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  • The externalisation of the object: A critical study of object categories in the work of Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Tony Oursler, Jason Rhoades and Ryan Trecartin from 1974 to 2010

Trivedi, Nina, 2021, Thesis, The externalisation of the object: A critical study of object categories in the work of Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Tony Oursler, Jason Rhoades and Ryan Trecartin from 1974 to 2010 PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

This PhD critically examines the relations between objects in a selection of installations, videos and video installations by affiliated artists with a shared historical and geographical lineage in Los Angeles, including Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Tony Oursler, Jason Rhoades and Ryan Trecartin. The timeframe of this research begins in the 1970s and continues into 2010.

The title of this thesis is influenced by David Cronenberg’s film Videodrome, and its memorable rendering of the idea of the externalisation of objects from screens (both physically and metaphorically).

Following an Introduction on the methodology of the thesis, the first chapter, titled ‘Horror Vacui’, proposes that the formation of what we can now see - through the work of Jason Rhoades and, an introduction to the work of Ryan Trecartin - as a new configuration of video installation was directly impacted by the transition of works/objects that are presented in the core chapters.

The body of the PhD is presented in four core chapters, each focusing on a particular ‘type’ of object, each of which has been ‘invented’ by the author through their sustained historical/theoretical research, and which is examined in the artists’ works. They are: The Craft Object, The Gloopy Object, The Prop Object and The Suburban Object.

In addition to engaging with art history, historiography, and the history of exhibitions, this PhD considers the methodologies and theories of Critical Race Studies, Feminist New Materialisms and Object-Oriented Philosophies/Ontologies in order to examine and mould new applications for these approaches within an art theory/art historical framework. Each chapter discusses these methods of analysis alongside an analysis of how the type of object (The Craft Object, The Gloopy Object, The Prop Object and The Suburban Object) is constituted and externalised, and how it functions.

A new approach to considering the work of Kelly, McCarthy, Oursler, Rhoades and Trecartin is offered alongside a contribution to the expanding field of objectoriented research. This thesis forms a framework that can be used to speculate on a future trajectory for video installation and the physical, metaphysical and metaphorical relationship between the screen, the video and the object.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical race studies; new materialism; feminism; objects; video installation
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2021 13:59
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2021 13:59
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4818
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