• Threshold cartographies: The poetics of contested space

Ford, Laura Grace, 2021, Thesis, Threshold cartographies: The poetics of contested space PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

This PhD is a multidisciplinary mapping of the United Kingdom’s deindustrialised zones, an investigation into the collective social formations that have become absent as a result of radical reordering of urban space in the post-industrial era. Here I examine areas of the UK that have undergone extensive change since the exodus of manufacturing industries in the 1970s and 80s. By investigating the social and ideological formations that have not been fully erased I develop a better understanding of how the absent collective subject is exerting an influence on the present.

This practice-based research renegotiates and expands the terms hauntology and psychogeography by deploying a methodology of collective critical walking. A multidisciplinary art practice explores how an intersubjective approach to walking provides important material for a better understanding of the affective or psychic infrastructure of the city. I am calling this dual approach Sociogeography and Radical Spectrality.

Sociogeography is walking as critical practice and methodology, a break from the Situationist practice of psychogeography and a repositioning of the dérive in a neoliberal context, Radical Spectrality is a new coinage which expands on Derrida’s philosophical concept of hauntology and Mark Fisher’s subsequent reworking of the term by developing a methodology for working with ghosts.

This practice based research will develop the concept of the dérive by encompassing the work of Giorgio Agamben on spectrality, Walter Benjamin’s porosity in cities and revolutionary time, Karen Barad’s writing on quantum time and haunting, Jane Bennet’s political ecology of things, Franco Bifo Beradi’s work on precarity, Guy Debord and psychogeography, Mark Fisher’s reworking of hauntology, Black Audio Film Collective’s affective proximity, Frederic Jameson’s work on cognitive mapping and utopia, Henri Lefebvre’s right to the city and residues, Moten and Harney’s hapticality and the undercommons, Gilbert Simondon’s magical universe and privileged places, Gilles Deleuze’s Radioactive Fossil and Virginia Woolf’s multi subjective approach to the city.

I am making a key contribution to the field by introducing two new concepts, Sociogeography and Radical Spectrality. By making exhibitions, publications and audio works I enact the significant turn from the individual to the collective by transforming the atomised encounter with the spectral collective subject into a multi-disciplinary, collaborative and public facing series of works I create porous exhibition sites where the production of new sonic and textual terrain moves between city and gallery space.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W130 Sculpture
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2021 20:38
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2024 08:38
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4733
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