Re/generation: Mapping [the] operations of [the] strange in contemporary [art] photography

Date created: 
2020-03-26
Identifier: 
etd20781
Keywords: 
Photography
Arts-based research
Bricolage
Contemporary art
Defamiliarization
Image event
Intra-action
Mediation
Making strange
Media theory
Photography theory
Post-phenomenology
Visual perception
Abstract: 

In this arts-based inquiry, I explore the ‘strange’—as a phenomenon, a concept, a narrative strategy, an intervention, an ‘operation,’ a dynamic—in the context of contemporary [art] photography. I specifically focus on the photographic image as event, as a generative encounter between multiple agencies—image(s), viewer(s), text(s) and other contextual factors —What happens? How? Why? Encounters with [the] strange and practices of ‘making strange’ emerge as probes into everyday ontological and epistemological operations of photography and the unique creative affordances this generates for photography as contemporary art.Merging my art practice and scholarship, I developed a form of visual storytelling that performs its subject matter in myriad ways. The project unfolds as a book that blends the linearity of argument structuring conventional modes of academic writing with more intuitive, non-linear modes of artistic writing that seek to open up—evoke and provoke—rather than foreclose differing interpretive paths. I foreground the process of knowledge production and meaning making by giving visibility and presence to participating ‘voices’ and the intertextual dynamics between them. Images, interview transcripts, dictionary definitions, quotes, diagrams, drawings and random bits found along the way converge to animate and illuminate operations of [the] strange. The project is structured like a play in three ‘acts.’ PART I: VIEWFINDER serves as the opening act introducing the main ‘characters’—core concepts, participants and setting—along with the ‘plot’—the research methodology. PART II: STRANGE consists of six ‘scenes’—CONTOURS, FRAMES, THRESHOLDS, HYBRIDS, CONTEXTS and MODES—each of which probes the ‘trials and tribulations’ of the main protagonist—[the] ‘strange’— through a different lens. PART III: RE/GENERATION serves as the final act in which various narrative strands are brought together within the interpretive framework guiding this arts-based inquiry.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Gary McCarron
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Statistics: