editor and educator in a network of Southeast Asian artist-artist connections for the past twenty years.

 Along the way I hope to share my own enthusiasm for a series of films, art works, artists and artist-groups while situating their practice in larger critical contexts of cultural production, from the early twentieth century until today. These experiences and themes are Southeast Asia-specific. However, many do also resonate with comparable contexts of, for example, post coloniality, the cold war (and it’s contemporary shadow), late capitalist globalisation and so forth. I hope to provide ample time in the course structure for discussion and series of responses to of these resonances.

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Autumn 2017: August, I

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The student understands more about the role of film in the contemporary art world, learns to read films and is introduced to relevant film philosophical texts. Students learn to adapt and produce their own works in relation to the film works discussed and screened

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

In this course we view films as philosophy and in relation to contemporary art and culture. Films themselves are the primary texts, studied in relation to theoretical writings. The film examples studied range from masterpieces to influential trash.

Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 


A very rare (and most difficult to source!) series of private class-time screenings may include short and feature length films by artits such as Ho Tzu Nyen, Wong Hoy Cheong, Usmar Ismail, Kidlat Tahimik, Thu Dong Mong, Joshua Oppenheimer, Rithy Pan, Lav Diaz, Amanda Nell Eu, Araya Radjarmreansook and Apitchatpong Weerasethakul.


In this course, students will be exposed to a series of examples of Southeast Asian modern and  contemporary art and film. They will also be offered contextual, academic and experimental tools and perspectives from/with which to engage with this content. The evidence for these learning outcomes will be in the ways in which students respond to group and written assignments.


Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Lectures & discussion & film screenings (35%), exercises (5%), reading and doing individual exercises (60%). Requirement of all schedules activities a minimum of 80%.

Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation): 



Lectures, group work, reading groups (readings from theory and fiction), excursions, films, experiential assignments, As this is an elective that is open to beginners in art and art history, the course will also include an introduction to basic critical visual analysis and writing skills. These skills may be helpful to you when it comes to your own MA writing. However, as many students are expected to be Art or ViCCA practice-led MA students, I will also encourage creative and experimental responses to the content that I will be sharing. 


  • Participation and attendance 10%**
  • Group presentations/responses to art works and selected readings 30%
  • Mid-way essay draft and thesis writing excercise 20%
  • Final completed essay response to the course content 40%



Minimum amount of participants (or the course will be canceled): 8




*If you want to find out more about me, my bio is here:

** By this I expect you to be there. Absolutely no “two-timing” with other courses is permitted!

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

40 – 80 hours of contact teaching, 95 – 190 hours of assignment and group work and reading, depending if the student takes the course as 5 or 10 credits. Additional credits possible for those students involved more in post-production, when lengthier film works are produced in the course. (Total max. 15 credits)

Contact hours for the course realised in period I: 55 h contact teaching, 80 h independent work.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

pass/fail or 0-5

Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The order of priority for admitting students to courses at Aalto ARTS 1.1.2018 onwards (approved by The Committee of Arts, Design and Architecture on 10.10.2017)

The order of priority is as follows:

  1. students for whom the course is compulsory for their major/programme and who have scheduled it for the current academic year in their personal study plan (HOPS);
  2. exchange students for whom the course is a part of his/her officially approved learning agreement and scheduled to be taken during the current semester;
  3. students for whom the course is compulsory for their major/programme and who have not completed it yet;
  4. students, for whom the course is part of his/her major’s or programme’s alternative studies and has been scheduled in the student's PSP (HOPS) for the current academic year
  5. students, for whom the course is part of his/her major’s or programme’s alternative studies and who have not completed the requisite number of credits for alternative studies yet;
  6. students for whom the course is compulsory for their minor;
  7. students, for whom the course is part of his/her minor subject’s alternative studies and who have not completed the requisite number of credits for alternative studies yet;
  8. students who have applied for the course through a student mobility scheme (internal mobility within Aalto University, flexible study right (JOO) studies etc.);
  9. other students.


Courses that are intended to be multidisciplinary (e.g. UWAS courses) may apply an order of priority based on the learning outcomes of the course, while bearing in mind the university obligation of enabling students to complete their degrees within the normative duration of study set for the degree. The order of priority does not apply to courses organised by the Centre for General Studies or doctoral courses.

This decision on the order of priority does not influence the right of the teacher to define prerequisites for the course.

Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The number of participants will be limited. 

The course in August is only for students taking part in the Venice Biennale project.

The course in I period: Quotas: 8 ViCCA/CuMMA students, 8 Media Lab students

ViCCA degree students who need the course in their major studies are prioritized in the case more ViCCA students would like to attend then there are places. If less than 8 students are present at the first lesson the course may be canceled.


Registration and further information