Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

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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.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCommunications and Media Studies
OfferedNot offered in 2015


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.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

  • Additional requirements
  • Field trip of one to three days

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Completion of one of the core units (APG4900 or APG5662)