> > > Work: PG Research-In-Progress Symposium Dec 2014

Work: PG Research-In-Progress Symposium Dec 2014
10th December 11.00-5.30pm, Grove Building, Room G230. Followed by an Inaugural Professorial Lecture by Mark Franko.

Work: ‘In Progress’ Conference by Postgraduate Researchers

School of Art & Design and School of Media & Performing Arts

Wednesday 10th December 11.00-5.30pm,
Grove Building, Room G230
Followed by an Inaugural Professorial Lecture by Mark Franko
This conference is based on the PechaKucha presentation technique which involves each presenter selecting 20 images, with each image showing for 20 seconds, provoking researchers to share their work in interesting, perhaps unexpected ways.

Session 1: Image and document
Alexandra Murphy: The Museum and The Photograph
Current doctoral research into photographic representations of Sigmund Freud’s death-drive theory focuses on the museum space and its collections. One hypothesis visually explores the notion that the museum object through its preserved state, defies what Freud termed the organism’s compulsion to return to a state of inertia. Thus, photographing and re-representing (re-preserving) the preserved object, suggests a double-defiance of the death-drive. Further photographic investigations explore the curated museum space - whole historical collections, preserved, typifying the life-death struggle. Presentation of the project work is explored - psychological testing kits as both collected museum artefact and as presentation method are recreated in the project, thereby itself emulating a collection.
Philip Clarke: Defining and redefining fashion styling
Demand for the stylist, as an intermediary between the fields of fashion, commerce and image-making, is arguably greater than ever before. Despite increased public recognition in recent years, it could be suggested that within the industry itself the fashion stylist’s position continues to be considered secondary to that of the photographer, designer or other creative roles. This study aims to describe the role, chart its historical development and attempt to define its position within the fashion media hierarchy. It will explore peer attitude to the role, focusing on the stylist/photographer collaborative partnership.
Carla Hamer: The photographer as performer: Can we see the photographic event through a performative perspective?
Historically, the relationship between performance and photographer has been controversial. On the one hand, performances belong to the terrain of the ephemeral and  emerged (partly) as a confrontation to the idea of art-as-commodity in favour of the ‘real experience’ and subject-object relations. Allan Kaprow in the late 1960’s decides to discard his previous inclusion of the photographer in his happenings because of the modification this caused in his participants’ behaviour (Rodenbeck, 1999). On the other hand, other performance artists required the use of photography as a means of documentation (Yves Klein, Robert Morris) (Auslander, 2009; Krauss, 1994) or directly included the camera as part of their performances (as in Marina Abramovich (Anelli, 2012) or Vito Acconci )  and some even made the photograph and the participation of the photographer an important focus in their pieces  ( Ma Liuming, 2004). However, while performance and photography are different mediums and have given rise to different views regarding their mutual relationship, they both relate to each other in their framing of a virtual space (Irvine, 2013) that the viewer makes real.  Thinking of the photograph as part of an event (Azoulay, 2008) that is not just a frozen instant in time but something that takes place before and after the actual shooting of a picture, connects the photographic act to the performative (Schechner,2004) and brings the presence of the photographer within an ‘inter-subjective space’ (Azoulay & Lüski, 2013).How can we practically address this relationship by integrating the photographer within that frame of space and time?; What kinds of inter-disciplinary engagements would this originate?.
Paulius Petraitis: ‘The Index’: Illusion and Disillusionment of a Truthful Medium
The notion of index, conceived and applied to photography by Charles Sanders Peirce at the end of the 19th century, played a key role in the understanding of the medium and theorizations of it. Tracing the notion, the research aims to show and discuss how the myth of photography – as the medium advantaged with ontological link to reality – was established and how it was affected by (as well as, affected the acceptance of) the digital shift. By showing how and where Peirce’s flexible understanding of the index became significantly distorted, the study proposes new knowledge in the conceptual understanding of indexicality.

Session 2: Visual arts, aesthetics and autonomy
Murray Anderson: Aesthetics of Empathy: Affective affinities and latent Gothic sensibility in Contemporary sculpture.
My proposed research is to articulate a sculptural aesthetic based on empathy. In parallel to my practice, I will undertake an auto-ethnographical analysis of my generation of artists to measure affective expression transmitted via sculptural construction and physiognomy whilst examining the memoradelic imprint of popular culture that informs artistic subjectivity. Intersected with the associated concepts of adolescence, nostalgia, and the uncanny, I will further contextually gauge the latent persistence of Gothic expression. In doing so, I wish to address the questions of how is empathy engendered in contemporary sculpture and whether such an empathetic aesthetic can be read within an expanded Gothic paradigm?

Harry Willis Fleming: The View from the Tower
The artist Richard Cockle Lucas (1800-1883) is an intriguing, transitional creative figure, who has remained a problematic presence on the sidelines of art history. As a sculptor, printmaker, photographer, writer, model-maker, builder, and so-called ‘forger’, Lucas’s protean versatility and idiosyncrasy have made him hard for scholarship to pin down. This paper introduces the remarkable memory-environment that the artist constructed between 1852 and his death in 1883, and addresses the question of how and why, during the second half of Lucas’s life, this became the focus of his creative practice, transcending his orthodox work as a sculptor.

Anthony Iles: Determining the Devices of Autonomy: Artists Publishing in the 1990s-2000s
(pre-recorded presentation) The presentation gives an overview of my current research. This research project poses questions about the pursuit of ‘autonomy’, both political and artistic, in the self-publishing scenes of the 1990s and early 2000s in London and the UK.

