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Janine Goldsworthy

 

Research Title: Kneading Digital Touch

 

Abstract: Janine’s practice research, grounded in Donna Haraway's concept of 'sympoietic worldings' employs a practice-based approach to challenge conventional ideas of digital touch connection. Emphasising the social and sensory dimensions of touch, it is influenced by maternal holding and intimate crafting.  She also addresses the increased need for tangible touch during the COVID-19 pandemic, exposing the limitations of visually dominant digital technologies. By scrutinising nuanced facets of holding, she aims to reshape digital touch, considering broader socio-political contexts and envisioning novel possibilities beyond conventional replication. Ultimately, her research seeks to breathe life into the digital realm, integrating the human pulse and placing holding at the core of digital communication.

Jenny Maxwell

 

Research Title: ÁGUA VIVA The Story of the Jellyfish and the Compost Heap 

Returning to a site of abandonment, this research-creation (Loveless, 2019) project  seeks to expand  Autotheory  (Fournier, 2021) as an embodied mode of performative art-writing through which to explore the metaphor of composting as a generative care giving practice for making art at the end of the world (Loveless, 2019). 

Seeking to unsettle the binaries between human/nonhuman, birth/death,   growth/decay, this project gleans from and adds to - ‘the heap’ - a broad range of thinking and disciplines - to explore the restless state of lifecycles through a perpetually entangled state of flux. By employing a creative-compost methodology, this paper’s-disturbed edges (Kimmerer, 2016) seek to go against the hegemony of traditionally Western, sovereign-centric, scientific thinking to present a fluid, feminine, speculative ‘queer-ecological-ecriture’. One which is impossible to ‘catch’, ‘pin down,’ or ‘resolve’ - but which, instead, celebrates the eternally illusive nature of its permeable liquidity through its ever (r)evolving ‘turns’.

 

Drawn from personal experience, it pulses from a site of devastation and returns, dripping, through the cracks of an empty room. Drifting from the personal to collective via themes of loss, decay and renewal, we sift through the heap (on a journey to a lost house, in a forgotten village, from the sea to the mountains beyond) to examine broader narratives regarding interconnected global, ecological and socio-political human and nonhuman encounters when living on a damaged planet (Tsing et al, 2017). 

 

Documented through a series of journeys that dance between writing, performance, sound, image and film, (via process of storytelling that slips, fragments, and re-turns, fermenting throughout the duration of the practice) – this ‘heap’ is a body of work which, like its narrator’s, is a multiplicity: always shifting and on the move.

 

In choosing to pay close attention to the things that are seemingly ‘formless’ / ‘lost’ discarded and overlooked, this Água Viva sings of ‘Matters of Care’ (Puig de la Bellacasa, 2017) – a call which invites the reader into not an empty space – but one which is in fact, teeming with life and the scent of endless sympoietic* possibility. 

Lauren Goldie

Research Title: Alternative knowledge anticipating the environmental consequences of speculative asteroid mining technologies 

Lauren examines how artistic practice can research the environmental challenges facing future asteroid mining technologies. Whilst mainstream discourse emphasise the economic and technological prospects of extraterrestrial mining, critical inquiry into potential environmental impacts are often deprioritised. Existing methodologies predominantly focus on data-driven analysis, neglecting nuanced experiences and sensory interactions essential for grasping social and environmental issues. Her research explores tactility to demystify space mining and establish a tangible connection with distant space entities. 

 

Drawing inspiration contextually from scientific papers, art, science-fiction film and literature, Lauren navigates the interplay between historical environmental spectres and futuristic mining technologies. Outputs are sculptures, prints and written extracts, highlighting potential disruptions to orbital dynamics, the consequences of unconventional energy forms and the formidable task of debris management under microgravitational conditions. 

