Call for Submissions: Aesthesis

 

11195496_10155687255275413_1185752286_n

Aesthesis invites LAHP-funded doctoral candidates to submit artworks that creatively reinterpret their PhD thesis in a non-textual form.

 Submissions can take any form that can be displayed in a gallery space – be it painting, sculpture, digital image, photograph, film, recorded theatre or dance performance, sound recording, installation, &c. Entries should be accompanied by a short description (200-300 words) on the author’s research, and how the artwork reinterprets or relates to it. The artwork could be related to the content or methodology of the PhD, or related ideas and practices more broadly construed.

 Submitted projects will be showcased in an exhibition at the end of the summer term 2015. A panel of judges will award prizes (for example Tate membership and National Art Pass) to the winning entry and runners up.

 The project aims to explore the ways that the complexity of doctoral theses can be captured in forms that are not straightforwardly textual. We hope to encourage LAHP students to think about their projects in radically different ways, consider their ideas in a fresh light, and explore how to capture the minds of a non-specialist public, as well as create beautiful artworks.

 If you’re interested in taking part or have any questions, please get in touch:

aesthesis.lahp@gmail.com.

Deadline for submissions is 15 May 2015.

Advertisements

Sound Series #1

IMG_0146

What can you hear at this very moment? As you continue to read concentrate not on my words but on the sounds around you. Can you hear the clattering of cutlery, the clink of glasses or the tapping of a computer keyboard? Is there a clamour of voices, indistinct and murmuring? Or does one voice drift into focus craving dominance on your ear?

Are you listening?

As you focus, your ear will switch between volumes and pitches, between natural and artificial sound: you are identifying your very own soundscape. As I sit mulling over what should be written down, my own soundscape has become internalised. Fading in and out of recognition depending on my own focus. Cars rumble past my house and my single glazed windows shake with the force. Keys clatter, footsteps thud the stairs as life goes on below my room. Builders are drilling the ground outside.

Are you still listening?

As you focus on digesting my soundscape in your imagination, your mind will have inevitably tuned out the murmuring din happening around you. But you are not perceiving silence. The noise has not stopped but remained, buzzing away in the background. What can you hear now?

Are you listening?

Charlotte Rudman is a first year PhD student in the Department of English at King’s College London whose research focuses on sound and sound representations in Medieval dream vision poetry.  Follow her @charrud

The Still Point at Fat Relic: Creative Exchange between artists and researchers

Fat Relic EVent

The Still Point presents an evening of creative exchange between artists and researchers at Fat Relic. Join us on Monday the 27th April for an exhibition of visual work and live readings over drinks.

Over the course of a month artists from the Slade School of Art and Central Saint Martins, and PhD Researchers from UCL, King’s College London and the Bartlett, have been working collaboratively in a series of partnerships. The aim of the creative exchange has been to encourage PhD students to engage with their research in creative and experimental ways, whilst also giving the artists a chance to develop their practice reciprocally by investigating new ideas and alternative ways of seeing.

The event on the 27th April will showcase the results of these collaborations. The event hopes to tease out the similarities between the kinds of rich thinking and exploration we do as researchers and as visual artists, and to interrogate the very notions of ‘art writing’ and of ‘academic style,’ by blurring the boundaries and bending the rules.

Work and readings from Mircea Teleaga and James Fisher, Maud Craigie and Polly Mitchell, Maxima Smith and Penny Newell, Sarah Boulton and James Morland, Dala Nasser and Laura Silva.

For more details see our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/921737127878443/permalink/921749897877166/

Or view the listing on Art Rabbit: https://www.artrabbit.com/events/the-still-point-journal-creative-exchange

The Passing Present

The Passing Present, Oil on linen, 45 x 35cm, 2014

The Passing Present, Oil on linen, 45 x 35 cm, 2014

© Nathan Jones Art

In common with my current practice, The Passing Present suggests a fluid boundary between the real and the unreal.  Ultimately, there is little that can be said with certainty about this painting: the subject is neither flesh nor stone, it floats without body, location or purpose, and there is no validating narrative to offer a foothold for interpretation.  This mutability and ambiguity is further suggested by the fluid paint handling, which implies a movement that is at odds with the subject’s stillness.  The paint itself, at points thin, delicate and descriptive, occasionally ruptures into rough, impasto abstraction – a painterly language that is thoroughly hostile to a singular version of reality.  Although it is offset by contrasting flares of warmth, the palette is dominated by an otherworldly blue – this further removes the figure from our present moment.  As the title implies, the painting draws attention to the passing of time, while also blurring boundaries between the past and the present.

