Thesis abstract 22.3.12
The main body of my thesis will be made up of a series of anecdotes, (approximately eight) themselves not directly referencing art-making but all selected and told in a manner that points to the development of current themes and interests in my sculptural practice. The anecdotes are based on my own experiences and observations. They also act as independent short stories and combine historical contextualisation, detailed observation (of seemingly innocuous routines and activities), and recollections of scenarios and situations from my childhood to my present day life in Rotterdam. These stories do not follow a linear narrative arc or a chronological trajectory, instead they are grouped around the three terms I have been using as co-ordinates for my art making. 'The Unbuilt. The Hand. The Prop.' This is also the tile of my thesis.
'The Unbuilt. The Hand. The Prop.' will effectively act as three chapters under which the stories will be collected. This is a departure from my initial plan of only having the anecdotes as the first chapter and then expand upon them through analysis and art historical referencing. I have abandoned this as a structure as after the second writing workshop was encouraged that people recognised a correlation to the collecting of stories to the structuring of my video work. After further consideration I decided to use the anecdotes as the main body of the text and then integrate annotations into my own stories. The format of opposite-page annotations would then be used to zoom in on a specific word, phrase, or description from the anecdotes and expand upon the relevance of their context or sculptural significance.
The collection of stories under the three headings point to interests in interface, image-making, sculptural history, and virtuality. These in turn, will be framed in the annotations through my current reading on nudge theory, choice architecture, scientific objectivity, and media ecology. It is important to the structure of the thesis that the annotations do not merely act as evidencing footnotes, rather they add and elaborate the interpretations of familiar activities, such as working in a factory or recounting impressions as a child visiting a museum. The intention of using this method is create a sculptural lens through which these anecdotes can be reconsidered as signifiers and causes to my own making. The list of interests noted above feed into the chapter subjects and hopefully should create a overarching framework that explains, and endorses what it means to be making sculpture in 2012.
Thesis outline – first draft 6.2.12
The first chapter consists of four short anecdotes from personal experiences. These do not reference directly art-making, but act as studies to the conditions which affect the work I make. The aim of these anecdotes is to create a lens, through which the methodology of my own work can be viewed and unpacked. The anecdotes oscillate between micro and macro descriptions; the personal and banal flipping to grand historical narrative and complex systems. The subjects in these short descriptions vary but they point to interests in interface, image-making, human-object relationships, and virtuality. These in turn, could lead more specifically, to further research into Nudge Theory, Choice Architecture, scientific objectivity and Libertarian Paternalism.
The second chapter will start to decode the observations presented in the first chapter, their relationship to my own working methods as well as citing other examples of artworks/thinkers/practices negotiating similar territory. Potentially this could lead to the third chapter being a culmination of these observations and their interpretation into a framing of the work I intend to show for my graduation project.