Niloofar Taatizadeh

Research Title: Decolonizing the erasure of Eastern materiality through artifacts and art objects of the 19th-century Qajar, Iran

This practice-based research proposes to use an intersection of post-colonial gender theories with 19th-century Persian representation of gender that focuses on decolonising the erasure of Eastern materiality in art practices. The proposed timeframe is the early Qajar dynasty (1797-1834) when Iranian society offered a glimpse of a social organisation of gender that did not rely on the binary framework. Portrait paintings, artistic carpet patterns, poetry and literature of the Qajar dynasty are examples of Eastern materiality. This research takes Qajar’s gender representation as a critical model for un-making that offers more innovative and cooperative ways of being in the world (Halberstam, 2011). 

 

This research project interrogates the aesthetics and techniques of 19th-century Persian visual culture to reimagine gender beyond the binary epistemology. The methodology used in my practice allows the glitch of 3D scanning and the analogue version of the digital glitch in weaving and textiles to unpack constructed gender. This inquiry deepens and expands the interdependence of practice and research by exploring the ways binary thinking affects practices of making and challenges the traditional distinctions between ‘front’ and ‘back’ as well as verso and recto, both in art history and in traditional crafts.

Phillipa Bandurek-Bradbury

Research Title: Beyond design that ‘will do’: a social-purpose and practice-led investigation into the possibilities for improving deafblind people’s accessibility to printed graphic communication. 

As a third category of sensory impairment, deafblindness is considered a distinct disability. This research offers the opportunity for providing a set of critical and practical tools to improve design for deafblindness, and to restore the relationship between ‘user, product, and environment’  and to fulfil a personal sense of social obligation to create conditions in my practice that enhance wellbeing. 

Vicky Tang

Research Title: Body as a Living Archive - The Intersection of Mark-Making and Dance Improvisation 

This project intersects dance studies, drawing practices, and affect studies to investigate the dancing body as a living archive. It explores embodied practices as 'a form of knowing as well as a system for storing and transmitting knowledge' (Diana Taylor, 2003: 18). Drawing on Erin Manning’s concept of the 'anarchive,' this project proposes that dancing bodies hold and transmit potential future events (Manning, 2016: 8). Manning asserts that drawing traces are not merely static representations; they are dynamic carriers capable of reactivation to catalyze future events. The focus is on using drawing as a method to activate the form of an event, thereby making the infra-perceptible perceivable (2016: 2).

This practice-led research combines mark-making and contemporary dance improvisation to explore archiving the affective dimensions of movement. Her practice involves working with dancers who improvise in space and use drawing to evoke kinesthetic empathy through the drawn image (Matthew Reason, 2012: 248). This research proposes that drawn lines are more than mere records of movement; they are circumstantial extensions of the tendency of movement to move through lines (Manning, 2013: 14). This study aims to show how drawn lines, as dynamic extensions, map the trajectory of movement through time and space, influencing the movements of subsequent dancers.

The project aims to develop a kinesthetic epistemology within affect studies, demonstrating how drawing and dance collaboratively generate new movements and transmit embodied knowledge. This research challenges traditional notions of archiving and broadens our understanding of how embodied practices can be documented and conceptualised. Ultimately, it provides new sensory insights into the interplay between movement, memory, and artistic expression.

Vija Skangale 

Research Title: Exhibitions and Performances in Georgia 1985-95: Collective Art Practices and the Strategies for Addressing Political Turbulence

In periods of social upheaval, political instability, and state crises, collectives tend to emerge and organise themselves loosely yet dynamically around ideologies or resentments (Enwezor, 2002; Stimson and Sholette, 2007). In response to the creeping collapse of the Soviet Union of 1985, named Perestroika, and the ascent of global capitalism as an all-encompassing system (Badanovic, 2019), three artistic collectives emerged in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. In the midst of this turbulent political climate spanning from 1985 to 1995, young artists utilised the collective voice as a means to navigate this crisis.

 

Vija's research aims to investigate the underground performances and exhibitions in Tbilisi, Georgia, focusing on collective artistic strategies that respond to and mitigate issues of distressful experiences. She aims to investigate the role of collective response that helped to navigate through Georgia’s precarious past by interviewing the remaining living members of the collectives and using their subjective experiences to develop a deeper understanding of the collective response.

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