Nathan Jones is a London artist, practice-based researcher and, formerly, a postgraduate student at University of the Arts London.  For full works and details of his practice, see www.nathanjonesart.co.uk

The Secret Autobiography of my PhD #1

fran

The other week my flatmate stumbled into my bedroom and surveyed the chaos. “Your room is filled with so much paper” she said as she looked in wonder from the books arranged anarchically across the shelves and puzzled together on the desk, to the gatherings of bills and letters, the postcards pinned to the walls, the mind-maps and the folders of work popping with paper-weights. I feel like my life is an increasingly unruly paper trail: paper breeds paper it seems, every book ends with a Borgesian bibliography which propels you towards an infinite library of more books. But my relationship with texts and with stories began before collections of material papers, before bindings. It began with my mother’s voice.

When I was a baby my mother nicknamed me ‘Frantic Fran;’ I seemed to run on an endless supply of hyperactive energy. I didn’t want to sleep and neither did I want my parents to either, so my mother was required to tell me endless stories. Some of these came from books but the stories I remember best of all, the ones I must have requested a hundred times or more, were the autobiographical stories my mother told of her own life. The unrecorded fable and folklore of the anarchic childhood of her and her siblings, the love story of how she and my father came to meet, the adventure stories about her work in Hong Kong as a designer, and eventually, I suppose, her semi-fictionalised accounts of her first child, Frantic Fran. It is in tribute to my mother then that I’m returning to the oral, seeking out the poem as a work of voice and sound, for it is with voice that my love of literature began.

But my project isn’t just about the oral, it is also about the vernacular and a hunt for the peculiarly local and particular languages which help us to recall and preserve our past. This brings me to my own voice and the rootless limbo which my lack of a mappable accent seems to leave me in. I can’t help longing for a voice which might place me.

I grew up with my parents’ Black Country idioms. If the skies were dark and brooding then they’d say, ‘It’s a bit black over Bill’s Mother’s’, and if you’d taken the long way round to get somewhere, they’d say you’d ‘been all around the Wrekin.’ The Wrekin being a large hill with its own Midland’s folklore and oral history and with a name, as I’ve just discovered, which is first mentioned in an Anglo-Saxon charter in 885 (it turns out that my lost vernacular is Old English after all). It took me a long time to realise just how obsessively local these idioms were and that they had no meaning in the topography of my daily life in Hertfordshire, beyond my family. Like the inflections I gave to bath or laugh or grass or even basketball (which had the other children at school in giggles) I soon realised I had no local and linguistic claim to them. I became too self-conscious of my distance to keep them alive in my own speech.

Over the years my accent has erased all traces of geography, place, and locality, it has erased even its heritage.  I have been influenced by my father’s own attempts to neutralise his accent for his work, by the accents of other children at school and the people I grew up with, and by the bland accent-less hinterland of my university days in Cambridge – where everyone’s accent has been provided by their education rather than their hometown. I have lost my vernacular identity.

There is a recording of my lost voice, a recording that is probably lost now too: a redundant cassette tape hidden away somewhere. I’m telling a story, one I had made up, about the rose princess – my accent is in flux, torn between the Black Country trill of my mother’s and the North-London spread of my Hertfordshire displacement. With the long, drawn-out vowels of my hybrid accent, the ‘Rose Princess’ could quite easily be mistaken for a ‘Rogue Princess’, a heroine fallen from grace. In my PhD I’m listening for the voices of irrecoverable recordings, I’m searching for voices from the past. It is with these buried memories and longings that I sit down to do my research and tune my ear to the sounds of Anglo-Saxon vernacular poetry and the resurrection of those sounds in the work of a modern poet – a poet who is also a displaced Welshman and a Celt living, uneasily, with the voice of an Edwardian Cockney.

Francesca Brooks, @frangipancesca

Francesca is in the first year of her PhD at King’s College London, her research looks at ideas of textuality, aurality and oral poetics in Old English manuscripts and the printed poetry of David Jones.

Our editor has been a little cheeky with her words here in order to give you an idea of the brief, but if you’d like to send us ‘The Secret Autobiography’ of your PhD please send 100 words to blog@thestillpointjournal.com along with a short sentence about your research. 

Sounds to Accompany a PhD #1

This playlist is deeply dishonest. It is not, strictly speaking, what I play when I read or write. I play albums: long streams of steady tones with smooth transitions. I say “play” because I don’t want to listen. I want to induce certain moods in myself without paying too much attention.

I tend to work in two-hour blocks. But I couldn’t just offer you two albums. So think of the following collection of songs as a series of trailers for a larger playlist. The playlist I use is 61hr 21m. Nonetheless, even with a variety of artists and albums, disruption can be minimised and textures can be enhanced by careful selection.

But this playlist is dishonest in another way: these are the songs that did make me pay attention. The songs that made me listen. So forget what I said above, sometimes disruption is better. A few moments to suspend your thoughts. Enjoy.

James Daniel Fisher, @JamDanFish

James Daniel Fisher is a PhD candidate in his first year at King’s College London, studying the meaning of work in eighteenth-century England.

If you’d like to share your PhD playlist with us please email it to stillpointjournal@gmail.com with a short introduction of around 200 words.