Centre for Cultural Partnerships - Theses
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ItemNon-representational geographies of therapeutic art makingBOYD, CANDICE ( 2015-11-12)This thesis is an exploration of the non-representational geographies of therapeutic art making, drawing on practice-led research methods from the creative arts. It is, therefore, interdisciplinary. The work comprises two examinable components—a major project (creative work) and the written dissertation. After a review of three major bodies of literature, the thesis outlines a series of geographical engagements with the practices of visual art making, poetic permaculture, subterranean graffiti, fibre art, and dance therapy. The ‘findings’ are presented in two empirical chapters. The first is a collection of poetry designed to animate fieldwork encounters, and the second describes a body of creative work that was audienced at a PhD art exhibition in 2013. In its entirety, the work attempts to think therapeutic activity at the boundary of the body and extending outward—into the cosmos—rather than inward, in support of a fragile ego. Informed by contemporary feminism, Guattari’s ethico-aesthetic paradigm, Whitehead’s process-oriented ontology, and Deleuze’s thinking on sense and ‘the event’, the work reclaims therapeutics as ecological, spatial, and material.
ItemA non-predefined outcome (ANPO)Martinez Mendoza, Ramon ( 2015)This practice-led research is a methodological enquiry into my community-based art practice A Non-Predefined Outcome (ANPO). This was originally developed as a participatory art project to generate culturally safe spaces for people to engage in artistic and critical thinking. It was by generating these spaces of interaction (to challenge mainstream or personal cultural prejudices) that the practice became more defined and led to the development of ANPO as a methodology. The final presentation of this thesis contains two units: Unit One offers an overview of the theoretical framework that helped inform the practice and Unit Two represents the practice as methodology of this research and includes a handbook and four appendices that explain how the methodology works. The methodology is based on dialectical games where participants interact with each other as a means of developing connection and the potential for mutual understanding. The methodological enquiry consists of four task-propositions, where every task has a specific function and generates a sequence that connects participants with language and its expression through the senses in an artistic way. The first task is ‘This is not a chair’, a warm-up exercise informed by Gottlob Frege’s theory on sense and denotation. The second is ‘The Topic’, informed by Paulo Freire’s concept of generative themes and which is the proposal of the theme that will be explored during the experience. The next task, ‘Vis-á-Vis-á-Vis’, is a dialectical game designed from the three-dimensional dialectic of ‘Definition – Dialectic – Hidden Message’. This game is informed by Hegel’s dialectic, and the structuralist language theory of Saussure and Michel Foucault. The potential of overcoming the contradiction with ‘Hidden Message’ offers a critical reflexivity in three different forms, depending on the participants’ enquiry: through the exploration of the senses; through the generation of a new discourse; or through a psychological reflexivity. In the final task, ‘Dialectical Representations’, participants reflect on different possibilities to comprehend the ‘Hidden Message’ employing visual, aural, performative and gustatory tools, informed by sensory ethnography methodology. Drawing on the reflexivity of Doreen Massey’s For Space philosophy it was possible to conclude that the ANPO methodology generates spaces of interactions that are the product of interrelations wherein multiplicities and heterogeneities are negotiated. These spaces are open and constantly under construction due to their interrelations.
ItemBeyond voice poverty: new economies of voice and the frontiers of speech, listening and recognitionDE SOUZA, POPPY ( 2015)The unsettling effects of neoliberal culture - with its shaking loose of the social connections that bind individuals to each other, instead placing them within increasingly competitive and entrepreneurial markets - together with the uncertainties that come with new configurations of technology, bring with them an urgent desire to reclaim a sense of agency over the structures and processes that shape daily life. As narratives of ‘democratisation’ and ‘decline’ emerge as the dominant tropes for thinking through these complex cultural shifts, voice has gained increasing currency as a frame and intervention into some of these impacts. Yet while both critical and popular accounts of voice are generally organised around these two divergent narratives, each is in no way distinct from the apparent paradox at the heart of advanced liberal democracies: specifically, that individual liberty and freedom of expression are contingent upon distributed structures of power and control that shape the contours of what is and is not ‘narratable’; who is heard and who listens; and designate which categories of voice are made to matter. This thesis takes up an interdisciplinary frame to intervene in these debates and investigates the shifting meanings, practices and values of voice in the context of this contemporary landscape. It critiques prevailing notions of voice grounded in an intersubjective, relational ethics and unpacks some of the assumptions, values and norms that underpin both celebratory and crisis narratives. Part Two develops a framework for voice that accounts for new attachments and relationships between the categories of speech, listening and recognition as they take on new formations. I draw on several recent ‘limit cases’ that complicate existing notions of voice, and foreground emerging sites of struggle where neoliberal, informational and biopolitical forces intersect with modes of everyday cultural production and technosocial practice in distinctly provocative ways. These include: the Occupy Wall Street (OWS), digital storytelling (DST), free and open source software (F/OSS) and Quantified Self (QS) movements; the United States PRISM program; and the Right to be Forgotten. Despite attempts to re-humanise voice through a persistent appeal to the ethics of social relations, it is my contention that any account of voice must also account for the ways that speech, listening and recognition are increasingly attached to objects of value that circulate within new economies of voice. As such, I present a provisional framework for thinking about voice beyond its historical arrangement, one that pushes beyond current notions of voice poverty, towards new frontiers of voice.