Light – Landscape – Place – Weather – Climate

Practice-based PhD Seminar
Date/Time: Wednesday, 18th November, 5pm-7pm
Venue: Senate House, 1 Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU (Room 261)
The Southern Ocean Studies (climate data, real-time digital animation)

Invited Guest
 (30 mins + discussion)
Professor Tom Corby
Data Landscapes

Professor Tom Corby’s research is broadly concerned with exploring relationships between natural environments, digital data and social phenomena; this includes the production and exhibition of artworks and installations, and peer-reviewed publications. He often works collaboratively with scientists and technologists, with recent projects involving Tracemedia, the British Antarctic Survey and the BBC looking at climate change and geographies of conflict respectively. His artwork (in collaboration with Gavin Baily and Jonathan Mackenzie) has been exhibited at numerous festivals, galleries and museums including at the Institute of Contemporary Arts; Victoria and Albert Museum; Tate Online; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; Transmediale; ISEA; Ars Electronica; the Madrid Art Fair, and the Intercommunication Centre Tokyo (ICC) amongst many others. Tom is currently Professor of Visual and Interdisciplinary Art at the University of Westminster and Director of the CREAM Doctoral Programme and deputy Director of CREAM.

For this seminar, Professor Corby will speak about a number of linked projects, exploring them as connected research processes.

Student Presenters (15 minutes each + discussion)

Elizabeth Bennett
‘As I walked out one May morning’ [1]
In this performance lecture I will aim to present elements of the embodied processes I experienced whilst walking the Sussex South Downs Way and singing associated folk songs, over the course of the first week of May 2015. The paper will be non-linear, aiming to capture the tenors of the journey, rather than the itinerary. This performance is a creative working-through of aspects from my current theoretical research. A sequence of photographic images will illuminate the facets of knowledge that combine within me as I recite these songs; female forbears who have fertilised my voice from the grave, the living repertoire of family members, childhood memories of calypsos and Scottish tunes around the table, singing rounds on long car trips, the handwriting of singers I grew to love in the archives, the collectors I haunted, my insatiable desire for the biographies of past custodians, the intonations and insights of the traditional singers who accompanied me, and the shifting, sensuous curves of the South Downs that have cradled my vision. The selection of material flowing through the fifteen minutes aims to be illustrative of the wider body of strains I experienced, to be able to capture memories as fluid: ‘The past flits by, like an image on a screen … to see and rediscover the past not as a series of events, but as a series of scenes, inventions, emotions, images, and stories’ (Denzin 2006: p. 334) [2]

[1] This is the first line in two traditional folk songs that have become part of the Sussex repertoire ‘Searching For Lambs’ and ‘Seventeen Come Sunday’.
[2] Denzin, N.K (2006) ‘Pedagogy, Performance, and Autoethnography’, Text and Performance Quarterly, 26:4, 333-338.

>Elizabeth Bennett is an AHRC funded Doctoral student at Royal Holloway University of London in the Drama and Theatre Department. Her thesis ‘Performing Sussex Folksongs: The Role of The Archive and the Repertoire’ examines and explores the constituent parts that contribute to the performance of folk songs in a specific locality. Areas of study include the processes and practices of the landscape practices, the affective qualities of the archive, embodiment and oral repertoires, the use of vernacular songs in site-specific theatre, autoethnographic writing modes and the complexities of perspective, and the preservation and curation of memory in relation to intangible cultural heritage.

Uschi Klein
‘The importance of light – photography and visuality of young people on the autism spectrum’
The increasing ubiquity of digital technologies is changing the landscape of contemporary visual culture. Photographs are created, recreated and shared widely and repeatedly; they navigate through our worlds, record the eventful and the mundane, influence conversations and inspire our imaginations. Drawing on initial findings from my ethnographic study on the photographic practices of young people on the autism spectrum, this paper discusses how two autistic individuals approach photography to capture the ways they see the world. Engagements with both participants suggest they embody and embrace visuality and place with their sensory modalities, which are caused by different sensory perceptual processing in autism (Bogdashina 2013).  Consequently, while offering new insights into how photography mediates their perceptions of their visual world, this paper will further discuss the contributions photography makes to their everyday lives.

>Uschi Klein is a PhD candidate at the College of Arts and Humanities, University of Brighton. She studied Linguistics and Media Studies at undergraduate level, and Photography at postgraduate level. Her research interests encompass the relationship between photography, visual culture, representation, identity and visual research methods. Her current research is a participatory, image-based study that explores the everyday photographic practices of young people on the autism spectrum. 


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