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Title: Defamiliarising the familiar : everyday tourism as the art of everyday life
Author: Fenner, Bevis
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 4420
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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This practice-based thesis explores the relationship between tourism, art and everyday life. Centred on the touristic spaces and settings of the British seaside town of Bournemouth the project explores how living in a tourist resort can facilitate transitory creativities, through which new modes of thinking and being can be developed. It also focuses on the blurring of tourism and everyday life, and more specifically, as the project develops, the conflation of work and leisure in neoliberal society. I argue that the blurring of work and leisure produces pseudo-individualised creativities that mask power and property relations to the extent that it becomes hard to negotiate ontological authenticity. In this direction, I suggest that it is not the closing of the gap between work and leisure that is the 'problem' with everyday life but our lack of capacity to govern how this pseudo-emancipatory relaxing of boundaries structures itself in the lifeworld. Though practice-based research methods, the project explores the notion of 'everyday tourism' as a methodology for developing a praxis of everyday production that attempts, not only to 'make visible' the ambiguities and paradoxes of leisure and tourism, but also, in bringing tourism and art to the centre of everyday life, works in opposition to neoliberal modes of work and leisure and their appropriation of creativity and other subjective and affective productive forces. This thesis asserts the notion and art practice of 'everyday tourism', which triangulates art, tourism and everyday life, not simply as the development of more tourist-like relations within life-world but also as new emergent field of practice involving strategies or tactics for defamiliarising the familiar, to disrupt dominant representations and habitual ways of being. In borrowing from the performances and performativities of art and tourism practices, I argue that we must develop an attentive ethics of practice if we are to reclaim everyday life from its occupation by the aggressive forces of neoliberalism. The thesis also suggests that the notion of 'everyday tourism', in its acknowledgement of emergence, contingency, transience, useless expenditure and our place in networks of affective forces and non-cognitive relations, becomes a means of liberating the self or moving beyond subjectivity and the habitual in order to go permanently 'on tour', in a world forever unfolding and never finished. 'Everyday tourism' thus becomes a means of envisioning alternative ways of being and seeing – of imagining possible futures and entertaining the idea of flux and change, of seeing difference in de-differentiation, of seeing through the eyes of the 'alien' other, in order to see beyond the alienating same. In this direction, 'everyday tourism' is intended as a strategy for moving beyond our current period of neoliberal, technocratic 'democracy' often referred to as 'the end of history'.
Supervisor: Manghani, Sunil Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available