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Title: Public art and contemporary archaeology in the context of urban regeneration : ongoing change in central Bristol 1940-2010
Author: Dixon, James Richard Bruce
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 5842
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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Public art has long been seen as a phenomenon with little intimate connection to its surroundings, whether it is as a discursive formation surrounding a work or an abstract object encountered by passers-by as a relatively passive aesthetic experience. This thesis seeks to demonstrate how public artworks, rather than having sites formed around them by discourse, or sitting still within physical locations, actually create their own multi-layered sites through a process of enrolment and implication of a wide network of factors; physical, spatial, temporal, political and more. Taking inspiration from the works of Bruno Latour and John Law, this research seeks to investigate the specifically created sites of environmentally autonomous artistic interventions by recasting the limited Actor-Network Theory as a practical research methodology especially suited to determining some of the nature of this 'active' public art and its role in ongoing processes of urban regeneration. In doing so, the research draws particularly on contemporary archaeology, and its close links with anthropology and material culture studies, in using the contemporary environment, a flattened time in which past, present and future are actively constituted, to develop a contextual approach to researching public art that, in particular, takes close account of multiple temporalities and the simultaneity of different networks' enrolment and implication. Tightly focussed on one public art scheme in one place, Cabot Circus, Bristol, this research seeks to make use of a multi-disciplinary micro-study to draw wider conclusions about the nature of developers' and local governments' engagements with public art, while also outlining the potential for archaeologists to engage with urban regeneration in a new way that uses public art as the catalyst for a deeper engagement with, and understanding of, ongoing change and its relationship to daily life in the contemporary city.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available