Positionality: Research Topography

Department of Art Postgraduate Research Symposium

Keynote Speakers

Bridget Crone- Dispersions Across the Surface: Machine Deliriums and the Infinite Instant.

Mark Leckey- Touchy Feely.

John Cussans- Hatching Plots as I Write.

Leon Wainwright- Positions: Americocentrism and Art of the Caribbean.

Film screening

Dorothee Richter and Ronald Kolb- Flux Us Now. Fluxus explored with a Camera.

Postgraduate Speakers

Ruth Gooding- Research Topographies in Time.

David Bulter- The Thing.

Clair Drever- Inside and Outside My Thesis: Positionality and Nostalgia.

The symposium, Positioning: Research Topography explores the range of methodologies through which we choose to demarcate a position within the topography of our research and practice. The choices we make in either responding to or generating research areas are ultimately constituted by artistic intention, social objectives and have political implications. Often these ramifications are conflated and certain methodological procedures are either naturalised or claim a privileged relationship with the truth. Truth positions can often idealise aesthetic theories of transparency, objectivity and rationality or counter to this invest in the redemptive stylisation of opacity, ambiguity and uncertainty. However, on the other hand, if there is no gauge for value then a position within research and practice can only be sceptically taken:

The Hipster Runoff is the name of an alternative music and culture blog written by Carles… Carles’s arena for reflection is the accelerated world of internet popular culture or ‘buzzbands, alt_stuff,andmemes’. Crucially this is all covered from a unique position of self-awareness and epistemological uncertainty.

Quaintance, M. (February 2013) Art Monthly (No.363): “Being-Online” (p16), London: Britannia Art Publications

Carles knows his position as a critic and digester of what he routinely identifies as valueless dross is itself valueless. But he also knows that in a levelled field this position is worth something as long as a specifically circuitous brand of irony is used. Carles has attempted to territorialise a position within the field or topography of the Internet. Similarly to the academic researcher and practitioner he is a self-reflexive ‘critic and digester’ of the area he has carved out to explore. However, he is also aware that his position is valueless unless he treats it with a certain ironic aesthetic. This poses a series of questions to the researcher and practitioner: How do we navigate our position as both critics and digesters of our field? Where do we place this position in terms of our own research and practice? How do we treat this position: how is it aesthetically rendered?

Symposium at Old Whiteknights House
University of Reading

20. June. 2013

1 Comment

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