23rd – 29th June 2022

Head of Department’s Introduction

To reboot means to restart something, and I am delighted to see the physical Degree Show at Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts restarting, after two years of being online only. The online shows have been extremely successful, allowing a wider audience to see the work of our graduating students in Design, Film, Theatre and Fine Art, but this cannot replace the experience of seeing items in solid form.

The word ‘reboot’ comes from the world of computing, where the verb ‘boot’ was an abbreviation of ‘bootstrapping’, which itself came from the phrase ‘to pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps’. So what was once both a call to make the best of the situation one was in and a statement of the impossible (one can only pull up boots with bootstraps, not oneself) became a word for restarting: the impossible becomes an imperative. This is how it is in our subjects. We have had two years of virtual shows, but we work all the time with the virtual. Design students envisage something which does not exist, Film students deal with a medium in which everyone knows that what is shown is faked but is nevertheless invested with the meaning which would come from it being real, and similarly in Fine Art and Theatre. The counterpoint between virtual and real, imagined and physical, is what we want our students to become experts in.

I am delighted to see that expertise come to fruition in this show. I hope that you will find things in it which spur your own conjuring with the virtual and the real. I congratulate the students in their achievements through a challenging period.

– Alan Marsden, 9 June 2022


Degree Show Archive

2021: y/our perspective
2020: Borderless