The Presence of Space: Embodiment, Vision, and Art
AffiliationVictorian College of the Arts
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2019 Lucia Lucinda Giuseppina Rossi
The dominant Western conception of space remains the Cartesian paradigm - despite many possible alternatives. This is further reinforced by ubiquity of perspectival space, and the dominance of photography, which reifies this paradigm. This project investigates the self’s relation to space by examining personal, artistic and social frameworks of experiential observation, in doing so, it seeks to evoke these broader conceptualizations of space. The research firstly establishes a framework of references related to the cosmos, the earth and the solar system, with concepts around locating the body in space, and notions of alignment, movement, distance, scale and pattern. The body of creative works which include site-specific installation, wall painting, drawing, photography and animation, are collectively titled the Gnomon Experiments, and explore various uses of the term ‘gnomon’ which refers to locating ones’ self in space, point-of-view, and alignment. The research also examines the reflexive nature of systems of representation of space such as linear perspective, photography, screen and optics in influencing the expression and experience of space, through the theories of Erwin Panofsky and Vilem Flusser who respectively examine these ‘learnt perceptions’ as ideologies encoded with complex symbols and metacodes. This research investigates the possible applications, implications and readings these ideologies might have in spatial arts practice and other works that engage the embodied experience of the viewer. Using various techniques of merging the appearance of two and three-dimensional space the artist endeavours to understand how photography influences spatial practice even in the absence of lens or print. Many of the works incorporate visual illusions and anamorphic distortions where movement and the embodied experience of the participant activates the work. The work questions how we come to feel located in space, and how we construct a sense of space not just around us, but from within us. The project culminates in a minimalist room scaled installation that embodies spatial experience. The percentage split of this research is 75% creative practice, and 25% written dissertation.
Keywordsspace; embodied; perception; photography; perspective; cosmos; gnomon; alignment; analemma; sun; frame of reference; Cartesian; painting; installation; drawing; illusion; anamorphic; minimalist; geometric; abstraction; pattern; void; triangle; line; optics; lens; energy; dimension; phenomena; visual
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