Items where Subject is "Site-specific work"

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Number of items at this level: 15.



Gobbledegook Theatre’s Ear Trumpet is a site-responsive outdoor theatre performance in which a team of “sonic investigators” have discovered pockets of sound, trapped in the Earth beneath our feet. The show allows audiences to listen, using “ear trumpets”, a collection of recycled trumpets, trombones and gramophone horns that have been re-purposed as listening devices. In this paper, Dr Jon Croose describes the aurality of Ear Trumpet through a qualitative, practice-led methodology of first-person performance-as-research, interviews with the artists, and analysis of audience response. The essay considers Augoyard & Torgue’s notion of ‘sharawadji’ in Ear Trumpet in terms of ‘sonic effect’ (2006, xv; 8) arising, the author argues, from its encouragement of ‘the consciousness of early listening,’ (2006, 13) and through a combination of the sonic effects of anamnesis, de-contextualisation, de-localisation, attraction, phototonie and quotation. The paper considers how Ear Trumpet positions the relationship between ‘physical environment, the socio-cultural milieu, and the individual listener’ (2006, xiii) and reveals how participants’ suspension of disbelief in the pseudo-science of ‘sonic geology’ allows them to posit the possibility of multiple ‘historic dimensions of sound’, in a way that reframes their everyday soundscape and ‘magically and suddenly transports [them] elsewhere’ (2006, xv). Finally, it raises questions about the effect of sharawadji in terms of the tension between theatrical illusion, “belief” and critical distance among audiences, and considers a possible politics of aurality in performance contexts.

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This paper reveals how UK street carnival is located within policy discourses that facilitate notions of creative economy, inter-place competition and the representation of institutionally-preferred versions of local, regional and national place-identity. The paper draws on ethnographic research within two community town carnivals and the professional Battle for the Winds carnival performances that launched the 2012 Olympic sailing at Weymouth. It considers the evolution of policy-driven carnival vocabularies that were designed to articulate preferred ‘Jurassic Coast’ and Olympic place identities for the south-west UK during 2012, and their effect on two vernacular, community street carnivals in East Devon and Dorset. The paper exposes the cultural tension between these vernacular events and the ‘official feast’ of Jurassic Coast and Olympic carnival, in terms of their performance of contradictory place-identities and contested notions of artistic community. It describes the popular challenge to aesthetic hegemony that these community carnivals presented during 2012. Finally, the author argues for a reassessment of the artistic value of vernacular carnivals, and affirms their status as a culture of resistance that creates alternative, sometimes inconvenient, symbolic constructions of community and place to those preferred by institutional actors operating within a neo-liberal discourse of inter-place competition.


In Theodor Adorno’s writing the term “natural history” has quite a different meaning to its usual scientific usage. Adorno’s idea of natural history aims at reconciling, in form and in content, the opposing forces of nature and history with the aim of overcoming the division of natural being and historical being that Adorno considered to be the central problem of critical social theory. Through sprawling installations the French contemporary artist Pierre Huyghe creates new forms of interaction between natural systems and artificial constructs. Huyghe’s body of work is submitted to interpretation through Adorno’s dialectic of nature and history to establish the relevance of both Huyghe’s practice and Adorno’s thought to the conditions of the Anthropocene.

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The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 14 and 15 outline a broad concern for us to take better care for our lands and oceans and act on the negative anthropogenic impact that we, as humans, are having on this planet. However, I propose that many of us see ourselves as separate from nature and lack a connection with it. This, in turn, affects the way we treat it. In this research I explore how we can frame our futures by telling visual stories about the land and sea and the geological foundation of the world we live in. This is achieved by exploring the relationship between natural landscapes, earth sciences and the ‘bodily’ canvas. By presenting examples of costume and textile design in response to a specific brief this visual essay introduces the notion that by anthropomorphizing nature through costume design a sense of connectivity between humans and nature can be bridged. Although there are many examples of how nature has been used as a springboard for garment design this article draws attention to theories explored in social science that claim if we attribute human characteristics to natural forms we feel greater connectivity towards it. I present ideas that using the visual detail of the landscape and by exploring the opportunities of how these can be embedded into costume design we can create a playful public engagement performance tool. This approach has the potential to, not only investigate new ways of interpreting landscape and geology through a costume-design-led performance model, but also challenge the way people think about the natural world with the potential to foster pro-environmental behaviour.


Independent filmmaking is often faced with difficulties. For the team behind San Sabba, the issue resided in the invisibilities embedded in the film’s location: a concentration camp within the city of Trieste. This article will explore how and why the writer and director of San Sabba considered Trieste as an archive of multiple histories, memories, and postmemory due to the historical findings the film is based on, and how silenced history informed a phenomenological examination of what a landscape can add to the collective memory. Linking other locations in the city, which contribute to the elucidation of stories and histories deprived of public attention, this article analyses the historical data and considers the ontological qualities of the landscape as an archive where dominant narratives impact the understandings of present and past identities.


