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Title: Presencing place : an enquiry into the knowing and shaping of place through expanded art practices
Author: Thomas, Jo
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2013
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This practice based research examines ways of working in local everyday places that enable shifts from the ‘non–place’ to the rediscovery of the particular in everyday places, amplifying and enhancing ways of knowing and sensing through presencing place. A series of forty-five gestures, expanded art practices, form the enquiry. These gestures have a phenomenological and holistic outlook that highlight the potential of small actions to confirm and enhance the quality of our connections with the world we are part of and through which we can experience a sense of interconnectiveness. Most take place close to my home in Reading, UK. Gestures include: standing in a local water meadow with others to witness dawn Gesture 19 Dawn Walk 6.30am; walking through two periods of abrupt climate change 183ma (million years ago) and our current time, Gesture 28 Intersections of time; or gilding the shadow of a small weed with gold leaf at solar noon, Gesture 45 Solar Noon Shadows. The commentary introduces the territory of presencing place with reference to Otto Scharmers Theory U and a creative approach of letting come born out of Heidegger’s central concern Being or ‘Dasein’. The approaches to practices are then described through methods of tuning into place, the potential for a better place that is embodied in the field of social sculpture and the possibilities of liminal knowing to connect in place. Processes of engaging with others and getting into a position where the world conspires to help you are considered with the work of carefully selected artists. The gestures focus on three areas of enquiry: first, into the physicality of place, secondly, into the non-physicality of place and, thirdly, finding ways of shaping an experience of place with and for others. The gestures become understood as moments of compassionate connection in the poetic action of a small stitch, an act of loving the world. The research concludes by discussing the gestures as a family of strategies and methods that offer ways of presencing place that enhance possibilities of connection in place through expanded art practices. It will be of use to those interested in public facing work and place.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral