Aleatoric geopolitics: art, chance and critical play on the border

Wulia, M 2013, Aleatoric geopolitics: art, chance and critical play on the border, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Art, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size
Wulia.pdf Thesis application/pdf 48.93MB
Title Aleatoric geopolitics: art, chance and critical play on the border
Author(s) Wulia, M
Year 2013
Abstract This research is conducted within the field of art, through making and presenting artworks related to, and investigating the geopolitical border. It aims to challenge and question the normative notions of the geopolitical border while proposing ways to illuminate the key issues of critical geopolitics concerning the relationship between geography and power. It does so by re-examining the geopolitical border as an entity that is constantly in a state of renegotiation through the discursive actions of those involved in border politics. It focuses on individuals as active participants – or actors – of critical play in order to simulate the production of chance in the re-presentation of border dynamics in art.

The research sits in the context of globalisation in contemporary art. It also considers the globalising context of the contemporary world, with globalisation defined as a set of social, cultural, economic and political processes. Rather than advocating the pure cosmopolitan idea of a borderless world, however, this research acknowledges the unbalanced, unfinished notion of globalisation that is always in a state of flux, and puts the dynamics of the geopolitical border at the centre. It examines the border through making artworks based on three iconic objects of the border: the passport, the wall and the map. The approach to these three key objects is informed by the field of critical geopolitics as a poststructuralist approach to geopolitics. The methodology is then implemented through critical play, a term used in contemporary art, with the aim of creating play environments to instigate a questioning attitude.

My research questions enable the investigation of three key themes: the geopolitical border, aleatoric processes and critical play. For this project, the border is considered as a socio-political space that is always in flux, in which interactions between individuals continuously transform the border. In my work, chance is explored through the performances of critical play, in which unpredictable interactions between individual actors produce chance that in turn sustain the continuous processes of the border, resulting in a geopolitics that is aleatoric, involving chance and interpretation. The methodological approaches are informed by critical geopolitics, standpoint theory, and Actor-Network-Theory, taking form in a practice-led research based on individualisation of the three objects of the border (passport, wall, map) through methodologies of individualisation involving (1) making the objects one’s own, (2) activating individual agency, and (3) aleatoric processes through game-performances. The methodology of presentation of the research as a body of artworks involves (1) building cyclical works in reference to the continuous processes of borders and the constant renegotiations, and (2) crossing – rather than blurring – boundaries, between author and participants, between one medium to another, and between making, showing and documentation.

The research outcome magnifies the aleatoric aspects of the border by involving the audience, the viewers or the visitors as participants. At the same time, the involvement of participants may also reach an activation of their own critical awareness of the border as a contested site through the experiences of participation as an individual actor.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Art
Keyword(s) aleatoric processes
critical geopolitics
critical play
participatory art
game performance
border politics
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 755 Abstract Views, 180 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Fri, 02 May 2014, 15:22:19 EST by Lynne Johns
© 2014 RMIT Research Repository • Powered by Fez SoftwareContact us