This article examines the performative digital practices of India’s feminist campaign group Blank Noise, with a focus on their 2016 project #WalkAlone. The event sought to explore and challenge embodied notions of female safety and visibility in night-time urban public spaces, by inviting women to walk alone in a place of their choosing between 9pm and midnight. In doing so, Blank Noise called on participants to ‘walk alone, together’, utilising digital documentation tools and media platforms to network these dispersed embodied acts. Drawing on my participation in #WalkAlone from the remote position of the UK alongside online documentation of the project, I examine how these tools established ‘digital proximities’ between participants, transforming our solitary acts into collective embodied action. I argue that Blank Noise’s project extends Butler’s notion of ‘plural performativity’ (2015) into a digital public sphere, by constructing a mode of embodied assembly within media spaces. Here, digital proximities between dispersed participants forged a concerted enactment from the private and personal actions of individual women, walking on the stage of the nocturnal city.


Site-specific, collectively made textiles are particularly effective producers of histories that entwine place and people. More than simply a means to an end, the process of making together foregrounds the potential of textiles to transform and be transformed beyond their materiality. The material making process mirrors another kind of making process: that of a certain kind of social integration or a sense of being and belonging somewhere, however temporary and changeable these may be. Once completed, however, these material artifacts can provoke difficult questions concerning the responsibility for their storage and display, succumbing to a fate in semi-permanent storage and eventually relinquishing their material presence to a form of visual or textual representation. Although this is not the fate of all collectively made textile works, given the widespread practice of collective textile-making, it is inevitably the fate of some. Using the example of a collectively made hooked rug project that I coordinated and participated in 15 years ago, I will explore in this article the transformed status of collectively made textile artifacts through memories of making in order to open up new understandings of these types of site-specific collective textile- making projects as a different kind of creative practice: as a narrative performance of experiences of being together.


Arising from a recently formed research network, Stitching Together, this article introduces a collection of case studies that critically examine participatory textile making as an emerging methodological approach to research. The twenty-first century resurgence of interest in textile processes such as knitting, sewing and weaving, whether as individual practice or community- based initiative, builds on a long and culturally diverse history of collaborative textile-making activity. This resurgence, combined with the familiarity, accessibility and flexibility of textile practices, has influenced a recent growth in the use of such activities as a means of inquiry within diverse research contexts.

The article considers the ways in which collective textile making projects privilege social encounter as a format for learning skills, creating friendships and consolidating shared interests. It goes on to discuss how researchers are drawing on these characteristics when devising new projects, highlighting the quality of experience afforded by textile making, the diverse forms of data generated and the variety of ways in which these participatory activities can be set up. Recognising that this research approach is far from straightforward, three key methodological themes are then considered: the multifaceted nature of the researcher’s role and the complexities of relationships with participants and other stakeholders; the difficulties that can arise when using such familiar textile processes; and the opportunities, and complexities, of co-producing knowledge with participants through collaborative textile activity.



This research project explores the notion that by anthropomorphizing nature through an emergent practice of landscaped inspired costume design a sense of connectivity between humans and nature can be bridged. It builds on somatic costume research by Dean (2014 and 2016) and asks the question: How can the body be used as a somatic landscape to create a playful public engagement performance tool to promote a connection with the natural landscapes of Dorset.

A costume -design -led approach was executed by combining theoretical and empirical research that explored the connectivity between the landscape and the body. This included field trips and visual hands-on research included rock rubbing, sketching, fossil hunting, archival research and investigative walking. Most significant was the dialogue with the earth scientists from the Jurassic Coast Trust who supported the research and its development. Combining this practice-based approach with theories in social scientists (Tams et al. (2013), Berry & Wolf-Waltz (2014) and Lumber, Richard and Sheffield (2017)) the outcome of this research highlights how the intervention of performance, or more specifically costume design in performance, can be used as a method to get its audience to think about natural landscapes. Cited in Resonance in Rocks: Building a Sustainable Learning and Engagement Programme for the Jurassic Coast, Proceedings of Geologists’ Association, the work was referred to as a ‘remarkable piece of interpretation’ Khatwa Ford, (2018).

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Paper, table, wall and after was a co-curated international exhibition in 2015 of 108 paper-based artworks by 38 national and international artists, selected by Bowen and Chris Dorsett. It aimed to address ways in which a work of art continues to resonate after its creation and critiqued the disconnected moments in the ‘life story’ of an art object. The exhibition focussed on provisional, but vital, stages of making paper-based artworks and examined fluid open-ended possibilities for their interpretation through public installation. The project contributes to debates on how artworks continue to be ‘created and re-created’ after their completion by the artist through their display, preservation, reproduction and reception.

