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Title: Exploring human/environment interdependencies through critical spatial practice
Author: Donald, Minty
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2014
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The thesis consists of a collection of material emanating from two, related, practice-as-research projects that I undertook between 2007 and 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland: Glimmers in Limbo (2007-08) and The River Clyde Project (2009-12). Included in the thesis is documentation of both projects in the form of photographs, video and sound recordings; three journal articles and a book chapter reflecting on the projects; a book/catalogue documenting and reflecting on Glimmers in Limbo and (as appendices) material relating to the public exhibition/performance of the works: invitations, programme notes, press and publicity matter and other research material. The body of work constitutes an exploration of human/environment inter-relations, through critical spatial or site-orientated practice. The earlier project, Glimmers in Limbo, focuses on the built environment and, specifically, on two contrasting but complementary sites that have played multiple roles in the social and cultural life of Glasgow, sites which can be understood as rich repositories of cultural memory and which are subject to competing interests and investments. The project investigates the potential of critical spatial practice, using ephemeral media such as projected imagery, sound and performance, to invite interpretations of these 'heritage sites' that are multiple and unresolved and to activate them as stimuli for diverse, overlapping memories. It considers the efficacy of transient artworks in resisting the fixing or monumentalisation of heritage sites and, thus, in offering resistance to single, authorative renderings of the past, which might serve to perpetuate dominant and exclusive ideologies. In the course of the investigation-through-practice, perceived distinctions between so-called tangible and intangible heritage are troubled. The later body of work, The River Clyde Project, focuses on Glasgow's major river as it flows through the city, extending Glimmers in Limbo's human-centric focus on the built environment, cultural memory and heritage. In The River Clyde Project, two contrasting but iterative pieces of critical spatial practice - Bridging Part 1 (2010) and High-Slack-Low-Slack-High (2012) - explore ideas of the urban, post-industrial river as a paradigm for natural-cultural or ecological-social exchange, using the lens of vital materialism to consider the ways in which the artworks reveal the waywardness of 'natural' phenomena and unsettle anthropocentric understandings of human/environment inter-relations. The River Clyde Project, in its engagement with expanded or extroverted ideas of site, also productively challenges seeming contradictions between notions of site-specificity and mobility.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: NX Arts in general