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Title: Seducing disappearance : adumbrational space and sacrifice from site to image
Author: Lent, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 5351 1568
Awarding Body: University of Lincoln
Current Institution: University of Lincoln
Date of Award: 2014
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There is a crisis of alterity in which otherness is threatened by its opposition to a system of exchange. According to Jean Baudrillard: “Alterity is in danger. It is a masterpiece in peril, an object lost or missing from our system…”1 This research focuses on the otherness of space in order to prevent its ultimate dissolution, promoting a spatial practice of radical alterity. The project takes as its impetus the ideas of disappearance put forth by Baudrillard and Paul Virilio. However, it shifts their ideas, which were originally ascribed to objects into a new emphasis, instead applying them on to space. It takes similar stances based on the anti-productivist perspectives of Baudrillard and Georges Bataille with the view that the visual arts have remained by the wayside as the entire culture is now being threatened by the extermination of space…”2 This research takes a renewed action in this regard by developing theory and works that are informed by the fatal strategies and ‘raw’ phenomenology of Baudrillard. This research employs an artistic effort towards radical alterity as a practical one. It combines a phenomenology of the experience of space with strategies of asyndetic 1 Baudrillard, J. & Guillaume, M., 2008, Radical Alterity, Semiotext(e), Los Angeles. P. 113. 2 Virilio, P. & Lotringer, S., 2005, The Accident of Art, Semiotext(e), Los Angeles. P. 29. ii fragmentation and mobility as a production of perception of the world as Other in order to challenge a system of disappearance. This strategy advances discovery of the adumbrational potentialities of site rooted in Husserlian phenomenology and artistic practice, ultimately attempting to break a cyclical system of exchange that causes everything to disappear. This thesis proposes that the dissolution of space is more precisely a transfiguration of site into a known and utilised place. It represents a movement into realised place, and a disappearance of the original space that once was. In this way, it has been consumed as a product into the system of difference and absorbed into homogeneity and entropy. Rather than a mediated practice responding to space as commodification, this research instead proposes a different practice; a rethinking of the way we utilise space. Through this it seeks to offer a radical practice, one that preserves the alterity of unnamed space as an act towards singularity—a singular space that resists the urge towards homogeneity. Summarising this method, Lewis Keir Johnson described portions of this thesis in the introduction to Mobility and Fantasy in Visual Culture with: Michael Lent ... outline(s) projects involving moving images of space and place. Lent’s work reengages with Baudrillard’s account of an accelerating dystopia of space and place by reminding us of Husserl’s phenomenology of objects and their penumbral “adumbrations.” Not where such objects are lost but found, this obscurity that enables only partially able perception also iii provokes practices of space, as he argues, following the work of Michel de Certeau, revisionist theorist of flaneurism. Lent takes this back to the problem of belief in certain knowledge of places, their limits and perdurance, drawing us closer to an experience of multi-projection video that invites imaginaries of phasal histories of place and pleasure in space.3 An aim of this thesis is to further develop an existing discourse and a movement towards finding possible resolutions, particularly within a studio practice framework. An examination of how one might approach these tendencies and better understand this disappearance into what is represented is crucial to the practice-based methodology. The fugacious terrain of this investigation (both of its subject matter and its theoretical provision) requires this research to focus and espouse on that which is experimental, intentional, and sometimes impenetrable— what is lost in representing experience. This thesis is arranged in several parts. Firstly, there is a progressional narrative that sites the theoretical, literary, and artistic contexts that situate this research. Then there is a discussion of the relationship between writing and practice. This is followed by an examination of the relationship between sacrifice and the image. This serves to set the context and methodology for this investigation. Next, there is 3 Johnson, L., 2013, Mobility and Fantasy in Visual Culture, Routledge Advances in Art and Visual Studies. Routledge: Taylor & Francis, London. P. 90. iv a discussion of the adumbrational potentiality of site, based on a phenomenological concept set forth by Husserl. An examination of the work of Robert Smithson in relation to the research project follows, which highlights the artist’s intent to examine site but also what is ultimately destroyed through the utility of making art. This is followed by a discussion of what a spatial practice might be, and how one might go about this practice in a more experiential but less deterministic and detrimental way. Lastly, there is a series of phenomenologically driven investigations into the studio component of this thesis and a conclusion of future directions this research might take.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W100 Fine Art