Geography field visit

All hands on this morning as we’re expecting a bunch of Geography students to arrive, the only space big enough for everyone is the polytunnel -thank goodness the sun’s shining as otherwise everyone would get very cold! so a quick whizz around the site collecting chairs and a burner for the soup we’ve made.

how many students can you get in a caravan? – on the left Kate (Prof. Catherine Brace) is introducing the project van, the nature of the space, Rom vans and the role it plays to house people from all manner of disciplines to be here and respond in some way to the locality.

There was some discussion as to whether the project was ‘art’ prompted by Lucy Rose (PhD student) – she was interested in how it related to aesthetics & Kants’ notion of the sublime.

I tend towards thinking of  aesthetics as being subjective response that is everywhere in the un/remarkable and un/extraordinary moments of the the idea that ‘Art’ as being separate & ‘of itself ‘ imbued with sublime purpose that is the work of genius disinterested in social, political and contextual influence is anathema to me. ( I don’t profess to understanding the density of Kant or see aesthetics as a focus of my research aside from noting the impact such thinking may have had in isolating ‘art’ objects from their context).

A well known example of how artists’ purpose or intention gets lost within the historical canon is Duchamps’ urinal – the readymade is seen as significant in opening up a potential for ‘art’ to be anything, whatever it is named to be. But within that desire for a new movement or  categorical definition of ‘new’ art (focussed on the urinal – object) the actual social and political context of Duchamps’ intention has been afforded less value – ie his interventionist arts activity that questioned the curatorial hierarchy of an exhibition selection process.

Kate was asked what she had found interesting within the project – she said that the durational nature of the project had influenced her thinking about geography.


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