Spectacle, Shock, and Surfacing is a conceptual thesis that involves making connections between meaning making for everyday life and the practice of installation art in a technologically driven visual culture. Key areas explored include: visual culture, how we stop and engage, and calling attention to visual culture through performative inquiry in installation art. These connections are theorized through phenomenology, embodiment, and performative inquiry related to spatiality, perception, and the human body. The point of departure is a historical overview of conceptual art, performance art, and installation art contributions to the social dimensions of inquiry. The potential of interrogating visual culture or reconfiguring understanding of who we are by entering into an installation art form as an embodied participant is explored through reference to several known art installations. The spectator/participant enters the installation art form as an active engager, as a means to decentre centred notions of everyday life through the appropriation of congruent images to challenge visual culture. Visual culture is explored conceptually, and through the author’s participation in an installation art project, “Escape from Amnesia: this is not a pipe.” Such embodied participation allows for ‘stop’ moments of possibilities that call the spectator/participant to attention. The potential of learning and/or reconfiguring understanding of who we are by entering into an installation art form as an embodied participant presses for active inquiry, critical and creative engagement, through performative inquiry from the vantage point of a ‘wide awake’ individual. The potential for a reflexive pedagogy in understanding the art world, the world in which we dwell, in relationship to our selves and each other is heightened. Key-Installation art, performative inquiry, reflexivity, phenomenology, enactivism, visual culture.
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