Saturday, March 09, 2002

Ina Blom, art historian and associate professor at the Institute of Art History, University of Oslo, came with glowing credentials to give our weekly Friday lecture at Glasgow School of Art.

The title of her talk:" Technology and Avantgarde Historiography in the work of Raoul Hausmann and Nam June Paik" looked interesting, if a little dry. She would discuss the interrelation between technology and historiography in the construction of an avantgarde legacy. Heady stuff.

She was very tall, even by Norwegian standards and rake-thin. She started to speak, clearly an impressive intellectual then I slowly realised that her lecture verged on the impenetrable. If only she had given us a hand out it would have been easier.

Question time. Not one hand went up. The students, normally a bright vociferous lot, noted for their asute questioning of speakers sat in stunned silence.

Afterwards Mona, a Norwegian, said:" My sister in Oslo tells me that none of her students understand a word she says."
Perhaps academics ought to pass a test, like to drive a car, to ensure that they are able to communicate efficiently with their student audience.

No comments: