The artist as subject in creative stasis and drasis, explored through performative subjectivity in media art and diary practice
This research began as an investigation of the artist's subjectivity within the process of creating art. The focus of the research was the state of stasis, experienced by the artist as absence of action and nothingness. Reflexive methodology and autobiography were chosen as the basic epistemological and methodological approaches in order to fulfil the framework, questions and needs of this research. Diaries and Meta-Diaries as tools of the methodological approach were significant in the understanding of the artist's subjectivity and its manifestation in the written document. Diary entries were treated as instances of subjectivity rather than symptoms of the truth of the subject. I referred to diaries as part of a 'diary practice' which is inclusive of the time not writing in the diary. Additionally diaries developed an exchange with the artist's practice, became part of the concerns of this research and finally became part of the practice as much as a way of exploring it. Stasis was examined through diary practice and artworks and its characteristics were mapped out. These characteristics were uncertainty, frustration and anticipation of action for the subject. The artist's own diaries and works were examined within the contemporary artistic and theoretical context to determine the strategies the artist adopts to escape stasis. These strategies were initially determined as: Repetition creating a refuge for the subject; Submission to arkhé as a way of providing continuity and The creation of a network of complicity as an affirmation of existence. Drasis, a Greek concept the meaning of which includes both 'act' and the 'performance', was adopted to describe the strategy by which the eventisation of stasis is performed. In drasis the focus of my artwork would become stasis and not action. Through drasis the eventisation of stasis was carried out, marking a strategy of the artist in stasis. Drasis, a strategy for the artist as subject in stasis, is, together with the creative work, my main contribution to knowledge in this research.