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Title: Finding fluid form : a process aesthetic as a means to engage with the prevailing entitative model of thinking in ecological art
Author: Webster, Andy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 453X
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis considers common approaches to eco-art practice and its established discourses. Through a critical review of the field it identifies problems in practice and theory that are potentially counterproductive. It outlines methods used in eco-art that, whilst seeking to address environmental concerns, may unintentionally perpetuate the approaches and attitudes of the prevailing view. The thesis argues that as these approaches and attitudes are widely understood to lie at the cause of current problems its continued use is inappropriate for engaging with ecological issues. In response to this problem the thesis draws together insights from arts practice and theory, Systems Thinking, Cybernetics, Artificial Life research, Deep Ecology and Process Thinking. It develops an experimental framework to guide the initiation, production, dissemination and evaluation of arts practice, which can critically engage with the approaches and attitudes of the prevailing view, but do so without perpetuating these. For the purposes of this thesis the framework is called a process aesthetic. The thesis describes how the process aesthetic is developed and tested through the undertaking of new creative practice, and the critical reflection upon this. The written component of the thesis concludes with an evaluation of the relevance and potential of a process aesthetic, and a consideration of what it might offer to our understanding of ecological art. The thesis contributes to the field of eco-art by drawing upon thinking and practices normally considered peripheral to its discourses. This identifies problems, which contradict its aim of challenging the approaches and attitudes of the prevailing view - problems which to date have been under-acknowledged and not adequately theorised. It establishes that arts practice guided by the process aesthetic demonstrates an approach that can overcome problems recognised within existing eco-art and can act as a critical tool for disturbing the approaches and attitudes of the prevailing view. The thesis establishes that the process aesthetic can be used as a guide for future eco-arts practice and can be a means of regrouping existing artworks, which would normally be overlooked by eco-art discussions. This extends the diversity of eco-art discussions to positively broaden its critical discourses. It thus offers a new and appropriate methodology for arts practice that seeks to engage with environmental issues and ecological thinking.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available