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Title: Cave art as installation art : analysis of the human-art-wall triad in three Cantabrian caves, and embedded interactivity in the image-making and image-viewing process
Author: Sakamoto, Takashi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7968 9794
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2019
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Why were caves selected as places for art in the Palaeolithic? The question has not yet been explained. Previously, I attempted to answer it in part by examining cave art from the perspective of installation art whose aim is to provide us with different multisensory experiences to those of quotidian life. As a result, this theory of contemporary art led to a theory, cave art as installation art, which denotes an interactive nature between humans and a cave's physical environment. In this thesis I develop this theory through the provision of concrete observations obtained from fieldwork in decorated caves. I investigate 54 images from three caves (Covalanas, El Pendo, El Castillo) in Cantabria, Spain, focusing on the interactivities of cave art during the production and post-production (viewing) phases. The environmental factor concerned is the condition of the cave's wall, with which humans were able to interact creatively. The data collected comprises three categories, each of which testifies to a different type of interactivity: integration of natural lines with art; topographic conditions of the art area; and distortion of images due to its background topography. These categories reflect how the wall's features are incorporated into images, and how those features generated further interactivity in the post-production phase. As I am primarily concerned with the physical condition of the cave wall, I adopted digital photogrammetry to reconstruct 3D models of the 54 analysed images, which enabled me to analyse their topographic information in detail. The data were subsequently sorted statistically in terms of the three data categories. Consequently, the study suggests that Palaeolithic artists intentionally used walls' specific conditions to enhance the processes of image-making and image-viewing. A mutual relationship between an actor and an artistic medium inevitably redraws our concept of cave art to an interconnection between environment, art, and human.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available