Artworks that could be folded and unfolded were made by 38 participants and installed across the gallery floor, encouraging intimate audience engagement; the installation thus blurred the boundaries between making and viewing. Visitors were invited to make additional pieces and to move artworks to different positions throughout the exhibition’s duration. The content and material nature of the artworks and the unfixed position of their installation, realised the aims of the project.

Bowen’s work with Dorsett spans several years of collaboration: her contribution to the project is distinctive as it instigated and investigated commissioned contemporary paper-based artworks and innovative methods of installation. Contextualisation by other researchers is reflected through conferences and papers including: (Afterlives, University of York, 2018); interdisciplinary workshops (The Afterlives of Art Works, University of Warwick, 2017) and scholarly articles (The Afterlives of Art, Toby Lichtig, TLS, Sept. 2013).

It is also contextualised within the framework of Bowen’s early and ongoing research interests as evidenced by her paper, Materiality and Transience Through Drawing Practice, delivered at the Fourth Early Modern Symposium, Art and its Afterlives, the Courtauld Institute, London, 2012. This paper explored the correlation between the material transformation of a series of Renaissance prints found frozen in the Arctic and their reinterpretation over five centuries. Paper, table, wall and after built on the symposium’s concerns with how, “art is shaped by its afterlives and the ways in which art both persists and changes through time as a material object, a field of generative meaning, and a subject of debate and interpretation”. In 2014 key concepts for the exhibition were tested out with co-curator Chris Dorsett, through an installation of paper-based artworks across series of tables and the walls and floor of Gallery North, Northumbria University, Newcastle.

Paper, table, wall and after was informed by Bowen’s ongoing research in the relationship between the materiality of drawing and the ephemeral nature of museum objects on paper, evidenced through collaborative research projects at the V&A, London and Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2006-12), and the conception, development and leadership of Paper Studio Northumbria (PSN), (2012-18). PSN provided a unique facility nationally and internationally for the research, teaching and scholarship of paper in relation to fine art, conservation and archiving. To further inform her understanding of the material characteristics of paper, in 2015 Bowen made research field trips across Taiwan to Shigeru Ban’s architectural construction which utilised cardboard tubes, and to handmade paper mills.

The installation took place in The International Exhibition Hall, National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA) and Yo-Chang Art Museum, Taiwan. November 2015. It was funded by NTUA. Research findings were further disseminated in lectures in the International Exhibition Hall highlighting research themes through round table discussions with Dr Chih Cheng Chen (Principal of NTUA) and Director of Yo-Chang Art Museum, Dr Chun Lan Liu.
The exhibition directly informed the nature of a floor-based installation of works by researchers and students from AUB and associated drawing workshop, Drawing Boundaries, Folding Islands, led by Bowen at the British Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018.

Insights were effectively shared through lectures by Bowen at: Shigeru Ban Paper Dome, Puli, Taiwan (2015); Jilin University of Arts, (JUA), Changchun, China (2016); PSN, Northumbria University (2016) and Belfast School of Art (2015), and through a lecture and panel discussion, Jerwood Drawing Prize, AUB Bournemouth, 2017.

The exhibition led to an invitation from JUA, China, for Bowen to create a large-scale solo installation of paper-based and video works in 2016.

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The Contact Festival included the work of over 70 artists and filmmakers, featuring single-screen films, multi-screen/performance-related works and site-specific installations. Accompanied by a publication including discussion pieces by Luke Aspell and collective-iz (on collective practices), Sally Golding, James Holcombe and Cathy Rogers (on different manifestations of contemporary expanded cinema), and short essays by Maria Palacios Cruz (LUX, Deputy Director), William Fowler (BFI, curator of artists' moving image) and Nicky Hamlyn (filmmaker and writer), plus complete listings.



The Hidden Stories app delves deep into the untold history of Leicester’s Cultural Quarter, bringing the area to life through poetry, plays and narrative non-fiction.

The app operates via locative technology that triggers fragments of writing at specific locations; the texts are effectively connected with the location and history they are exploring, with content being unlocked as the user moves around the area.

Each text is displayed differently within the app, taking advantage of the framework to emphasise the ideas being presented by the writers and reflecting the concept of hidden stories.

Hidden Stories was commissioned by Phoenix and developed by Cuttlefish Multimedia as part of Affective Digital Histories, a research project investigating how communities change with urban decline and regeneration. The five pieces of creative writing used in the app were commissioned and edited by Corinne Fowler, director of the University of Leicester’s Centre for New Writing. To find out more visit

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This list was generated on Sun Jan 23 05:20:35 2022 UTC.