• The pre-material: Potentials of the infrastructural as applied form

Klingler, Johanna, 2022, Thesis, The pre-material: Potentials of the infrastructural as applied form MPhil thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

This thesis will develop the concept of the pre-material as a structure constitutive of meaning and furthermore investigate its potential within the material and immaterial relations of society. The ‘critique of infrastructure’ (Marina Vishmidt, 2016) as a theoretical concept that tackles the relationality of material and social conditions will serve as the framework within which the pre-material will be situated.

Subsequently, an introduction to the theoretical concepts that I will draw upon in the course of my argumentative structure will be followed by an application of the subject matter.

Thus, chapter 1 will use examples to articulate the pre-material, while exploring the image as a concept that is representative as well as constitutive of meaning. These characteristics will be illustrated through theories and practical examples within the realm of photography. Ultimately, I will introduce the pre-material as form, that is, as both activity and category.

The second chapter will introduce the work of the photographers, activists, historians and educators Jo Spence (1934-1992) and Terry Dennett (1938-2018) as an example of applied infrastructural, or pre-material practice. I focus on them due to their targeting of ideological conventions as constructs within which they actively intervene in order to change socially coded meaning and secondly. Another reason for their relevance is the nature of their practice which equates material products and the activities that stand behind them. Furthermore, I will lay out an elaboration of archival material, through which I will illustrate the different fields of action within their work.

The last chapter consists of an introduction to my own practice and an artistic realisation of the pre-material as form. I developed this form in tandem with my theoretical research, which passes through different systems creative of meaning, in order to articulate the pre-material as a self-sufficient producer of meaning. Through my practice I will furthermore articulate my findings regarding the nature of the pre-material as (a) active as opposed to representative and (b) a relation between material conditions and ideological projections deriving from them.

Qualification Name: MPhil
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design > W990 Creative Arts and Design not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Uncontrolled Keywords: Infrastructure; Reproduction Feminism; Marxism; Jo Spence; Terry Dennett
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2022 13:54
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2022 13:54
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5163
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