Examining William Bickerton: A Forgotten Latter Day Prophet
The life of the nineteenth-century American prophet, William Bickerton, was not explored comprehensively until 2017-2018 — two centuries after his birth. His life offers new and exciting perspectives for the historiographies of American revivalism, Christian Restorationism, millennialism, Mormonism, and biography. My articles, “The Rocky Road to Prophethood: William Bickerton’s Emergence as an American Prophet” (2017) and “Opening the Windows of Heaven: The Bickertonite Spiritual Revival 1856-1858” (2018), along with my book, William Bickerton: Forgotten Latter Day Prophet (2018), utilise an emic approach to examine Bickerton and his religious movement within the contexts of American culture and Mormonism.
Conferred Sep 2018
The Augmented Tonoscope: Towards a deeper understanding of the interplay between sound and image in Visual Music
Sound can induce physical form and flow - the stationary wave patterns of Cymatics (from the Greek: κῦμα“wave”). Dr Hans Jenny coined this term for his seminal studies into these phenomena in the 60s and 70s, using a device of his own design - the ʻtonoscopeʼ.
What are the precursors to transformative moments within socially engaged arts practice?
I write as a participant, as an artist and as a member of the local community. By adopting artistic research methods, and specifically, by making work in the place where I live, which could be considered a form of auto-ethnographic artistic research, the research analyses social artistic processes from the perspective of the artist, adding to debates around what social arts practice is, and what its limits are in its original social context and within the gallery and documentary systems of dissemination.
Responses to the Culture and Politics of the United States of America in the Novels and Nonfiction of Anthony Burgess
To provide a critical account of the British author Anthony Burgess’s engagement with the culture and politics of the United States of America. Burgess travelled extensively in the USA for lecture tours, professorships, visiting author positions, book tours, and other artistic engagements. This enquiry involves original research into archived documents, audio recordings of lectures, unpublished letters and journalism. The dissertation will deploy this new material in a close analysis of six post-1960 novels and non-fiction books by Burgess.
The Flow of Life: Photographing architecture as populated spaces
My research concerns the representation of the built environment. In conventional architectural photography the form of buildings is shown without reference to the function of the spaces within and between them; which was the primary purpose for their construction.
The role of curatorial practice in rethinking nature, posthuman and media environments in the Anthropocene
My research engages with critical debates on the Anthropocene focusing on recent discourses of media ecology and materiality creating a trajectory between hidden toxic territories in China and our technocapitalist societies. My work pays particular attention on the 'curatorial' as a mode of theorisation as well as a research methodology. The project will deploy through a series of talks, a conference and a final exhibition at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) based in Manchester.
Taking the Reader into the Woods: An investigation into the relationship between the act of walking in woodland and the creative process, through the medium of novel writing
This PhD will explore the connections between walking, creative process and fiction with a focus on creative practice as research method. I will be undertaking a series of walks in a number of woodlands, and using the experience to inform my creative practice. I will write a novel inspired by the walks and also non-fiction reading about place. As well as the novel I will write a thesis about the process I have undergone, and how my work fits into the world of place-writing. I will interview some other published novelists who have a strong element of place writing in their work, to ask them about their creative process.
Tracing the social contract of photography: How do we evidence the collaborative social engagement process in photography without undermining the value of the final visual outcome?
The thesis sets out the theoretical framework for which the practice-based research is delivered, supporting but challenging to what extent, there is a ‘social contract’, inherent in photography as argued by Azoulay. The framework pays consideration to photography’s conflicted history, positioned between Rancière’s thinking of photography as a “trace of the true” against Sontag’s view of photography as enabling the “voyeuristic stroller”. For the purposes of this research, which actively privileges the process of social engaged practice in photography, weight is given to Rancière’s and Azoulay’s argument. The thesis further explores the principles of Helguera’s layers of participation, which discusses different approaches socially engaged art practitioners use for their collaboration with others. I specifically focus on the creative and collaborative participation methodology, which enables the most active and accessible approach to co-authoring art projects.
My thesis investigates the role of the photobook in representing the British working-classes since 1975 and demonstrates the value of photobooks as a tool for the exploration of lived experience.
In Search of the Shortcuts – The Past in the Present. How walking and narrative interact in physically embodied space, virtual space and psychological space, in the context of a self-initiated artistic residency.
In Search Of The Shortcuts is a practice-led research project carried out from the perspective of an artist. By engaging in a practical and theoretical analysis of how walking and narrative interact in physical, virtual and psychological realms, it asserts that this interaction is vital for defining space. A self-initiated artistic residency is both central to the methodology of the project and enriched by the knowledge gained through the research. In Search Of The Shortcuts situates the past in the present, a shared affective experience around the suburban spaces of the artist’s childhood in Wythenshawe, which lies on the outer fringes of South Manchester. The artist also addresses the relationship between expanded drawing methods and narrative representation, in order to explore how the influence of Wythenshawe and the socio-political context of the 1980s have impacted on his practice.
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