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Title: Materiality and making in experiential ecologies
Author: Schofield, Thomas William
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 0369
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2015
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This practice-based thesis aims to inform new kinds of creative art and design practice that are engaged with the production and critique of new technological artefacts and systems. The core focus of this research is the role of materiality in making-processes as part of an ecology of technological experience, in other words an 'experiential ecology'. Building on an existing, ontological argument that meaning is an a priori property of being, a proposition for materiality's intrinsic historicity is developed. It is argued that material things have meaning, anterior to interpretation, and that consequently meaning is connected to objects' pasts. It is then described how a principal implication of this understanding in the context of making with contemporary technologies is the adoption of an 'archaeological' approach to studying and producing artefacts which engages with such pre-existing meanings. It is suggested that a possible consequence of this archaeological engagement, for practitioners, is that they view their making activities as situated within ecologies of existing agencies and interactions of the material world into which practice intervenes. Building on Dewey's articulation of the connection of aesthetics to the circumstances of art's production aesthetic experience within such ecologies integrates the activity of making to the material histories of artefacts. To inform making-practices thus conceived, a framework of five separate facets of materiality is developed: performative, distributed, spatio, temporal, fragile, and future-oriented. This framework is applied through a case study describing the making-process of a new artwork entitled 'Neurotic Armageddon Indicator'. The results of this application are examined to assess their contribution to the earlier introduced experiential ecology. This practice-based research makes the following contributions: (i) a design framework that defines five facets of materiality and suggested applications and benefits, (ii) a series of experimental artworks that articulate and develop that framework and (iii) an articulation of experiential ecologies that offers ways for designers and artists to contextualise their production as part of a vibrant material world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available