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

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Date created
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.
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: McCarron, Gary
Member of collection
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