Session 3: Research Processes

Siobhán Armstrong: Historical Performance Irish Harp
The early Irish harp was the musical pinnacle of Gaelic culture in Ireland and the Highlands & Islands of Scotland from before 1000 to c. 1800, when it died out and was replaced by the modern neo-Irish harp, which has now assumed the name of the original, but which is an utterly dissimilar instrument. I am researching historically informed performance practice for the former instrument by exploring surviving repertory in MSS and early printed sources reconstructing this music in the light of HIP practice producing audio recordings of selected repertory and also the first online resource of annotated performers’ editions.

Paul Grant: Themes  
The presentation will review my initial approach to the novel as such I will bring the research question into focus by elaborating some of the novel’s themes.

Rupert Norfolk: The Mobility of Facts
My research is concerned with the potential of an encounter with sculpture to engage the viewer physically and psychologically. Is it possible to stay with the object without reducing it to phenomenology and without loosing it to social structure? My working title aims to cast doubt on the determinacy of made (factured) things. I’ve recently been involved with transposing a substantial concrete ‘fact’ – a sculpture that initially motivated my research proposal. This process of relocating and re-imagining has helped me to reflect on my work in light of my recent research. I’m going to tell the story of this work…

Daniel Wiedemann: The interrelationship between game design, new generation interfaces and user experience in digital games
How do you create “good” digital games that use cutting edge interface technologies? And how do these new devices influence game design and the general user experience? This research aims to explore these questions, through the creational process of developing digital games in connection with technologies like virtual reality and motion tracking. A reflective design and development process by the researcher and user experience tests with participants in different environments will drive this study. The main goals are creating a portfolio of digital games – that can be used as precedents – and a theoretical framework for implementing these kinds of games.

Session 4: Gender and Feminist Practices

Marisa Carr: The Incredible Bleeding Woman
Reinventing Menstrual Rituals Through New Performance Practices
The experience of Menstruation, which unites nearly all womens lives, varies greatly between cultures in terms of its representation, the ritual acts and social codes that surround it. In contemporary British culture rituals surrounding menstruation are associated with cleanliness and hygiene and a private if not secret experience of the woman with sanitary products contained within the bathroom setting. The influence of menstrual rituals observed in traditional human and religious cultures translate in contemporary practices in terms of continued notions of secrecy and taboo.From anthropological theories of early human culture originating from menstrual seclusion rites to menstrual activists challenging the corporate sanitary care industries, from menstrual spiritualists starting the ‘red tent’ movement to live artists experimenting with menstrual taboos, this new practice as research project will ask if feminist performance practices can and should reinvent menstrual rituals.‘The Incredible Bleeding Woman' will be a multimodal theatre work that will question cultural representations of menstruation and explore the intersections between bio medical practices and menstrual rituals in traditional human cultures.The work will be devised and scripted through a unique research and development period, working with a group of performance makers from diverse gynaecological and cultural profiles over a three month creative process. This will be informed by historical medical archives, integrated medical gynaecology, anthropology and psychology studies on menstruation processes, practices and rituals.  This period will culminate in the production of a touring theatre show incorporating new writing, stage illusion, sonographic imaging, medical archival material, filmed expert interviews, couture illusion based costumes and choreographic movement sequences.

Pune Parsafar: Representations, Iranian, Women, Cinema
The focus of this research is to explore various and competing representations of Iranian women in cinema, including independent cinema both within Iran and the Iranian diaspora. It is to explore both the present and the past of these representations, seeking to understand the ideological meanings behind them, their patterns of development and their historical roots. As the practical component of my research proposal, I propose to make a documentary, contributing towards novel ways of representing women, gender and sexuality in cinema within a feminist perspective.

Suzanne van Rossenberg: At the intersection of feminist art, LGBTI activism and research
In 2004 I graduated with a body of work called 'A Room with a Lesbian View' consisting of 93 drawings and paintings of a Gothic church in Leiden, the view from my window. I questioned whether the repetition of 'lesbian' art could subvert the 'hetero-normativity' of art criteria. In the ten years that followed I continued drawing, painting and photographing my view, but also pursued a parallel career as a project manager within LGBTI activism. For my current PhD project I exactly deploy a transdisciplinary practice for analysing the economic and political structures in which social inequality is (re)produced.

Frances Hatherley: Anti-Pygmalion: Sublime Grotesques
This project attempts a reclamation of stereotypical images of working-class femininity as grotesque. I focus on work by artists from working-class backgrounds, which rejects class-based ideals of “good taste” and aspirational femininity to explore alternative ways of being, learning and creating. I chart the shifting treatment of the working-class in British politics and visual culture, from the struggles of the Thatcher years, through the appropriations of New Labour's “Cool Britannia”, to today's culture of “chav”-shaming. Reversing the class-based hierarchies that associate the sublime with the lofty, my project conceptualises a sublime from the point of view of working-class women, a shock and awe that comes from below and bursts up and out.

11.00 – 11.30 Welcome and Key Note
11.30 – 12.45 Session 1: Image and document
12.45  – 1.45 Session 2: Visual arts, aesthetics and autonomy
2.15 – 3.30 Session 3: Research processes
3.30  – 4.45 Session 4: Gender and feminist practices
4.45 - 5.30  Concluding discussions with Christmas Drinks & Mince Pies
5.30 - 6.30 Inaugural Professorial Lecture Epilogue to an Epilogue: Historicizing the re- in Re-enactment by Mark Franko, Professor of Dance (Room: C211)

Venue: Grove Building (Rm: G230) - Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT
Please note there is no parking on campus except for blue badge holders.
Contact: v.midgelow@mdx.ac.uk