Mónica Rivas Velasquez

My PhD project centres on a speculative productive fusion of contemporary art practice, botanical research, autobiographical narratives and political histories, past and present, within the context of my native Colombia.

My research focusses on the plants Espeletia, Brugmansia Arborea and Mimosa Pudica in an attempt to attend to the multi-layered complexity that each species unfolds and to chart the affective responses that these encounters with the botanical world unlock. By an interweaving of practices such as drawing, writing, installation and public readings, my research aims to further the exploration and experimental articulation of plant-human relations.

https://monicarivasvelasquez.com/

Keira Greene

In the global event of rapacious consumption, it is evidently unethical, as an artist, to work with toxic material or dwindling natural resources. In this climate, working with the physical body as material can be considered an ecological and political act. My practice-based research focuses on the body as a site of investigation within the cross-disciplinary field of contemporary art and dance. I will look to the work of women–artist–dancers that use dance to construct meaning and challenge dominant representations of the body. Through a primarily feminist discourse, the body engaging with dance will be analysed as a body that performs the defining ideas of the time. I will argue that the physical body negotiates and reflects the ideologies in which it is situated and therefore can motivate alternate translations of representation.

As a filmmaker I look to the context of dance as a generative site of contestation. I will focus on somatic practices, movement practices that involve a dual observation by the dancer; they are simultaneously aware of their gesture and the feeling of that gesture. The term somatic, from the word Soma, is the body as perceived from within. I will approach this interior territory to critically dispute the language of the sensing physical body. I will explore movement practice that turns the sensing body inside out to perform aesthetics of feeling and in turn perform political agency. 

John Lawrence

Through a practice located in art writing I am invested in exploring the peripheries of where meaning can be generated through language, towards asking the question ‘To what extent might ‘site of reception’ be considered as a facet of language itself?’

Framed around a speculative concept of ‘Spatial Writing’, and extending ideas around ‘Spatial Music’ as established by 20th century avant-garde composers such as Xenakis, Nono and Stockhausen, my research engages practices, forms and sites of live textual production, as well as forms of language that might resist such recuperation, in order to understand how embodied experience, spectacle and the materiality of site can affect and inform a collective reception of meaning.

Through the proposed choice of sites of-and-for the work, I aim to embrace tensions around non-instrumentalised hedonistic spectacle versus a capitalist instrumentalisation of culture, and plan to frame my research within a partial reevaluation of Adorno & Horkheimer’s ‘Enlightenment as Mass Deception’ in relation to industry and religion.