Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCommunications and Media Studies
OfferedNot offered in 2014


The unit explores the production, consumption and distribution of contemporary art from sociological and historical perspectives. By 'art worlds' we understand the complex relationship between artists, institutions, markets and related skills and services. This unit will explore these relationships in detail using local and international case studies. Students will gain an understanding of the changing values and practices of contemporary art, including new artistic practices in urban spaces, the changing practices of museums (blockbusters, experience-based curation), the globalization of the contemporary art market and the investment by cities in contemporary art as part of global branding strategies.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the relationship between the production of contemporary art, markets, galleries and museums;
  2. Understand the social, economic and cultural contexts of contemporary art distribution and consumption;
  3. Critically analyse the different values brought to bear by public, private and not-for-profit sectors;
  4. Present research and ideas orally in a seminar environment;
  5. Employ high level independent research skills.


Students will be required to attend a 1-3 day field trip to a gallery or network of galleries. This may be undertaken in Melbourne but may involve travel to interstate institutions, such as the MONA gallery in Hobart.


Seminar(students will be required to present a 20 minute seminar paper on a topic and to answer questions): 40%
Final essay(students will be required to show independent research skills in exploring a topic): 60%

Workload requirements

On-campus: 12 x 2-hour seminars, 24 hours of independent study per week. One field tip of 1-3 days.


Completion of one of the core units (APG4900 or APG4662)